The summer of 2012 was a nervous one for the Brooklyn Nets and their fan-base. They had made a trade for Deron Williams to try to give their organization legitimacy and he was now a free-agent who looked like he may sign elsewhere. The Nets had tried to get involved in numerous big trades, but they were left with a team that D-Will was not necessarily excited about returning to. Then, seemingly to their credit, they were able to land Joe Johnson and the roster started to look like it could succeed if D-Will was running the show.
This new roster was stacked. Big-time starting-5, plus I love the additions they made to their bench. This unit was off to a 11-4 start as they were clicking early and often in November. Then the calendar turned to December and Avery Johnson‘s squad took massive steps backwards. With their Christmas day loss vs the Boston Celtics they are now 3-9 in December.
In November the Nets average game was 96-90 for them, but in December their average score is 99-95 against them.
One sure issue was the injury that sidelined Brook Lopez for a while. The Nets are 12-8 when Lopez plays so we see his importance to this team.
D-Will has better numbers in losses, but we see a Nets team that is sort of similar to the Los Angeles Lakers. When the Lakers get massive numbers from Kobe Bryant, they lose. They are significantly more successful when they are able to get a complete team effort and several players are contributing. Same here with the Nets. Williams has struggled in December, and he has said he is not pleased with his overall play so far.
Johnson is a guy who is new, but this team relies on him to provide scoring. When the Nets win Johnson averages 18.2 points and makes 39% of his 3-balls. His numbers across the board are worse in losses. Many consider Johnson overpaid, but he was a main reason that Williams re-upped with the Nets and when he is on his game the Nets have been winning.
The 2012-13 Nets are taking care of business vs teams they should beat. They are 9-1 vs teams that are below .500, but just 5-12 vs winning teams.
The Nets strong play in the Atlantic Division has been huge for them. Even with today’s loss they are 6-3 vs their division foes, and are 11-7 vs the Eastern Conference (just 3-6 vs the Western Conference).
The Nets have not made the playoffs the past five seasons. For them to get there this season they will need to get back to their November-selves, rather than what we have seen in December.
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