Basketball offense is not always a team endeavor. Sure, there are five players wearing the same color uniforms who all share the common purpose of putting the ball in the basket as many times as possible, but it is not always necessary, or even advisable, that the players share the offensive burden equally. Not every player on a roster is going to possess an equal share of offensive ability or efficiency so teams are better off allowing the players who are the most creative and the best shot-makers to dominate the ball more than their less talented colleagues. A team effort on offense is simply unnecessary in many instances.
However, that is not to say that a team spreading out the scoring burden among all the players who take the court is not to be admired when it happens. Perhaps it is to be admired even more because of how rare it is not to see two or three account for the majority of a team's points. Therefore, it is with a tip of my cap that I applaud what the Brooklyn Nets were able to accomplish on Tuesday in defeating the Orlando Magic 101-90.
Each of the 11 players who took the floor scored for the Nets, with Andray Blatche's 18 points leading the way and Mason Plumlee bringing up the rear with 2 points; only four of the 11 players poured in more than 10 points, a further display of the equality of scoring employed by the Nets. The spreading of the scoring wealth was the result of almost every Nets player capitalizing on the chances he was given to contribute to the team's offensive efficiency; with a few exceptions, every player's usage percentage hovered around 20.0 percent so there were multiple opportunities for everyone.
No more evident was the Nets' solidarity in scoring than in the third quarter when they really broke the game open and put the Magic away. In the third quarter, the Nets outscored the Magic by 13 points as 7 different players contributed to the 27 points scored by the team in that period.
Sharing the ball in and of itself is no guarantee of an above-average level of offensive efficiency, but the passing and the movement on offense of the Nets was more than ceremonial; it actually produced pretty astounding results. The Nets combined to score 115.9 points per 100 possessions, while their defensive effort was certainly no slouch as they held the Magic to 103.3 points per 100 possessions, and they also posted a 58.2 true shooting percentage.
Going forward, it is unlikely the Nets will win games often by being such a balanced offensive force, if for no other reason than it is really difficult to have so many players playing so well on offense on the same night, but if they are able to rotate their offensive contributions so that more often than not a few players are shooting the ball really well, they should look forward to future success on the offensive side of the ball.
No matter which path future Nets games take, whether they are star-driven or team-driven on offense, it is hard to argue against the thinking that there will be more victories than defeats in the team's future as the Nets continue to establish themselves as a team to be reckoned with in the Eastern Conference.