Trending in Brooklyn

Trending (Downward) in Brooklyn: Examining the Losing Streak

So it hasn’t been the greatest couple of weeks for the Brooklyn Nets.

After the team’s 4-2 start to the season, the Nets have dropped five consecutive contests. And with a road back-to-back at Oklahoma City and San Antonio this weekend, it’s conceivable that the losing streak could extend to seven games. Here’s a few things that went wrong for Brooklyn over the last several games:

Mirza Teletovic’s Regression

Considering Mirza Teletovic’s insanely hot start to the season, a regression to the mean was always inevitable. Over the course of the Nets’ losing streak that regression hitting hard. Teletovic’s scoring is down from 12.3 points per game in his first six games of the season to 8.6 during the losing streak, but the larger problem has been the drop-off in efficiency.

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The slump doesn’t appear to have anything to do with a change in shot selection. According to SportVU, Teletovic has actually been attempting more open shots over the losing streak than he was during his hot start, so his stats should begin to stabilize sooner rather than later, and the Nets are going to need him in order to get their offense back into shape. Speaking of the Nets’ needing offensive help…

Brooklyn’s Offense Has Been Really Bad

Brooklyn Nets shot chart from the five-game losing streak


This is what the Nets offense has looked like throughout their current five-game skid. Really, from inside the arc it’s not so bad. It’s nothing to write home about, but it’s certainly not something to set off a losing streak on its own. The problems arise with the three-point percentages.

For the season the Nets attempt nearly 22 threes per game, so a drastic decrease in field goal percentage from behind the arc is definitely capable of tanking the offense, and that’s been the case over the last five games. Teletovic’s slump has contributed to the decrease in production from downtown, but it’s been other players as well — Joe Johnson is shooting 21 percent from deep during the streak compared to 38 percent for the season as a whole.

The result is an offense that’s scoring just 99.3 points per 100 possessions during the losing streak. Compared to the rest of the offenses in the league that number would rank a sub-optimal 22nd. Over the course of the entire season so far the Nets are scoring 104.8 points per 100 possessions, slotting 14th. Not great, but average.

The Defense Has Been Bad Too

This is where the major problems start to form. A team going through some struggles offensively can survive with a great defense. But the Nets don’t have a great defense… or a good defense… or even an average defense, and this has been more of a full season issue than a recent development.

The Nets defense ranks 22nd in the league, yielding 105 points per 100 possessions, and that number jumps up to 107 when looking at the last five games.

Something to keep an eye on as the sample size continues to get larger is how the defense performs with Brook Lopez on the floor. Brooklyn’s defense wasn’t exactly stellar before Lopez’s return from injury, but the defense’s on/off stats since he’s been in the lineup are worth taking a look at.

In 281 minutes with Brook Lopez on the bench this season the Nets have a so-so defensive rating of 104.4, and in 257 minutes with Brook on the floor that number shoots up to an astronomically bad 112.9. The team’s offensive rating is roughly the same with and without Lopez, so until he steps up on the defensive end of the floor Lopez is actually hurting the Nets more than he’s helping.