We noticed it out of the corner of our eye on Monday. Five players, presumably a real lineup, getting a group photo taken off to the side of the Nets practice facility.
There was Jarrett Jack, the presumed starting point guard, smiling out front, holding the ball, surrounded by Joe Johnson (natch), Thaddeus Young (okay), Brook Lopez (yes) ... and Andrea Bargnani (huh?!). Bargnani, the much maligned ex-Knick, the "big tease: in Phil Jackson's words as a starter? Later, as if to cement the grouping as an authentic possibility, Lionel Hollins moved into frame, taking the ball up front..
No, we didn't notice any other groupings with, say, Bojan Bogdanovic or Markel Brown, out front. Might have happened. But the BIG picture, as you might call it, was distributed.
Could Bargnani be a starter? We doubt it. That team doesn't exactly scream "defense," except, perhaps, in pain. But is it possible these five could be on the court together? Is it something the Nets have thought about? Yup.
As Jarrett Jack told the media Monday, talking about the Nets flexibility...
"We have a nice mix. We have some veteran guys who have experience and are very talented. Now we have a good mix of youth with athleticism. So, it definitely changed the pace. There's a lot of different lineups we can put in. We can do small ball right if we need. We can go big if the coach feels we need Brook and Andrea alongside each other, maybe sliding Thad to the three and Joe to the two.
"I think we have the availability to match up with anybody."
How likely? Who knows, but Chris Carrino and Tim Capstraw liked what they saw out of Bargnani on Monday. As Capstraw said, "He's 10 years in the league, but you feel he's embracing a fresh start," noted Capstraw. "And he has those types of skills." Expect the unexpected.