I already know what you’re thinking. The Nets are downright stacked. They have three of the NBA’s top scorers playing together on the same team. They play in the East, which is clearly the weaker of the league’s two conferences. Nobody can guard Kevin Durant. James Harden is a triple-double machine. Kyrie Irving is a magician with the ball in his hands. Why would they need more help? I get it. But hear me out here, the Nets need Andre Drummond if they want to win it all.
The Nets Play Matador Defense
Let’s start with what’s clear and obvious, the Nets’ defense this season could easily draw comparisons to a slice of swiss cheese. While Kevin Durant can hold his own on the defensive end, none of the Nets’ three superstars are known throughout the league as defensive-minded players. The team relied heavily on Jarrett Allen to be a defensive anchor down low throughout the season. That was before they shipped him to Cleveland as part of the James Harden mega-trade. Statistically, only the Wizards and the Kings have fared worse than the Nets this season when it comes to team defense.
Prime Andre > Washed DeAndre
Look, DeAndre Jordan can still play. He is a solid veteran presence who can catch lobs and finish around the rim. I don’t want this to turn into a DeAndre roast. But let’s be real, Jordan is not the force on the defensive end for the Nets that Jarrett Allen was during his tenure with Brooklyn. Jordan is also no longer the freak athlete and rebounding machine that he was during his glory days with the Clippers. Now 32-years-old, DeAndre Jordan is a shell of his former self in terms of what he can bring to an NBA team trying to compete for a championship.
Instead, the Nets need a center who can guard the pick and roll, rebound the basketball at will, and be a shot blocking threat down low if they want to compete for the title this year. We know the Nets can score as well as any team in the league, but can they stop anybody from lighting them up on the other end? Is DeAndre Jordan really who Nets fans want to be relying on to guard Anthony Davis on the pick and roll with LeBron James if Brooklyn plays L.A. in the finals this year? Save your breath, the answer is no.
James Harden Leads the Team in…Rebounds?
May I also ask who exactly is doing the rebounding for this Nets team? Brooklyn ranks in the bottom third of the league in rebounds per game. The team’s leading rebounder is James Harden, who is a 6’5″ guard. Bottom-feeding teams like the Timberwolves, Thunder, and Wizards rebound more effectively than the Nets do. Andre Drummond is averaging 13.5 rebounds per game this year and is five years younger than DeAndre Jordan, who averages only seven boards per contest. While Drummond makes significantly more money than Jordan, a team that is truly in win now mode like Brooklyn should be primarily concerned with bettering their roster for a potential playoff run, not bargain hunting for cheap assets.
Brooklyn Needs Drummond to Contend With L.A.
The Lakers rank seventh in the NBA in team rebounding at the time of this writing. They rank second in terms of overall team defense as well, right behind the New York Knicks. Oh, and they have LeBron James, who most basketball enthusiasts would argue is still the greatest player in the world at age 36. With superstar forward Anthony Davis serving as the Robin to LeBron’s Batman in L.A., Brooklyn should be looking to bolster its roster as much as possible before the March 25 trade deadline hits.
Sean Marks, I’m not sure if you’re aware, but there’s this guy sitting on the bench in Cleveland right now who has made an NBA career for himself protecting the rim and having 20+ rebound outings like its nobody’s business. The Nets need Andre Drummond to win it all. Only you can make it happen. Full send on Andre Drummond to Brooklyn, Mr. Marks!
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