The Brooklyn Nets haven’t been shy about their willingness to modify up and alter the rotations over the previous couple of months, and so they would possibly have to barely try this once more as a result of Nicolas Claxton’s play could be sufficient to take minutes away from DeAndre Jordan at middle.
Whereas James Harden’s virtuoso efficiency helped lead a shorthanded Nets group to a win towards the Portland Path Blazers, Claxton deserved reward for his efficiency. He scored 16 factors on 8-of-10 taking pictures, racked up 9 rebounds, and performed wonderful protection on guards and bigs alike.
Jordan put collectively one other stable sport, however the truth that he’s not the identical inside defender he as soon as was coupled with the truth that he’s a non-factor on the offensive finish has had Nets followers clamoring for a diminished function for giant chunks of the season.
With Claxton proving to be superior to Jordan on each ends of the ground of late, will Steve Nash give a few of Jordan’s minutes to the previous Georgia star? With the Nets, who’re nonetheless not a tremendous defensive group, placing a poor defender in Blake Griffin into the rotation, Claxton’s abilities are extra beneficial than ever.
Will Nicolas Claxton get some beginning minutes for the Brooklyn Nets?
Claxton has averaged 9.8 factors, 4.3 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks per sport this season. When projected out to 36 minutes per contest, these averages bounce as much as 19.3 factors, 8.5 rebounds, 3.1 blocks per contest.
He’s not solely able to ending on the rim, however he can deal with the ball, drive to the basket, and pull up for a mid-range jumper. In an offense that isn’t snug until it’s taking part in at warp pace, wouldn’t somebody that may run the ground like Claxton be a extra pure match than an anchor like Jordan?
The time period “position-less” will get overused, however Claxton actually is beginning to embody that on the defensive finish. What number of gamers can defend Damian Lillard and Jusuf Nurkic inside the span of some possessions? The Nets are nonetheless missing protection, and Claxton goes a good distance towards fixing that drawback.
Cleansing the Glass (subscription required) claims that the Nets are 9.2 factors worse than common when Jordan is on the ground — the worst quantity by any Nets common not named Landry Shamet. Claxton, alternatively, makes the Nets 14.2 factors higher. Nash is leaning on Claxton to shut video games, and he may make him a starter if he retains this up.