|2013-14 Team Rating|
|17th Overall||23rd Overall|
Stats Through Jan. 20
Brook Lopez played only 17 games before going down for the season with a broken foot. Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce have gotten more comfortable and played better over the last few weeks, but both have declined overall.
Deron Williams has been in and out of the lineup, dealing with multiple ankle injuries. But Joe Johnson has had his best shooting season since his last year in Phoenix and Shaun Livingston has been a pleasant surprise.
Garnett didn't make the defensive impact he was brought in to make ... until Lopez went down and KG shifted to the center position. The Nets have been a top-10 defensive team in January, but still rank in the bottom 10 overall.
Andrei Kirilenko looked like the biggest steal of the offseason, but played just four of the Nets' first 30 games. Jason Terry also missed a big chunk of the season and Andray Blatche has had his ups and downs.
Jason Kidd struggled to find an identity for his team. Injuries were a factor and may ultimately have helped the Nets find their footing. With Brook Lopez out, they've been forced to play small, which has worked.
If you're evaluating the first half of the season as a whole, the Nets were the biggest disappointment in the league. This team was a mess on both ends of the floor for much of the first two months of the season.
But the Nets had the league's best record in the first three weeks of January, with wins over Oklahoma City, Golden State and Miami.
With Lopez out and Kirilenko in, the Nets found success in playing small (though they're still bigger than most teams at almost every position). Moving Garnett to the five and Pierce to the four has made them more dynamic offensively and quicker defensively. If Williams stays healthy, they should establish themselves as the third best team in the Eastern Conference.
But that is probably their ceiling, because they dug themselves a huge hole and because the Indiana Pacers and Miami Heat are really good, with winning identities that were established long ago.
-- John Schuhmann
Explanation of Marking System
|Golden State Warriors||A-|
|Los Angeles Clippers||A-|
|Los Angeles Lakers||D|
|New Orleans Pelicans||C-|
|New York Knicks||D|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||A|
|Portland Trail Blazers||A|
|San Antonio Spurs||A|