The Brooklyn Nets are dealing with something that they haven’t had to deal with in a long time: Expectations.
These new found expectations come when an organization signs over $300 million in off-season contracts, changes the city in which they play to a major market and move into a new arena.
The Nets have 10 new faces on this team this year and one of the major concerns for coach Avery Johnson is how quickly will the team gel and learn to play with each other defensively? This team can score with anyone and the options they now possess on the offensive end are far and away greater than years past. This team can score.
The defensive end of the floor has been a different story for the Nets through the first three games and the stats are quite eye opening. The points in the paint are startling as the Nets gave up 62 points in the paint to a Minnesota Timberwolves team without Kevin Love. The Miami Heat went to the basket time and time again in Wednesdays game and the Nets did nothing to change the trend with any hard fouls or resistance.
This has to change if the Nets want to compete night in and night out and they know this.
Take into consideration right now that the teams best defender, Gerald “Crash” Wallace, has not played in the last two games for the Nets after suffering an ankle sprain late in the opening night game. This is a big blow to what Johnson is trying to do early in the year with different lineups. Wallace allows the Nets to go small at times and create match-up difficulties for teams.
Billy King spoke to ESPN NY on Wednesday and his words are prophetic.
“I think we will get better. Losing Gerald hurts because he gives us the ability to play small. The other game in the 4th quarter Minny went small and not having Gerald so we didn’t have out better defenders on the floor.”
“Avery adjusted some things today and we’ll get better. I think in the NBA after 20 games that gives you a good gauge of whop you are and how your gonna be. We are not in panic mode defensively but we know we got to get better at it.”
The Nets defense does not look good right now and I understand that all of the hype surrounding this team is not helping them gel any quicker but lets all listen to King and take a deep breathe and give this brand new team some time to learn a new system and how to play with each other.
20 games, Nets fans…….That will be a big enough sample size for everyone to then make statements that the sky is falling or it is getting sunny in Brooklyn.
Follow me on Twitter @pingshoops