What Gives With the Nets’ Point Guards and Their Health?
The Brooklyn Nets have had a long string of point guards who cannot stay healthy. Jeremy Lin is the latest point guard to join this terrible trend. Clearly, the Nets have the worst luck at the worst time.
With Jeremy Lin out again with a hamstring injury, he is just another point guard to add to the list of injury-prone guys the Nets have had over the years. Since Jason Kidd, the Nets have struggled to find a point guard that can stay healthy.
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Going by the average number of games each starting point guard has played in a full season they were with the Nets, none of the players played more than 66 games per season.
While Kidd had a few seasons where he was injured, he did not miss nearly as much time as all the players after him. And Kidd also played more seasons with the Nets. In all the full seasons Kidd played with the Nets, he only had two in which he did not play 80 games, a stat that looks like a unicorn to any Nets fan.
In today’s NBA, players are expected to receive some rest time. Even so, playing any less than 70 games in a season means you were unhealthy. And unfortunately for the Nets, they have had only one season where the starting point guard played over 70 games over the course of nine seasons.
The immediate replacement for Jason Kidd was Devin Harris. Harris had some big shoes to fill with Kidd leaving the team, as Kidd was arguably the best player in the franchise’s history. This meant the expectations were high for Harris. In his first full season with the Nets, Harris made his first All-Star appearance. Things were looking up for the Nets, but Harris was not healthy that season.
Harris was not exactly the healthiest player during his Nets tenure. His time in New Jersey may have been his best years as a pro, yet he was out with injuries quite a bit during his stint there. Even though Harris played well with the Nets, the team felt that a trade for Deron Williams would dramatically improve their point guard situation. At the time, Williams had suffered a few injuries in Utah, but no one expected them to linger on. And with Harris unable to stay healthy, the Nets felt it was the right move.
Deron Williams and Jarrett Jack
Surprisingly enough, Deron Williams is the healthiest point guard the Nets have had since Jason Kidd. He averaged about 66 games per season in each of the full seasons he was with the Nets. Williams is also the only point guard who played 70 games in a season, when he hit 78 games in 2012-13. He may have also had a chance to play 70 games in 2011-2012 if the lockout did not occur.
If I exclude the lockout-shortened season, Williams actually averaged about 70 games per season with the Nets. Having an injury-prone guy like D-Will be the healthiest point guard the Nets have had in almost a decade says a lot about the kind of luck this team has had when it comes to filling that position.
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When Williams was finally bought out by the Nets, they handed the keys over to Jarrett Jack. Jack was the backup for Williams during the 2014-15 season, and he was averaging about the same numbers as Williams in fewer minutes of action.
The idea was that Jack could easily take over the point guard spot, and the Nets would not have to deal with Williams anymore. Jack took over Williams’ spot and was playing better than him too. And then in a short few seconds, Jack went down with a torn ACL and meniscus. The Nets decided to part ways with Jack this summer.
That brings us to this season. The Nets brought in Jeremy Lin to take over the starting point guard spot and give the team a fresh start. Lin played well last season in Charlotte, and the Nets felt he could achieve more if he became the starting player for their team. Previously in his six-year NBA career, Lin had a starting role in Houston and briefly, in New York and Los Angeles. By coming to Brooklyn, he had the best opportunity to receive a starting spot once again.
But bad luck has struck again, this time with Lin. He has missed a total of 21 games so far this season, and the Nets have played 33 games. Even if Lin were to play every game from here on out, he will only play 61 games this season. The Nets cannot catch a break at the point guard spot and until they find a stable point guard, they will continue their losing ways.
In a league that is so talented at the point guard position, the Nets will not be able to compete until they fill this spot with a player who will consistently be on the floor. Until then, Brooklyn will see very little improvement. For now, the Nets are like a car stuck in the mud. The tires are spinning, but the car is not going anywhere.
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