When Devin Harris went down hard against the Knicks a few nights ago, every Nets fan held their breath and prepared for the worst. They imagined an already bad team without its starting point guard and second leading scorer. Then the record 12-70 flashed into their minds.
Luckily, the injury was not too serious, and Harris will miss no more than a few games. Yet, Harris' absence has confirmed the fears of many fans: the Nets are horrible without Devin Harris.
With Harris on the sidelines, Jordan Farmar has been thrust into the starting lineup, something almost entirely new to him. While he has certainly held his own, Farmar is no Devin Harris and the offense often falls flat under his control.
This has also lead to increased minutes for rookie Ben Uzoh, a formerTulsa stand-out. Unlike fellow rookies Damion James and Derrick Favors, Uzoh is timid on the floor and makes almost no impact in the game.
Without Terrence Williams on the bench (he is currently serving time in the D-League), the Nets are incredibly thin in the backcourt, which, so far, has resulted in two incredibly frustrating losses.
After dropping to the Durant-less Thunder in triple overtime and the Bobcats in single overtime, one cannot help but imagine how the Nets would have fared with Harris on the floor. Wins do not come cheap for the Nets, so it hurts even more when one slips away like that.
While this is tragic from a wins standpoint, these few games could prove beneficial to the Nets in other ways.
In the absence of the team's main playmaker, Anthony Morrow and Travis Outlaw have been forced to create their own shots and carry more of the scoring load. This added pressure has cut straight to the core of the problem with the two wingers, and so far they have both stepped up their game, especially Outlaw. Hopefully they will both continue their solid play when Harris returns.
Also, starting for a few games should boost Jordan Farmar's confidence. As an important bench player, it is key that Farmar provides solid back-up minutes each night. These few games should help him connect with teammates more and keep the offense flowing even when Harris rests.
While it is certainly is not inconceivable that the team has improved as a cohesive unit during Harris' short absence, this is still mere speculation. In a perfect world, these effects will manifest themselves very soon, but then again, when was the last time anything went right for the Nets?