The Bright Spots

Brook Lopez

Brook Lopez is having a normal Brook Lopez season, leading the Nets in scoring (20.2), blocks (1.8), PER (21.7), and win shares (4.7). He might not be a superstar but he’s the best Brooklyn has to offer.

As usual, Lopez is the Nets’ most valuable player.

In the 1,783 minutes that Lopez was on the floor, Brooklyn has an offensive rating of 100.9 which dips to an anemic 94.5 when he’s off the court.

As anticipated, the Nets are one of the league’s worst offensive teams, but having a dominant scorer in the post like Lopez — he scores 5.5 points per game while shooting 48.8% on post plays — is a huge boost.

The downside to depending on Lopez as your main scoring option is that you must play the game at a slow pace due. One of the biggest criticisms about Lopez is that he’s been dubbed a “black hole” after receiving the ball. Despite his normal flaws, Lopez has been the Nets best player this season.

Grade: B+

Thaddeus Young

Young adapted perfectly to the Nets after last season’s in-season trade from the Minnesota Timberwolves. Lost in this terrible season has been Young’s excellent all-around play.

He’s second on the team in scoring (15.1), first in rebounds (9.1), and first in steals (1.4). Young has always been regarded as a jack of all trades, master of none, but this year he’s taken his game to another level.

Most importantly, Young’s play has heightened his trade value; enabling Brooklyn to potentially gain legitimate assets for him at the trade deadline.

Grade: B+

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson

The rookie was only able to play in 19 games before going down with an ankle injury but he was looking like every bit the defensive stopper he was hyped as during draft time. Hollis-Jefferson was ranked second among shooting guards in defensive real plus-minus behind just the legendarily dominant defender, Tony Allen of the Memphis Grizzlies.

The Nets had an incredible 98.9 defensive rating with a 43.8 percent opponent’s FG% in the 420 minutes that Hollis-Jefferson was on the floor. Both marks were team bests, and heaped early praise onto the rookie. As great as he has been on defense however, there is just as much to worry about on the other side of the ball.

We learned the questions about his offense that were well-deserved as his jump shot is in serious need of a fix. During his small sample of games, Hollis-Jefferson only attempted 23 shots outside of the paint; although he wasn’t much better inside the restricted area, finishing at just a 50% rate. Offensive problems aside, he showed great promise for the Nets and was on his way to having one of the best rookie seasons in the NBA.

Grade: B