Nets coach Avery Johnson told reporters after Sunday’s open practice at the Barclays Center that he’s “disappointed” in his team defensively because it doesn’t have a “hit-first mentality.”
“We haven't had the type of defensive intensity, physicality that I'm looking for,” Johnson said. “This team does not have the personality that I thought it would have at this point. That's been somewhat of a disappointment. Are they trying? Yes. Is anybody panicking? No. But we should have a little bit more of a physicality.”
Added Johnson: “We don’t have a hit-first mentality. And if you don’t have a hit-first mentality, you’re gonna get hit.”
For what it’s worth, the Nets are allowing their opponents to average 102 points per game on 46.3 percent shooting during the preseason. On Thursday night, they allowed the Celtics to torch them for 115 points on 56.5 percent shooting.
Johnson said at media day that his goal was for the Nets to finish top-10 in the league defensively.
That’s going to be difficult, though, because of their personnel. Brook Lopez and Kris Humphries aren’t good at protecting the rim, while the Nets have given up numerous open shots to their opponents due to bad rotations during the preseason.
Yes, they’ve only been together three weeks. Yes, it’s only the preseason.
But are the Nets really going to become a top-10 defensive team this year? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.