Possessions: B-This is where the Nets have shown the most improvement. ?Prior to their loss to the Wizards, the Nets were holding teams to 96.2 defensive rating since December 7. That was good for third best in the NBA over that stretch. Some of that is credit to a much more productive offense, which has bucked the one-and-done trend as of late, and some can probably be contributed to some of the softer opponents the Nets have been facing (like Milwaukee, who couldn't hit the ocean from the dock).
Tags: Brooklyn Nets, defense, defensive rating, LIU, Nets, nets, Report Card, Brian Erni
Shooting: A-Finally,?shots are dropping for Brooklyn. The Nets shot a stunning 55.7% against Boston, thanks in large part to open looks and a solid paint presence (that has a lot to do with Brook Lopez's return). They followed that up with a 44.6% effort against the Clippers. Williams looking like a top tier point guard is creating space for everyone, and the Nets haven't gotten this many good looks in weeks. Kevin Garnett's shot is finally coming around, though it still won't set the world on fire, and Joe Johnson had a money outing against L.A. Even Paul Pierce showed some vintage looks.
Tags: andray blatche, brook lopez, Brooklyn Nets, deron williams, Nets, nets, offense, paul pierce, Report Card, Brian Erni
For the past couple of years, the cornerback position for the Giants has been scared by injuries. From Terrell Thomas and his multiple ACL injuries, Prince Amukamara with a concussion earlier this season; to the loss of Aaron Ross?for the season due to a back injury?earlier this month and Corey Webster, who lately,?has been fighting off a groin injury.
It has been a rare occurrence when all of the Giants cornerbacks have been at a fully-healthy state, but they have managed well.
In my opinion, the Giants best player on the team so far, comes from the safeties unit. Antrel Rolle has been one of the game's premier defensive players this year and has held down the Giants backfield each and every week. Rolle has been the voice of the team for many weeks and has attempted to do his best to instill confidence in his team and reassure the fans that the team will turn their season around. Even more importantly, his play on the field and ability to adapt to different defensive formations has showcased his value to Big Blue's defense.
"Antrel is everywhere. He has played corner, he?s played strong safety, he?s played free safety, he?s played nickel and he?s done that from day one since he arrived and it?s no different this year," said safeties coach David Merritt. "That young man studies more than any safety I have in the sense that he comes to me all the time and he?s asking about certain plays and we sit and we chat about the plays that he asks about and it?s tremendous to have a kid that way."
Tags: Antrel Rolle, midseason report card, New York Giants, Ryan Mundy, T2, Terrell Thomas, Will Hill
Perhaps one of the shining lights of the Giants defense has been the play of their linebackers, and specifically, the play of linebacker Jon Beason. Beason, who was acquired?from the Carolina Panthers at the beginning of October, has done a tremendous job at the middle linebacker position and he has gained a lot of attention from the media, fans and more importantly, the respect from his team.
"He walked in the door and like I said earlier, the guys gravitated to him and he has that type of personality, he?s that type of a leader," said linebackers coach Jim Herrmann. "He?s a very upbeat leader and it is.? He has an infectious personality.? Most great leaders are.? You see that in him.? To be able to walk into the door and play right away, that?s not easy."
Tags: jacquian Williams, Jon Beason, linebackers, midseason report card, New York Giants, Spencer Paysinger
For decades, the New York Giants relied upon the pass rush and pressuring the opposing the quarterback. Teams would fear the defensive line of the Giants; a unit that could change the momentum of a game instantly. One of the biggest shocks this year, has been the lack of pressure that the Giants defensive line has generated. Combined, the defensive line has a lowly seven sacks all season.
Defensive end Justin Tuck looks as if he is falling into the tail end of his impressive career, while Jason Pierre-Paul still does not seem to be fully recovered from lower back surgery that was performed at the beginning of the year.
We have officially reached the halfway point of an NFL season that Giants fans thought was lost after one of the worst starts in the teams history. Sitting at 2-6, Big Blue sits just two games behind the NFC East leading Dallas Cowboys; so all hope is not lost.
Continuing our midseason report cards from yesterday, throughout the day, I will be?giving a position-by-position grade on the Giants defense with some quotes from the coordinators.
Please feel free to offer your reasoning and an alternative grade if necessary in the comments section.
My fellow SNYGiants contributor, Tom Uddo, will follow up tomorrow with his defensive midseason report card, and we'll both have our special teams grades posted on Friday.
Tags: giants, grades, midseason report card, New York Giants
My particular take is that Eli Manning and the receivers get a passing grade and everyone else should hold on to their paychecks. The defensive line is a joke. The whole defense is predicated around them. If they fail - and this is the second week in a row they have - the rest of the defense falls apart. You can't grade the linebackers because the Giants don't really have any. The offensive line is just that: offensive. The rushing game is a horror. I applaud Steve Weatherford for trying a fake punt, but this was neither the time nor the place for that. ?The coaching staff gets an F as well. I think its time...