The 2022-23 season was an interesting one for the Brooklyn Nets. In a season that started with championship expectations, the Nets’ season ended with just trying to hold on to a playoff spot after trading away Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving to end the superstar experiment once and for all.
At one point, Brooklyn was regarded as one of the main contenders in the Eastern Conference with Durant and Irving leading the way. Once the trade deadline came and went, the Nets had a completely different team led by budding star wing Mikal Bridges.
Not to mention, Brooklyn went through a coaching change after Steve Nash was fired following a 2-5 start to this season. Jacque Vaughn is now the head man of a team that is currently in flux thanks to the trades of Durant and Irving. While the offseason is still fresh, it’s a good time to review all of the Nets who played this season starting with: forward Yuta Watanabe.
(All stats are courtesy of basketball-reference.com).
2.1 WS (1.3 OWS and 0.8 DWS)
-0.6 BPM (-0.4 OBPM and -0.2 DBPM)
50th in the NBA in FG%
5th in 3FG%
22nd in TS%
Watanabe came to the Nets as a free-agent in the summer of 2022 after spending the previous two seasons with the Toronto Raptors. The 6’9″, 215-pound forward from George Washington University played all but one of his 58 regular-season games played off the bench.
Watanabe came into the season as a mostly inefficient shooter overall. During his four seasons prior to Brooklyn (2019-2022), he shot just 40.9% from the field and 35.2% from three-point land. However, his season with the Nets was a revelation for all parties involved.
Watanabe finished the 2022-23 season with career-highs in field-goal percentage and three-point field-goal percentage while attempting the most field-goals per game of his career as well. It was clear that Watanabe was becoming more confident in his ability by the game.
November was Watanabe’s best month of the season as he averaged 11.6 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 1.4 assists per game while shooting an absurd 61.8% from the field and 57.6% from behind the three-point line in eight games played. Lastly, Watanabe appeared to have mastered the corner three-point shot as he finished the year shooting 51.4% from the corners, ranking ninth in the league in that category.
Season grade: C+