Deron Williams has noticed what the rest of us have known for nine games now — the Nets are terrible on offense.
Here is the quote, via the New York Post.
“The offense sucks,” he said. “It’s not very good right now. We’re not playing good. We’re not shooting good, I’m not shooting good, we’re turning the ball over. … When you play a team like [against] the Heat, when you turn the ball over, they’re going to convert, and they’re going to get up 20 points on you early.”
The Nets are 28th in the NBA in offensive efficiency at 93.7 points per 100 possessions. For comparison, the league average is 99.9. But hey, they are better than the Pistons and woeful Wizards, so there is a silver lining.
Williams is spot on, it starts with the fact the Nets as a team shoot just 38.1 percent — which is better than Williams, who is at 34.6 percent. This is where not having Brook Lopez hurts — he’s no Dwight Howard but he has a polished inside offensive game and shot 49.2 percent last year around the basket. The Nets miss getting easy buckets.
While shooting is the big issue, the Nets also turn the ball over on 14.6 percent of their possessions, which is ninth most in the league. They are not taking care of the ball well enough, either.
One other little thing — the Nets defense is also 28th in the league. It sucks, too.
Any controversy over C.J. McCollum‘s suspension for the season-opener should be put to rest. The Trail Blazers fared fine without him.
More than fine.
Portland beat the Suns, 124-76, Wednesday. The 48-point margin is the largest ever in a season opener, even as the Trail Blazers let a 58-point fourth-quarter lead dwindle.
Here are the most lopsided season-openers in NBA history (openers for both teams appearing twice):
The 48-point defeat is also the Suns’ worst lost in franchise history, topping a 44-point loss to the Seattle SuperSonics in 1988. It could be a long year in Phoenix.
Marcus Smart and Matthew Dellavedova thrive on aggravating opponents, so when matched up, of course they aggravated each other.
Deduct points from Smart for pulling the hold-me-back charade behind a referee. Plus, Dellavedova’s Bucks beat Smart’s Celtics, 108-100.
The Nets’ projected record this season came under greater scrutiny when the Celtics traded Brooklyn’s unprotected first-round pick to the Cavaliers in the Kyrie Irving trade. After finishing third-to-last and last the previous two years, were the Nets poised to take a step forward, or would they convey a very high pick to the Cavs?
Jeremy Lin, who missed 46 games last season, getting healthy was a reason for optimism in Brooklyn and pessimism in Cleveland. But it appears the veteran guard could be out a while.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
Billy Reinhardt of Nets Daily:
If the injury is as bad as feared, what a bummer for Lin. He came to Brooklyn expecting to play a leading role on a developing team, and he just can’t stay healthy.
The Nets were probably more focused on developing their younger players, but – especially without their own draft picks – there was no harm in shooting for the playoffs. This appears to a blow to that (already unlikely) dream.
It’s a boon to the Cavaliers, though. And whenever something significantly affects LeBron James‘ team, it has ramifications into the entire power dynamic of the Eastern Conference. For an injury to a player on a team most expect to be bad, the medical developments here will be tracked closely around the league.
Remember when Aaron Gordon was a promising fun player?
The Magic sidetracked him by playing him at small forward most of last season. But back at power forward, Gordon showed how he could push the pace as a four in Orlando’s season-opening win over the Heat.
There’s obviously flair in passing to yourself off the backboard, but it’s a sound way to improve position. Gordon did that to fantastic effect.