The Brooklyn Nets bench has been bigger than just its dance moves, heading down the stretch as the 2nd-highest scoring reserve unit in the NBA.
In the NBA, a team’s success is largely predicated on bench points. Look no further than the Brooklyn Nets bench this season. The Rockettes of the NBA have been recognized around NBA Twitter, but their production on the floor has been equally impressive.
Watching the bench light up after a D’Angelo Russell 3 or Jarrett Allen block? Awesome. These guys are genuinely happy for each other and this type of culture is what can carry the Nets through one of the toughest road stretches they are currently embarking on.
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Brooklyn has been ranked second in bench scoring since February, proving it has one of the deepest rosters around the league.
The Nets domination against the Pistons on Monday night was regarded by many as their biggest win of the season. Analysts questioned whether the Nets could handle Russell being the main focus of defensive attention, relying on other scorers.
But that is the nice thing about being a Nets fan. We don’t get much national attention, so we knew that the bench would be able to handle the pressure of the Pistons.
The commitment of the bench to coach Kenny Atkinson’s philosophy was manifested in the win and Atkinson recognized this by telling Anthony Puccio of NetsDaily:
"“They’ve played above expectations. So yeah, it’s a good feeling, but now it’s a nervous and an anxious feeling, because now we’ve got this new goal, this new thing with the playoffs.”"
The journeymen leading the way include Shabazz Napier, DeMarre Carroll, Ed Davis and Jared Dudley. We asked whether Atkinson could rotate these guys in alongside the recent return of Caris LeVert and Sixth Man of the Year candidate Spencer Dinwiddie.
Atkinson once again proved the doubters wrong by putting together and sustaining the second-best bench in the league.
Now, while the Nets are on one of the toughest road stretches around the NBA, they will be tested more than ever.
It is no question that they will miss the chants from The Block and that feeling of playing in Barclays Center, but this will no doubt be a great test they need before heading into the playoffs. The bench will need to continue to produce, and I have no doubt that they will.
With Spencer Dinwiddie and Caris LeVert leading the way, the Nets are perfectly capable of coming out of this stretch with a winning record.
The excitement of this time leads on, and watching this test on the road will certainly be stressful. It is a special time for the team in black and white, but it will pay off when the test of playoffs rolls around.