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Nets’ Jacque Vaughn’s first big move as head coach revealed

Jacque Vaughn, Nets

Jacque Vaughn is taking over as interim head coach for the Brooklyn Nets after the team and former head coach Kenny Atkinson mutually agreed to part ways on Saturday.

Vaughn will make his coaching debut on Sunday, and he has already made his first lineup change. Vaughn will start DeAndre Jordan over Jarrett Allen at center.

Per Alex Schiffer of The Athletic:

Jordan was the early-season starter as well, but an injury–as well as Allen’s superb play–eventually saw him take on a bench role. However, Vaughn will give the veteran another chance in the starting lineup on Sunday.

Both Allen and Jordan have been fundamental in Brooklyn’s success. Both rank in the top 20 in win shares per 48 minutes, according to Basketball Reference. Allen also ranks 17th in the NBA in win shares (6.9).

The pair ruthlessly clean the glass and alter shots at the rim. For his part, Jordan is also an excellent passer on the block, while Jordan is an elite finisher at the rim.

While both players have been immensely effective, Vaughn’s decision to start Jordan is actually not much of a surprise. Jordan was already averaging more minutes than Allen in February. And the Nets dominated when he was on the floor during recent wins against the Boston Celtics and San Antonio Spurs.

Vaughn and the Nets seem to have something of a catch-22 on their hands. Both Jordan and Allen seem to play well when they get extensive run. But the coaching staff cannot afford to play them together as a pair of paint-bound centers.

Perhaps Vaughn is hoping this change can inspire the younger Allen, who has hailed Jordan as a mentor and a leader all season long.