NBA Stats

Jan 24 2014 2:17PM

Bringing the Playoffs Into (Mid)Range

By Jay Cipoletti

Since the calendar turned to 2014, Brooklyn has turned into the Eastern Conference contenders most expected them to be. The Nets are 8-1 in January, with wins over Miami, Oklahoma City and Golden State among the eight. Currently seventh in the East and only 2.5 games out of a First Round home series, the Nets seem to be positioned well to make a much anticipated playoff run.

MonthWinsLossesOffensive RatingDefensive Rating

On the defensive end, the Nets have improved in three of the Four Factors, while sending teams to the line a bit more frequently.

Nets DefenseeFG%FT RateTO RatioOR%

The improved FG% is easily explained. The Nets have only allowed 211 Restricted Area shot attempts, 26 fewer than the next stingiest defensive team (Pacers -- 237). They rank third in RA FG% at 55.5%, behind only the Blazers (54.7%) and Pacers (52.3%). As those two teams have proved throughout this season, that level of defensive play is sustainable.

Brooklyn's improvement on the offensive end may not be, however.

Nets OffenseeFG%FT RateTO RatioOR%

While the Nets have seen a significant improvement in their Effective FG% in January, they have actually seen a decrease in their make rates in the two highest value shot zones. For the season they are shooting 58.0% in the Restricted Area and 40.0% on Corner 3s; in January, those marks have dropped to 56.9% and 36.7%.

Their scoring resurgence has come from the much-maligned Midrange zone, where each of their top six shot takers are shooting out of their minds.

PlayerMidRange FGMMidRange FGAMR FG% - JANMR FG% - Season
Joe Johnson173548.6%43.5%
Andray Blatche143145.2%37.0%
Kevin Garnett162564.0%39.2%
Paul Pierce122254.5%42.9%
Deron Williams81172.7%48.7%
Alan Anderson51145.5%38.6%

For fans pining for the lost art of the midrange game, Brooklyn in January is the place you need to be ... there is no telling how long it will last.