Two nights after getting up for and getting after the Miami Heat, the Brooklyn Nets came out and laid an egg, suffering a 107-86 defeat at the hands of Orlando Magic on Sunday night. This contest marked the coaching debut of Jason Kidd, who saw his team fall short in the energy department and drop one against an inferior opponent.
Though I am relatively certain that the Nets will continue to improve and gel as the season progresses, there will surely be nights like this in which they get run off by younger, more athletic units. Rookie Victor Oladipo had an impressive game, getting up and down the floor for 19 points, while the Magic forced Brooklyn into an awful shooting night (38.2%) and outrebounded them by a 54-42 marin.
While the size and experience level of this team has them tailored made for the playoffs, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are destined to be world beaters during the regular season. This will especially ring true if Jason Kidd has to rely on Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to carry the load for long periods of time.
Ideally, the former C’s will be best served if they can stay fresh and be complimentary pieces while Deron Williams and Brook Lopez do a majority of the heavy lifting. The teams that historically win titles are the ones that whose best players are somewhere between the area of approaching their primes and at the tail-end of their primes. Williams and Lopez fit this description, while Pierce and KG are more than a few years gone by this point in time. They can ramp it up and turn back the clock every now and then, but to ask them to it consistently be what they were six years ago is implausible.
The big question now and going forward is whether or not Brooklyn’s point guard and center can remain healthy enough to be the best players on the floor on any given night and provide the energy boost that this team will often need. Outside of these two and Andray Blatche, there aren’t many spry legs on this roster. It will be a challenge for Kidd to find the right balance, conserve minutes, and get his team in a position to win games in the fourth quarter.