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Schuhmann: It's all about the "D" for Brooklyn Nets

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The Nets new motto is "It's Our Time." But for pundits, like John Schuhmann, the motto should be "Defend Yourself." The Nets were at historic levels of futility early last season, rising that the end to be among the league worst in every category. For the Nets to succeed, Schuhmann writes, they must fulfill Avery Johnson's goal of a top ten defensive team.

Bruce Chapman-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

John Schuhmann of NBA.com lays it out simply and directly: The new uniforms, new arena and new hype are all nice, BUT when the Nets take the court on November 1, "the arena and the uniforms and the publicity won't matter. What will is how well they play defense."

Schuhmann noted last year that the Nets approached historical levels of futility early in the season. Now, he reports that Avery Johnson has said the Nets need to be top 10 this season.

It's not completely out of the question, he notes. "The Raptors made a similar leap (from 30th to 12th) last year. And wouldn't you know it, the last team to go from the bottom five to the top 10 in defensive efficiency was the 2004-05 Dallas Mavericks. Avery Johnson was a defensive assistant on that team before taking over as head coach for the final 18 games."