Who will the Nets turn to for rebounding?


May 1, 2015; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets point guard Jarrett Jack (0) and Brooklyn Nets shooting guard Bojan Bogdanovic (44) and Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez (11) and Brooklyn Nets small forward Joe Johnson (7) during a time out against the Atlanta Hawks during the second quarter of game six of the first round of the NBA Playoffs at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Now that the Nets are going to be playing smaller, rebounding will almost certainly be an issue. With Thaddeus Young starting at PF, the Nets will have to find ways to crash the boards. They will most likely have to turn to younger players in order to get the rebounding boost that they’ll need.

Nets’ star C Brook Lopez is one of the best big men in the league, possessing superior post skills and terrific rim protecting abilities. However, Lopez’s biggest weakness has always been his ability to rebound the ball. He has never averaged more than 8.6 rebounds per game, and he has shown that he cannot lock down any opposing big men on the boards. If Lopez can step up and improve his rebounding, it would greatly help the Nets out, but at this point, history has shown that he will be unreliable in that department.

Fourth year PF Thomas Robinson has shown in his career that he can be a good rebounder. He is extremely inconsistent in almost all other areas of the game, but he has proven that he can crash the boards as good as any other PF. Robinson will most likely be relied on to spark the Nets with a rebounding presence off the bench and hopefully provide some athleticism on defense as well.

Apr 1, 2015; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks center Andrea Bargnani (77) shoots over Brooklyn Nets small forward Thaddeus Young (30) during the third quarter at Madison Square Garden. The Nets defeated the Knicks 100-98. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

This offseason, the Nets acquired PF/C Andrea Bargnani to be the backup to Lopez. Bargnani, throughout his career, has never been a liability on the offense side of the court. He can score in the post and is a knockdown shooter from beyond the arc. At 7’ even, Bargnani is a matchup nightmare for opposing teams. He is too big for smaller guys to guard, as he can just back them down and score from the post. Also, his incredible outside shooting talents make him very hard for opposing centers to guard.

However, the reason Bargnani has not crossed over into stardom is because, unlike most 7 footers, he cannot rebound the ball whatsoever. He has been rightfully labeled as a soft, finesse type of player, and he has never been a guy who could produce as a rebounder or defender. If the Nets are going to use Bargnani to spell Lopez, they will have to put at least one other player in the game that can provide rebounding.

The Nets have a ton of young players that they could look to to provide rebounding, but none of them are a guaranteed asset yet. If the Nets want to remain competitive in the East, they have to make sure to not get destroyed on the boards. If they cannot find anyone to turn to for rebounding, it will be a long and painful season.

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