Team Analysis : New Jersey Nets

The Nets are better than last season where they finished a horrendous 12-70 which I guess is a heads up for the future, but how much better are they, this and many more questions will be answered the next few minutes.

Offense

The Nets offense is very good but often poorly executed. They have about every weapon a team can have, an interior presence with Lopez and Favors, sharpshooters such as Morrow and Outlaw, and an all around player in Devin Harris. Execution is the issue at hand though. Players on the Nets can play well and can win games but somehow fall short. In the first two games of the season the Nets played very well beating Sacremento and Detroit in last minute comebacks. Avery Johnson’s whole offensive approach is centered around strong starts and strong finishes to games which makes the Nets, when playing well, an extremely tough team to beat. So far this season they have won winnable games and lost games which they are supposed to lose, with the exception of Charlotte.

What makes the Nets a good team, not a great one is that they lack experience. By that I mean that the whole team is relatively young and doesn’t have experienced players who can handle clutch situations with the exception of Devin Harris. Brook Lopez is a key player on the team who the Nets love to go to when they’re down but he’s too immature to know what’s best for the team in clutch situations. When Lopez gets the ball in the paint and the Nets are down by 2 with a minute left, he would rather shoot than pass. If Morrow is open for a corner three, Lopez would rather go for a difficult layup or low percentage jump shot. This isn’t a horrible thing because Lopez is showing signs that he wants to lead the Nets, but a good leader does what’s best for the team, not the individual.

The Nets experience is primarily in the hands of two players, Jordan Farmar and Devin Harris. Farmar has playoff experience and knows what it’s like to be down in a tight game. Harris has “greatness thrust upon him” as he was forced to be the leader of the Nets when they traded Jefferson and just had Harris and an aging Carter. These two players have proved themselves and should be trusted with the basketball in a tight game. Then there is Travis Outlaw, Travis was nicknamed “Mr. Clutch” in Portland and was famous for hitting crucial shots late in games. Outlaw is not as developed as a player as Harris and Farmar and has not yet reached his potential. Plus his blunder in the game against Charlotte proved that he is off his game slightly and needs to take some time before he goes back to hitting shots down the stretch.

Defensively

The Nets defense, unlike their offense is below average. The Nets have an interior presence with Lopez and Favors but, besides their size, there is not much of a presence. Favors is in his rookie season and focuses more on flashy dunks than basic offensive and defensive fundamentals. Farmar is a good defender but his minutes are limited and his size is a severe disadvantage. Troy Murphy can play good defense but is currently recovering from injury and is not playing too well.

Overall

The Nets, when on their game are a very solid team, but when they are playing poorly are very easy to beat.

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