5 Things We Learned About Brooklyn Nets After Week 1
With the first week of the season completed, the Brooklyn Nets check in with a 1-2 record.
Despite the lackluster start to the 2013-14 NBA season, the Nets have had some successful moments along the way. Jason Terry and Paul Pierce have shot the ball well, capitalizing on solid looks, and Brook Lopez is blocking shots.
The Nets' rebounding numbers could use improvement, however.
Let's take a deeper look at Brooklyn's performance thus far:
Nets Are Running a Fluid Offense
Brooklyn hasn't posted an offensive romping yet, but their approach has been applaudable. The Nets are spacing the floor well, and the ball movement has been crisp.
There haven't been many possessions wasted with the offense falling victim to stagnancy. Guys are reversing the ball, finding the open man cutting to the basket and creating off the dribble when the defender closes out too aggressively.
Through three games, Deron Williams has 24 assists and eight turnovers, and the Nets overall, have dished at least 20 assists in each of those games.
Jason Terry Is in Rhythm
Terry has started the year in rhythm, shooting 52.6 percent from the field and 53.3 percent from behind the arc.
Against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Terry drained four three-pointers and finished the game with 14 points, one assist and one steal. Since game one, the JET has gone 4-of-6 from downtown and looks ready to be a spark plug off the bench.
Terry hasn't hoisted too many shots thus far, but the ones he has taken have been in rhythm and without much defensive pressure. He hasn't detracted from the offense by shooting quickly or forcing passes.
Paul Pierce and Brook Lopez Have Carried the Scoring Load
Brooklyn's most consistent scorers have been Pierce and Lopez.
Part of the reason Brooklyn has only won one of its first three games is the lack of scoring from the rest of the Nets roster. While Pierce and Lopez have done their jobs, contributing mightily to Brooklyn's bottom line are also Joe Johnson and Terry—the only other Nets (aside from Pierce and Lopez) to have scored in double figures.
The open looks have been there for Brooklyn, but the execution, unfortunately, has not.
Brooklyn Has Been out-Rebounded in 2-out-of-3 Games
Brooklyn needs to improve its rebounding numbers before it becomes a factor later on in the season when fatigue wears on and players are less explosive. Had the Nets posted a better rebounding performance against the Cavaliers, Brooklyn may have won the game.
The Nets gave Cleveland 16 second chances and four members of the Cavs picked up three offensive rebounds: Tristan Thompson, Earl Clark, Anderson Varejao and Alonzo Gee. Andrew Bynum had two offensive boards and one defensive board in eight minutes of action.
Through three games, Kevin Garnett has been the only Nets player to grab 10 rebounds, and he's only done so once—against the Cavs. Brook Lopez is averaging 5.7 RPG, and Reggie Evans, in 10.3 MPG, is doing what he can, grabbing 4.7 RPG.
Brook Lopez Is Defending the Rim
Thus far, opponents are shooting 26.7 percent at the rim while Lopez is defending (on an average of 10 FGA per game). To put things in perspective, Roy Hibbert of the Indiana Pacers has 14 blocks through three games with opponents shooting 22.2 percent at the rim while he is defending (on an average of nine FGA per game).
For the Nets to advance to the finals, Lopez will need to continue defending the rim with authority. Lopez has shown through three games that he's a force as a shot blocker and around the rim. As he continues learning from Garnett, Lopez's defense should continue to evolve.