Andrei Kirilenko

Who Will Be the Brooklyn Nets' 6th Man?

The underrated aspect of the Brooklyn Nets’ offseason this year is what they have done to improve their bench. Sure, the starting lineup boasts 5 former all-stars and 2 former NBA champions, but Brooklyn’s bench could determine whether the Nets are just a playoff team or if they can make a run to a championship.

The five key bench players for the Nets will probably be Shaun Livingston, Jason Terry, Andrei Kirilenko, Reggie Evans, and Andray Blatche. Even though Livingston and Evans will be important players for this team, don’t expect either to be the first player in off the bench.

Instead, we’ll look at the other 3 players to determine who should be the first player to come into the game.

Jason Terry: 

Terry is a former 6th man of the year winner in Dallas, where he also won a championship. In his prime, he was able to score and shoot with anybody and his biggest weapon may be his high level of confidence. However, Terry had the worst season of his career last year and is clearly getting old. He may be asked to hit some clutch shots later in games this year, but I’m not sure he is the 6th best player on this team.

Andray Blatche: 

Blatche should be the first big man to come off the bench, ahead of Reggie Evans. He was among the NBA leaders in PER last season and is a very good scorer, rebounder, and passer for a guy his size. He will be very valuable to Brooklyn because if Kevin Garnett or Brook Lopez gets into foul trouble early, ‘Dray can come into the game and fill in well. However, neither Lopez nor Garnett have been foul-prone during their careers, so don’t expect Blatche to enter because of foul trouble too often. Also, most teams don’t have a center as their 6th man.

Andrei Kirilenko: 

Kirilenko should be the Nets’ 6th man. He is a long-time NBA starter and has played extensively with Deron Williams, the captain of Brooklyn’s offense. Expect the two to be in the floor together a lot. Kirilenko also fits this role very well because he can play both forward positions and possible even shooting guard if the Nets want to run a very large lineup. He is that talented, and he can also guard just about any sized player on the court. After playing over 30 minutes per game last season, Kirilenko probably won’t average more than 25 this season, keeping him fresh for the playoffs.

Tags: Brooklyn Nets

  • Keith

    I do not think the Nets need a specific ‘sixth’ man per se… I think it depends on the need at the moment as any of the above can be very helpful… Jet for PG/SG, AK47 for SF/PF (KG could move to center or come out), or Blatche (PF/C)… the versatility of the team is exceptional and something that the coaching staff will hopefully leverage.

    For the record, I think AK47 is a real steal and an exceptional ball player (arguably the 2nd or 3rd best player on the Wolves last year)…

    KG and Paul were scoring options #1 and #2 in Boston… coupled with AK, the Nets #4-#6 scoring options were all #1 or #2 scoring options on other NBA teams… a nice, versatile, value to the team… which is why the 6th man can be any of the above players… the other players on the floor can all score, create, pass, etc…