Saturday, February 2, 2013

Issues for the Nets Halfway Through the Season

Though the Nets have had a good start to the season, there are still a few things that need work to make them truly one of the best teams in the NBA. A 28-19 record is nice to see after many years of wins in the teens and low twenties. Since the arrival of P.J. Carlesimo as head coach, the way the team plays has improved but things are nowhere near perfect. When they lose games, they lose them by large margins. This includes a 14 point loss to the Atlanta Hawks, a 24 point loss to the Memphis Grizzlies, a 13 point loss to the Houston Rockets, and a 20 point loss to the Miami Heat. Each of these losses coming within the past eight games. Why are the Nets struggling in games like these? Let's take a look at a couple of key factors in these losses.

Rotations: P.J. Carlesimo has done a good job since taking over as interim Head Coach, but his choices in rotation has been suspect. He continues to start Reggie Evans, a one-dimensional player, over guys who can produce more such as Kris Humphries and Mirza Teletovic.  It's even worse that these two guys barely get minutes to produce, never mind the fact that they will not play at all some games. Reggie Evans is a good piece for this team, but he just isn't the kind of guy you put in the starting rotation. For a player who has a FG% of just 49.5% when most of his shots come at the rim, Reggie Evans should be not be receiving 45% of the available playing time. In fact, the team has been most successful when the lineup on the floor consists of Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Keith Bogans, Gerald Wallace, and Brook Lopez. There have also been a few occasions where both Andray Blatche and Brook Lopez would be on the court together, which has proven to be a dominant tandem. MarShon Brooks has also been a guy that sees very limited minutes per game despite his offensive talent. It is assumed that he sits so much due to his lackluster defense thus rendering him a liability on that end. But in situations where the Nets are in need of instant offense, players like Brooks and Teletovic are sitting while Reggie Evans takes the floor.

Turnovers: Yes, we all know the Nets like to turn the ball over. But it is an issue that truly needs to be worked out. It is impossible to beat the best teams in the league when you're giving the ball away 20 times. Though the Nets are 10th in the league in least turnovers, one has to consider they are dead last in pace. To add on to that, they have way too many games where they're turning the ball over 18-20 times. Ten times this season to be exact, which is bout 21% of their games. When you're doing this against elite teams like Miami, chances are you won't win the game because they will score the ball after that turnover. Even in general, wins are hard to come by when you turn the ball over that much. When the Nets turn the ball over 18 times or more, they are just 4-6. They are turning the ball over an average of 14.6 times while forcing other teams to turn it over 13.7 times. That is almost a whole turnover more per game.

3pt%: With guys like Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, and Mirza Teletovic on the roster, you wouldn't expect the Nets to be such an inconsistent and weak group from behind the three point line. But, in fact, they are. As a team, they are ranked 19th in the league shooting just 35% from behind the three point line. It has been strongly effected by Williams and Gerald Wallace, who are both shooting below that average of 35%. Williams is shooting it at just 34% while Wallace is shooting it at 33.7%. But things are turning around in this department with Deron Williams seeming to have found his shooting stroke for the first time since being traded here. So we don't expect these struggles to continue.

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