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New normal for Nets – How defense changed Brooklyn’s future

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Over the past month or so, the Brooklyn Nets have played the way many thought they would play in the last three seasons. They’ve won 16 of their last 18 games and Eastern has moved to the top of the conference, putting him within 1.5 games of the top seed.

The first question for me is how did this team finally start getting to that level? And the second, perhaps more pertinent question is… Is this the new normal? What does this Nets team have in its potential championship run over the next six months and beyond?

In addition to the obvious shine on the court, Kevin Durant When Kyrie Irving, there are two main answers to the first question. protection and availability. Ultimately, these are also important factors in answering her second question.

The Nets have always been able to produce big points when they’re on the court together. But defense was a challenge prior to this season.? The Nets have placed in the bottom 12 defenses in the league each of the last two seasons, last season he was 19th in the team’s defensive his rating, and the season before that he was 23rd. Almost three months later this season they are in the top 10 and in the league he is the ninth best team, rising with DRTG. And the improvement looks real. This is because it focuses on improving the manpower at the edge of the court.

The Nets have defense-first players in three-fifths of the starting lineup. Ben Simmons, Lois O’Neill When Nick Claxton Give your team a defensive identity. According to ESPN’s Real Plus Minus (RPM) measure, both Simmons and O’Neill rank in the top 10 for their respective positions in defensive RPM. But key to the Nets’ defense was the emergence of his 23-year-old Claxton, a fourth-year center.

As the closest defender, Claxton holds off his opponent with a glorious score of 0.89 points per shot, according to Second Spectrum. This is his one of the best marks in the league. Similarly, as the closest defender, he holds opponents to just 0.91 points per touch. Those stellar marks include Claxton as a one-on-one defender, but also him assisting the defense as his protector at the rim.

Given these scouting-based numbers, it’s no surprise that Claxton ranks as the sixth most influential defender in the entire NBA so far this season, according to DRPM.

Craxton’s strong defensive, high-efficiency offensive role is also perfect for his fantasy work. He currently ranks among the top 40 in fantasy points earned this season with a league-leading 73.3 FG%, 8.2 RPG, 2.5 BPG, 1.4 APG, and 0.8 SPG, built on an average of 11.9 PPG .

I think Claxton’s defensive breakout is the real deal. As long as the player is on the court, he should be able to continue leading this unit into a stronger defense.

And of course it’s the elephant in the room. If the best ability is availability, the Nets’ main players are absolutely struggling with the most important element of the game. , Irving (35th), Claxton (37th) and Simmons (129th). Think of the amount of games all four have missed in the last three seasons.

All four have missed double-digit games in all three seasons for various reasons. Aged in his mid-30s, Durant missed the entire season with a devastating injury, but over the next two seasons, he missed an average of 32 games a season.

Claxton, on the other hand, is just getting started. He’s only played his 15 games as a rookie and is about to finish his career-high 47 games last season…his body stepped up to starter minutes and nearly put him at 2 Are you sure you’re ready to play double the number of games?

Both Simmons and Irving were well known for their off-court situations that caused them to miss major minutes in the last two seasons, but on top of that, both also had physical issues. Simmons just underwent back surgery in late spring (not shown on the charts) and missed his 2016-17 rookie season entirely due to a foot injury, making him the only player on this list to miss. in his first six seasons in the league and two overall in the NBA season. And Irving had missed an average of 21.8 games a season in his first 10 seasons before the vaccine and social equality scandals of the past two seasons.

To sum it all up, it’s very difficult to predict what we’ve seen in the past month or two as the new normal for the Nets, individually or as a team. All of their major fantasy hoop threats have a large history of missed games. And on the future front, the current team only works for the balance between a KD/Kyrie-led offense and a Claxton/Simmons/O’Neill-led defense. I can’t imagine they’ll be able to maintain their balance and win fast enough to contend at the very top, as literally every player has experienced over the past few seasons. I want to Heavy Eastern Conference.

This makes me completely happy to trade Nets players for my fantasy team especially now that everything is maxed out. Also in NBA futures they are one of the favorite teams in the league and the odds are too low for my tastes on the risk-reward continuum, thus undermining them. On the other hand, I absolutely advocate using the Nets and their players in the DFS and considering daily wagering. Enjoy their stellar play. In everyday scenarios, there is no significant risk based on past trends.

It was really fun to see the Nets finally start to get together and I wish them well in the second half of this season. But when it comes to my fantasy hoop squad and/or betting futures consideration? Those who do not know are doomed to repeat it. And overall, I’m happy to let others take the risk of repeating the recent history of the Nets and their major players.

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