Hidden in a nice profile of Jerry Stackhouse by Roy Ward:... MORE →
Deron Williams hasn't taken much time off since joining the Brooklyn Nets in February 2011. During last year's NBA lockout, Williams was the highest-profile player to make the leap overseas, joining Turkish basketball club Besiktas in Istanbul for fifteen games. He's had wrist surgery, and various ailments have kept him out of 12 games over the past two seasons.
Williams has dealt with various physical, emotional, and mental struggles since joining Brooklyn, and according to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News, Williams believes that his lack of resting time has contributed to his struggles:
GM Billy King said on the radio Sunday that Williams might be burnt out from playing consecutive summers overseas (in the Turkish league and Olympics). Williams, who has been dealing with nagging injuries – including a bum ankle and wrist — essentially agreed.
“I didn’t take any time off. After last season, I never stopped working out. After the Olympics, the day I got back I worked out the next morning,” Williams said. “I thought it was the best thing to do, and now looking back, it probably would have been smarter to take some time off and get a little bit of rest, especially on my legs, and my ankles in general.
“I took a lot of pounding over the last year because even though we had a shortened season, I was over in Istanbul, so I haven’t had a break since before then. I felt like I could handle it, and at the time I thought it was the right thing to do. I didn’t want to get out of shape. I wanted to just keep going.”
Check out the results from your grades of the Brooklyn Nets' 104-73 loss to the San Antonio Spurs, where Deron Williams gets his worst marks yet.
Shout out to everyone that graded Gerald Wallace as the team's MVP, despite (nay, because of) the fact that he sat out with a bruised right knee.
Check out the box score from last night's debacle here.
Some quick reactions:
- The advanced box doesn't come with quarter-by-quarter analysis, so let's just remind everyone: the Nets scored five points in the third quarter. 5. Cinco. Fünf. 五. They scored as many points as I could probably score in an NBA quarter if an NBA team ever decided that they needed someone cool that wasn't a great basketball player as their 12th man to keep the chemistry together and then said "aw, screw it, let him get his" and let me do nothing but shoot threes for a quarter and then surprise everyone with my dead-mark accuracy and where was I? Oh, right. The Nets shot 2-20 in the third quarter (both field goals from Deron Williams) and earned a new franchise record low for points in a quarter. Hell of a way to ring in the New Year.
- Brook Lopez scored 35 points against Cleveland. The Nets starters scored 35 points combined against San Antonio.
- The Spurs assisted on 25 of their 43 field goals and it felt like way more. San Antonio's ball movement was something to marvel at: hitting the right man at the right time, more often at the rim than not. They created space with on- and off-ball screens, Tim Duncan picked up three assists almost immediately, and everyone but Danny Green & DeJuan Blair notched an assist. Want to talk about a successful system? Look no further than last night's opponent.
- MarShon Brooks led the Nets in scoring, mostly because of his isolations in garbage time. I got nothin'.
After opening the game with an encouraging three-pointer off a nice pick/handoff play with Brook Lopez, Williams didn't score again in the half as Tony Parker tore him and his backups limb from scoring-point-guard limb. Scored both of the team's two field goals in the third quarter, but good heavens did he look awful versus Parker. -35 does it justice.
Looked like he was getting into a rhythm in the second quarter. Didn't score in the second half.
Played his first minutes since December 19th and had some good moments; hit a nice hook shot out of a spin move in the post and drew a foul on a dunk attempt. Not the reason the Nets got blown out, but wasn't exactly a catalyst for good.
I spent all morning praising your defense and this is how you repay me!? Scored well enough to buoy his numbers, but what terrible execution defending screens and the pick-and-roll. Actually played isolation & post-ups decently, but got shredded whenever two guys moved in different directions.
(Intentionally left blank)
Had his best game and did most of his damage in garbage time.
