So I made a comment on one of these threads that the Nets could score 106 PPG, based on player scoring averages, and then it got debated. The comment made was that Nets weren't a contender and I was refuting that. I have seen a lot of people on here that want to jump on with all the Pundits, post Dwight in claiming, as exciting as this off-season has been, our Nets just aren't good enough.
I'm here to tell you, that is hogwash, rubbish, and trash. We are absolutely, unequivocally a contender. First off, this team hasn't played together. So you don't know what you're going to get. But if you look at this team as a whole, and make reasonable assumptions based on League Averages in Possession per game, FGA per game, Turnovers, 3PM, and the like, along with accounting for the career FG% of our key rotation guys, you learn, we're actually pretty darn good. This is a rough shot analysis, but I think it's more than Chad Ford, John Hollinger, and most others have done at this point of the off-season. So take it for what it's worth.
Ok, let's get analytical.
If you want to analyze, do it with numbers. Anything else is just a gut feel, Wild Guess, with no bearing or merit.
Here are some FACTS. At the end of the day, this is all meaningless until we see the product on the floor, but since everyone wants to debate, here is why the Nets are a contender, who will average over 100 PPG.
Starting with Defense.
Last year the NETS allowed 99.1 PPG. We are a better defensive team this year, because we added two ++ defenders on the wing, compared to what we had last year, and a 7 footer to protect shots at the rim (The Landlord was solid, but terrible at defending the rim, compared to Lopez). I also think good offense improves defense, because your opponent is forced to take worse shots late, as they try to catch up. You also, get less transition buckets, because the other team can't run off of made shots.
I think our Defense improves to about 97 points allowed per game.
Now, lets get to the fun part. Our SUPER DUPER OFFENSE!
Lopez has average 50.4% shooting for his career, with less talented players around him.
Joe Johnson has averaged 47%.
Hump 46.7% (with a vast improvement the last two years).
Factor in a little improvement from MarShon, and he can get around 44 or 45%. Count on Tele, a sharp shooter hitting on 42% at least.
Just looking at average NBA team the Nets should have about 95 possessions per game, and should turn it over about 14 times per game. Then there are offensive rebounds. I think it's reasonable to ASSUME that the Nets will average around 82 FG attempts per game, based on what the average NBA team does. With the rag tag group last year, the Nets average 80.6 FGA. They also average 20.7 FTA. Given the greater talent on the floor, it is reasonable to assume those numbers look more like 82 FGA, and 24 FTA per game. I think it's reasonable to assume the Nets shoot 45% from the floor, given our starters should all average north of that for their career. This number could be even higher. I think it's reasonable to think we average 78% from the line, because we did so last year, and Lopez and JJ both average about 79.7%, and they will be the guys taking the most FTA's. I think we have good shooters, and we'll average around 7 made FG's from behind the arc.
If you make all of those reasonable assumptions, that puts the Nets at about 100 PPG. These assumptions are conservative, based on the Nets talent on offense and Mediocrity on D. Defensive breakdowns on a PnR (something Lopez hasn't broken out of yet), result in more buckets earlier in the shot clock, than playing smothering D and forcing bad shots with under 5 seconds on the clock. If this happens 2 or 3 times per game, it could add an extra possession. Our team could also average a full percentage point higher FG%, without it being considered a stretch, by any means.
If we have 83 FGA per game, at 46%. That bumps the total up to 102 PPG. Say it's 84 FGA at 46.5%....Again, until we see the team, we have no idea, and these numbers aren't out of your mind crazy. They're completely reasonable totals. That puts us at 104 PPG. If we average 1 more 3PM. That's 105 PPG. If we generate more turnovers with Wallace and JJ, over D-Leaguer 1, and Morrow, that could be an extra transition High% FGA per game right there, all by itself.
The point is our team is highly gifted offensively. I believe it's highly credible to assume 100 PPG average. I think it's more than reasonable to assume a few points greater than that, based on the other factors.
By the way if we average 100PPG and let up 97, we're in IND/NYK territory of pt differential. If we average 104 PPG and let up 97.....we're in OKC, SAS, CHI territory.
The bottom line is this. The Nets are in fact a contender. We have 4 top 50 players and Kris Humphries, and a deep bench. You can listen to pundits and pine over Dwight or other superstars all you want. But, if you actually look at the numbers, and what this team is capable of....I have no flipping idea how you can say they aren't good enough to beat MIA or BOS in 7 games and go to the Finals.
Do I think we're a favorite? No. But, I do think we have a team to be very excited about, that can certainly get the job done, under normal circumstances. I'm eagerly anticipating the product on the floor. And yes, all of these factors make us a legitimate NBA FINALS CONTENDER.