The Brooklyn Nets need to become “injury-proof”

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 19: Spencer Dinwiddie
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 19: Spencer Dinwiddie /

If there is one thing the Brooklyn Nets are known for, it is injuries. Since the team’s move to the borough, featured players like Jeremy Lin, Deron Williams, Brook Lopez and now D’Angelo Russell have succumbed to injury. But what can Brooklyn do?

First things first, it is incredibly difficult to become “injury-proof” in the NBA. Teams, like the Brooklyn Nets, need to plan ahead and decide if splurging on great backups is worth it. Often times it is not. After all, paying a backup point guard starter-level money to play less minutes is a no-no. But injury is the most popular exception.

Injuries often show where lack of depth truly is. The Nets have actually done a fine job in masking that. Spencer Dinwiddie, while talented, is no Russell or Lin. But, he has done a good job of masking that lack of talent with 21 points against the Warriors and 25 against the Jazz.

However, the rest of Brooklyn’s back court needs to step up. Outside of Allen Crabbe, who had 25 points, and Dinwiddie, Brooklyn’s back court rotation had eight points against the Warriors. Sean Kilpatrick’s two points is understandable as he played just seven minutes. Joe Harris, on the other hand, had a rough night shooting, going 1-for-8 from the field and only scoring six points.

Caris LeVert is out of the back court and into the front, seeing as he plays mostly small forward. Isaiah Whitehead also looks like he is out of the rotation.

The most obvious thing the Nets can is to look for more talent at point guard. It can either come in house — either from the main roster or the Long Island Nets — or from free agency/the trade market.

While Brooklyn could also fortify its forwards, it is not a necessity. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, DeMarre Carroll, LeVert, Trevor Booker and Quincy Acy have interchangeable skill sets, if varying levels of talent. So, in theory, any of the five can substitute for another.

Also, Brooklyn does not need to worry about getting more centers to stave off injury concerns. While the position is the weakest in terms of depth, it is being “phased out.” The Nets have increased their use of small ball, so looking for two-way wings would be better.

Next: The Hyphen has big opportunities coming ahead

Brooklyn also needs to start taking more preventative measures with its players. For example, despite listing Russell as having a knee contusion, the training staff recommended that the 21-year old have surgery. While he is out longer, he ensures that his knee is at full strength coming back. That is especially important seeing as longevity in the league is at an all-time high.