Stats & Info: Brooklyn Nets
December, 5, 2013
By Steven Martinez | ESPN.com
Getty ImagesDespite their struggles, the Knicks and Nets both still have a chance at the Atlantic Division title.
Last week, Stats & Info looked at the struggles in efficiency that the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets have been dealing with this season.
On the heels of their first meeting of the season Thursday, here are a few more ways to look at the underperforming teams in the Big Apple.
Money can’t always buy you wins
Despite being the top two teams in terms of payroll this season, both teams rank in the bottom five in winning percentage.
A high payroll has had a low return on investment thus far for both New York teams, which are two of three teams that have failed to win consecutive games at any point this season, along with the Milwaukee Bucks.
Knicks 3-point prowess failing
The Knicks’ defense is an obvious problem without Tyson Chandler in the lineup. However, the offensive struggles through 16 games are what make this Knicks team a completely different one from what they were a year ago.
Through 16 games last season, the Knicks led the NBA in offensive efficiency at 111.2 points per 100 possessions. Entering Thursday, they have scored 12.2 fewer points per 100 possessions.
A key reason for their offensive regression has been their inability to sustain their prolific 3-point shooting from last season.
New York led the NBA in 3-point field goals made per game, percentage of field goal attempts from 3-point range and percent of total team points from the 3-point line last season, setting single-season NBA records for each category in the process. This season, their numbers are down in each of those areas as they rank 28th in the league from 3-point range (32.2 percent).
Despite being the only NBA player to lead his team in scoring in every game this season, Carmelo Anthony has not been exempt from poor 3-point shooting. He’s shooting 27.7 percent from beyond the arc, worst since the 2006-07 season with the Denver Nuggets.
Nets are inefficient
Across the bridge in Brooklyn, the Nets have faltered as well. They rank last in the league in defensive efficiency and 28th in net efficiency this season.
The Nets have not been able to execute efficiently down the stretch in close games this season. They have the worst plus/minus in clutch time (last 5 minutes, score within 5 points) of any team this season, posting a -32.
The inability to execute down the stretch has been compounded by the loss of Deron Williams, who has missed nine of the last 10 games with ankle issues. The Nets are 6-18 without Williams in the last three seasons, including 2-7 thus far this season.
All hope is not lost
Despite their poor starts, the Knicks and Nets have a legitimate chance to win the Atlantic Division this season if either team puts together a solid win streak.
Entering Thursday, New York is three games behind the first-place Celtics (8-12), while Brooklyn is just two games out.
Every team in the Atlantic Division is at least five games under .500 entering Thursday. According to Elias Sports, since 1970-71, when the NBA went to two conferences and four divisions, only two teams have finished a season under .500 and won their division (1971-72 Baltimore Bullets and 1975-76 Milwaukee Bucks). Neither team won a playoff series.
November, 26, 2013
By Tom McKean | ESPN.com
Getty ImagesThe Nets and Knicks have both struggled this season.The New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets entered the season expecting to contend in the Eastern Conference, but both have stumbled early and posted 3-10 records to start the season.
The areas of concern are similar for both teams.
The transition game has been a major issue; the Knicks rank last in the NBA in fast break points per game, while the Nets are second to last.
Defense has also been a weakness, as Brooklyn is last in the NBA in defensive efficiency, while New York ranks third to last.
Knicks feeling isolated
While the Knicks defense has been very inefficient, their offense has been nearly as bad. They rank 22nd in points scored per 100 possessions. That’s behind the Lakers, Kings, Wizards and Magic this season.
Much of the problem for New York is its offensive makeup, and how ineffective it has been. The Knicks spend a league-high 13 percent of their time, but are tied for 20th in points per play in isolation.
Last season much of New York’s success stemmed from its three-point shooting; no team attempted and made more three pointers than the Knicks. This year, they’re shooting just 33 percent from beyond the arc, which ranks 20th in the NBA.
Nets efficiency suffering
Over in Brooklyn, the Nets were supposed to challenge the Heat and Pacers this season after the additions of Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, but early on that hasn’t been the case.
Brooklyn’s most-played lineup this year (Garnett, Pierce, Joe Johnson, Brook Lopez and Deron Williams) have been on the floor together for 78 minutes, but are being outscored by 8.6 points per 48 minutes.
Garnett’s poor efficiency this season has been a major problem. His PER last season was 19.3, but that has dipped well below the league average of 15 to just 10.1 this season.
