The Nets didn’t engage in any trades by the deadline on March 25, but they were plenty active in the buyout market. By signing Blake Griffin and LaMarcus Aldridge, Brooklyn further raised expectations for itself as the postseason looms a couple of months away.
But the recent influx of talent means something has to give regarding how coach Steve Nash distributes minutes among the players on his roster.
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DeAndre Jordan in Store for Lesser Role
DeAndre Jordan entered Wednesday’s game against the Houston Rockets with 35 starts in the 45 games he’s appeared in this season for the Nets, who have gone 32-15 through their first 47 games of the season. The 6-foot-11 Jordan has averaged 7.6 points and 7.3 rebounds this year.
All of that will soon change, it appears.
The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported Wednesday that Aldridge “will compete for a starting center job for the Nets. The expectation is he will compete for significant minutes in the starting position for the Nets as they transition a little bit away from DeAndre Jordan potentially and move toward a frontcourt that consists of LaMarcus Aldridge, Kevin Durant, once he’s back in the lineup, Blake Griffin, Nic Claxton.”
In his age-32 season, Jordan has often looked to be a shadow of the version of himself that was once one of the league’s best rebounders and interior defenders. Before Aldridge’s arrival, fans were clamoring for the 21-year-old Claxton to eat into Jordan’s minutes.
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Nash Weighs in on Jordan’s Role
Ahead of Wednesday night’s game, Nash was specifically asked about Jordan’s usage going forward.
“DJ’s already been in and out of the lineup,” Nash said, via SNY. “Started, not started. Played, not played a lot. My chats with DJ have been about — and with everyone, frankly — is that this is a sacrifice for everyone, to put ourselves in a position to compete for a championship. Every team has to sacrifice. And so we all got to sacrifice. We’ve all got to accept that it’s not about an individual. It’s about the group. We all have to be ready to accept our roles, whether you’re starting, whether you’re coming off the bench or whether you’re not in the rotation, you have to bring energy, you have to be positive and you have to give to the group and protect the group. That goes for everyone.
“Whether DJ’s in or out of the rotation, whether Jeff (Green) is in or out, whether LaMarcus is in or out, they have to still come with a great attitude, play for the greater good, bring energy and spirit every day and whether you play or not is kind of what unfolds, but the process is more important. How do we approach this? And so I think everyone’s got to accept that we’re all in here to try to be the best team we can be, give ourselves the best chance to win as possible, and that takes sacrifice and understanding that it’s not about you. It’s about the collective group and protecting the group.”