Brooklyn Nets Sign Brook Lopez, Become Offensive Juggernaut

Argun UlgenAnalyst IJuly 11, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 21:  Brook Lopez #11 of the New Jersey Nets in action against the New York Knicks during their pre season game  at Madison Square Garden on December 21, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.
Al Bello/Getty Images

By signing center Brook Lopez (via Fox News), the Brooklyn Nets have become an offensive juggernaut in the NBA. However, that juggernaut has some notable weaknesses. 

Along with Lopez, who averaged 20 PPG in 2010-11, the Nets have top offensive players at three other positions. 

Here is the most likely Nets starting lineup to begin the 2012-13 season.  Last season's scoring and assists numbers are provided in parenthesis:

PG:  Deron Williams (21 PPG, 8.7 APG)

G:    Joe Johnson (18.8 PPG, 3.9 APG)

C:    Brook Lopez (20 PPG, 1.2 APG) (2010-11 numbers; Lopez was injured for most of last season)

SF:  Gerald Wallace (14 PPG, 2.8 APG)

F:    Kris Humphries (14 PPG, 1.5 APG)

Potential Strengths

The Nets starting line-up alone could, on a good night, put up more than 90 points.

With athletic guard Marshon Brooks and talented European stretch forward Mirza Teletovic coming off the bench, the Nets will almost always have five strong scorers on the floor. 

Ball movement will not be a problem for the Nets.  Notably, Deron Williams averaged a six year low 8.7 assists per game last year.  Playing alongside a newly acquired Joe Johnson and a healthy Brook Lopez, expect Williams' assist numbers to rise to double digits next season.

The Nets will be a potent jump shooting and slashing squad. They will run several isolation sets with Williams, Johnson, and Wallace. 

Because those three starters are all active perimeter defenders and strong floor runners, the Nets will have a torrid transition offense next year. 

Potential Weaknesses

One concern the Nets may have is getting to the free-throw line.  Williams only got to the line five times a game in 2011-12 and Johnson went an anemic three times a game. 

One would think the 7'0" Lopez would make up for the Nets' potential free throw attempt shortage.  However, Lopez likes to play away from the basket.  In the 2010-11 season, he only visited the charity stripe six times a game. 

Another major Net offensive weakness may be low post scoring.  Besides front court workhorse Kris Humphries (who the Nets are working to re-sign), the Nets may tend to over-rely on jump shots as opposed higher percentage inside scorer. 

Free throw attempts and front court scoring are essential to winning in the playoffs.  Playoff contests tend to be grinding half court contests where quality jump shots are harder to come by. 


The Nets may be a terrific offensive juggernaut in the regular season, where games are more free-flowing.  However, it seems like the Nets may struggle come playoff time if they don't shore up their inside scoring.