Defense, defense, defense. Defense wins crucial games when you are tied 102-102. Defense is what determines whether a player has a role in the game offensively. Defense is what wins teams championships, whether franchises are in win-now mode or building an infrastructure to lead to generations of success. To be completely honest with you, the Brooklyn Nets are not ready to be a crunch-time defensive team.
We may have Jarett Allen, a massive blocker, and Kevin Durant, an extraordinary interior defender, but it is not enough for us to win a championship if there is no plan from our new head coach, Steve Nash.
This is not to say that we will automatically be horrific on defense after naming an offensive-minded head coach as the lead man, but I don’t see any direction about improving the defense this upcoming season, especially when Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving seem to be dictating the hiring and the intensity of their own practices. I guess we begin panicking when the season comes.
How does one know of Steve Nash?! Certainly not as a defense-first guard.
We know him as the thriving point guard who played with the Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks, and Los Angeles Lakers. Steve Nash would average 14.3 points and 8.5 assists in his career without a mention of his defensive plays, as he mostly focused on scoring and getting the team involved.
It is because most of his success came from playing in Phoenix under a system that was focused on offense way more than defense, run by none other than Mike D’ Antoni and Alvin Gentry. These two coaches put emphasis on the team’s offense, which various teams like the Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs were able to understand quickly.
For the Nets next year, I guess the plan is to run a zone all throughout the season. If there’s no defensive plan for the Nets next season, it will be hard to compete with some of the East’s toughest like Miami, Boston, and Toronto. The Nets were ranked 14th in team defense under the previous administration. Could we see that number go down to the bottom 10 of the league?! Yes. Wake up.
It definitely can plummet further if Steve Nash doesn’t remake his mindset and figure out how defensively we can win a championship, because out-scoring is definitely not the way to the top.
As we prepare to watch two teams in the Heat and Lakers who focus heavy on defense compete in the NBA Finals, recall that when you watch Nash stalk the sidelines.