On a few occasions, Avery Johnson has said that he has been pleasantly surprised by what he has gotten from Andray Blatche. And right now, he is starting in place of the injured Brook Lopez and Blatche is holding his own, averaging 17.6 points and 9.3 rebounds in the three games he's started in Lopez's absence.
Forgot about playoffs, Blatche is beginning to think about a championship...
Andray Blatche has the greatest of expectations for himself and the Nets. But that's only for this season.
So when will he discuss free agency?
"Talk to me after the playoffs," he said. "I mean, after we win the championship..."
Blatche's high production has been an unexpected bonus this season. He's averaging 10.6 points and 6.1 rebounds in 17 games, demonstrating that motivation and fitness can rejuvenate a sagging body and career. The Nets (11-6), losers of two straight going into Friday's game against the Warriors, will continue to start Blatche at center with Brook Lopez sidelined because of a foot sprain.
But the Nets have Blatche, an upgrade over last season's center backups — all of whom are either retired, out of the league or unable to get off the inactive list.
Blatche was a veterans minimum signing in the off-season after he was amnestied by the Washington Wizards and has come into Brooklyn in shape and hoping to prove his critics wrong.
Blatche has become known as a bit of a comedian and prankster on this team, as shown on "The Association," but the Nets coaching staff and fans have enjoyed his production, focus and willingness to learn. If he continues to be a strong contributor, the Nets will be playoff bound, for sure.