In the long run, this move will swing right back at him. His team had a much better chance to go deep in the playoffs had he stuck with the big men on his roster. Dominance in the post is one of the few advantages his team has over the defending champion Miami Heat and the injury-depleted Knicks, but now he’s simply trying to match their unmatchable speed.
Keith Bogans is not the solution, especially when you consider he’ll be defending the likes of Paul Pierce on Tuesday.
However, in the short term, Deron Williams will be happy. Earlier this week, Williams compared the Nets’ system to the one he played in under Jerry Sloan with the Jazz. “Is it as good as there? No,” he said. “There’s just more one-on-one and isos,” in Johnson’s offense.
Gerald Wallace isn’t bothered by the change either. Power forward won’t be a new position for him since he played the four during his stint in Charlotte.
“Teams like Miami and New York, they’re playing small ball, and it’s giving them more of an opportunity to push the ball,” Wallace said. “It was something that [Johnson] said he wanted to try tonight, and obviously it worked out for us pretty good with Philly playing small ball with Thaddeus Young at the 4.”
Johnson is in the delicate position of trying to juggle how his stars will align correctly. Is he correct about playing a smaller, faster squad? Or is he making one of his final mistakes as Nets head coach?
The guess here is the latter.
Amit Badlani is the producer of SheridanHoops Radio. This is his debut column. Follow him on Twitter.