In the quest to get Kevin Durant and James Harden some extra help, the Brooklyn Nets decided to invest a ton of offseason resources in the frontcourt. In addition to signing of Paul Millsap and drafting of Day’Ron Sharpe, Sean Marks coaxed LaMarcus Aldridge out of retirement and re-signed Blake Griffin.
Griffin has been the starting center this season and Aldridge has been coming off the bench. While Aldridge has been averaging a solid 12.8 points per game on 58% shooting, Griffin has not been as hot to start the season.
Griffin’s shooting percentages have fallen to just 30% from the field and 17% from 3-point range. With just 5.7 points and 5.1 rebounds per game, he’s not pulling his weight on offense. Given some iffy post defense, most of his value lies in being able to put the ball in the basket.
While Steve Nash has said that the Nets plan to stick by Griffin in the next few weeks, that hasn’t stopped the murmurs of a lineup change from popping up. Should the Nets put Griffin on the bench in favor of Aldridge or continue to allow No. 2 to work through his mistakes and improve?
Should the Brooklyn Nets bench Blake Griffin for LaMarcus Aldridge?
If Aldridge starts, that immediately puts four of Brooklyn’s five best offensive players on the floor at once. A lineup of Harden, Bruce Brown, Joe Harris, Durant, and Aldridge would make for some hellacious offensive versatility. Why not get your top guys together the bulk of the minutes?
Aldridge has been one of the most efficient players in the game this year, especially with the mid-range jumper he has spent a decade and a half perfecting. If you think he’s getting open looks now, wait until he starts playing next to Durant and Harden.
The old adage of “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it” may come into play here. Griffin may play better in a bench role, but if Alridge is giving the bench some stability, why would you risk upsetting that to give the struggling Griffin more shots with the backups?
The bench is not a strength of this team at the moment, and replacing Aldridge with Griffin might make it even more lackluster.
There is no way that Griffin, even in his advanced age, is this poor offensively. However, the Nets might be forced to eventually make a switch, as Aldridge’s consistency and Griffin’s penchant for building a house of bricks is as clear as day.