With the fourth-best record in the NBA, the Nets sit at the top of the eastern conference at 14-6. With KD averaging almost 30 points per game, the Nets look nearly unstoppable. Unstoppable may be an overstatement with the number of problems that can hurt them in the long run as the season progresses.
One of the main problems on the Nets is getting rebounds. They’re currently 22nd in the league for total rebounds and in dead last for offensive rebounds. Running a small ball lineup, the Net’s two tallest players on the court is Kevin Durant and Blake Griffin. Out of those two, you’d probably expect one of them to lead their team in rebounds. But, trust me, it’s not. The current team leader in rebounds is James Harden averaging 7.9 rebounds a game. He averaged the most rebounds on the team ahead of Deandre Jordan last season, averaging 8.5 rebounds a game and staying on track from the previous season against the Bucks during the playoffs. They had a total of 47 offensive rebounds, 256 defensive rebounds, which adds up to about 303 total rebounds. In comparison, the Bucks had 74 offensive rebounds, 260 defensive rebounds, and 334 rebounds overall.
This team is also struggling on the defensive end, being 27th in steals and 10th in blocks. Though it’s still early in the season, the Nets are still one of the league’s worst defensive teams. It’s bad enough that they dropped three spots since last year in the block average. The Nets this year average 6.9 steals per game and 5.3 blocks per game. The team’s current steal leader is Bruce Brown, with 1.4 steals per game. What makes things worse is that LaMarcus Aldridge, who just came out of retirement who had to retire mid-season last year because of health reasons, is now their block leader with 1.1 blocks per game, which is barely better than their block leader in the previous year, Kevin Durant, with 1.3 blocks per game. You know a team is terrible at defense when not only are their defensive stats one of the worst in the league, a bench player is one of the defensive stat leaders on the team, but also when you’re 15th in the league for personal fouls and 10th for the allowing the most points scored.
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Yes, this team is good, but their flaws are apparent, and it will hurt them again when the postseason comes around. Although the Nets are good on offense, it’s not by much being 11th in the league for scoring despite their record. It’s still early in the season, but that’s not an excuse for being poor in certain areas.