Home Sports Nic Claxton, from rotation player to defensive anchor of the Nets

Nic Claxton, from rotation player to defensive anchor of the Nets

Nic Claxton, from rotation player to defensive anchor of the Nets

Cohesion is essential in a winning team. That the different pieces of the wardrobe complete a synergy on the track is ideal for a franchise that wants to compete for everything. there are always the starsthe second swords and role players. Some of them try to help with everything. Others, with a marked role, are vital to success. Brooklyn was missing defending and inner gameI longed for a hoop guard to define the games in his own basket. No need to search the market. The chosen one is nic claxtonthe big news for the Nets this season.

The forced reconstruction process that Brooklyn has entered after Irving and Durant march The importance of the interior will increase in the coming seasons. Cornerstonenext to cam thomasof what is to come in the New York team.

With only 23 years He has emerged as one of the most versatile defenders in the entire league. In his fourth season in the Big Apple, the center of 2’11 meters has demonstrated his athletic abilities and has placed himself in the lead in the race for the Defender of the Year The statistics speak for themselves. Domain near the basket in attack and defense, the missing piece in the puzzle that has been assembled jacque vaughn since his arrival on the benches.

“I defend from one to five (base to pivot) and I’m the leader in stoppers. I do everything in the field defensive for the team and I lead the defense every night”, he commented in an interview with hoopshype the inside born in South Carolina. Since its explosion, Brooklyn has improved considerably defensively. Its importance in the system has gone from less to more, from role to key.

The numbers have grown in just a few months. In points (of 8.7 last season to 13.2) is, rebounds (of 5.6 to 9) and stoppers (1.1 to 2.6), the improvement has been as unexpected as it was miraculous for the Nets. It is known that the offensive potential of the team with Seth Curry, Cam Thomas or yuta watanabe was infinite, but Claxton’s energy has been infected to each and every player.


Nic Claxton (Brooklyn Nets) tries to block Kawhi Leonard (Los Angeles Clippers)JASON SZENESEFE

Brooklyn is the team that blocks the most per game (6.8) and 8th that fewer points in the paint receives of his opponent (48.3). With doubts as to whether they would be able to cope in a hypothetical confrontation of playoffs to Giannis, embidthe pair of Allen and Mobley and, to a lesser extent, Robert Williams III. they seem to be resolved.

The inner rotation is short, and without big names. Between Ben Simmons, markieff morris, yuta watanabe and Claxton The minutes are shared near the hoop after Durant’s departure. Only the last one can be considered a pivot, so the rush is evident, but the need is no longer.

Nic has become the leader of the mentality change of the team. He has had to solve the bad planning in the offices of Sean Marks, who looked for exteriors and forgot about painting. Is transmission of energy is more than evident. the nets, 6th best defensive rating since November 9, the day Vaughn is announced as head coach. Brooklyn is leaving its rivals in a 45.3% correctmerit of the defense that they have implanted.

Going back to the data, your effectiveness near the rim he is unmatched. Of the more than remarkable 67% accuracy in field goals last season, this year it has amounted to a 74% which places him as the undisputed leader of the league. Of the 7.8 pitches who tries at night, 5.7 they ring the net. His block/foul ratio speaks of his physical abilities and ability to block the opponent’s shot. Just 2.8 fouls per game this year, taking into account the number of times he collapses against opposing centers.


Nic Claxton (Brooklyn Nets) scores against the New York Knicks at the Barclay CenterWendell CruzUSA TODAY Sports

Generous always in second effortsis second in the NBA in contested shots (disputed pitches) per game (12.3), just behind brook lopezmain rival with Jaren Jackson Jr. for the best defender of the season award. His last year at the university of Georgia (2018-19), left glimpses of the authentic all-rounder that he could become in his own basket. But, without a doubt, he has exceeded all expectations.

Your choice in the position 31 of the 2019 Draft it invited development without haste or pressure. His facility for change in defense in pick and roll rival and attenuate the threat of the outside player make him the exemplification of versatility. Their infinite arms and a spectacular lateral movement of the legs are added to an unusual intelligence to detect how it can influence on the play.

His influence is not only reduced to the defensive plane. The block and follow is his main weapon to deal damage. The Nets player is 6th in the list of dunks made this season (132). The damage comes from within (he has only tried two triples this season). His wingspan (2.20) allows him to get the ball over the defender without complications.

The 24 wins in the last 35 games credit a change of attitude in a team that left in the first months of competition more doubts than certainties. Nic Claxton has been one of the main culprits in this transformation. At just 23 years old he has become one of the best defenders of the NBA, perennial candidate for the award defender of the year and, looking at the championship, defensive anchor for the Brooklyn Nets.

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