3 reasons the Brooklyn Nets improved and can compete in 2023-24

Despite not having brand-name talent, the Nets can put a competitive team on the floor in 2023-24 and return to the playoffs. Here are three reasons why.

Brooklyn Nets v Boston Celtics
Brooklyn Nets v Boston Celtics / Omar Rawlings/GettyImages
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Why the Nets can compete this season: 2. Unlocking Nic Claxton's offensive potential

Without the need to commit 40-plus shots a game to Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, there is room in the Brooklyn Nets offense to tap into more of Nic Claxton's offensive potential. Claxton is a terrific finisher as a roll man, averaging 1.36 points per possession on 76.2% shooting while getting only 2.2 opportunities per game.

With Spencer Dinwiddie on board as one of the better pick-and-roll playmakers, Claxton should be able to find himself on the receiving end of more scoring chances near the rim in 2023-24. As it was, Claxton led the NBA, shooting 70.5% on 7.7 attempts per game, all from inside the arc. More than two-thirds of his attempts, 67.1%, where in the restricted area, where he scored on 80.5% of those chances.

Claxton averaged career-highs of 12.6 points, 9.2 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game in his first season as the unquestioned lead at the 5, averaging 29.9 minutes per game. His free throws are still an adventure — his 54.1% success rate last season was right in line with his career mark of 54.0%. If he can convert more of those chances into points, the Nets can work him into the offense more frequently.