B/R: Brooklyn Nets have 20th-best starting five in the NBA
The Brooklyn Nets have the 20th-best starting lineup in the NBA, according to an article published by Bleacher Report on Wednesday. The starting five for the Nets that is being considered for this piece is Spencer Dinwiddie, Mikal Bridges, Dorian Finney-Smith, Cameron Johnson, and Nic Claxton. The article does acknowledge that for some teams, like Brooklyn, that there isn’t much data to base the rankings on and that those situations are more subjective than others.
Note that this starting lineup has played only three games together so time will tell if this is Brooklyn’s best starting five and if it is, how effective it will be for winning games. Dinwiddie is the main ballhandler while Bridges, Finney-Smith, and Johnson are the wings who defend and shoot as Claxton catches lobs and protects the rim. Bridges has shown that he can be more than just a shooter as evidenced by his 45-point game against the Heat going into the All-Star break.
As noted in the piece, this five-man lineup is +19 thus far in the three contests, but the team is only 1-2 in that span. That could be because of players like Ben Simmons bringing the overall team performance down because of ineffective play or ill-fitting styles. The article goes more in-depth about why the starting lineup is only ranked 20th in the Association:
“This is one of those groups that require plenty of prognostication. Before the All-Star break, it had only started three games. And the Brooklyn Nets went 1-2 in those contests (despite this specific lineup being plus-19 in 48 minutes). But Brooklyn closed out the pre-break portion of its schedule with a win and a 45-point performance from Mikal Bridges. The game offered a glimpse of how this group should work.
There’s plenty of overlap between Bridges, Cameron Johnson and Dorian Finney-Smith (plus Royce O’Neale and, dare I say, Ben Simmons off the bench) in terms of multipositional defense and three-point shooting. And if Spencer Dinwiddie and, to a lesser extent, Bridges can provide enough slashing to open up the drive-and-kick game, this lineup should at least be competitive on offense. On the other end, the upside is easier to see. Nic Claxton has become a dynamic rim protector. And he shouldn’t have too many mistakes to clean up with the length and versatility of Bridges, DFS and Johnson outside.”
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