Starting Five: Numbers back Nets' change

January, 17, 2014
Jan 17
The Brooklyn Nets' defense has been all the rage these days.

And how could it not be (eighth-best in terms of efficiency, 43.4 opponent field goal percentage)?

But let’s not forget about the offense.

On Thursday, the Nets exploded for 127 points and established new season-highs for field goals (53) and assists (38). They shot 58.2 percent from the field and hit 16 3-pointers.

Let’s take a look at their splits before (10-21) and after (6-1) the New Year:

Field goal percentage before: 44.4
Field goal percentage after: 45.8

[+] EnlargeJoe Johnson
Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty ImagesNets forward Joe Johnson is on a roll over the last five game, averaging 24.4 points.
Points per 100 possessions before: 101.9
Points per 100 possessions after: 105.9

Points off turnovers before: 16.5
Points off turnovers after: 20.3

Pace before: 94.6 (possessions per 48 minutes)
Pace after: 90.1 (fewest in NBA)

Let’s also take a look at some individual player production:

Kevin Garnett is shooting 65.5 percent in his last five games compared to 36.4 percent in his first 28 games.

• Since 2014, Paul Pierce is averaging 15.9 points on 41 percent shooting, Andrei Kirilenko is shooting 52 percent and Mirza Teletovic is shooting 43.2 percent from 3-point range.

• In his last five games, Joe Johnson is averaging 24.4 points.

• In the last two weeks, Shaun Livingston, Alan Anderson, Johnson, Pierce and Garnett is the second-best lineup in the NBA in terms of net efficiency rating (minimum 50 minutes played): plus-21 (102.2 offensive versus 81.1 defensive).

Let’s get the players’ take on what’s going on:

Johnson: “I think it’s simple, man, there’s no rhyme or reason to it. We just have to move the basketball and make everything easy. I think we’re doing a great job of exploiting mismatches and making teams [play at our pace]. Like I said, it’s just been easy, guys getting in the lane and making the easy play.”

Garnett: “It’s a free-flowing offense. ... Like Joe said, it’s about matchups, finding those matchups, making the defense adjust to those matchups and then obviously sharing the ball.”

Question: How do you think the impending return of Deron Williams will affect the team’s offensive progression? Let us know in the comments section below.

In case you missed it: Mikhail Prokhorov supports his coach and isn’t a fan of all the criticism surrounding his “absentee ownership.” He also thinks the Nets can win a title ... “If he stars align.” Johnson continues to score at will, while Jason Kidd has been doing quite a job lately.

Up next: The Nets have off Friday and Saturday (time to get back on Eastern Standard time). Then practice Sunday. Will D-Will participate? We’ll find out.



Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.


Brook Lopez
20.7 0.9 0.5 31.4
ReboundsK. Garnett 6.6
AssistsD. Williams 6.1
StealsD. Williams 1.5
BlocksB. Lopez 1.8