The Brooklyn Nets are on the West Coast seeking their fifth consecutive victory tonight against the Sacramento Kings on a serious roll, but also in search of swagger. Integrating a collection of new players will continue to take some time, but one of them, Jerry Stackhouse, is on the team to help win collective battles both physically and emotionally.
"I feel like if we just keep battling, something good is going to happen," Stackhouse said. "We've got a good group of guys that have to get more of that mentality. I don't think they've been in situations before where they feel like they can grind it out, grind it out."
That includes the third quarter, where the Nets average a league-low 19.2 points, but Stackhouse and many others have stepped up in the absence of injured starter Gerald Wallace and sixth man MarShon Brooks. Stackhouse has been a pleasant surprise averaging 15 minutes a game and 5.8 points part of the "Bench Mob." He played 20 minutes in a big victory over the Boston Celtics on Thursday night, his one basket a critical three-pointer with 6:20 to go in the game that tied the game at 87-87 and sent the Nets on their way.
"He's been solid and the main thing about Jerry is that we like the way he moves the basketball; he's really showing our young guards when they get double teamed how to move the basketball and make the extra pass," said Nets head coach Avery Johnson.
Between the youthful exuberance of Brooks, the energy from Andray Blatche and Reggie Evans, and Stackhouse's veteran savvy, the "Bench Mob" is forging an identity. The backbone has been Stackhouse, who may speak softly and, as time goes on, will play sparingly if at all, but he's one carrying a big flag for the Nets early in the season. There's winning, winning with style and winning with swag. Leave it to Stackhouse to show the way.
Game time: 6 p.m. ET
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