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Getting Defensive and in the Zone

The Nets played well enough on offense during their successful five game homestand, but on defense, they played extraordinarily well.  In the course of their 4-1 run, they held opponents to 39.9% shooting and outrebounded them, 206-187.  It's a credit to Avery Johnson's emphasis on defense...and assistant Larry Krystowiak's work on the zone.

"It's more trust," according to Anthony Morrow. "Everybody is holding each other accountable. If a guy misses his assignment, 'Hey, it's my fault.' If a guy doesn't close out the right way, it's 'My fault.' If someone doesn't contest a shot, it's 'My fault.' We just continue to tell each other, 'Don't worry about it. We'll make the play the next time.'"

Beyond that, though, there is the introduction of a full court trap and zone defense, writes Alex Raskin, noting it's Krystkowiak's brainchild.  "I think our zone is pretty good," Travis Outlaw says. "We just got to rebound. It kind of puts you out of position. It's not like a man to man where everyone can just box out their guy".