The Brooklyn Nets entered this season with the expectations of being an average team. They have a lot of nice young pieces that make the Nets good enough to be competitive in every game, but they aren’t world-beaters.
Through the first week of the NBA season, the Nets have displayed a lot of promise. There were a lot of surprises, both good and bad, from their first two games of the season.
The Nets should be very excited about the potential this team has shown through the first week. Here are three takeaways from the first week of Nets basketball.
3. Brooklyn has a shakey perimeter defense
The Nets’ first two games of the season were both thrillers. They lost their first game of the season 114-113 to the Cleveland Cavaliers, where Donovan Mitchell hit a game-winning three with 13 seconds left. Their second game was a 125-120 loss against the Dallas Mavericks.
In both games, the Nets have struggled guarding the other teams’ perimeter players. In the game against the Cavaliers, Donovan Mitchell had 27 points on 11-of-21 shooting from the field and 4-of-10 from three. In that same game, Max Strus scored 27 points and shot 9-of-17 from the field and 7-of-13 from three. Overall, the Cavs shot 17-of-43 (39.5 percent) from three.
In their next game against the Mavericks, Luka Doncic had 49 points where he shot 16-of-25 from the field and 9-of-14 from three. They also let Tim Hardaway Jr. score 19 points while shooting 3-of-7 from three, and overall, the Mavericks were 15-of-36 (41.7 percent) from three.
Through the Nets first week, they are allowing teams to shoot a combined 40.5 percent from three and letting them make 16 threes a game. In this league, that is a recipe for disaster.
If they let teams shoot 40 percent from three for the rest of the season, the Nets will be a lottery team. The best way to win games is to eliminate the three-point shot from your opponents, and the Nets haven’t done that yet.
They certainly have the talent with All-Defensive players in Ben Simmons and Mikal Bridges to slow it down just a bit. If they aren’t able to, the Nets are in for a long season.