Brooklyn Nets: 5 takeaways from a horrific finish in New Orleans

(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /
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Brooklyn Nets
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4. Brooklyn Nets can defend now

The Brooklyn Nets needed to improve defensively from last season and it appears they have, markedly so.

Last season, the Nets held opponents to less than 45 percent shooting 27 times in 82 games. This season, Brooklyn has done it four times in five games.

With the exception of allowing the Indiana Pacers to shoot 55.4 percent in a blowout loss on Saturday, Brooklyn has been very efficient at the defensive end. The New Orleans Pelicans shot 44.9 percent Friday night, which was the second-best number an opponent has put up so far.

Even with the rough performance in Indiana, the Nets ended the night tied for eighth in the NBA in opponent field goal percentage at 44.2 percent. Last season, opponents shot 46.6 percent against the Nets, which was 19th in the league.

The Pelicans entered play Friday night as the top shooting team in the Association, hitting 51.7 percent of their shots in their first three games. Some of that came from their hot start in their first two games, when they hit 53.1 percent and 58.9 percent, respectively.

But Brooklyn is moving well defensively, doing a good job with help-side decisions and switches and getting challenges on most attempts — there just have not been a lot of wide-open looks* (*offer void in the state of Indiana) against the Nets.

If they are going to improve on their 28-win total of last season, the defensive work will play a vital role.