Defense The Big Question In Brooklyn

By John J. Paolantonio
Bogans contesting jumpshot


The Brooklyn Nets loss to the Philadelphia Sixers the other night at the Barclays Center was Brooklyn’s fourth game in five nights, as they were coming off a bad loss to Boston the night before.  This was a nice opportunity for a bounce back game for the Nets and they did not take advantage.

Everyone knows “it’s just preseason” but there are some alarming trends so far for this Nets team.  The Nets team defense has been “offensive” at times this preseason.  There are missed rotations left and right and most of them lead to easy layups or dunks for the opponent.

The Sixers and the Boston Celtics are not offensive juggernauts by any stretch but they certainly moved the ball well to the open shooters that the Nets were late reacting to.  The rotations of the big men in particular were awful as the Sixers back doored the Nets multiple times for dunks.

Kris Humphries was consistently getting lost on defense and it would then take Lopez away form the basket as the Sixers were getting anything they want inside the lane.  Avery Johnson saw enough of this and benched Humphries in the second half and went with Reggie Evans for a while and some smaller lineups.

Humphries only played only 13 minutes and grabbed five rebounds in his short time on the floor.

The Sixers were a solid 22 for 32 inside the paint while Nets were only 22 of 42 in the same area.

The front line was not the only culprit the last two games as the guards were pushing their men to the middle only to find out the front line was late rotating.

When the Sixers weren’t dunking the ball they found their open shooters in the corners as the weak side defense from the Nets was non existent.  Dorell Wright, 18 Pts and 11 Rebs, and Jason Richardson, 13 Pts and 6 Rebs, hit the shots they were given without much resistance as the Nets were late.

The team is new and there are 10 new players on the roster and of course it will take time to gel but defense is an attitude more than a learned behavior.  The Nets better start to gel quickly on defense or all the scoring they can do will be for nothing.

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