Jason Kidd loves to run, ran the Nets to a franchise record 19 fast break points a game in 2001-02, despite having two plodding centers, Todd MacCulloch, who was 7'3" and Jason Collins, three inches shorter. Kidd would find Big Todd in the paint, knowing his bulk and great hands would often result in an easy basket.
Now as coach, there's little doubt Kidd would like to run again. Brook Lopez is immensely more talented offensively than either MacColloch or Collins but can't run and the rest of the Nets line-up doesn't measure up to that racehorse conference championship group. There's no Kerry Kittles, no Richard Jefferson, certainly no Kenyon Martin and as we know, Deron Williams isn't Jason Kidd either.
So do the Nets give up on the 26-year-old seven-footer with the reconstructed foot whose missed 134 games out of a possible 230 in the past three seasons? Not likely now, when his trade value is low. Beckley Mason, writing for ESPN suggested a month ago that maybe the Nets should trade Lopez for Danilo Gallinari and a pick. But isn't that just trading a foot for a knee? The 6'10" Italian sharpshooter lost more than a full season to a torn ACL and that injury, like a broken foot, has a history of recurring.
As Andy Vasquez recounts Saturday, Billy King didn't seem that enthusiastic about dumping a reliable scorer. at his press conference Thursday "You lose a Brook Lopez," King said, "and everybody says, 'Without him, you guys can play much better.' But in certain games, you can use a guy that you can throw it down [to, so] that you can get easy buckets." Like against Miami.
Vasquez also offers this fun stat: Lopez scored 352 this season in 17 games, the exact same number Kevin Garnett scored in 54.
Mason Plumlee showed a lot of promise in the regular season and he can run and dunk. But was a bust in the playoffs and while he is hyper athletic for a seven-footer, he took fewer than five jumpshots the last two years, at Duke and with the Nets.
Kidd had probably the best line about Lopez. Thursday. "That's a question until he gets healthy," Vasquez quotes Kidd as saying, meaning the question can wait.
- Brook Lopez expects to fit in when he rejoins Nets - Andy Vasquez - The Record
- Brooklyn Nets Should Have Been Better — But They Weren’t - Steve Lichtenstein - WFAN