Nets, Raptors need to knock down open looks

By John Schuhmann,

VIDEO: Billy King interview

HANG TIME NEW JERSEY — The Brooklyn Nets should feel good about where they stand in their first round series with the Toronto Raptors. They got one game, were in position to win another and are home for the next two.

Game 3 is Friday in Brooklyn (7 p.m. ET, ESPN2). The Nets went 23-4 at the Barclays Center after Christmas, and if they win their three games at home, they will move on to the conference semifinals.

The Nets haven’t shot well yet in this series, yet they’re still tied. They shot just 4-for-24 from 3-point range in Game 1 and 7-for-24 in Game 2.

When the Nets went to a smaller lineup, they became more dependent on 3-point shots. No team hit more threes after the All-Star break. So they should feel good that other things were working well enough that they were able to win Game 1 while missing 19 straight shots from beyond the arc.

The should also feel good that, though they ranked 21st in 3-point percentage on the road (34.8 percent), they ranked second at home (39.1 percent). Only the Spurs (+4.5 percent) had a bigger home-road discrepancy with their 3-point percentage. Only the Magic and Suns had a bigger home-road discrepancy in offensive efficiency.

Interestingly, it’s not the Nets’ role players, but their biggest stars who have benefited most from playing at home when it comes to 3-point shooting. Deron Williams (+10.7 percent), Joe Johnson (+9.7 percent) and Paul Pierce (+7.4) all ranked among the 15 players with the biggest home-road 3-point percentage discrepancy (among 145 who have attempted at least 75 threes both at home and on the road).

Biggest discrepancy, home vs. road 3-point percentage

Home Road
Player 3PM 3PA 3PT% 3PM 3PA 3PT% Diff.
Louis Williams 51 124 41.1% 28 107 26.2% 15.0%
Manu Ginobili 59 144 41.0% 31 114 27.2% 13.8%
Jared Dudley 53 127 41.7% 28 98 28.6% 13.2%
Hollis Thompson 37 79 46.8% 30 88 34.1% 12.7%
Ty Lawson 45 109 41.3% 27 93 29.0% 12.3%
Jeff Teague 47 123 38.2% 27 102 26.5% 11.7%
E’Twaun Moore 31 75 41.3% 26 86 30.2% 11.1%
Deron Williams 51 120 42.5% 47 148 31.8% 10.7%
Joe Johnson 92 205 44.9% 70 199 35.2% 9.7%
Tim Hardaway Jr. 79 195 40.5% 51 163 31.3% 9.2%
Kevin Durant 98 224 43.8% 94 267 35.2% 8.5%
Reggie Jackson 44 115 38.3% 39 130 30.0% 8.3%
Jose Calderon 103 210 49.0% 88 215 40.9% 8.1%
Mario Chalmers 50 119 42.0% 37 107 34.6% 7.4%
Paul Pierce 66 162 40.7% 46 138 33.3% 7.4%

Minimum 75 3-point attempts both at home and on the road

Johnson has punished the Raptors in the paint, but those three shot a combined 7-for-28 from 3-point range in Games 1 and 2. The shot Pierce had to take the lead with 25 seconds to go on Tuesday was wide open, and so have been a lot of the Nets’ attempts from 3-point range.

According to SportVU, 58 of Brooklyn’s 87 jump shots (67 percent) have been uncontested, and they’ve shot just 19-for-58 (33 percent) on those uncontested jumpers, down from 40 percent on uncontested jumpers in the regular season.

“We’ve had good looks,” Williams said Thursday. “We just got to stay confident and keep doing what we’re doing. We’re moving the ball. We’re getting open looks. We just got to knock them down.”

If a few more of those open looks went in (or just the one that Pierce missed), the Nets might have a 2-0 series lead.

The Raptors could say the same thing. Their numbers haven’t regressed quite as much as Brooklyn’s, but they shot just 10-for-39 (26 percent) from 3-point range and just 18-for-48 (38 percent) on uncontested jumpers in the first two games, according to SportVU.

And while the Nets know that they’ve been much better at home, the Raptors know that they’ve been good on the road. They allowed just 102.8 points per 100 possessions on the road, the seventh best mark in the league, and their 3-point defense was actually better on the road (34.8 percent) than it was at home (37.2 percent).

Both teams are likely more focused on other things. The Nets probably will continue to have the advantage in the turnover department and the Raptors probably will continue to have the advantage on the glass. This series may come down to who can make more open shots.


  1. jdub455 says:

    Open or not, the raptors need to run and they shld take advantage of their size in rebounding esp when pierce is playing the 4. Experience is on the side of the nets and beating the champs 4x in the season makes them all the more eager to finish off the raps and prove to everybody that they aint a fluke when they meet the heat in the 2nd rd. Despite of this though, I believe that the raps have a chance esp if they make smart plays. Derozan is a vastly improved scorer, incredible shot-maker and all that, but it is LOWRY who shld lead this team by penetrating and pushing the ball always… they don’t stand a chance against the nets if lowry cant get everybody involve. The ball must move.

  2. No_lpogs says:

    Whoever wins tonight wins the series… T Ross will have his breakout game…

  3. super raptor says:

    best 25K ever spent by Ujiri……Finally the Raptors have the attention…and it will get only better after winning tonight and obviously the series. Ham and Cheese let me know where to pick up the tickets…I hope you bought Air Canada Center

  4. Clark says:

    Yet again the NY faithful showcasing their unbelievably great grammar….

  5. ham and cheese says:

    c’mon raptors fans, don’t give yourselves false hopes of winning the first round series. if your team win these series, i’ll treat tickets to the 2nd round, that is, IF you team will win. . .

  6. ham and cheese says:

    yeah! nets will gonna crush raptors and their stupid GM!!! go nets!

  7. genstrinx says:

    nets all the way to the conf. finals!

  8. okc2014 says:

    Experience over youth but the Raptors may beat those odds.