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Brooklyn Nets offense letting them down

Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Here's a telling statistic from Mike Mazzeo...

In their past 12 games, the Nets rank 28th in offensive efficiency (96.1 points per 100 possessions), 24th in field goal percentage (42.5), 29th in 3-point field goal percentage (29.9), 23rd in assists (19.6) and 24th in turnovers (15.2).

Flex offense or no, that's not going to get you into the playoffs.

"We’ve talked about it all year, we kinda get stagnant," Deron Williams said. "We get stagnant on offense and try to do it by ourselves instead of letting it come to us and getting it within the offense."

Mazzeo looked at some sample of offensive inefficiency, between the point in the first quarter Friday when the Nets led, 16-10 with 4:33 left in the first, to the end of the half when the Nets finished 21 points behind the Hawks, 52-31. In between, Mazzeo writes, the Nets shot 22.2 percent from the field (6-for-27) and had seven turnovers.

What's worse is that the Nets fourth quarter offensive collapses, even in the wins over the Knicks and Spurs. Mazzeo notes that over their past 12 games, they rank last in field goal percentage (35.3) and second-to-last in 3-point field goal percentage (24.2).

One reason, Mazzeo argues, is a lack of assists for open shots. D-Will, despite dramatic improvements in his game, is averaging only one-tenth of an assist more this year than he did last when he was hurt. Brook Lopez has never been a good passer and the rotation is filled with players who love to shoot: Alan Anderson, Jarrett Jack, Bojan Bogdanovic and Mirza Teletovic. Chuckers all.

Meanwhile, Tim Bontemps notes that the younger Hawks had a big advantage in other area, athleticism, the other night: athleticism.

“They just seemed a lot faster than us, quicker than us, better than us tonight,” Williams said

As Bontemps notes, a lack of athleticism doesn’t condemn the Nets to a losing season, but "it does mean they have to execute far better than they did against Atlanta."