Coming into the regular season one of the biggest issues facing the Brooklyn Nets was their lack of size. Outside of Kevin Durant who is basically a guard and DeAndre Jordan, the Nets pretty much had no girth on their roster which often affected their ability to play defense on a nightly basis.
Fast forward to April the Nets have turned their center issue from a bad problem into a good problem as they now have a surplus of big men on the roster headlined by six-time All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge.
The Nets have two other quality centers in two-time All-Star DeAndre Jordan, and Brooklyn’s rising star Nic Claxton. In his limited minutes, Claxton’s star has shone brightly. He knows that right now his role may be minimal, but the team is still depending on him to stay ready for when his number does get called.
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Nic Claxton Sounds Off on His Reduced Minutes
“It’s tough but it’s part of the journey. (We) got some new guys that have come in and my minutes have fluctuated. I just got to stay ready, continue to learn, and whatever minutes I’m given, I just have to go out there and make the most out of,” Claxton said via NetsDaily.
On the season the 21-year-old is averaging 7.1 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 1.0 assists per game. After Claxton’s return from injury, the Nets had a two-man rotation at the center position with him and Jordan. However, the addition of Aldridge to the Nets roster meant a reduction in minutes for both of the Nets centers.
“It is what it is. LMA; he’s been playing well starting so there’s not much I can say,” Claxton continued.
“However many minutes they need me to play, that’s how much I’m going to play. Play those minutes to the best of my ability. If it’s 15, if it’s 25, if it’s 20 – I got to be ready.”
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Nic Claxton’s Athleticism Is Key for the Nets
The immediate need for centers like Claxton and DJ on the Nets roster was evident on Saturday night when the team took on the defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers.
While Aldridge is a massive presence in terms of size, he lacks the explosiveness and athleticism that Jordan and Claxton possess. The Lakers’ newest All-Star Andre Drummond was able to exploit that all night long as he put up a big 20 points and 11 rebounds in the Lakers blowout of the Nets.
Steve Nash Wants Claxton To Stay Ready
Brooklyn Nets head coach Steve Nash has emphasized to Claxton that he is an integral part of the team and while it may not be on a nightly basis, his number is going to eventually be called.
“We have four or five centers so you can’t necessarily play everyone. Right now, we’re trying to figure out where LaMarcus and Blake are at and even get Nic more minutes,” Nash told reporters via NetsDaily.
“Somethings got to give and I wish I can give everyone all the minutes they desire but it’s just impossible.”
Staying ready has equaled success thus far for the Nets and they will need Claxton on Wednesday as they will already be without Kevin Durant and James Harden.