One Team, One Stat: Bad D In Brooklyn

From Media Day until opening night, NBA.com’s John Schuhmann will provide a key stat for each team in the league and show you, with film and analysis, why it matters. Up next are the Brooklyn Nets, who spent a lot of money to upgrade their roster this summer.

The basics
BKN Rank
W-L 49-33 9
Pace 91.2 28
OffRtg 105.0 9
DefRtg 103.6 18
NetRtg +1.4 12

The stat

107.1 - Points per 100 possessions allowed by the Nets’ defense in 42 regular season games against other playoff teams.

The context

That’s the worst mark among the 16 playoff teams in games played against each other. The Nets also had the worst point differential (-6.3 points per 100 possessions) in those games, because they weren’t very good offensively against good teams either.

They did a good job of taking care of business against the riff raff, going 33-7 against non-playoff teams. And there’s definitely value in that. It helped them earn a top-four seed an home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs. They also went an impressive 3-0 against the Pacers and 3-1 against the Celtics.

But the Nets mostly came up small in big games, and their defense was just a mess. All you have to know is that they allowed 61 points in the first half of Game 7 in their own building to a Bulls team that ranked 24th offensively in the regular season and was missing Luol Deng and Kirk Hinrich. So much for home-court advantage.

Best point differential, games played among playoff teams

Team W L Win% OffRtg Rank DefRtg Rank NetRtg Rank
Oklahoma City 24 17 .585 108.8 1 102.5 7 +6.3 1
Miami 30 12 .714 106.7 4 100.5 4 +6.2 2
San Antonio 27 16 .628 105.1 6 100.2 2 +4.9 3
Denver 30 13 .698 107.3 2 103.2 8 +4.1 4
L.A. Clippers 24 17 .585 106.7 3 103.6 10 +3.1 5
New York 23 19 .548 105.3 5 104.9 13 +0.4 6
Indiana 18 22 .450 100.3 11 100.0 1 +0.3 7
Memphis 24 17 .585 99.9 14 100.3 3 -0.4 8
Houston 19 23 .452 104.6 7 105.2 14 -0.6 9
Golden State 17 26 .395 101.7 9 104.0 12 -2.2 10
Boston 17 25 .405 100.0 13 102.3 6 -2.3 11
L.A. Lakers 17 25 .405 103.5 8 106.1 15 -2.6 12
Chicago 19 24 .442 98.1 16 100.8 5 -2.8 13
Atlanta 16 26 .381 100.2 12 103.6 9 -3.3 14
Milwaukee 15 28 .349 99.0 15 103.7 11 -4.7 15
Brooklyn 16 26 .381 100.8 10 107.1 16 -6.3 16

In those 42 games, the Nets rebounded fine and kept their opponents off the free throw line, but they didn’t force many turnovers and their shooting defense was pretty terrible, with their opponents registering an effective field goal percentage of 52.7 percent.

In particular, they didn’t defend the 3-point line well, allowing their playoff opponents to shoot 39.6 percent from beyond the arc. Overall, Brooklyn ranked 21st in 3-point defense at 36.6 percent. With 3-point shooting becoming a bigger part of successful offenses every season, preventing and contesting threes become more important for defenses.

On Feb. 22, the Nets allowed the Rockets to shoot 16-for-30 from 3-point range. Now, Houston was the second most prolific 3-point shooting team in NBA history, but the Nets basically rolled out the red carpet for their shooters.

Those 16 threes were more about the Brooklyn defense than the Houston offense. Here’s some of the carnage…


As you see from the video, the Nets’ defense was just disorganized. If Brook Lopez is sagging on his pick-and-roll coverage (which he should be doing), then the other defender shouldn’t be going under the screen, especially against a good 3-point shooter like James Harden or Chandler Parsons. And if Lopez is within arm’s reach of the rolling big man, he doesn’t need anyone overhelping, especially from the strong-side corner.

Kevin Garnett and Andrei Kirilenko will make the Nets’ defense better. Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Kidd will help with the big-game toughness.

But if this team is going to rise to the level of championship contender, they have to do more than just add a couple of good defenders. They have to defend as a unit, with better communication, less mistakes, and more of a priority on defending the 3-point line.

Pace = Possessions per 48 minutes
OffRtg = Points scored per 100 possessions
DefRtg = Points allowed per 100 possessions
NetRtg = Point differential per 100 possessions

11 Comments

  1. RexIustus says:

    This clown Rose on every commercial SMDH

  2. OctoPPus says:

    NETS CHAMPS 2013-2014 !!!!

  3. calling all toasters says:

    The Nets didn’t play offense as a team, either, last year. You can see that their O dropped off even worse that their D against good teams. They can thank the idiotic, overcontrolling Avery Johnson for that. Now he’s gone, and they’ve added a coach who is a leader, and a oouple of players who are leaders too.

    They don’t have the athleticism to be a top defensive team, but they should be smart and opportunistic at that end. And the offense should be fantastic. Their one weakness will be against teams that run the floor well, but they do play in the East, so that’s not a particularly bad weakness to have.

  4. sliver says:

    for me this is a playoff contender team. the addition of kg, pp, ak47, jt wil boost the d on nets but they must have a good rotational time due to their age. and jason kidd must evaluate each of of it’s player not just on focusing on those star they have young talented player that can lift the nets and veteran to playoff or in championship

  5. Kidd always has been a top defensive player, he’ll make D a top priority as coach. The addition of KG and AK would help, and the guys from Boston can definitely influence the locker room. JT will do better in NY

  6. Denholm says:

    add KG to any team and they get better on D instantly, its like having a coach tell you what to do at all times so you are never off task.. not to mention KG leads by example, he did it in minnesota, he did it in boston and he will do it in brooklyn

  7. Henrik Jensen says:

    look at the team:
    Starting: Brook, Garnett, Pierce, Joe Johnson, D-Will
    Bench: Blatche, R-Evans, AK47, Alan Anderson, Terry
    + 2 Good Euro-players: Teletovic and Shengelia + Routined Livingston and youngsters: Taylor and Plumlee
    Thats a championship contending team no doubt..

    • KOBE'S_A_BALLHOGGER says:

      THAT’S DUMB, GARNETT IS TOO OLD TO START AND WON’T PLAY A LOT IN THE REGULAR SEASON, IF HE DOES PLAY MORE THEN 20 A GAME HE WON’T BE PLAYING IN THE PLAYOFFS DUE TO BEING WORN DOWN. PLUS HE’S THE DIRTIEST OF PLAYERS, HE HITS HOWARD IN THE CRUTCH AND RAISES HIS HANDS BUT AT THE SAME TIME MAKES SURE HE ELBOWS HIS OPPONENT, JUST YOUTUBE GARNETT DIRTY PLAYS

  8. Kamote says:

    Kidd always has been a top defensive player, he’ll make D a top priority as coach. The addition of KG and AK would help, and the guys from Boston can definitely influence the locker room. I think KG can handle both Blatche and Lopez and hopefully he’d make them have the grit and toughness like how he influenced Perk. The Nets identity will change due to Kidd and the Boston guys, it’s up to DWill and Johnson to embrace this new team.

  9. Akeem says:

    The D MUST and WILL get better. The additions to the Nets bring too much pride as well, NOT to figure out the D. KG will have them on point with that.

  10. Brooklyn gets a D for not doing well HAHAHAHA tht’s so funny