The Nets Need to Speed Up the Game


Apr 29, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Jarrett Jack (0) loses the ball to Atlanta Hawks guard Kyle Korver (26) during the first half in game five of the first round of the NBA Playoffs. at Philips Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Now that the Nets have a brand new roster full of young players, it might be time for them to change up their strategies. They were in the bottom half of the league last season in pace, and they struggled when getting into transition. This could be due to the fact that they had a point guard who didn’t care or a coach that is known for slowing the game down, but now that the Nets have all of these young players, it is time to utilize them in this way.

May 1, 2015; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets small forward Joe Johnson (7) drives against Atlanta Hawks shooting guard Kent Bazemore (24) during the second quarter of game six of the first round of the NBA Playoffs at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Coach Lionel Hollins has always been one to slow the game down and work in the half court. As the former head coach of the Memphis Grizzlies, Hollins was famous for being one of the most halfcourt driven coaches in the NBA. The problem with this though is that that Grizzlies team was built around players who thrive in the half court. Players like Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol are terrific in the paint, and they could run the offense through those guys.

The Nets team this year does not have that kind of roster. The rough draft of the starting lineup seems to show that the Nets are going to try to play small ball this season. With Joe Johnson at SF and Thaddeus Young at PF, the Nets look to have a very athletic lineup in place. Because of this, it is vital for the team’s success that they speed the game up a lot. Young and Johnson have always been matchup nightmares due to their speed and ability to stretch the field. Getting Young, Johnson, and Bojan Bogdanovic out on the fast break could be extremely hard for other teams to deal with.

Now that the Nets have Jarrett Jack as their PG, the pace most certainly has to increase. Jack has a history of improving his team’s pace, no matter what team he plays for. He is known to be terrific in starting fast breaks, and he has excellent awareness in transition. Unlike Deron Williams, Jack has always had a huge sense of urgency, allowing him to push the ball better than most players. Jack is the perfect guy to work with Coach Hollins on getting the team moving down the court faster.

Hollins has said that he wants to increase the team’s pace this season. However, his track record makes that a little hard to believe. Still, if the team wants to maintain relevancy in the East, they have to play to their own strengths. With the amount of youth that the team possesses, it is vital that they utilize this by getting out in transition and speeding up the game.

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