By comparison, when the Nets run the same lineup but Andray Blatche is on the floor instead of Garnett, they’ve outscored opponents by 20.3 points per 48 minutes. That lineup has logged the second-most minutes this season with 35.
Injuries have accentuated the problems for Brooklyn, as Lopez and Williams have both been ailing early on.
Nets not adjusting
Paul Pierce commented after Sunday's loss that Jason Kidd and the Nets weren't responding to opponent adjustments. Second half stats this season back up that claim, as Brooklyn's net efficiency in the second half is the worst in the league.
The road ahead
Can the Knicks and Nets bounce back from their slow starts?
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, 58 of 325 teams to start 3-10 or worse (18 percent) have recovered to make the playoffs. Only 17 of those teams won a playoff series.
Rachel Eldridge and Lee Singer contributed to this post.
March, 9, 2013
By ESPN Stats & Information | ESPN.com
Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty Images
Deron Williams notched 11 three-pointers in a record-breaking night against the Wizards.
The Nets snapped a 3-game home losing streak Friday night against the Wizards, thanks in large part to a huge night from Deron Williams, who made a career-high 11 three-point field goals and finished with a season-high 42 points.
Williams started the game by hitting his first eight shots from the field, seven coming from three-point range.
Williams' previous career high was eight three-pointers, but he reached that mark with 6:13 remaining in the second quarter.
That also tied him for the most three-pointers made in a half in NBA history, most recently accomplished by Jason Richardson of the Orlando Magic in February last season.
Williams broke the NBA record for three-pointers in a half at the 1:07 mark. For the half, he matched the Wizards with 33 points and had 12 baskets to 15 for the Wizards.
In addition to his spot in NBA history, Williams carved out a spot in the Nets record book as well. He broke the team's mark for three-pointers in a game (nine by Vince Carter in 2006 against the Memphis Grizzlies), hitting his 10th of the game less than a minute into the second half.
After 23 points in the first quarter, Williams "trailed off" over the course of the rest of the game, scoring 10 in the second (although 33 points were still good for the highest-scoring first half of the season in the NBA).
Williams had four points in the third quarter and five points in the fourth, meaning he had as many three-point field goals in the first half as he had points after halftime.
January, 16, 2013
By Ernest Tolden, ESPN Stats & Information | ESPN.com
Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty Images
Deron Williams (right) has improved his play since P.J. Carlesimo took over.
This recent surge came on the heels of the December 27 coaching change, when Avery Johnson was dismissed and replaced with interim coach P.J. Carlesimo.
Carlesimo’s 9-1 start on Brooklyn’s sidelines marks the second-best 10-game start by a Nets head coach. Lawrence Frank began 10-0 after replacing Byron Scott during the 2003-04 season.
Brooklyn is also the only undefeated NBA team in the new year, with each win during their current seven-game win streak coming since January 1.
The Nets’ improvement has primarily been on the offensive end, averaging 102.9 points in 10 games under Carlesimo. In 28 games under Johnson they averaged just 94.5 points and ranked 19th in field-goal percentage (43.8) in that span.
Brooklyn is first in the league offensive efficiency since Carlesimo took over, averaging 111.2 points per 100 possessions.
Six of the team’s 13 100-point games have come during Carlesimo's 10-game tenure, including a season-high 115 points in a win against the Wizards on Janaury 4.
Another weak spot that Brooklyn has turned into a strength is its work on the boards. The Nets have become one of the best rebounding teams in the NBA, outrebounding opponents in six of their past seven games.
Under Carlesimo, the Nets have outrebounded their opponents by an average of 5.6 per game -- only the Pacers, Pistons and Hornets have posted better rebound differentials in that span. They’ve also grabbed more than 53 percent of available rebounds, the fourth-highest mark in that time frame.
Point guard Deron Williams has seen his offensive numbers improve under Carlesimo, mainly his jump shooting.
Williams struggled to start the season, shooting just 39.8 percent from the field and under 30 percent from beyond the arc in his first 27 games.
Since then, the three-time All-Star is shooting just under 45 percent and better than 42 percent from three-point range, and his Player Efficiency Rating is more than five points higher than it was under Johnson.
The Nets will aim for their eighth consecutive win Wednesday in Atlanta against the Hawks -- they can tie the Grizzlies for the third-longest win streak in the NBA this season.
December, 27, 2012
By ESPN Stats & Info | ESPN.com
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
Avery Johnson, Deron Williams and the Nets were just .500 when Johnson was fired as head coach.
