Atkinson aiming for more defense from Nets

Kenny Atkinson says the Nets will have to be better on defense this season to take the next step.

The Brooklyn Nets have playoff aspirations, but in order to make those dreams a reality they must improve on defense.

At least, that is the philosophy of head coach Kenny Atkinson.

“We’ve kind of stayed at the same level defense-wise over the past two seasons. I’d really like to take a jump and improve that area,” Atkinson said, via the New York Post. “We were 30th in the league in creating turnovers. That’s an area where upping our activity, that’s a big area for us this year of improvement.”

The Nets hopes start with shooting guard D’Angelo Russell, with a cast of young and improving supporting players around him.

Offense is rarely an issue. But in order to get to where the Nets want to go, Atkinson speaks the truth — defense will have to be at least partially the name of the game.

The Nets have not reached the playoffs since the 2014-15 season, when they were knocked out in six games by the Atlanta Hawks in a first-round series.

The team’s last postseason series win came in the 2013-14 campaign, when the Nets won a seven game series against the Toronto Raptors before being eliminated in the second round by the defending champion Miami in five games.