After finishing the 2009-2010 season 12-70, this season’s mark of 24-58 could be considered a phenomenal improvement considering New Jersey increased its win total by 50 percent.
Nets had finished 28th in points per game, 17th in rebounds per game, 19th in assists per game and 15th in points allowed, according to ESPN’s Nets team page.
With the upcoming NBA draft lottery, in the following slides I’ll breakdown the areas that the Nets could improve via the draft and continue to build on their win record for a third straight year.
New Jersey really lacked a reliable third scoring option last season behind Brook Lopez’s 20.4 PPG and Deron Williams’ 15 PPG (not counting the games played for the Utah Jazz).
Anthony Morrow’s 13.2 PPG and Sasha Vujacic’s 11.4 PPG had often been counted upon to keep the Nets in the game, but as evident by number in the Nets’ loss column, their efforts weren’t enough to have a positive impact.
Rebounding was a major issue for the Nets last season.
The team was led by rebounding machine Kris Humphries, who pulled down 10.4 PRG.
Brook Lopez averaged a career low 6 RPG after averaging 8.1 and 8.6 RPG the last two season, respectively.
After trading away rookie Derrick Favors and Troy Murphy, New Jersey will need an upgrade its thin frontcourt. While drafting and developing a player is a time-consuming affair, the Nets have to consider the uncertainty surrounding the next Collective Bargaining Agreement and the possibility of drafting a big man as insurance.
Getting Enes Kanter would be nice, but I wouldn’t count on it.
New Jersey made a big splash by trading for Deron Williams and thus solidifying the point guard position for years to come. Now they will just have to re-sign him for a long term contract.
Games played after Williams’ trade wasn’t enough time to see what the Nets’ point guard core can truly do, but a group of Jordan Farmar, Sundiata Gaines and Ben Uzoh isn’t likely to stay intact for too long.
The better option might be drafting a point guard and developing him behind Williams.
Nets’ Travis Outlaw had averaged 13.3 PPG for the Portland Trail Blazers during the 2007-08 season. Since then his scoring gradually decreased to 9.2 PPG that Outlaw averaged last season.
So the five-year $35 million contract that the Nets gave to Outlaw last season doesn’t look so good right now. Outlaw still has four more years to make things right.
Things got so bad that Outlaw only started three of the Nets’ last 20 games of the regular season.
Nets’ can’t move Anthony Morrow to small forward without creating a gap at shooting guard.
It will be hard for the Nets to move Outlaw’s contract, so they will just have to keep him in the rotation so the money that they’re paying don’t go to waste. But in the meantime New Jersey can use the draft to find a promising swingman.
Without a doubt being the 28th team in the league in scoring signifies deep shooting woes.
Combine that with 19th in assists per game and 15th in points per game, and what you get is a stew of lackadaisical play.
Obviously, losing will do that you. New Jersey received a much-needed jolt when Deron Williams arrived, but it is still missing something. For much of the time that Derrick Favors spent with the Nets in his rookie season, the knock against him was his uninspired play that often drew the ire of head coach Avery Johnson.
Maybe the Nets can get it right this time and draft a rookie who will actually seem interested in playing hard, playing with a sense of urgency and hustling for loose balls.