Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2014 New Year's Resolution: Andray Blatche

Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
Andray Blatche has always been an interesting guy.

He grew up playing a lot of guard in high school, but a sudden growth spurt forced him to move to the frontcourt. Sometimes, it looks like he's still playing the guard position. Sometimes it's good.

Sometimes it's not.

Blatche is often the subject of ridicule, but he's honestly probably one of the more beloved Brooklyn Nets. He came from a really bad situation in Washington –

– and has more or less been a bright spot for the Nets, who were willing to take a chance on him. He always seems to step up when it counts, and with Brook Lopez gone for the year, he has another chance to be a big part of the Nets' offensive game from here on out.

Despite a horrid 10-20 record and apparent tumult behind the scenes, the reality of the Eastern Conference is that Brooklyn still has a legitimate shot at the playoffs. If there was ever a time for Andray Blatche to truly come into his own and become the player he thinks he can be deep down, it's right now.

Without Brook Lopez in the lineup last season, Blatche gave some pretty stellar performances. When Lopez was sidelined with foot issues in December 2012, Blatche averaged 17.6 points on 63.6% shooting and 8.9 rebounds in 29 minutes per game. He was so good, even, that Ben Golliver of Point Forward was ready to give him the Most Improved Player Award midway through last season:
It’s hard to show more improvement than Blatche, who was essentially sent home by the Wizards last season for conditioning issues and then deemed not worth the trouble and amnestied over the summer...Blatche has climbed out of it to be an effective reserve and fill-in starter for the Nets, averaging 11.2 points and 6.6 rebounds. Leaps don’t get much bigger than going from worse than worthless (the Wizards paid him $23 million to go away) to one of the league’s better values (the Nets have him on a minimum deal)."
Blatche, when all is said and done, is a pretty good player. His decision making process is often questionable, if not completely foolish, but he's a big man with excellent size who can shoot the basketball.

Andray Blatche's New Year's Resolution: Be the man. We saw him do it last year, to an extent. He knows he can do it, and we hope he can. The Nets need him desperately right now.


Kevin GarnettAlan AndersonShaun LivingstonTornike ShengeliaJason TerryMason PlumleeReggie EvansJoe JohnsonPaul PierceTyshawn TaylorMirza TeletovicDeron Williams

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