In case you missed it, the Brooklyn Nets have changed their identity this season.
As a ballclub that finished 21st in defensive efficiency in 2020-21 according to Cleaning the Glass, the Nets have turned up the intensity on that end of the floor and are currently humming along as the 11th-most potent defensive unit in the league. (It was 10th before that ugly fourth quarter in Chicago!) Part of this pertains to a scheme change; Brooklyn went from switching on pick-and-roll ball-screens to dropping the big in the paint and letting their guards handle the rest.
But a big helping of the credit should be ladled out to Bruce Brown and DeAndre’ Bembry, each of whom has played an integral role in Brooklyn’s defensive hunger.
Brown has taken another step as a defender, put in spots to better succeed in Brooklyn’s new scheme. He’s hounded opposing ball-handlers at the point of attack, skated around screens like a buff Ryan Sheckler, and has covered ground like a 50-meter sprinter to contest shots at the rim.
Bembry, meanwhile, is no slouch as an on-ball defender either. But where he really excels is an off-ball phantom, leading the league in steals and deflections on a per-minute minute basis by flashing his uber-quick hands into passing lanes.
In my latest video, I went further into how each player makes an impact on the defensive end of the floor. Brooklyn’s defensive identity, from rags to riches, can be accredited to the effort that both dudes exert on a nightly basis.
If you enjoyed this video — and want more, be sure to subscribe on YouTube!