Brooklyn Nets: 3 Players that need to step up down the stretch

Taurean Prince Brooklyn Nets. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
Taurean Prince Brooklyn Nets. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /
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Brooklyn Nets
Taurean Prince Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /

#2) Taurean Prince

Taurean Prince’s maiden season with the Nets has been, well, rocky—and that’s putting it nicely.

After agreeing to a contract extension this past offseason, there was hope around the organization that he could turn into a serviceable 3-and-D player. He was expected to enhance the team’s dynamic and act as a durable complementary asset, and though the verdict is still out as this team has yet to play at full health, there are some warranted concerns about how his overall fit once the team is seriously looking to contend.

It’s been an up-and-down campaign for Prince, highlighted by some noteworthy outings where he’s shot lights out and held his own against some of the brutes the league has to offer, but when it’s been down…it has really been down.

However, you can’t exclusively blame Prince for deficiencies on the defensive side of the court. After all, he is being asked to match up against much more physical players as an undersized four, but even with that being said, his struggles have been revealing.

Per ESPN, Prince ranks 65th amongst power forwards in defensive real plus-minus and 29th in offensive real plus-minus. Though such a metric is not a perfect tool for calibration, it also provides sufficient insight on his struggles at the four this season.

Don’t get me wrong, Prince has no shortages of natural talent. He’s got a great NBA body for a wing; he’s got a silky-smooth shooting stroke and has shown capabilities as a ball-handler in the pick-and-roll for spurts. I’m not saying he’s a net negative player—even despite his metrics this season.

What I am saying is the Nets desperately need him to find some form of consistency and soon. That player that shot 41.9 percent from three for the month of November needs to make his long-awaited return, not the one that has shot 32.9 percent since.