John Schuhmann has the numbers, if you had any doubt. The Nets, who Avery Johnson hoped could be a top 10 defensive team, are once again at the bottom, ranking 30th in defensive efficiency. That is up from 29th last season. Is it an early indictment of Johnson. John Hollinger tweets that if the defensive woes continue, then questions about Johnson's longevity are "legitimate."
Schuhmann points out the Nets have the league's worst Net rating between offensive and defensive efficiency (but oddly the best in the second quarter.)
"More games will produce more data and, for the Nets, hopefully more chemistry on defense," writes Schuhmann. "But given their struggles through six preseason games and three regular season games, it’s difficult to see them approaching Avery Johnson‘s goal of being a top 10 defensive team."
In his chat Thursday, Hollinger took a question about whether the Nets should dump Johnson for "a more defensive minded coach."
"Have had several folks questioning Avery," responded Hollinger. "That didn't take long. The Nets were a horrible defensive team a year ago and Johnson needs to show he can mold them into a competent unit, despite the limitations of the bigs. Obviously having Gerald Wallace would help, but until Avery shows he can mold a decent defense, I think these are legitimate questions."
Meanwhile, two writers for Brooklyn Paper debate whether the issue with the Nets is the perimeter or the post.
- Defense Again A Problem For Brooklyn - John Schuhmann - NBA.com
TrueHoop TV: Hollinger on Nets, Lakers, Pacers, Mavs and scoring title - Henry Abbott - ESPN
- Forget D-Will — C-Wats is the player to watch - Matt Spolar - Brooklyn Paper
- Inside stuff! Paint, not perimeter, is the key - Tom Lafe - Brooklyn Paper