The Brooklyn Nets are not exactly having that championship season their owner Mikhail Prokhorov probably envisioned so many years ago. They reloaded with even more old guys in Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett last season and now both are gone. Markel Brown and Thaddeus Young aren't going to help them win the title this year, no matter how good Deron Williams and Joe Johnson are still capable of playing.
New Jersey Brooklyn is 4-6 in their last 10 games, and are sitting in 11th in the East right now. They still want to make the playoffs, and yes they are only 4.5 games out of it, but I don't think that they are a serious threat.
With over $45 million tied up in salary to just Joe Johnson and Deron Williams next season you can tell that this is a team that has some serious decisions to make. Brook Lopez, who lost his starting job, has a player's option to terminate the last year of his $16.7 million dollar contract. Thaddeus Young has an ETO to forgo the last $10 million of his. Alan Anderson is likely to hold onto his $1.3 million though. But if you include the players like Jerome Jordan and Mirza Teletovic there are plenty of players on this roster that may not be on the next one. There is much uncertainty with where this team is going, except for the academic idea of finding out when in the next three weeks will have them totally shut things down.
I guess you can argue that it's already happening as the team has started Markel Brown and Alan Anderson for the last seven games. Some of that is due to injury, some to their coach, and some just due to the fact that I can't predict what this team does. But by the same token, our team starts Dante Exum and Joe Ingles. So it's not like we can throw stones. Exum and Ingles are 19 and 27, Brown and Anderson are 23 and 32. It's similar, but also not.
Anyway, Brooklyn is not terribly good on offense or defense. They are 23rd in both PPG and ORTG; and 18th in Def PPG, while clocking in at 20th in DRTG. They play a ball control game, the 24th fastest pace in the league; and Joe Johnson, Brook Lopez, Jarrett Jack, D-Will, and Mason Plumlee take a lot of shots. Though, with his versatility I can imagine Thaddeus Young having a good game tonight.
Defensively they don't foul much, but are porous on the defensive glass. This is where Utah should try to attack. On offense they surprisingly don't get to the line as much as you think they should with how many strong iso scorers they have. They are VERY GOOD at the line, by my estimation. (The numbers don't bear that out though.)
They aren't great at shooting, and no better than us from deep. Their coach Lionel Hollins is yet another old school, former player from the 80s who doesn't like analytics and thinks that long twos off the bounce are better shots than spot up threes. *sigh*
Perhaps things could have been different this season if Mirza Teletovic wasn't shut down for the year. Or if they won more and KG was not traded. Who knows?