The starting lineup for the Brooklyn Nets is going to be juggled again as Deron Williams nears his return. The starting five is about to be re-done yet again.
For Jason Kidd and the Nets, the various lineup changes have occurred due to injuries and inconsistent play. The team projected a starting five of Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Brook Lopez coming into the season.
Every single one of those players has already missed at least one game. Lopez broke his foot and is done for the season after having played just 17 games. Williams has appeared in just 22 of 38 contests due to nagging ankle injuries. Kevin Garnett has missed five games pretty much to gain extra rest. Joe Johnson has missed just one game and it was to gain extra rest as well.
Paul Pierce broke his hand but has only missed five games total on the season. He came off the bench for seven games as coach Jason Kidd experimented with making Pierce a sixth man. That experiment did not last long as surely thereafter is when Lopez got hurt for the season and Williams ankles kept bothering him.
Aside from the projected starting five the other players on the team that have started games this year are Andray Blatche (five), Alan Anderson (18), Mirza Teletovic (six), Shaun Livingston (16), Mason Plumlee (one), Tyshawn Taylor (three) and Reggie Evans (six). That's a total of 12 different players that have started games if you include the original starting five. The only players that have not been in the starting lineup are Andrei Kirilenko, Jason Terry and Toko Shengelia.
Most of the lineup changes occurred as the Nets were struggling mightily, at one time holding an abysmal and disappointing record of 10-21.
Six that point the Nets have started to hit a groove. They have won six of their last seven contests and have improved to 16-22. They have played the last five games without Williams, a stretch in which the team won four out of five games. They have been starting Anderson in his place along with Livingston, Johnson, Pierce and Garnett.
Johnson has been the team's go-to guy. Pierce has been the team's second best scoring option and one of its premiere play-makers. Livingston has done a little bit of everything including being a play-maker and one of the team's top defenders. Garnett has brought a defensive intensity to the team along with the ability to make the mid-range jumper. Anderson has stretched the floor with his three-point range and has been one of the team's better perimeter defenders.
Now it seems likely that Williams will return to the lineup on Monday against the Knicks, or at very least in the near, near future. He's likely to replace Anderson in the lineup as Kidd was previously using Williams and Livingston in a two point guard set prior to D-Will being out.
It will be interesting to see if the team's newly formed chemistry will at all be impacted with Williams being back.
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