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ESPN on Brooklyn Nets players ... good, bad and ugly

Brooklyn Nets

No more win forcasts for Kevin Pelton. The ESPN stats guy has moved on to individual projections and has encyclopedic previews for all 18 Nets players, from Jeremy Lin to Beau Beech, breaking down their offensive and defensive games with stats. Many are surprising.

It's on ESPN Insider so you have to have a subscription, but if you've needed a reason to sign up, this could help put you over the line.  It's that extensive.

Bottom line for Pelton appears to be that a number --a large number-- of the Nets players have flaws, but each (other than Anthony Bennett who takes a hard look at) also has some surprising positives.

Here are some fun facts from the analysis... the good, bad and ugly

Jeremy Lin

Lin has become a good enough 3-point shooter to play off the ball; he played more minutes with Walker last season (1,179) than as lead point guard (868). But Lin is still at his best running the high pick-and-roll with the floor spaced (OK, the latter is unlikely to happen in Brooklyn). He averaged 18.2 points and 5.4 assists per 36 minutes last season as a point guard, according to, as compared to 14.5 and 3.2 playing with Walker.

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson

He was one of four guards in the league to rate at least two points better than league average on D in ESPN's real plus-minus (veterans Tony Allen, Danny Green and Chris Paul were the others).

He's also got good court vision and handed out 2.5 assists per 36 minutes. Hollis-Jefferson has the ballhandling chops to create his own shot; now it's just a matter of being able to hit them.

Bojan Bogdanovic

Bogdanovic's strength is more of an asset on defense, where he can guard smaller power forwards at 6-foot-8. He's only OK defending wings, though starting alongside Rondae Hollis-Jefferson allows him to hide out on the opposition's weaker scorer. RPM took an especially dim view of his defense last season, rating Bogdanovic among the league's bottom 10 players in defensive rating.

Trevor Booker

Booker did hone his shot selection last season, excising most 2-point attempts away from the basket and actually attempting the highest percentage of shots inside three feet of his career according to That discipline could pay greater dividends if Booker shoots closer to his career mark inside three feet (69.6 percent)

Brook Lopez

Only LaMarcus Aldridge scored more points on post-ups, per Synergy Sports tracking on, and Lopez and Nikola Vucevic were the two players to shoot better than 50 percent on at least 200 post-up attempts. Lopez is good facing the basket too. He shot a solid 45.2 percent from 10-16 feet,

Greivis Vasquez

As Vasquez has slowed down, his foot speed -- never a strength -- has become increasingly problematic. He can't really stay in front of point guards, which makes the Nets a good destination because they have a variety of backcourt-mates who can crossmatch with Vasquez defensively.

Luis Scola

Scola provided the Raptors unexpected 3-point punch. Always a good midrange shooter, Scola was able to move those attempts a little farther out with excellent results. He made more 3s (65) than he'd attempted in his first eight NBA seasons (60), shooting 40.4 percent. Still, Scola scored with below-average efficiency because he almost never got to the free throw line ...

Randy Foye

[H]e uses his strength and gets low to keep players like Shaun Livingston from gaining leverage. In the playoffs, opponents missed all eight of their post-up shots against Foye, per Synergy Sports tracking on Generally, Foye is better defending point guards, and he'll probably play that role alongside Vasquez in Brooklyn.

Justin Hamilton

During his brief stint with the Timberwolves, Hamilton blocked 2.1 shots per 36 minutes after previously recording just five total blocks in 361 minutes in Charlotte and Miami. If he can maintain that level, Hamilton should be able to hold up at center despite giving up strength to most opposing 7-footers.

Sean Kilpatrick

Once he gets to the paint, Kilpatrick is an excellent finisher who shot 69.1 percent inside 3 feet, per He's also effective from longer range, making 36.1 percent of his 3-point attempts with the Nets after shooting 42.6 percent from downtown in the D-League. That's a big improvement since Kilpatrick shot just 34.7 percent from the college 3-point line.

Chris McCullough

Brooklyn would probably prefer that McCullough spend a bit more time inside after taking more than half his shot attempts from beyond 16 feet last season. He wasn't a good finisher when he was near the rim, shooting just 54.5 percent inside three feet according to, but McCullough's explosiveness may return as he moves past the injury.

Caris LeVert

There's a lot to like about LeVert's skills. He's a big shooting guard listed at 6-foot-7 who makes plays like a point guard. LeVert was averaging a team-high 4.9 assists per game as a senior before his season ended early. Aside from shooting 54.6 percent as a senior against nonconference opposition, LeVert struggled inside the arc.

Isaiah Whitehead

While scouts had been projecting him to the NBA as a shooting guard, Whitehead showed enough playmaking chops to suggest he can be a point guard in the league. He'll want to drive to dish rather than score, having struggled to finish over bigger defenders.

Anthony Bennett

He won't succeed in the NBA until he gets serious about his commitment both on and off the court. Whispers after Bennett was waived by his hometown Toronto Raptors suggested his desire and professionalism were question marks. That can't be the case in Brooklyn.

Joe Harris

He made 36.9 percent of his 3s as a rookie and was a 40.7 percent career shooter at Virginia. Harris is comfortable with the ball in his hands and can make the right pass when necessary. However, teams targeted him defensively, and he's unlikely to be anything better than adequate as an individual defender.

Yogi Ferrell

He can run an offense and play off the ball, but Ferrell must prove he can hold up defensively given his small stature and poor steal rate (1.0 per 40 minutes in his career).

Egidijus Mockevicius

[T]here's a long track record of lumbering mid-major centers dominating smaller opponents and failing to translate that production in the NBA. Mockevicius must prove he can defend quicker foes and the pick-and-roll

Beau Beech

Beech wasn't really on the NBA's radar as a prospect, but a decent effort at the NBA summer league in landlocked Las Vegas earned him a spot in training camp and most likely in the D-League with the Nets' affiliate in Long Island.

There's a lot more if you have an Insider subscription.