Even though the Brooklyn Nets have looked like a completely different team on defense during their five-game road trip they still need all the defensive help they can get.
Despite a strong showing on defense the past few games, the Nets still are towards the bottom of the league in terms of defensive efficiency. One Nets’ assistant’s latest activity could be an indicator that help may be on the way for the Nets.
Amare Stoudemire Trains Trevor Ariza & Greg Monroe
In a recent tweet posted by reporter Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson, Nets’ development coach Amare Stoudemire is seen working out in Miami with Oklahoma City Thunder small forward Trevor Ariza and free-agent center Greg Monroe. Two pieces that the Nets could really use on defense.
Brooklyn Nets player development coach Amare Stoudemire still GOT GAME!
Here’s @Amareisreal out in Miami at Remy Workouts on Wednesday February 17.
Trevor Ariza, Greg Monroe also participated.
— 👑📍Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson (@ScoopB) February 22, 2021
Trevor Ariza was a major piece for the first of the Los Angeles Lakers’ back-to-back championships in 2009 and 2010. He was arguably the team’s best wing defender outside of the late Kobe Bryant.
Since then, Ariza has been a contributing factor to multiple teams that have made deep playoff runs, including the 2017 Rockets with James Harden who were one win away from going to the NBA Finals.
If you can point to one glaring weakness about the Nets’ defense it is size. Greg Monroe is a legitimate seven-footer who has been known for patrolling the paint for the majority of his NBA Career. Monroe cannot contribute much offensively for the Nets as he is averaging just 4.8 points per game in the Russian league. He also has not played in the NBA since 2018.
Steve Nash Doesn’t Think the Nets Need To Make a Trade
As the season inches closer to the March 25 trade deadline, time is running out for the Nets to make a move to fill out their playoff roster. While the team will be looking for their seventh consecutive win when they take on the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday, it still feels like the Nets are just one missing piece away from being an unstoppable force.
Steve Nash does not believe the front office needs to make a move to be amongst the elite, because they already have the pieces with the current construction of the roster.
I think we need to improve, and we need to look inward to improve,” Nash told reporters via Yahoo Sports.
“If roster composition changes for the better defensively, that’s great. But I don’t think we can rely on that because that may not be possible. You know, it’s not like they’re just falling off trees for us to pick up guys that are going to change our defense,” Nash said.
In a sense Nash is correct. Aside from the Rockets release of big man DeMarcus Cousins on Tuesday, the market for elite defenders is extremely scarce because most of them are already signed to long-term deals. That would mean the Nets would have to prepare a lucrative trade offer to a team and they are lacking assets because they used most of them to acquire Harden.
“You’re always looking, every team is always looking to improve your roster. Having said that, we have to look inward and take responsibility and make it a priority and try to grow defensively.”
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The Nets have looked better defensively on their five-game west coast road trip taking down both Los Angeles powerhouses. They have a chance to really extend their win streak and take over the first seed in the Eastern Conference over the next few games. The next team they face with a winning record is the San Antonio Spurs on March 1.