Brooklyn Nets: 3 Reasons BK struggles against bad NBA teams

CLEVELAND, OHIO - JANUARY 20: Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OHIO - JANUARY 20: Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
3 of 3
Brooklyn Nets
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JANUARY 03: Kyrie Irving #11 and DeAndre Jordan #6 of the Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

1. The Brooklyn Nets’ Defense Has Waned

If defense wins championships, Nets fans should have concerns about this huge problem.

No NBA team has won the title with a defensive rank below 11 in 20 NBA seasons. The 2000-01 Lakers were the last team to win the Larry O’Brien Trophy with a defensive rating that low, slotting in 22nd. The Nets have slightly improved their defense from earlier this season; Brooklyn once had an awful 119.9 defensive rating per 100 possessions. 

But is it enough?

Currently, Brooklyn allows 114.3 points per game and ranks 26th in the league with a 113.6 defensive rating, despite active perimeter defenders such as Landry Shamet, Bruce Brown, and Kyrie Irving.

The lack of a solid interior presence allows their opponents to score 49.2 points in the paint. Opposing teams also score 14.2 points from second-chance opportunities. Nicolas Claxton and Blake Griffin give the Nets more defensive rebounding and rim protection. Still, inconsistent team defense is a big problem for Brooklyn. The Nets must overcome this major issue against the NBA’s underperforming teams.

Brooklyn has a 79.2% winning percentage against above .500 teams. However, the Nets are developing a trend of allowing terrible losses to the NBA’s worst franchises. Will it matter in terms of playoff seeding or an eventual early exit?

The Brooklyn Nets, despite being on clear helium watch, still have some things to work out.