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Avery Johnson already frustrated with Brooklyn defense

Oct 22, 2012, 6:19 PM EDT

Avery Johnson AP

You get the feeling this will be a trend this season.

Avery Johnson is a coach who focuses on getting his guys to defend. He’s got a very talented offensive roster in Brooklyn but not guys really known as “defense first” players — when Brook Lopez is the guy defending the paint you’re going to be a little soft. And so, you have inherent conflict. Johnson spent most of the preseason focused on the Nets defense.

Yet he is already disappointed in the team’s attitude about being tough and defending. Which considering we’re a week away from the start of the season sounds is both less than ideal and just about what we should all expect. Via Stephen Bondy at the New York Daily News.

“This team does not have the personality that I thought it would have at this point,” Johnson said. “That has been somewhat of a disappointment. Are they trying? Yes. Is anybody panicking? No. But we should have a little bit more physicality…

“We don’t have a hit-first mentality, and if you don’t have a hit-first mentality, you’re going to get hit,” said Johnson, who was encouraged by Sunday’s practice. “So it’s not about a turnover or a guy forgetting a play. No, I’m talking about defensively. We haven’t done a good job — I don’t care if we’re fatigued, I don’t care if we didn’t practice. We haven’t done a good job protecting the paint. For us to go where we want to go, we have to be able to protect the paint a lot better than what we have.”

My suggestion is you just bookmark this post so I don’t have to write it 45 times again this season in varying forms. Just every couple days come back and read it, the tone will still be relevant.

The Nets are going to score in bunches, they have firepower and a guy who can distribute in Deron Williams. Joe Johnson could put up big numbers and not have to do it in isolation sets. But the other end of the floor will be their undoing.

  1. paintman34 - Oct 22, 2012 at 6:37 PM

    Gerald Wallace will be big for this team, will be lots of smalll ball happening

  2. doublezero74 - Oct 22, 2012 at 10:45 PM

    They got a nice assembly of players but they won’t be good until they play as a team, both offensively and defensively. I think it’ll come and they’ll be tough in feb and march. Celtics will win division though

  3. bknowledge - Oct 22, 2012 at 11:41 PM

    If Brook Lopez doesn’t step up defensively, maybe we should bring him off the bench? Start Reggie Evans…play Reggie the first 4 or 5 minutes of the quarter…play Brook the last 7 or 8 minutes of every quarter.

  4. willardj - Oct 23, 2012 at 12:04 PM

    That’s what happens when your front court consists of Kris Kardashian and Brook “Academic Probation” Lopez.

    Billy King made the mistake of not being patient enough with the Magic and rushing to trade for Joe Johnson. If he had played it cool and waited it out, he could have landed Howard. Dwight wanted to be in Brooklyn with D-Will so bad.

    Then again, Billy King is the same guy who drafted a small forward in the first round for four consecutive years with the Sixers so this is nothing new.

    • Kevin S. - Oct 23, 2012 at 4:18 PM

      If Billy King didn’t trade for Joe Johnson, Deron Williams would have been a Mav. He didn’t have time to wait out Orlando, and quite honestly, the Joe Johnson deal didn’t stop Howard from happening, Rich DeVos did.

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