The Brooklyn Nets have done something that they haven’t done in the history of their franchise in the NBA over their past two games and it’s really nothing to brag about. After losing to the Denver Nuggets by 24 on Tuesday and getting throttled by the New York Knicks by 30 on Thursday, this is the first time that the Nets have lost back-to-back games by that big of a margin.
While injuries to Paul Pierce, Deron Williams, Andrei Kirilenko and Jason Terry are all out with injuries, you’d expect this Nets team to be struggling. However, that doesn’t fully justify how bad their defense has been this season as a whole, not just of late.
Over their first 19 games this season, the Nets have the worst defense in the league in terms of defensive efficiency. The Nets are currently giving up 108.6 points per 100 possessions this season, which is only 0.3 points worse than the second-worst team in the league, the Utah Jazz, but is 3.3 points worse than the Sacramento Kings as the third worst team in terms of defensive efficiency.
To put it plainly, Brooklyn has looked incredibly slow on the defensive end of the floor, whether that’s on the ball or in rotations. However, we will see just how bad the Nets’ defense really is on Saturday night against the Milwaukee Bucks.
In a matchup of ineptitude, the Bucks currently have the worst offense in the NBA, averaging just 94.4 points per 100 possessions this season. Their offense has simply been inconsistent and also struggling due to injuries. They haven’t had much success at all this season, but the Nets’ defense, if it’s truly as bad as it seems to be, could be an oasis for Milwaukee.
What Saturday really presents for Brooklyn is a bit of a litmus test for their defense. Obviously getting players healthy will help a bit, but if they get burned by a poor offensive team like Milwaukee, this team might have defensive problems that no additions of healthy personnel will fully be able to fix.