Rondae Hollis-Jefferson had one of the blocks of the season, denying 7-footer Karl-Anthony Towns from the low block, and played a mostly strong defensive game.
That’s expected. But his offensive game is a hot mess right now.
The Nets’ philosophy on offense is simple — penetrate and get the ball to the rim or penetrate and kick it back out to an open shooter.
Hollis-Jefferson isn’t a shooter, so his role is to set the screens to get guys free and use his ball skills to get to the basket, having established himself over his first three seasons as an effective slasher.
But he’s not finishing at the rim this season — just 44.6 percent from the restricted area this season — and some of his drives are ending with shots that are more desperation than strong decision-making.
The regression of Hollis-Jefferson’s offensive game is a big problem for the Nets right now, because if he’s not finishing drives or cuts at the rim, he’s not going to contribute much else.
Shabazz Napier was the one Nets who was locked in as a shooter Friday, but his penchant for getting a little out of control and turning the ball over prevented him from playing a bigger role as a scorer.
Napier had an incredibly active 17 minutes, with his six rebounds marking a season-high. He has a scorer’s confidence and was feeling it with his shot, hitting 3-of-4 from deep, but also turned the ball over three times in those 17 minutes.
You take the good with the bad from Napier, but on days like Friday it can be dizzying because there was such volume of each.