The Brooklyn Nets find themselves moving towards Orlando more and more shorthanded. Brooklyn added Jamal Crawford on Wednesday and are now moving towards adding Michael Beasley. The hope is too help ramp up their lineup to compete after losing a lot of key players in the wake of what is happening.
Jamal Crawford last played in the 2018-19 season with the Phoenix Suns. The veteran guard saw a significant drop in production with the Suns, just averaging 8 points per game in about 19 minutes played. Crawford played in 64 contests that season coming off the bench in all of them. In his 19 year career, Crawford has averaged 14.6 points per game. Crawford was a bench player throughout his career, winning three Sixth Man of the Year trophies.
Michael Beasley was drafted second overall in the 2008 NBA draft. Beasley never quite lived up to those expectations, but has still been a solid piece in lineups throughout the years. Beasley also last played in the 18-19 season, averaging 7 points per game with the Los Angeles Lakers through 26 games. Beasley has averaged around 12.4 points per game throughout his career.
Nets Loss in Players
The first big player that Brooklyn lost to Orlando is Kyrie Irving. Irving was averaging 27.5 points and 6.5 assists per game in 20 contests before going down with injury. Irving has strongly stated how he is against the NBA restarting amongst the pandemic and social issues going on in the United States.
Brooklyn’s front court took a big hit when Taurean Prince and DeAndre Jordan bowed out of Orlando. Prince played in all 64 games for the Nets, starting in 61 of those games. He averaged 12 points and 6 rebounds per game for the Nets. Jordan came off the bench for most of his 56 appearances this season, averaging 8.5 points and 10 rebounds per game.
The Nets also had Spencer Dinwiddie announce he will not be competing in the playoff restart. Dinwiddie stepped up for the team in a big way after Irving went down to injury. Dinwiddie played in all 64 games this season, averaging 20.5 points and 7 assists per game. He finished the season second in points per game and first in assists per game for Brooklyn this season.
Where This Leaves Brooklyn
The Nets were sitting in seventh place of the Eastern Conference with a record of 30-34 before the NBA was put on pause in March. Brooklyn was sitting half a game ahead of the Orlando Magic, who are in eighth of the East. The Washington Wizards will have a chance to grab the eighth seed when the return to play format starts back up. Washington is six games back on the Nets.
If the Wizards are less than four games behind Brooklyn at the end of the eight play in games, they will have a chance to leapfrog the Nets. Washington will have to win back to back games against Brooklyn or any other team to take over the eighth seed. The Nets who have lost a lot of key players, are looking to avoid that. Brooklyn and Washington will potentially meet up on August 2.
Brooklyn’s new starting lineup could look like Chris Chiozza at point guard, Caris LaVert at shooting guard, Joe Harris at small forward, Beasley at power forward and Jarrett Allen at center. The Nets would also hope for Crawford and Garrett Temple to be key contributors off the bench. LeVert, Harris, Allen and Temple are all averaging over 10 points per game this season.
The Nets have seen their odds dip as more and more players have dropped out of the playoffs. BetOnline has Brooklyn listed at +15000 to win the East, which has them tied with the Magic and ahead of Washington. BetOnline also has the Nets listed at +30000 to win the NBA Finals, which is tied for fifth worst amongst the 22 teams competing in Orlando. Brooklyn hopes that these signings will help fill some of those holes and propel them back into a competitive level come late July.