So I have been a little behind in terms of breakdowns but we are catching up right here and now. We are going to be looking at some stuff from the game against Philly, @ Orlando, and @Miami. As of right now, a lot of the stuff you are going to see here is going to look like nit-picking (especially with how well the team has been playing despite being limited), but if some of the bad stuff seen here continues as people start coming back, it could be a problem. This is going to be a big one, get those reading glasses on:
November 11 vs. Philadelphia 76ers
Dealing With Thaddeus Young
Thaddeus Young is a beast. He has the body of a 4, but the skills of a 3, and that is what makes him a tough matchup.
Here the Sixers decide to go with him isolated against Trenton Hassell. The Sixers do a good job of getting everyone else on the other side of the court to give Young enough room to work. Setting up like this puts the Nets in a tough position. Either they have to send a double or allow Trenton to go against Young one-on-one. Here, they didn't really do either.
Brook kind of just shows leaving Dalembert open and going half way at Young. Here, Brook should be showing hard and doubling hard at Young if he doesn't want to do that, he should just stay with Dalembert. Here, Brook Lopez is just kind of in "no-mans land."
Since Brook doesn't really help out Hassell in the post, Thaddeus Young is able to take a turn-around jumper (he makes it). Because Brook Lopez is "no-mans land" he is unable to get position on Dalembert, and because of that you now have Dalembert with inside position and you didn't effect the shot. Here, Brook needs to either show hard at Young, forcing him to pass out of the post and trust the defensive rotation or stay at home, let Hassell defend and be ready to rebound.
The Threat Of Brook In The Post
A lot of teams don't like to have Brook catch the ball in the post. He is so skilled with his back to the basket, that if you let him catch it in the post, it is trouble. So what most teams do is they "front him." Meaning teams put their defender in between Brook Lopez and the basketball. Though effective, it still presents problems.
Late in this game, it seemed like the Sixers were determined to have someone else besides Brook beat them (which is a good bet with where the roster was when they played), so what they had Speights do was front Brook Lopez, getting in front of him, not allowing the ball to go to him. Seeing that the post wasn't open, Bobby Simmons pulls up from 3.
As soon as Brook sees the shot go up, he pivots and puts Speights on his back-side. The problem with fronting the post is that you give up position when going for the rebound. If you were to look at just Brook and Speights here, you would assume that Brook was the defender boxing out, that is how good his position was.
Here, Brook Lopez collects the rebound and slams it home. This right here is exactly why I have been clamoring for Brook to get back into the post. Not only can he score from the post, but just him standing there gives the defense to think about. The threat of Brook scoring in the forces the defense to do things they would not normally do, and in this case, it lead directly to a made basket for the Nets.
November 13 @ Orlando Magic
Defending Orlando's Pick & Roll
The Magic are so dangerous when running the pick and roll for a few reason. For one, a team can't go under the screen, because dribbling into the screen and roll is a good shooter. You can't really help from the weak side because the man you help off from is a shooter. Oh, and you have Dwight Howard rolling which is ridiculously hard to stop. All three of those factors are at play here.
This pick and roll is initially defended pretty well. You got Brook hedging correctly, stopping Nelson's driving and not allowing him to shoot over him. Rafer is hustling over and you have Bobby Simmons coming down helping on Dwight. As the ball gets swung to Matt Barnes, things break down.
Seeing the ball get swung, Bobby Simmons leaves Dwight to go out on Matt Barnes. Now I know Barnes can hit the three, but I would actually rank him as one of the worst three point shooters on the Magic. Because of that, I would rather see Simmons stay with Howard a little longer. If Barnes shoots it, so be it, I would rather see that then see what happens next. Notice Brook is trailing Dwight still as he recovers from hedging on the screen.
Brook was still trailing Dwight, and Matt Barnes noticing this, throws a nice lob pass to Dwight. A lob pass that wouldn't be open if Bobby stayed down on Dwight. Look at where Dwight catches the ball with nobody in front of him. You might as well just put the points on the board.
Defending The 3
Usually defending the 3 is a negative point with the Nets, but in this game against Orlando, they did a fantastic job of it. Maybe it was because they know they are such good three point shooters, they went after them even harder.
The Nets are in good defensive position, all of them. Terrence Williams closed out on the ball nicely, and everyone else is in good help position. As the ball gets swung around to J.J. Reddick, you are going to see some more good defense. Take note of where Reddick is calling for the ball, that is deep.
Reddick pump fakes and Chris Douglas-Roberts closes out hard on him. Normally you would just leave a shooter out there and if he wants to take a 30-footer, you let him have it. But, Reddick can hit from there, and CDR recognizes the personnel out there, and he forces Reddick to put the ball on the floor. Now I don't have the stats on this (and I don't even know if they exist), but I am willing to bet money that Reddick's shooting percentage after putting the ball on the floor even once is significantly lower than what it is when he just catches and shoots. So right here, this is a win for CDR.
CDR is even to recover from the hard close out and challenge Reddick's 3 anyway, forcing him into a miss. This was a great job of CDR knowing personnel and knowing how to react in this specific situation.
November 14 @ Miami Heat
It was really hard to find something for this game, for one, the Nets didn't do too many things wrong. Secondly, I didn't have the full game on hand, so good stuff the Nets did that I wanted to talk about wasn't there. I did find something though, and it has to do with Josh Boone.
I have been harping on Josh Boone's inability to finish around the rim, and I found at least part of the reason he can't do it.
After a great entry pass (something Brook Lopez did really well in Miami), Josh Boone finds himself matched up with point guard Mario Chalmers. Let me repeat that, he has Mario Chalmers covering him! You are a big man in the NBA with a point guard covering him. You have to score right? Well, Josh Boone doesn't.
Josh Boone double clutches and clanks the lay-in. It isn't because of him playing below the rim, (although if he went to dunk it, Chalmers probably wouldn't have stopped him), no it is something he did when he made his post move.
Look how low Josh Boone is holding the ball (Note, this is before Chalmers made contact with it). Not only is Mario Chalmers able to poke at it, but I think even Lawrence Frank could reach that basketball. The first thing you are taught to do when you are a big man with the basketball is put it right in your chin. You chin it because it naturally puts your elbows out, preventing little guys to get in there and poke out it. It also puts the ball at a level where little guys can't get to it. If a 6-10 Josh Boone puts the ball at his chin, it will be harder for Chalmers to get the basketball. Who knows, maybe if he chins the ball, maintains control, and prevents Chalmers from swiping at it who knows, maybe he finishes at the rim.