NBA analyst mistakenly calls the Utah Jazz ‘one wing short’

Utah Jazz (Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports)
Utah Jazz (Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Utah Jazz
Brooklyn Nets (Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports) /

Brooklyn Nets top 3 wing defenders: Kevin Durant, Bruce Brown, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot

Average DBPM: -1.0 

If you’re surprised to see the Brooklyn Nets at the bottom of these rankings, ask yourself why you’re reading this article if you don’t follow basketball.

These Nets are the offspring of a long line of NBA players/coaches/thinkers who believe that defense ought to be sacrificed in favor of more offense. If this approach (hereafter referred to as “The D’Antoni theorem”) has any validity, these Nets are certainly built to prove it. They paced the Association in Offensive Rating last season at a tectonic plate-shifting 117.3.

In direct contrast to an Utah Jazz team that prominently features a 2x Defensive Player of the Year in Rudy Gobert, all of Brooklyn’s highest paid players are primarily about a bucket. In fact, these two teams are about as close to a direct apples-to-orange comparison as you’ll find among the NBA’s contenders. With that said, apples and oranges are both fruits, and we intend to compare them anyway.

The Brookyn Nets’ best wing defender by DBPM last season was Kevin Durant with a score of 0.6. That alone is an inherent problem: the most capable perimeter defender on this roster is also, arguably, their most effective offensive player. This uneven distribution of labor stands in direct contrast to the Utah Jazz’s roster makeup. Coach Snyder’s best perimeter defender last season was Royce O’Neale, with a DBPM of 1.7.

Let’s just say O’Neale isn’t what most would call an offensive hub.

The Nets don’t have a competent defense because they’d rather double-down on the offensive side. That’s perfectly fair, and with good health, they’re widely regarded as overwhelming favorites to win the 2021-22 NBA championship. Just don’t expect them to do it by grinding it out on the less glamorous end of the floor.