When the Nets all but pawned their future for Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce in a blockbuster trade last summer, the idea was for Pierce to anchor a star-studded lineup that would contend for a championship.
And, of course, he would start.

You don’t make that kind of investment — swapping first-round draft picks in 2014, 2016 and 2018 — for a reserve.

But 23 games into the season, Pierce finds himself coming off the bench for the foreseeable future, an unlikely member of a vibrant group of bench players who have given the Nets a boost after a dreadful start to the season.

The Nets (8-15) have won three of their last four games and are just two games behind first-place Boston in the woeful Atlantic Division with a home game against the 76ers on Monday. And the bench is a good reason why, currently ranked seventh in the league in scoring at 36.7 points, according to hoopsstats.com.

On Sunday, Jason Kidd revealed that Pierce will again come off the bench against the Sixers for just the fourth time in his career overall as he continues to recover from a broken bone in his right hand. The move to the bench for Pierce underscores the fluid and somewhat unpredictable nature of the Nets’ season so far. Kidd disclosed that center Brook Lopez is questionable for Monday's game after missing Friday's loss to Detroit with a left ankle sprain he sustained last week.