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De-Fense, De-Defense! No, really. Brooklyn playing defense

Bruce Bennett

Last week, John Schuhmann wrote about how the Nets third quarter woes were a function of playing Deron Williams and C.J. Watson together for long periods. It just wasn't working, he argued, particularly on defense. Well, lo and behold, Avery Johnson took Schuhmann's cue and didn't play the two together in the Clippers game. It worked.

Now, the Prophet Schuhmann writes about how the Nets may have turned a corner Friday night with their defense, arguing that the combination of perimeter defense and Brook Lopez's new found blocking ability could make the Nets a much better defensive club than people thought possible.

"We were really active," Williams said afterward. "Brook [Lopez] anchored us in the back, had some big blocks for us. We had a game plan on certain guys and we stuck to that, made it tough for a lot of their guys to get going." In particular, Schuhmann notes, Chris Paul and Jamal Crawford left Barclays Center frustrated. "Open looks were few and far between."

"We’ve gotten a lot better defensively," Williams added. "And we still feel like we can improve a lot defensively. That’s a good thing. I think a lot of defense is mental and it’s about five guys working together. It’s not about one or two guys being good defensively, all the burden being on them. It’s about going out there and knowing that each guy has each other’s back."