Tonight the Heat look to bounce back from a disappointing loss to the Rondo-less Celtics at the expense of the Nets. The new year has been good to Brooklyn as they are 11-3 in January and looking to keep that momentum rolling against the top team in the East both by record and our nERD rankings.
While Atlanta’s offense
thrived was competent relying on Joe Johnson hero-ball over the last couple of years, he has not performed very well for the Nets. With Brooklyn, he has combined unimpressive defense (DRtg of 111) with career average shooting from the floor. His Player Efficiency Rating (PER) is the lowest it has been since 2004, and based on our nERD ratings, he has been about a league average player. All of this would be perfectly acceptable if he didn’t have one of the biggest contracts in the league.
The normally spectacular Miami offense had one of its weakest nights from the floor this year, shooting an effective field goal percentage of 43.2 percent from the floor. A big part of the reason for these struggles is that the Miami guards were terrible as Dwyane Wade and Mario Chalmers shot a combined 6 for 23. While Avery Bradley and Courtney Lee are talented defenders, Miami has to get more from their guards going forward if they’re looking to sustain their success.
Brooklyn’s league last pace and below average field goal percentage mask the fact that their offense is actually quite effective. They have the ninth best offense in the league, scoring 107.9 points per 100 possessions. They accomplish this by offensive rebounding (No. 5 in the league) and drawing fouls (No. 6 in the league). Miami will have to stray from its tendency to give up offensive rebounds at an alarming rate if it hopes to contain this offense.