Sitting third in the East, and boasting arguably the strongest offence in the NBA, you would think there are a lot of reasons for optimism amongst Brooklyn Nets fans.
The Nets currently rank 9th overall on offence, putting up the second most points per game and being the most accurate from the floor. However, since the Harden trade serious problems have emerged and they may throw the Nets season off course.
Since Harden joined the Nets, defence has gone from bad to at times worse than terrible. Brooklyn find themselves as the 27th ranked team on defence, putting them in company with the likes of the Washington Wizards and Sacramento Kings. The Nets give up the most shots from the field, and have become a turnover machine in recent weeks.
This was clear to see in the Nets 122-111 loss to the 6-18 Pistons on Tuesday. The Nets were bullied and often lacked defensive presence in the paint as Jerami Grant and Delon Wright led the team to victory.
The Nets have been without arguably their best defender last two games as Kevin Durant is currently isolating under Covid-19 protocols. Despite this, the rest of the team looks simply looks unwilling and are allowing other teams a field day.
So where do the Nets go from here? In truth, it’s kind of hard to say.
With an offence as star studded as theirs, Brooklyn will always be in games. Irving, Durant are having great seasons and whilst he’s not been as electric as in recent years, Harden has settled in fairly well to life in New York.
With this in mind the Nets defence really just has to be good enough, but currently it isn’t. Any team who are good in the paint are a serious threat. Teams like the Wizards and Pistons who usually bow down to quality offences are comfortably keeping this team at bay.
Brooklyn are expecting Durant to be back with the team on Friday, and he will bring some much needed relief back to the squad who are desperate to break a three loss streak.
With a trip to the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday, where they will face another high scoring offence, it will be interesting to see if the Nets can try and turn a defensive corner, especially with trips to Golden State and both LA teams on the horizon.
For now at least something needs to be done or Steve Nash‘s side could find themselves quickly slipping down the Eastern Conference.
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