Brooklyn Nets: LaMarcus Aldridge proved vs Hornets that BK was best fit for him

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 01: LaMarcus Aldridge #21 of the Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 01: LaMarcus Aldridge #21 of the Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

The Brooklyn Nets wasted no time throwing new addition LaMarcus Aldridge into the fire, starting him at center in a primetime matchup against Gordon Hayward and the Charlotte Hornets. Not only did the Nets embarrass the Hornets, but Aldridge was a huge reason why.

With Kyrie Irving the only member of the cabal of superstars that suited up in this game due to hamstring injuries hampering Kevin Durant and James Harden, Aldridge was expected to keep the ball moving through the post.

The Nets ended the first quarter up 21 and ended up winning by 22. Despite the next three quarters being close, Jeff Green and the rest of the squad simply could not miss from 3-point range, so it felt like a blowout from start to finish. As for Aldridge, he might not have dominated possession in the post as he did with the Spurs, but he found ways to contribute.

The seven-time All-Star recorded five assists in the first half, which is tied for the most he has ever recorded in a first half in his career. It took all of one game for Aldridge to buy into Brooklyn’s philosophy on offense.

LaMarcus Aldridge fit the Brooklyn Nets offense like a glove.

Aldridge finished the game with 11 points, nine rebounds, and six assists. Despite boasting about his ability to switch, his defense was going to be a question considering his play in San Antonio. In this game, however, he appeared to have made a more concerted effort to try hard on that end.

One unintended consequence of Aldridge arriving in Brooklyn was the fact that DeAndre Jordan was a healthy scratch, the only such player not to get game time on Thursday night. Is this a sign that Nash is finally fed up with his inability to defend or score outside of the restricted area?

Aldridge might’ve been a distributor in this game, but he could end up being a focal point of the offense when Harden and Durant come back. How so? With so much attention being divvied up between Brooklyn’s three superstars, Aldridge will have plenty of wide-open looks.

While he’s not the dominant post force he was in Portland, he is, however, a quality finisher around the rim that can grab boards, distribute the ball from the high post, and hit an open mid-range shot when called upon. If he and Blake Griffin can give the Nets consistent production from the 5, Brooklyn could roll through the East in the postseason.