2016-17 Preseason Stats: Ranking the Good and Bad of Brooklyn Nets

After 6 preseason games have completed, we can use NBA.com/stats data to analyze how 30 teams rank in each of statistical category. Despite preseason being a trial-and-error experiment with many players who did not make it to the 15-man roster, it provides a glimpse of how each team compares to the other before the regular season starts.

So what does the preseason stats say about the young Brooklyn Nets team with new coach and new system being put in place. A lot of NBA analysts already predicted the Nets to be the bottom dweller of the NBA once the regular season starts.

What is the Good and the Bad of the Brooklyn Nets? Which area should they improve before the regular season starts? Do the stats support the eye test of how badly the Nets bench have blown many leads? Can the starters compete with other NBA teams?

A. THE GOOD and THE BAD of the Team

Brooklyn Nets’ best ranking is 3rd in the 3PA (3Point Attempts) but the worst ones are in:

  1. Shooting Percentage
    • FG% (Field Goal %) at #25 but 3FG% is pleasantly surprising at #13
  2. Defense
    • REB (Rebounding) at #28
    • BLK (Blocks) at the last spot of #30 but the effort is there with BLKA (Block Attempts) at #11
  3. Plus Minus
    • +/- is at #28 showing how the Nets are often outscored, possibly due to the weak reserve team giving up large runs.


Click on the image or jlinportal.com/stats/  to dynamically sort the statistics by each category for all 30 NBA teams

At first things look bleak but knowing how the 2nd team/bench consisted of reserves and waived players who didn’t make it to the 15-man roster, it’s worthwhile to analyze how the starters compare with the rest of the league. Thankfully, nba.com/stats allow us to provide separate analysis for starters and the bench


B. THE GOOD and THE BAD of the Starters and Reserves

  1. Starters are Sharpshooters, Reserves Not So Much

If we focus on the ranking for Starters and Reserves in the 1st table above, it is clear that the starters excelled in the shooting department being ranked 6th in FG% and 3rd in 3PT% but the reserves performed poorly being ranked 29th in FG% and moderately 19th in the 3P%. This tells us that the Nets starters perform at the top 5 level against other starters but the reserves will blow leads with their poor shooting

2. Poor Defense

But in the important area of defense, both starters and reserves struggled mightily with:

  • REB (Rebounding): startes being ranked dead last at #30 and reserves at #19
  • BLK (Blocks): Ouch, both are ranked #30 but at least the reserves is ranked #1 in the BLK Attempt while the starters is ranked #25 in Block Attempts. The starters need to get better in trying to protect the rim

3. Plus Minus

  • The +/- stats show the starters is ranked at 18th with -1 but the bench is ranked last at 30th with an astounding -9.2! It means that if the bench continue to play 28 min/game like in the preseason, it will blow almost double-digit every game. It’s a good thing the starters will not continue to play only 20 min/game. The bench weakness is one major area of concern for the Nets

It is best to only use the preseason stats to analyze the trend of strength and weakness without handing a hard judgment since there were multiple lineup experiments with majority of minutes given to the reserves and it was only based on 6 games. But it is definitely helpful to identify and validate the area of weakness that many NBA analysts and fans have witnessed after watching the 6 preseason games.

As Jeremy Lin said, the Nets would need to worry more about their defense and rebounding than the offense/shooting department. Coach Atkinson need to identify the strong lineup for the bench not to give up 8-10pts per game so they can be competitive in every game.


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