In one brief stretch in the fourth quarter, C.J. Watson through a bananas behind-the-back pass to Gerald Wallace for a fast-break layup, and on the next possession, Jared Sullinger nearly took Wallace to the floor on another layup attempt. Watch:
The last time the Brooklyn Nets and Boston Celtics played, Rajon Rondo pushed Kris Humphries into the stands, leading to a miniature brawl in which Gerald Wallace and Kevin Garnett both incurred fines for their roles.
Well, now they're back at it. Wallace grabbed onto Garnett's shorts to keep balance and didn't let go in a socially acceptable timeframe, and Garnett took umbrage. Each player was hit with a technical. Watch below:
So this game's been kind of sad so far, but we did get something fun out of it: long bank threes!
Kris Humphries will not play in today's Christmas Day matchup vs. the Boston Celtics, and will not make the trip to Milwaukee tomorrow to face the Bucks, Brooklyn Nets coach Avery Johnson told reporters before today's game.
Humphries underwent an MRI yesterday and was diagnosed with a mild abdominal strain, and will be re-evaluated when the team returns on Thursday.
Humphries did not play in Brooklyn's 95-92 victory Sunday against Philadelphia, and Johnson said after the game that Humphries' benching was a coach's decision, not due to injury.
Boston Celtics: Rajon Rondo, Jason Terry, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Jason Collins
Brooklyn Nets: Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Keith Bogans, Gerald Wallace, Brook Lopez
Boston Celtics: 101.1 offensive rating (17th), 101.2 defensive rating (11th), 94.13 possessions per game (17th)
Brooklyn Nets: 103.8 offensive rating (10th), 103.5 defensive rating (21st), 90.14 possessions per game (30th)
Merry Christmas! The 14-12 Brooklyn Nets celebrate today by welcoming the 13-13 Boston Celtics to town for the first of five Christmas Day NBA games. The Nets haven't played on Christmas since 2002, when they also played the Celtics -- and blew them out.
The Celtics, who I'm sure are just thrilled to be on the road on Christmas, embark on a four-game road trip today. They've lost four of their last five games. The Nets were in relative freefall until their 95-92 victory against the Philadelphia 76ers Sunday, made possible by their old-new flex offense.
There's bad blood here. The last time these two teams played in Boston, Kris Humphries was called for a touch foul on Kevin Garnett after a shot, irritating Rajon Rondo enough to tackle Humphries into the stands. Fines were bandied about -- though Humphries got off scot-free, Kevin Garnett and Gerald Wallace both incurred fines for their role in the brawl, and Rondo was suspended two games.
The Nets went on to win the game in a decisive victory, riding Joe Johnson through the third quarter and getting key bench mob contributions from Andray Blatche (who hit all four of his fourth-quarter shots and dominated the glass) and Jerry Stackhouse (who hit 5-6 from three). We also got one of Reggie Evans' best quotes ever, about Rondo attacking Humphries:
"It's like a mosquito in your face. You're eventually going to swat at the mosquito, right? If you let the mosquito in your face, you're going to end up with bumps all over your face, so you have to swat the mosquito down."
Incidentally, Humphries is inactive for this game with a mild abdominal strain.
On behalf of all of us in front of and behind the scenes at The Brooklyn Game, I hope you have a wonderful Christmas, wherever you are, and enjoy the ¡first! game of the Christmas schedule at noon as the Nets take on the Boston Celtics.
If you need help getting into the spirit, this video of people who should not ever audition for American Idol might help.
Twitter is always fun to follow during Nets games. Here's some of our favorite tweets from today's game.
(h/t Benny Nadeau for the tweet-searching)
Wallace at the 4! To defend Thad who killed the nets in preseason. I think so!
— Justin Vasquez (@Jut_4rizzle) December 23, 2012
... MORE →
Andray Blatche won our invented notable player of the game yesterday for his impact on the Nets' 95-92 victory. If you haven't spent much time watching Blatche this season, here's a compilation of one of his "good" games, rich with "point center" moments, weirdly effective post moves, decent passing, defensive ... well, let's call it 'effort,' and wildly unpredictable attacks.
Today's 95-92 Brooklyn Nets victory did not come without change. Kris Humphries, bumped from the starting lineup in favor of a look with Gerald Wallace at power forward and Keith Bogans at small forward, notched his first DNP-CD (Did not play-coach's decision) of the season.
Johnson later noted that the plan currently is to have Wallace start at power forward for the foreseeable future, with Reggie Evans backing him up and Humphries filling in at power forward and center "when we need." "60% of the league plays this way," Johnson said about the smallball.
"I'm kind of used to playing at the 4, banging with the bigs, going and getting rebounds," Wallace said about his new role. "I played a full season at power forward in Charlotte... Whatever helps the team win. If you look at the teams like Miami and New York, they're playing small ball, and it's giving them more opportunity to get in an up-tempo style of play. It's something (Avery) wanted to try tonight."
"It's just the way things have been going," Avery Johnson said about Humphries after the game. "I visited with him in my office before. It's basically a coach's decision -- he's healthy, he's fine, he's not in the doghouse. We just had to try something else."
"This also helps us in transition defense, because we have smaller, quicker players on the floor, spaced differently. We'll see where we go from here."
The Nets only allowed two fast-break points all game from Philadelphia, an athletic team that has beaten the Nets on the break in multiple games in the past few seasons. The starting lineup was a +4 in 25 minutes together, notching 12 assists to just 2 turnovers.
Deron Williams also noted that the team won't only improve in transition defensively, but also creating points on the break. "We can get out and run a little bit more, and we pose some matchup problems for people with him at the 4," Williams said, while adding that Wallace's passing ability makes him dangerous in the halfcourt.
The rest of the starting lineup seemed to welcome the change as well. "It opens up the floor a lot more," said Joe Johnson, "makes us a lot more dangerous, having that extra shooter on the floor. Gives guys a little bit more room to penetrate and create." Brook Lopez added that "it's good for us. G(erald) has such a high basketball IQ, he can play pretty much every spot on the floor for us."
Humphries, who reiterated on a few occasions that didn't know that the night would end in a DNP-CD, was diplomatic about the decision. "I was obviously frustrated, but it's about more than just one player."