Sergey Karasev has been given a chance to find a home in the starting lineup, and he has embraced the opportunity.
On Saturday, Karasev scored a career-high 17 points and grabbed seven rebounds in 25 minutes to pace the Nets to a 120-110 win over Indiana.
Since Tony Brown inserted Karasev and Shane Larkin into the starting rotation, the Nets are 2-0 and boast wins over the Pacers and Cavaliers, both playoff teams in the East.
Karasev, a pending unrestricted free agent recently told a Russian station that he wants to remain in the NBA after this season (h/t NetsDaily).
"Everybody knows that this is my third year and I'm going to be an unrestricted free agent. I have an opportunity to play right now and work hard try to improve my game, try to show coaches and show this league I can be here and can be successful here," he told the network RT. "Because my main option, my first option is to stay here and not to go back to Europe. This is the best league in the world, and everyone is blessed to be here. So this is great."
Karasev has really gotten a raw deal since the Nets acquired him. I think it took a while for Lionel Hollins to feel comfortable giving him a shot here because of his youth, but once he did, he rewarded him with a big December in 2014 before last season was derailed by injury. But this year, he just flat out never got an opportunity to do much...until now. He didn't average more than 7.5 minutes a game in any month until February, but since his minutes have lifted to 11.1 in Feb and now 15.8 in March, he's been a far more productive player.
This month, he's averaging 4.9 points per game (his second highest total of his career), and shooting 31.6 percent from deep. Yes, it's a small sample size, but this is a guy who isn't going to turn 23 until October. His defense leaves a little to be desired, but there's no doubt there's a boatload of potential here that is just waiting to be tapped into. The only question is if the Nets have alienated him too much already, and if this opportunity isn't too little too late.