Nets may shake up rotation, play Blatche, Lopez together

Andray Blatche has served as backup for Brook Lopez most of the season. Credit: NBAE/Getty Images
Andray Blatche has served as backup for Brook Lopez most of the season.
Credit: NBAE/Getty Images

Nets interim head coach P.J. Carlesimo didn’t exactly release his new rotation on a silver platter yesterday, but he did hint at pairing centers Andray Blatche and Brook Lopez together.

“It’s something that I’d like to look at more, but there’s more teaching,” Carlesimo said after practice yesterday. “It’ll probably fall on Dray at the four spot. The four spot is not that different. It’s not different than the five spot in a lot of the things we do. … It’s kind of hard to expect him to know everything. We have to look at what menu of things we would call in that situation and try to anticipate as many of the defensive things as we could.”

Whenever it happens, Blatche will spend time at power forward while Lopez will be at center. Blatche has spent this season as the team’s backup center to Lopez, but before coming to Brooklyn he played power forward for seven seasons with the Wizards.

He sounded enthusiastic about the possible pairing and the potential it may present when teams decide to double team Lopez in the low post. If that happens, that will likely keep Blatche open for 15 to 19 footers, where he is shooting 45 percent (27-of-60).

“It’s going to be easier for me,” Blatche said. “If Brook gets the ball and they decide to double team, that’s where I can get my open shot or just hit the glass. Playing with him will make my job a lot easier because he gets so much attention.

Blatche is having a bounce-back season after signing a one-year deal with the Nets in September. He averaged a career-high 16.8 points two years ago but slipped to 8.5 points per game in 26 games for the Wizards while he was benched due to a lack of conditioning.

The pairing has happened for a total of just 60 minutes this season. The most notable instance occurred Jan. 30 against Miami when the duo was effective for the final 5:08 of the second quarter as they combined for eight points and the Nets outscored Miami 14-7 in an eventual 105-85 loss.

“It spreads the floor more so people have the opportunity to penetrate,” Blatche said. “Brook is a great player. I love playing with him. Even today in practice, it’s tough to defend — so many weapons, so many options and it definitely gives us length

It is also a pairing point guard Deron Williams would not mind seeing, especially since it gives him two options for running pick-and-roll plays.

“It’ll be good because it hasn’t really happened much this year,” Williams said. “I think last game I can’t really recall, but I don’t remember it happening much before last game. I think it’s a good strategy — a look we haven’t tried. The way the things have been going lately it doesn’t hurt to try it.”

Assuming Blatche and Lopez are paired together, the Nets should get more offensive production at power forward. Reggie Evans can rebound and defend, but he’s scored just eight points while shooting 2-for-19 in his last eight games. If those numbers aren’t bad enough for Net fans to digest, Evans has been blocked on 22 percent of his field-goal attempts and is shooting 49.6 percent on layups, according to basketball-reference.com.

Evans was signed for his rebounding and defense and expected to contibute 10 to 15 minutes per night, but is averaging 23 minutes due to the ineffectiveness of Kris Humphries.

Follow Nets beat writer Larry Fleisher on Twitter @LarryFleisher.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

Sierra Leone Ebola patient, recovered from family, dies…

An Ebola patient whose family sparked a nationwide hunt when they forcefully removed her from a treatment center and took her to a traditional healer has died.

Local

VIDEO: Cop reassigned as NYPD investigates alleged head…

An officer alleged to have stomped on a Brooklyn man's head last week had his gun taken away and placed on modified duty.

National

New York Times calls for legalization of pot

The New York Times editorial board on Saturday endorsed a repeal of the federal ban on marijuana, becoming the largest paper in the nation to back the idea.

National

Two injured after cable snaps on Ohio amusement…

(Reuters) - A cable on a large swing ride at an Ohio amusement park snapped and struck two riders as the swing was in motion,…

Music

Newport Folk Festival: Photo gallery of 35 moments…

As has been the tradition since Bob Dylan plugged in a bajillion years ago, the Newport Folk Festival embraces more musical genres than its name implies.

Music

MKTO: Behind the bromance

MKTO's Malcolm Kelley and Tony Oller talk about the American Dream tour, Demi Lovato and getting turned down by girls.

Arts

James Earl Jones and Rose Byrne head to…

Two-time Tony winner James Earl Jones returns to the New York stage next month as an eccentric grandfather in a revival of the 1930s comedy…

Movies

Box office: Scarlett Johansson wins battle of brains…

Scarlett Johansson's "Lucy" handily dispatched with Dwayne Johnson's "Hercules" over the weekend.

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

MLB

Joe Torre: I'm in Hall of Fame because…

Joe Torre spent 18 years putting together a near Hall of Fame career as a player. But it was the 12 years he spent as…

MLB

Yankees GM Brian Cashman breaks down art of…

The action frequently accelerates as the non-waiver trade deadline approaches, as it will on Thursday.

Auto racing

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Wellbeing

This Week In Health: Friends share similar DNA,…

Friends share similar DNA, study finds Location: U.S. Study subjects: Nearly 2,000 people Results: When it comes to our social networks, it seems that birds of…

Education

Are liberal arts colleges turning away from the…

Bryn Mawr College, a small women's college located just outside of Philadelphia, announced last week that it would be making standardized tests like the SAT…

Education

Recent grads discover school superintendent plagiarized parts of…

  Two recent high school graduates made a surprising discovery about the commencement speech their school superintendent delivered at their graduation: portions of it was copied…

Career

Feeling stuck? Get out of the entry-level job…

Television and movies may be littered with 20-something characters who seem directionless when it comes to their careers, but author Mary Traina says she finds…