So what’s the deal since the roster stabilized five games ago? Five games is hardly a good sample, but NBA.com breaks down its stats into five and ten game increments, so it's easy to track. On the other hand, the Nets have faced only one team with a winning record--Orlando, which they lost to in a close game.
Still, the excitement you can see on the court is replicated on the stat sheets. The Nets are a more efficient offense under Marcus Williams and Devin Harris.
Take a look at the key offensive indicators.
--Over the past five games, the Nets are averaging 105.4, compared to 94.6 for the season overall. New Jersey’s offense ranks 11th over the past five, 27th for the season.
--Overall field goal percentage is up as well, going from 43.9% to 46.3%.
--The biggest offensive boost, however, has been in three-point shooting. After shooting less than 35% prior to the Mavs trade, the team is shooting 47.6%, the highest in the NBA, since. Not only that, but in the past five games, the Nets have hit for 10 or more three’s four times, compared to only once in the first 53 games.
--Assists are stable, 23.9 over the five games compared to 24.0 for the season. Turnovers are down slightly, from 15.5 to 15.4 per game, and opponents’ steals have dropped from 8.2 to 6.6.
Defensively, the changes have been more subtle, but there hasn’t been any significant drop off either.
--Teams are scoring 102.8, up from 99.3, but the Nets margin of victory is up as well, to 2.6 points per game. Over the season, the team has a per game deficit of 4.63.
--Opponents’ field goal shooting hasn’t changed much, going from 44.6% for the season to 44.2% for the five games. There has been a slight improvement in perimeter defense, which has hurt the team all season. In the last five games, opponents have shot 34.0% from the arc. They’ve shot 35.6% against the Nets for the season.
--Rebounding is up, with the Nets grabbing an average of 45.4, compared to the season per game of 42.6. Opponent rebounding is up as well to 42.0 from 40.8. A more efficient offense, with more shots, will do that.
--As might be expected, shot blocking is up as well. With DeSagana Diop and Stromile Swift joining Sean Williams the floor for significant minutes, the Nets have increased their blocks per game to 5.2, up from 4.7.
The individuals who have benefited from the switch are obvious, Devin Harris with his 21 points and 5 assists in Game 1 of his Nets’ career and Marcus Williams who has averaged 11.8 points, 7.4 assists and shooting only 37.7% from the floor—but 50% from the arc (10-for-20). The big loser in terms of minutes and production since the trade has been Sean Williams. He has only seven points, ten rebounds and no blocks.