Avery: Nets need to get better on D

If the Nets are going to be a top-5 team defensively, they’ve got a long way to go.

“Our highest defensive rating in a game so far is not gonna be good enough to win in the regular season consistently,” coach Avery Johnson said Thursday. “We’ve gotta continue to work on our defense.”

Johnson explained why he isn’t happy with his defense so far.

“What happens is our starters have been doing okay defensively,” Johnson said. “They’re above average -- (but we’re) still getting Joe Johnson on the same page as everyone else defensively in terms of terminology, where he should be.

“We’ve had somewhat of a drop-off when we’ve gone to our bench, primarily because it’s all new guys. ... We’ve gotta find a balance there.”

Johnson explained that the Nets have their own defensive rating to measure their efficiency on that end of the court.

“There are about 10 or 12 different categories,” Johnson said. “We take a number, the total number of possessions we’re on defense, then we subtract how many breakdowns we’ve had defensively based upon our system, game-plan and individual tendencies, and then we come to a score and there’s a certain number that we try to achieve. We’re not there yet.”

Asked what defines a good rating, Johnson replied, “The goal is to get a 60 or above. Right now we’re averaging in the low 50s. If you get in the 40s, I’ve never had a team to win in the 40s. When you’re in the low 50s, normally my teams win half their games.”

Johnson said he learned the rating system from Hubert Davis when he was in Dallas. Davis learned the system from his days in Detroit.

“Then we tweaked it a little bit based on our rules and our system,” Johnson said. “It’s been a pretty good tool. It’s like our defensive bible.”