In the Nets' 113-92 loss to the Spurs Tuesday night, their defense was once again exposed. All season long, the Nets defense has been awful and abused by opposing offenses, and Greg Popovich and the Spurs fully intended on keeping with the status quo.
Let's take a look at what the Nets did wrong.
During this late first quarter sequence, we see several issues Brooklyn's defense has had all season long.
First, the Nets have four guys in the paint ready to grab the rebound while the Spurs have three guys back to stop the Nets transition attack. However, Corey Joseph grabs the ball bringing the Nets to issue number two: failure to recognize. Mirza Teletovic does a poor job of locating his man and watches the ball get swung around the three-point line to his man. Now trying to catch up with the play, Boris Diaw gives a head fake, which is perfect in this moment because Mirza has too much momentum not to try and block it. Diaw blows by Teletovic for an easy floater.
A few weeks back, we did a film breakdown on getting Brook Lopez more involved in the pick-and-roll. The Nets should use more pick-and-roll, but they should also try and defend it.
Kevin Garnett had the right idea when he saw Tim Duncan screen Deron Williams when he hedged the screen hard. However, KG's legs aren't as strong as they once were, though, and Parker reads the screen well and reverses direction. Williams, expecting contact, wasn't in position to stop Parker, who blows by him into the paint.
Now here comes the chaos. Garnett and Williams don't call out switch, but they hesitantly do switch while Teletovic steps in. Now Teletovic is out of position and is lucky that Tiago Splitter doesn't force his way to the hoop. Williams and Garnett are still confused as to who they are guarding and by the time Garnett realizes he is now assigned to Parker, Parker has the ball ready to shoot. Easy bucket.
I saved this play on my computer as "just bad defense."
Teletovic is in good position, but doesn't react to the ball getting passed around the perimeter and Bonner has an open shot. Toko Sheneglia does see Teletovic's poor defense and goes to help, but the two don't switch. A second later, the two Europeans are next to each other and Joseph is wide-open cutting to the basket. Luckily, Bonner doesn't pass it, giving the Nets a chance to stop San Antonio. Not likely, though.
However, Shaun Livingston plays awful defense on Patty Mills who drives right by him gets the easy layup. In hindsight, either Teletovic or Mason Plumlee should have stepped in to take a charge. Teletovic saw it clearly because he screamed at Plumlee and pushed him in the direction of the ball, but Plumlee runs past Mills and Teletovic gets frozen.
Lastly, we will break down bad defense, followed by good help defense, followed by Tim Duncan hitting his patent jump shot.
The play gets going after Manu Ginobili gives a half-hearted head fake that Paul Pierce buys. Ginobili gets past Pierce and into the paint, prompting Plumlee to step in. Pierce didn't see Plumlee step in front and Duncan leaks out. Ginobili splits the two Nets and Duncan hits an elbow jumper.
All these plays are examples of the Nets failure to make either a big enough effort on defense, or just a failure to comprehend basic fundamentals of defense. These are professional basketball players, yet they make such gaffs on the defensive end that would make one think otherwise.
Jason Kidd has not been the best coach by any means this season, but these types of lapses fall on the players.
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