The Brooklyn Nets have lost two games this young season, and both of them have come against young, athletic, quick teams -- the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Orlando Magic. And as Andy Vasquez writes, that's something the team is both aware of and currently trying to adjust for.
The Nets know they must do a better job against quick teams with the ability to penetrate and create easy opportunities. The plan is to use team defense.
"We counter [speed] with our length and size on the inside," guard Jason Terry said. "You can be as quick as you want, but once you get by one person there's a second defender there to help. Get by him, there's a third."
Paul Pierce also acknowledged the team's need to find a way to counter speed and athleticism, noting that's been one of the biggest challenges for the Nets this season.
Heading into the 2013-14 campaign, there were plenty of pundits who worried that the Nets wouldn't be able to keep up with quicker, more athletic teams. And while two games is less of a patter and more of a small sample size, there still remains that concern for speed.
The one way the Nets will look to counter this "deficiency" is to use their depth to their advantage.
"We're about 10-12 deep," Pierce said. "That wasn't the case in Boston, so I logged a lot of minutes. But it's great for the older veterans, when you talk about an 82-game season. When you talk about possibly playing into June. It's great if you can keep the minutes down."
Pierce went on to note that teams like Chicago, Indiana and Miami all pose great threats as athletic, speedy teams that Brooklyn will likely face in the postseason and have to learn to adjust to. And as Vasquez notes, they'll have an opportunity to start adjusting tonight when they take on John Wall and a young Wizards backcourt.
According to NBA.com's Speed Player Tracking Data, no Net is in the Top 100 in total distance traveled per game, and no Brooklyn player is in the Top 150 in average speed (mph). The data and the season is still young, but there is no one who will confuse this Nets team with a team of young track stars, but that doesn't necessarily mean they can't counter, they just need to find more productive aways -- aside from just depth -- to adjust.
- NBA: Nets must adjust to young, speedy teams : page all - Andy Vasquez - NorthJersey.com
- Starting five: Can Nets defend speed? - Ohm Youngmisuk - ESPN New York