Preseason is now over and we have learned many things from the Brooklyn Nets. The Nets went 1-5 in preseason, losing five on the bounce after winning their first game against the Pistons. The Nets learned a lot from those six games with Kenny Atkinson experimenting with numerous lineups and schemes. There were some positives from preseason, but there were also some big problems that the Nets will have to overcome before regular season gets underway.
The Brooklyn Nets have a new style of offense which Coach Atkinson has implemented. The Nets players are running a motion offense in which players on the court are getting regular touches of the ball and using player movement, correct floor spacing, passing and cutting, and setting screens. To somewhat of a surprise, I wasn’t expecting this kind of offense from the Nets. I was expecting them to run a lot of pick-and-rolls, but this hasn’t been the case.
One massive positive was how Jeremy Lin performed as the point guard for the Nets. Lin had a very good preseason and he shone brightly amongst his teammates. He is one of the main guys on the team and he has shown us why. He has no doubt been the best Nets player of the preseason. Lin has adapted well to the motion offense and he has been extremely effective and efficient. Although the offensive system they are running is not particularly suited to his game, he has made the most of it and has fit in well. Lin averaged 17.2 points, 5.6 assists, two rebounds, and 1.4 steals in 23.4 minutes per game during the preseason. One thing I would like to add is that his hard work in the offseason is paying off. Lin’s shot has looked so much better and smoother, and the results are showing. His three-point percentage for the preseason was 50 percent, and if he can continue shooting well, he’ll be a handful for anyone deal with. A lot of the attention was on Lin this preseason, and he sure didn’t disappoint. He was consistent throughout the five games he played, and he has comfortably settled into the leadership role.
When Lin signed with the Nets, I believed he was going to have the key to the offense, but this has not been the case bar maybe the game against the Knicks when he was creating havoc. He has handled the ball much less than I expected, which is surprising given the caliber of the players he is playing with (no disrespect to the Nets roster). I know this was only preseason, but without allowing Lin to fully control the offense, we cannot see what he is capable of. When Lin did have full control of the offense, we saw a player with extremely good court vision and is able to get to the basket at will. We saw glimpses and moments of what the upcoming season will be like, watching Lin dominating and taking over the offense. In the final preseason game against the New York Knicks, Lin was magnificent, taking over the fourth quarter, and no one could contain him. It was like he was unleashed and went in full attack mode. That was definitely one of the highlights of the preseason. It’ll be fun to watch Lin if he has the keys to the offense. At the moment, we’ll have to wait and see, but sooner or later, he’ll have full control.