The Brooklyn Nets are currently enjoying a nice 4-game winning streak and one of the big catalysts of this recent string of success has been Rodions Kurucs.
After a surprising three-game losing streak two weeks ago, the Brooklyn Nets are back on track and have won four straight games. This winning streak couldn’t have come at a better time as the team is about to embark on a treacherous road trip.
The common factor in the team’s recent string of success has been none other than rookie Rodions Kurucs.
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The 4 position has been a revolving door for the Nets this season. For the majority of the year the starting 4 spot was a mix between Jared Dudley, Treveon Graham or Rondae Hollis-Jefferson. Up until a few games ago, Atkinson had turned to Graham to be the starting 4.
He hasn’t been the most consistent player, however, and that lack of consistency really showed during the Nets three-game losing streak. Graham started the three games but didn’t play more than 18 minutes.
He wasn’t too productive on the offensive end and wasn’t much better defensively. Graham hasn’t scored more than 10 points in a game in over a month.
Now Graham has been out the last four games with a back injury and in his place stepped Rodions Kurucs. The rookie, drafted in the second round, has been a spark plug for the Nets all season.
Up until this point he has provided great boosts of energy and provides another option to spread the floor. On the season Rodions averages around nine points and four rebounds per game in just over 20 minutes per game.
He’s no stranger to starting, as he has started 33 games on the season. Since being placed back into the starting lineup, Rodions has been a big part of Brooklyn’s success. The past four games, Rodions is averaging 14.5 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game.
He’s also shooting 65 percent from the field and 61 percent from 3-point range. In the game against Dallas which started the winning streak, Rodions had 19 points and hit five 3s.
For the time being it looks like coach Kenny Atkinson will stick with Rodions at the 4 spot as he should. Even when Graham becomes healthy, Kurucs has proven to be more reliable. There’s also just a different feel to the team when he’s on the floor.
He’s a rookie so he’s bound to make some mistakes, but those mistakes usually come because he’s giving his all. This isn’t to say Kurucs is the answer to the Nets’ forward position, but as the age-old saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”