We are not even 15 games into the season yet but the Nets have made some huge strides, especially on defense. So as fans lets give credit to the whole team but I want to give extra credit to 5 specific people/groups those being Avery Johnson, Deron Williams, Brook Lopez, The Bench Mob, and The 6th man aka the crowd.
Let's start off with the little general Avery Johnson. Everybody said that he would actully have to coach this year and that there were no more excuses for him. Avery has gone and he has done a great job with coaching this team. He has gotten this team to play defense which noone thought they would do this year. They are second in points allowed per game at 91.3 points per game(before the Celtics game) and while there slow pace contributes to that their 103.2 defensive rating is 13th in the league which is still better than the Nets were supposed to do on defense. Their offense has also been better thanthe basic stats show. They are 18th in the NBA at points per game at 95.6 but that is also hurt by their brutally slow pace(last in the league). While their points per game is pedestrian there offensive rating is 6th in the league. Avery has put his system in place and gotten everybody to buy into it. The team has gotten better every game so far this season, have played good defense, and have had good plays out of timeouts. Those are the three biggest signs in a good coach because you get the effort, the defense, and all a coach can do for an offense is set up a system and call good plays out of timeouts. Everybody said this was his season and he needed to perform and he has performed well. Give credit to him because he deserves it.
Deron Williams deserves credit for the job he has done so far this season. While Deron's shooting percentage has been poor (39% from the floor and 26% from three) and he is not hitting his usual shots but he has done things that are more important for this team. Deron has been able to distibute the ball immaculately, has been better than he has been on the Nets on defense, and has been a great leader on the court. Deron has had 8.9 assists per game which is good on its own but his passing has been better than that. If you watched the Knicks game the passes are very tough passes and most of his assists are for layups and dunks not 3s people chuck up that go in. His passing has helped Brook Lopez get better because he give him passes where Brook wants them. Deron also knows how to use Brooks crazy lenth(7'6 wingspan)and makes good passes where only Brook can get it specifficaly when they are running down the court and throwing the ball up so Brook can go get it and lay it in the basket. Deron still is not a great defender but he has made it so he is less of a defensive liabillity. Just recently he was able to shut down Raymond Felton, stop Damian Lillard, and was able to hold his own on defense against Chris Paul. He has put his effort level up on defense this year and been a decent defender, which he should be considering his physical tools(6'3 209 with speed and strength). Deron has been a good leader for the team and has held his team accountable as the point guard and the face of the franchise should do.
People looked at Brook Lopez as overpaid, a defensive liabillity, and a horrible rebounder. So far he has looked like a max player and has been much better on defense and while his rebounding numbers are still not great(6.5 per game) the fact that both Kris Humphries and Reggie Evans is on his team does not help his numbers in that department. Brook has always had skill on offense and has just been sublime this season using his size staying in the paint and can still hit that little Tim Duncan bank shot. His defense has been much better than earlier in his career. His defensive rating has gone down(down is good) from 110 to 101, is averaging a career high 2.5 blocks a game, he is hedging on pick and rolls and while he is still slow getting back he is much faster than before. You have to give him credit for putting the time in to improve his offensive game and much improve his defense.
The bench has been tremendous and people are finally giving it recognition after that Knicks game. In alot of games the bench has opened upleads for the Nets. They have shooting with C.J Watson, Keith Bogans, if they ever gets in the rotation Mirza Teletovic and Marshon Brooks, and God(Jerry Stackhouse). They have guys who bring toughness and rebounding in Blatche and Reggie Evans. The bench has been one of the biggest surprises to people so far and while it has suprised me how good they have been I thought there was no question that it was going to be good. Lets go Bench Mob keep doing what your doing.
Last but certainly not least everybody should give credit to the 6th man AKA the fans. The Nets are 8th in attendence so far this year. I am from New Jersey and have a huge amount of pride for that but the fans never seemed to show up in New Jersey. Since the turn of the century the Nets have only gotten in the top 20 in attendance once and never in the top half of the league there. The fact that the fans nevershowed up in New Jersey always upset me because I had to move because of my dad's job but if Ihad stayed I would have gone to everygame I possibly could(I still do but it is they are ussually road games in DC and Charrlotte). That said the crowd has been great for the Nets. The Brooookklllynnn chant gives me chills. The fans are showing up and making the Barclays Center a hard place to play. The fact that people are now showing up in force and are behind the team deserves a tremendous amout of credit.
The Nets have had a great season so far. They have been great on both sides of the ball. What makes this great start even better is that this is not the Nets ceiling as they have shot poorly especially Joe Johnson and Deron Williams. The Nets and the fans look to be in for a great season and I am looking foward to that.