Rondae Hollis-Jefferson isn't likely back until the middle of February, six long weeks away. His defense and rebounding are missed, as is his athleticism.
Neither of the two players seeing action at the 2 guard --Bojan Bogdanovic and Wayne Ellington-- can hope to match either of his skills, but as Brian Lewis writes on New Year's Day, both can bring offensive firepower that Hollis-Jefferson simply doesn't possess yet.
"I think it obviously changes the way we look at our team,’’ Ellington told Lewis. "When you’ve got threats from that position, guys have got to really guard and focus on that position and bring some attention that way. It opens up things for Brook [Lopez], and opens things up for other people making shots. So I feel like both of us playing well like that opens things up tremendously."
Over the last two games, the 28-year-old Ellington and the 26-year-old Bogdanovic have shown what they can do to make the Nets competition while the 20-year-old (until Sunday) hobbles around the Nets training facility in a walking boot and crutches.
Ellington, of course, hit seven three pointers vs. the Heat and Bogdanovic scored 20 points in the loss to the Magic, extending his three-point streak to 15 games. For the month of December, he hit 42 percent of his three point attempts. His issue has been aggressiveness.
"I struggled [Wednesday] on the 3-point shot," Bogdanovic said. "[I had] many easy shots that I did not knock down. I have to stay aggressive, be an important part of the team and knock down those shots that I have,’’ Bogdanovic said.
Meanwhile, Jim Spanarkel told another Post writer, Ryan Lazo, thinks the Nets are playing a better, more fluid style this season, despite their record, than they did last season with Deron Williams.
"One of the things that’s helped the team is Deron has a tendency to hold on to the ball for a large part of the shot-clock," said Spanarkel. "What they are trying to do now is to move the ball around and attack the basket as much as possible. Have they been 100 percent effective with that? No."