Brooklyn Nets overall: Better, with work to do
Through 10 games this season, the Brooklyn Nets have improved over last year’s edition in some key areas.
Defensively, even with their continued problems against the pick-and-roll, they are improved. Teams are shooting 45.7 percent against the Nets this season, down from 46.8 a season ago, and they are defending the 3-point line much better (34.8 percent this season, down from 36.8).
Even for ranking 26th in the NBA with 15.1 turnovers per game, that’s still an improvement from last season. The Nets are seventh in the NBA in total assists per game, up significantly from last season, with 60.7 percent of their buckets being assisted this season.
That figure is down from 61.9 percent in 2017-18, even with more assists per game, with the difference being attributable to getting more looks because they are turning it over less and are averaging one more offensive rebound per game this season (10.8, up from 9.7 — thanks, Ed!)
It appears the Nets are building some sort of homecourt advantage this season, winning three of their first five at Barclays Center after going 14-25 there a season ago (two of their “home” games last season were in Mexico City).
The Nets have homecourt wins in their first 10 games against the New York Knicks, Detroit Pistons and Philadelphia 76ers, with their losses coming to the top two teams in the Western Conference last season, the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets.
On the road, they’ve been blown out twice — at Indiana and at the Knicks. They have a pair of close losses, at Detroit and at New Orleans. The one road win so far was a lopsided one in which Brooklyn blew out the Cleveland Cavaliers.
That 3-2 home mark really could be 4-1 — the loss to the Rockets was preventable — and the Nets had a big lead in New Orleans before a plethora of mistakes in the closing minutes snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.
The bottom line is that the Nets — while still maddeningly inconsistent — are a better team than they were a season ago.