After a 30-pt Blowout Loss to the Bulls, the Nets Defense is a Glaring Weakness

BROOKLYN, NY - OCTOBER 31: Rajon Rondo #9 of the Chicago Bulls handles the ball against the Brooklyn Nets on October 31, 2016 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

BROOKLYN, NY – OCTOBER 31: Rajon Rondo #9 of the Chicago Bulls handles the ball against the Brooklyn Nets on October 31, 2016 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

The 30-pt blowout loss to the Bulls (88-118) was a game to forget but yet it is also a must-remember game for the young Nets team. It was a letdown game after 3 competitive games where the Nets competed hard.

All throughout the game, the Nets defense allowed wide-open shots so the Nets offense could not even try to cut into the lead and the margin continued to get bigger. On the offensive end, only Jeremy Lin played well to attack the Bulls

After 4 games, the Nets need to address their glaring weakness in their defense as shown in their low ranks in the NBA Team Defense stats ranking:

  1. Opponent Average Biggest Lead: Nets is ranked #29 out of 30 at 19.2. Only the Magic is worse with 25.3
  2. Opponent Points per Game: Nets is ranked #26 giving up 110.5 ppg
  3. Opponent 3rd Quarter Points per Game: Nets is ranked #29 out of 30 giving up 31.5 ppg

source: TeamRankings.com

A mix or motion offense, Pick-and-Roll, post-up offense will not have much positive impact if the Nets continue their uphill battle in not being able to enforce defensive stops consistently.

Defense needs to be the team identity if the young Nets expect to compete. The interesting question would be how coaches would enforce the discipline to play defense to all players. Would Coach Atkinson shuffle the starting rotation after 10-15 games if some players cannot show discipline in defensive assignment?

If the issue is not addressed quickly and the Nets do not buy into playing team defense as part of their #BrooklynGrit motto, the season can be lost sooner than later. The good news is this blowout only happened once in the last 4 games but it needs to serve its purpose as a wake-up call.

Jeremy Lin bounced back strongly with his relentless drive and shooting against the Bulls. With fresh legs, Lin looked unstoppable shooting 60% FG (6-10) and 50% 3FG (1-2) to finish with 14pts/4asts/4steals/2rebs/3tos in only 24 min
He could have scored more if he wanted to stat-pad but like a good PG wanting to win, he tried to empower his team. He could’ve had 2-3 more assists easily if his teammates can finish well. Coach Atkinson did not play the starters more time because the lead was too large so he gave more time to the 2nd  and 3rd unit to gain experience. He might also want to let the blowout message to resonate with his players to play harder on defense in future games