However, they’ve won four of their last six games, and with new head coach Jacque Vaughn in place, there may still be an outside chance they can contend for the NBA championship.
For these two reasons, in particular, Nets fans shouldn’t lose hope, especially so early in the season.
1. Kevin Durant
Although Durant is 34 years of age and has become more injury-prone ever since tearing his Achilles three years ago, he is still one of the best players in basketball, at least according to the numbers.
Through 12 games, he is averaging 30.8 points a game on 51.9 percent shooting.
He may not be able to carry his team all the time as much as he used to, but he can still win games single-handedly, especially when he has a good amount of support.
Durant’s 3-point shooting has been off, but one figures he should pick it up over time.
2. The Defense And Rebounding Of Nic Claxton
Defense has been the big bugaboo for Brooklyn over the last couple of years, but the development of Nic Claxton, their 6-foot-11, 23-year-old starting center, has helped.
He is putting up 9.0 rebounds and 2.2 blocks a game this season, and offensively, he’s a pretty good lob threat, which has allowed him to give his team 12.2 points per contest.
Nic Claxton NBA ranks this season:
True Shooting (4th)
Offensive Rebounds (9th)
Defensive Win Shares (15th)
He’s been worth every freakin penny
— Doug Norrie (@DougNorrie) November 10, 2022
Last season, the Nets were 19th in defensive rating, and the year prior, they were 23rd in that category, but so far this year they’ve improved to 15th.
That may not be good enough to get them the Larry O’Brien Trophy, but at least it’s trending in the right direction.