Trending in Brooklyn: Nets Good at Basketball? Nets Good at Basketball!
The last few weeks have been something of a revelation for the Brooklyn Nets. About a month ago the playoffs looked like a long shot, but the Nets caught fire at the end of March and have been able to keep it going into April, and now find themselves in a tie with the Boston Celtics for seventh in the Eastern Conference.
So how did Brooklyn manage to rattle off this series of wins? Let’s take a look at what’s been trending in Brooklyn to find out:
The Nets Have Been Good at Everything
The Nets are 7-3 in the last 10 games with one of the losses being a tightly contested game to the Eastern Conference-leading Atlanta Hawks, and have probably been playing their best basketball of the season.
How has Brooklyn managed this impressive turnaround? By being better at everything. Like, everything.
This is how things have shaken out for the Nets in the last 10 games:
- Brooklyn is shooting 46.6 percent in the last 10 games and 48.7 percent in the last five, compared to 45.3 for the season.
- Three-point shooting is up to 34.4 percent in the last 10 and 38.9 in the last five, compared to 33 for the season.
- The offensive rating has shot up from 102.0 to 108.0. The defensive rating has increased two points, but the offense is making up for it.
- The Nets’ turnover percentage is 11.7 percent, down from 14.4 for the season.
- The assist percentage is also slightly up, resulting in an assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.12 in the last 10. The Nets’ assist-to-turnover ratio for the season is 1.51.
- Brooklyn is scoring 52.8 points in the paint each game, compared to 45.1 for the full season. This could be due to Brook Lopez’s improved play.
I could keep going, but I think that gets the point across pretty well — Brooklyn has been playing very good basketball lately.
The above image from Basketball-Reference shows Markel Brown’s stats from the last 10 games. Stats marked in green indicate an improvement over his season average, while stats marked in red indicate that the number is worse than his season average. So this looks really good! As long as you don’t look at it for very long, anyway.
Markel shot 37 percent from the field in the last 10 games… and it was an improvement. Yikes. Brown is shooting 36.6 percent on the season, and he’s shooting an alarmingly low 44.3 percent on attempts right under the basket. But perhaps the most interesting trend with Markel is a pattern in his jump shooting that can be seen in the shot chart below.
From the left side of the court and the top of the key Brown is knocking down 48 percent of his three-pointers, but when moving to the right side he’s shooting 1-25 — that’s four percent! We’re obviously dealing with very small sample sizes here and I’m not sure if this actually means anything. It’s at least interesting though.
Despite the poor shooting numbers, Brown has been an intriguing player since breaking into the rotation around the All-Star break, mostly due to his athleticism on a team that so desperately needs it. While his shooting numbers aren’t great, it’s nice to see him get the opportunity and this playing time should at the least help his development moving forward.
Man on Fire: Deron Williams
This week’s Man on Fire is Deron Williams, and HE IS ABLAZE.
Williams has been in the midst of one of the worst shooting seasons of his career — shooting 39.6 percent for the season — but is drilling 45 percent of his shots in the last 10 games, and over 51(!) percent from beyond the arc. He’s made at least one three-pointer in nine consecutive games, and over that stretch he’s splashed four or more triples in three contests.
Now that I’ve successfully hyped up his play as of late I’m gonna have to go ahead and rain on my own parade — this is likely not at all sustainable. Take a look at the shot chart:
Yes, Williams is throwing fire from long-range, but that’s about it. He’s having the same problems at the rim that he’s had all season long, and unless he finds a way to turn that around then his percentage will plummet back to the sub-40s as soon as his jumper regresses to the mean. Luckily for the Nets, there’s only about a week and a half left in the regular season, so there’s a chance he could still keep this up as Brooklyn tries to hold on to one of the final playoff spots in the East.