There have not been many big injuries so far in the young 2015-16 NBA season, but count Brooklyn Nets star point guard Jarrett Jack among them. Jack went down with a knee injury in a Saturday afternoon game, and was immediately ruled out for the remainder of the contest. On Sunday morning, the Nets learned that their starting point guard was done for the year.
Per reports, Jack suffered a torn ACL on Saturday and will miss the remainder of the regular season. That puts a huge damper on any reasonable playoff hopes that Nets had, although few had them pegged for an epic turn around after an awful 10-23 start. It also puts more pressure on Brooklyn’s two best players – Brook Lopez and Thaddeus Young. Lopez and Young were already producing at a fine rate for the Nets, but with Jack’s scoring now gone, they both got see their offensive roles grow even larger.
As for replacing Jack at the point, the Nets don’t have many options that feel too appealing. Shane Larkin was the main backup and figures to get the first crack at the starting gig, but he’s more of a defensive ace who can now and again hit an open three. A starting NBA point guard, he may not be. Donald Sloan could also factor into the equation, but he’s been regarded as a replacement level talent since he came into the league. In other words, the Nets have two guys to turn to, but in a sense, they have no one.
One way or another, unless Brooklyn makes a last ditch effort to sign a big name off the street or swing a trade, they’re looking at a serious downgrade at the point. That’s only naturally bound to have a trickle down effect on the rest of the offense, which could make it hard for the Nets to consistently put up points. For a team that was already struggling to put up 97 points per game, losing Jack could be a massive blow.
The big take away here isn’t that the Nets won’t score as much or that they’re not going to the playoffs. They already had an offensive cap due to a lack of consistent outside shooting and they were already in to big a hole to make a serious post-season run. The key is just how much worse they get from here and if the team just opts to blow up the roster and dive into full-blown “tank” mode. That’s not all that likely considering they just got done locking up Lopez and Young to big contracts this summer, but with the season already looking over, they could very well vie for a bottom-five record.
The one thing NBA bettors probably can bank on moving forward is betting against the Nets. They’ve won 10 games with Jack this year and they’ll be extremely lucky to win another 10 without him.