WHY IN THE WORLD IS REGGIE EVANS SHOOTING MIDRANGE JUMPERS WHEN THE NETS ARE GETTING BLOWN OUT I JUST DON'T GET IT HAPPY NEW YEAR I GUESS
Happy New Year! Grade the Game at any time!
Tonight: The 16-14 Brooklyn Nets take on the 24-8 San Antonio Spurs at 7 P.M. EST, at AT&T Center in San Antonio. The Nets have won two straight against the Charlotte Bobcats and Cleveland Cavaliers at home, while the Spurs are on a five-game winning streak with an average margin of victory of 18.8 points per game.
Broadcast: The game is broadcast on YES Network. Ian Eagle & Mike Fratello are on the call. The game will be radio broadcast on WFAN 660 AM, with Chris Carrino & Tim Capstraw, and in Spanish on WADO.
Injury report: Starting forward Gerald Wallace is out with a bruised right knee. Kris Humphries is active, but will come off the bench if at all -- he has yet to practice since incurring a mild abdominal strain last week.
Brooklyn Nets: Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Keith Bogans, Reggie Evans, Brook Lopez
San Antonio Spurs: Tony Parker, Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, Tim Duncan, Tiago Splitter
Brooklyn Nets: 103.3 offensive rating (10th), 103.7 defensive rating (21st), 90.37 possessions per game (29th)
San Antonio Spurs: 107.2 offensive rating (5th), 98.8 defensive rating (5th), 97.16 possessions per game (2nd)
Gerald Wallace will not play tonight against the San Antonio Spurs because of a bruised right knee, the Brooklyn Nets announced. Reggie Evans will start in his place at power forward, next to Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Keith Bogans, and Brook Lopez.
Wallace has been the team's fulcrum all season when healthy; though a cursory look at his numbers suggest a pedestrian year (10.5 points and 6.1 rebounds per game on 42.6% shooting, with a 14.0 PER), the team has appreciated his constant aggressiveness and versatility on both sides, particularly in its most recent small-ball starting lineup.
The silver lining: Lopez & Evans rank as the best two-man Nets big men combo on the defensive end, as the team allows just 91.7 points per 100 possessions with the two sharing the floor.
The Spurs are perhaps the most stable organization in sports, having kept their core of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, and coach Gregg Popovich together for over a decade -- unparalleled in the NBA. On top of their stability (or, more likely, because of it), they rank in the top-5 of the NBA both offensively and defensively despite a whirl of changing parts since their last championship run since 2006-07.
To break down the San Antonio Spurs success, welcome Jesse Blanchard from 48 Minutes of Hell, ESPN TrueHoop San Antonio Spurs Affiliate. I've asked Jesse three questions about the Spurs, and he offers a prediction.
Devin: The always-aging, somehow never-aging Spurs are 24-8 after 32 games. Yawn. Business as usual in San Antonio, or has something changed that's kept them this good?
Jesse:... MORE →
Entering the season with a fresh four-year contract worth $61.8 million, Brook Lopez was not averse to criticism. His rebounding had been on a steady decline since his second season, falling as low as league average for all players -- never mind centers -- in his last full season. He'd anchored a defense rated in the bottom 10 in each of his full seasons.
But we've seen a different Brook Lopez this year, a Brook Lopez that's made a leap from "rightful basketball pundit punchline" to patently average rebounding & defending -- maybe, if I dare say so, slightly above average on the defensive end.... MORE →
Kris Humphries' mild abdominal strain, originally expected to keep him out until the new year, may have healed faster than expected. The Nets announced today that Humphries is probable for tonight's game against the San Antonio Spurs in San Antonio.
P.J Carlesimo said before Saturday night's game against the Cleveland Cavaliers that Kris Humphries' injury would keep him out for a couple more days, and that he expected his first practice to be on New Year's Day after tonight's game.
Along with Humphries, the Nets unexpectedly put Gerald Wallace on the injury report, listing him as questionable for tonight with a bruised left knee.