While it seems like the Nets roster gets more and more scarce every time the team takes the court, they may have found their silver lining on Tuesday. Jarrett Allen was inserted into the starting lineup for DeAndre Jordan for the first time this season and he showed up and showed out. Allen’s final stat line was 19 points, 18 rebounds, 3 steals, and 2 blocks. Another bright spot for the Nets was shooting guard Bruce Brown who started in place of the injured Spencer Dinwiddie. Dinwiddie will be out for the remainder of the year so it is possible that Brown’s role may increase as the season progresses. He is completely prepared for that.
‘Next Man up’ Has Been Nets Motto
“Kev texted us and said, ‘Next man up,’” Brown said to reporters on a Zoom call after Tuesday’s blowout. “We’re all ready. We all know, when our time comes, we are going to be ready. People took the challenge tonight to step up and play well, and we did that.” Kevin Durant will be sidelined for at least the next three games in compliance with the league’s COVID-19 protocols so he expects Brown and others to continue to carry the ship.
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While Brown may not have the same offensive repertoire as Dinwiddie, he is somewhat of an elite defender. Brown drew the defensive assignment of Jazz star Donovan Mitchell and held him to just 10-22 shooting on the night. “I definitely look forward to those matchups,” Brown said on a Zoom call with reporters on Tuesday. “That’s what I’m here for. So, I will leave the scoring to Kyrie and everybody else who scores the ball. I am here to play defense, to make the hustle plays. I am kind of pissed I did not have a steal today. I need to get more steals to help us out on the defensive end.”
Brown Knows His Role on Nets
The Nets have an offensive void in Dinwiddie’s absence as he averaged a career-high of 20.6 points per game last year. Even though last night Brown filled in for Spencer at shooting guard he knows that his scoring is not the role that his team needs him to play. “But Kyrie, man, I just push the ball and try to find him. Give him the ball. He is going to score, man, any way possible. So just try to get him the ball. He was hot. Yeah, that’s really it.”
While the Nets continue to try to plug pieces to fill the voids that have been left by their stars, they do not have much time to adjust. They are already on the outside of the playoffs in an extremely competitive Eastern Conference. Although they will only be without Durant for three more games minimum, every game that they play from this point forward is detrimental. Just giving up games because KD is not playing could equal major consequences when it comes to playoff seeding.