The recent narrative for the Nets has been a lack of offensive execution, as both Deron Williams and Gerald Wallace have voiced concerns with the offense. The team does rank second-to-last in the NBA in pace but its true shooting percentage stayed consistent -- 52.5 percent in November, 52.6 percent in December.
The biggest change has come on the defensive end -- the team was ninth in opponents points per 100 possessions in November (100.0) and 28th in December (108.6).
The offense isn’t completely off the hook, though. Under Johnson, the Nets experienced the biggest drop-off in offensive efficiency, field goal percentage and rebound percentage between the first and second half of any team in the NBA this season. They've lost a league-leading six games this season in which they led by at least 13 points.
But the real issue with this team might not be coaching or offensive philosophy, but rather the personnel on the court. The Nets invested heavily in the Williams-Joe Johnson-Brook Lopez-Wallace core, and it simply has not lived up to its billing this season.
Williams, the franchise cornerstone, is putting up his lowest Player Efficiency Rating (17.1) and lowest assist-per-40-minutes marks (8.7) since his rookie season of 2005-06, and his field goal percentage (39.8) would be the lowest of his career.
Of the 151 players who are averaging at least 25 minutes per game this season, Williams (52nd), Lopez (74th), Johnson (83rd) and Wallace (87th) all rank outside the top 50 in Win Shares. Lopez has missed seven of the team’s 28 games, including six in December during which the Nets went 1-5. Meanwhile, Wallace has scored in single digits more times (10) than he’s scored 20 or more (2).
Is it possible this isn’t just a bad system fit or small sample size, but rather players in decline? Joe Johnson’s current PER of 13.6 is nearly five points lower than his mark last season and would be his lowest since 2002-03. Wallace’s PER is on a much more sustained nosedive, going from 18.6 to 18.3 to 16.2 to 15.9 to 14.6 since the 2008-09 season.
But perhaps most alarming of all is the multi-season shooting decline from Williams, who has seen his true shooting percentage drop from 59.5 in 2007-08 – which ranked tied for 29th in the NBA that season – to 51.6 this season, good for T-188th.
December, 11, 2012
By Justin Page and Katie Sharp, ESPN Stats & Information | ESPN.com
Jim McIsaac/Getty ImagesThe Knicks and Nets renew their rivalry tonight at the Barclays Center.
The Nets and Knicks enter this game headed in opposite directions. The Knicks have won six of their last seven games since that overtime loss to the Nets on November 26. Brooklyn has lost four straight games after starting the season 11-4.
At 15-5, the Knicks have matched their third-best 20-game start in franchise history. They sit in the top spot in the Eastern Conference through at least 20 games for the first time since April 1994, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. That 1994 team won 57 games and lost in the NBA Finals.
Live and Die by the Three
The Knicks are one of most efficient offensive teams this season and a key part of their success has been their prolific shooting from beyond the arc.
New York leads the NBA in 3-point field goals made per game (11.9), 3-point field goal attempts per game (24.9) and percent of points from 3-pointers (34.7). Each of those stats would be an NBA single-season record if the Knicks can maintain their pace.
The Knicks have also been hitting those long distance shots with consistency, ranking third in the NBA in 3-point field goal percentage (40.5). Jason Kidd has been the most efficient Knick from beyond the arc, making 51 percent of his treys, the second-best mark among qualified players.
The Nets will present a stiff challenge to the Knicks “live-and-die by the three” offensive strategy. Brooklyn is allowing just 16.3 3-point attempts per game, the fewest in the NBA. Its opponents are making 34.6 percent of those shots, 11th-best in the league.
Brook Lopez will miss his sixth straight game tonight due to a foot injury. The Nets have dropped four of five games without Lopez so far this season and his absence has really been felt on the defensive end.
Their opponents are shooting 50.7 percent from the field over that five-game span, compared to 44.9 percent during the first 14 games of the season.
As an on-ball defender, Lopez has held his man to just 0.72 points per play, 12th-best among 141 players this season with at least 150 plays.
The Nets have really missed him as the big defender in the pick-and-roll. In those situations, Lopez ranks third in points per play allowed when defending the ball handler.
Stat of the Game
Knicks are 33-11 since Mike Woodson took over as head coach on March 14. Win or lose tonight, Woodson will set the record for most wins by a Knicks coach in his first 45 games with the team, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
That record was shared by Jeff Van Gundy, Pat Riley, Stu Jackson and Don Nelson, who were all 29-16 in their first 45 games as head coach of the Knickerbockers.
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