Every weekday throughout the season, ESPNNewYork.com will tackle a burning question about the Nets in our "Opening Tip" item.
Over the weekend, Nets coach Avery Johnson revealed that he wants to have either Deron Williams or Joe Johnson on the floor at all times.
“We’ve made a concerted effort to have them playing together in practice, drills, scrimmages, and then we have to figure out which one of those guys we want to lead our second team -- because we’re not going to play a true second team this year,” Johnson said after Saturday’s practice, according to the New York Post’s Tim Bontemps. “We don’t think we can have Deron and Joe out of the game at the same time, so that’s something else we’re trying to develop.”
To me, this comes as a surprise. But maybe it shouldn’t.
After all, it does make sense to have one of your two best players on the court at all times, because Williams and Johnson both make the rest of their teammates better.
At the same time, GM Billy King went out and added a ton of depth. On paper, the Nets' second unit of C.J. Watson, MarShon Brooks, Josh Childress, Mirza Teletovic and Andray Blatche is just as talented as any other team’s. And given that the season is so long, I think it makes more sense to get Williams and Johnson as much rest as possible.
Last season, Williams finished 14th in the NBA in minutes per game (36.3), while Johnson finished 20th (35.5). Neither was playing on a team that, at least on paper, was as deep and talented as this one.
Does it make sense to always have one of them on the floor? As cliche as it sounds, only time will tell.
Are you concerned that Williams and Johnson will log too many minutes if one is always on the floor?
Let us know in the comments section below.