The Nets two wins without Deron Williams represent a number of things: a team pulling together when their (historically) best player is out; coaching adjustments when facing adversity; verterans emerging as leaders; and an rookie proving his point.
But it also justifies the way Billy King built the team over the summer: spending big on the "core four" then filling the bench with players who have a reputation for winning.
It's an underappreciated aspect of the team-building over the summer. C.J. Watson and Keith Bogans were both part of the Bulls' last two seasons when Chicago won 76 percent of their regular season games and with a healthy Derrick Rose got to the conference finals in 2011.
Reggie Evans was a key part of the Clippers' playoff run last season. Jerry Stackhouse has played in five of the last six playoffs, getting to the finals with the Mavericks.
Even the three rookies have a reputation for winning. Tyshawn Taylor has won state and national high school championships, the FIBA U19 world championship and got to the NCAA Finals last season. Mirza Teletovic and Toko Shengelia won big games in Europe.
Only Andray Blatche can't be considered a winner having been part of the seemingly cursed Wizards franchise.
For Brooklyn Nets, a bench built for pressure and the playoffs.
Nets Daily | Feb 14