Brooklyn Nets Rumors: Lineup Changes Coming?

Mar 22, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets head coach Tony Brown reacts during first half against Charlotte Hornets at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 22, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets head coach Tony Brown reacts during first half against Charlotte Hornets at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports /

Brooklyn Nets Rumors: Are lineup changes on the horizon for interim coach Tony Brown after a rough start to the game against the Charlotte Hornets earlier in the week?

Brooklyn Nets rumors have began popping up once again despite the playoffs being out of play and the roster being at it’s maximum of 15. While the Nets will not be making any roster moves, there are supposedly changes that could be coming to the lineups and minutes that players receive on the court.

Interim head coach Tony Brown was not happy with the effort level of his team on Tuesday against the Charlotte Hornets. While the final score, 105-100, doesn’t look bad on paper, the first half was extremely tough to watch. They scored only 36 points, committing nine turnovers in the process and getting pounded in the paint en route to being outscored 24-10. It drew the ire of Brown, who says changes will be coming as a result.

“I just wanted them to know it’s not acceptable,” Brown said after Wednesday’s practice. “If you get a chance to be on the court, you have to play your minutes hard. We know we’re not going to the playoffs, but these guys are still getting evaluated. You have to go out there with that in your mind to prove that you belong on this team or you belong in this league.”

One of the players you can be sure of seeing on the court consistently is Sean Kilpatrick. Kilpatrick was signed by the Nets out of the NBA D-League at the end of February. He quickly played himself into the rotation, earning a second 10-day contract. He continued to play so well, he turned it into a three-year deal, guaranteeing the remainder of this season and securing some guaranteed money for next season as well.

Kilpatrick is making the most of his most recent NBA chance, as he has played exceptionally well for the Nets. He is shooting 53.7 percent from the field and 53.7 percent from the three-point line as well, averaging 13.4 points per game. He was leading the D-League in scoring at the time of his signing with the Nets, and that has carried over with him.

Kilpatrick is one of the players that Brown pointed out, saying, “(Sean) came in here, made the best of his opportunity and got himself a new contract based on his play. And if they can’t see that, something’s wrong with them. I’ve been there — I’ve played in the NBA, I’ve played semi-pro to hopefully get called up, so I’ve been in that situation, and you always want to have an edge when you play. You’re always trying to prove yourself, so this is an opportunity for guys to do that. If they don’t take advantage of the situation, that’s on them.”

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Kilpatrick has certainly proven himself this time, and has earned the playing time going forward. In addition to Kilpatrick, the players that Brown want to get involved are Shane Larkin and Sergey Karasev. Both are younger players, so it makes sense as it gives new general manager Sean Marks a chance to evaluate the talent on the roster and see who could be potential building blocks for the roster.

“I’m going to give Shane Larkin a chance to start the rest of these games toward the end of the season and I’m going to give Sergey Karasev a chance to start the next couple games to give him some quality minutes, so I’m going to keep shifting it around,” Brown said. “It’s not going to be the same guys every night. At this stage that’s kind of my mindset. There are going to be nights where our main guys — Brook Lopez, Thaddeus Young and Bojan Bogdanovic — are not going to play as many minutes, but we’ll just have to see how it goes.”

Expect there to be plenty of minutes as well for the 2015 first round draft picks for the Nets, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Chris McCullough. Both are building blocks for the Nets going forward and need playing time to not only gain experience, but shake off the rust from injuries; McCullough started the season sidelined recovering from ACL surgery, while Hollis-Jefferson just returned from an ankle injury.

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Both players are solid pieces for the Nets going forward and need to get minutes as there are very few avenues for the Nets to add young talent with the draft pick cupboard as barren as it is.