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Hollinger: Brooklyn Nets high octane offensively, but oh, that defense!

John Hollinger looks at the Nets individually, from Deron Williams and Joe Johnson to Mirza Teletovic and Tyshawn Taylor. Offensively, he sees potential, defensively, he sees danger.


John Hollinger's player profiles will be posted on ESPN Tuesday, but they're up on ESPN Insider Sunday. Bottom line(s) for Hollinger: The Nets will be potent offensively when the starters are on the court, but defense and the bench are both big question marks.

Perhaps the biggest surprise is that Hollinger thinks Brook Lopez will be the Nets high scorer, predicting a per-40 average of 22.7 points (and 7.8 rebounds). Still, Hollinger is more critical of Lopez than any of the projected starters, calling him "Big, slow post-up center who almost always turns left shoulder ... Poor passer out of double-teams. Takes bad shots." Hollinger also criticizes Lopez's rebounding and defense, but isn't very concerned about his health.

Hollinger has kinder words for the other starters, although he trashes Deron Williams for his lack of defensive intensity. His highest praise is reserved for Joe Johnson, writing, "may have been his most efficient offensive season as a Hawk." Like a lot of stats geeks, Hollinger likes Kris Humphries a lot but seems to be uncertain about whether opponent power forwards success against the Nets was his fault. Gerald Wallace gets high marks in general, but Hollinger thinks "he'll need to dial the energy up now that he is on a good team."

Hollinger does not like, in order C.J. Watson ("not a natural distributor" and "a liability in half-court defense"); MarShon Brooks ("shameless gunner" who is "blind to teammates"); Andray Blatche ("the epitome of everything that was wrong with the Wizards"); Josh Childress ("say, didn't you used to be good?") and Reggie Evans ("one of the league's true one-trick ponies").

He does like the pick-up of Mirza Teletovic but notes incongruously, "the league's only player named after a bacterial infection." He means MRSA ... we think. He doesn't think Taylor is a true point guard but "an athletic combo guard who can get to basket and plays excellent defense." Of Jerry Stackhouse, Hollinger writes, "showed he can still find the basket, scoring 15.8 points per 40 minutes." Hollinger did not rate Keith Bogans or Toko Shengelia.