Brooklyn Nets: Midseason Grades

Kris Humphries, Joe Johnson, Brook Lopez, Deron Williams, Gerald Wallace

Seems like a lifetime ago. (AP)

Though it hasn’t always been good, the first half of the first season in Brooklyn Nets history has been nothing if not interesting. A franchise-record start led by Jerry Stackhouse and Reggie Evans, a Coach of the Month fired less than a month later, a sudden resurgence led by an interim coach nobody expected to last long, an inevitable slide, a first-time All-Star voted in only after being snubbed… It’s been a roller-coaster ride worthy of Coney Island.

As we slide into the All-Star Break with the Nets all but assured a playoff spot and still very much in the hunt for first place in the Atlantic Division, it only makes sense that we take our game-by-game feature — grading the game — and stretch it across the season. In honor of the first half, what follows are midseason grades for each Brooklyn Nets player, plus interim coach P.J. Carlesimo.

Enjoy. (Or don’t. Don’t let me tell you what to do.)

  Start: Andray Blatche

Comments

  1. Kris Humphries a C-? He’s a solid F. Done nothing for this team. It’s not entirely his fault since he’s been poorly utilized (like everyone else) but that is still not an excuse. His defense makes him almost unplayable.

    You guys are being nice on PJC. At best he deserves a C rating for steadying the team. He’s done nothing to warrant a grade above average.

    1. Hump is not getting playing time, like marshom and taylor, u cant judge him if he’s not playing, but of course, he’s bad this year… and i think PJ is doing a great job, they need to improve a lot, but as a interin coach, he’s doing so well

      1. He was getting plenty of playing time, and he’s proven what his game is, whereas Marshon, Taylor, and Teletovic have not. He can be more effective for the Nets, but he needs to be replaced for this team to do anything.

        Some of these grades are head scratching.

  2. My grades:
    Andray Blatche B
    Keith Bogans C+
    MarShon Brooks C+
    P.J. Carlesimo B+
    Reggie Evans B-
    Kris Humphries D+
    Joe Johnson B
    Brook Lopez A
    Tornike Shengelia C
    Jerry Stackhouse B
    Tyshawn Taylor B-
    Mirza Teletovic C+
    Gerald Wallace B-
    C.J. Watson C+
    Deron Williams C

    1. Ok, I’ll bite. My grades:
      Blatche: C- (the dude got fat again)
      Keith Bogans: B+ (total disrespect for his contribution)
      MarShon Brooks: B
      PJC: C- (done some things well but not a great coach any way you slice it)
      Reggie: B-
      Kris Humphries: F (no way you can argue this)
      JJ: B+ (mostly because of his stellar D)
      Brook Lopez: A+
      Toko: incomplete
      Jerry Stackhouse: D (his performance in November shows why old players don’t stick in the league. Healthy legs fluke, nothing more. Don’t want him on this team even as a coach)
      Taylor: B-
      Mirza: A+ (for not strangling PJC)
      Wallace: B- (he’s injured. Don’t buy the argument that this is the start of his decline)
      CJ Watson: C- (been slightly below average)
      Williams: C (give him the benefit of the doubt that he’s really injured)
      King: C (made some questionable moves but this may be the best Nets team ever)
      Yormarket: RESOUNDING F. Nice job pissing off all those long-time Jersey STH. Barclays was DEAD last night.

        1. Been to more than half of all Nets games ever played at Barclays. There’s a STH one row in front of my seats who was admonishing me for booing McGee at the line when we were up 20. Maybe he missed it because he was on his phone the entire game, but that lead was cut to six in little time.

          The crowds have been getting worse since the second Knicks/Nets game. It’s a serious problem that can be directly attributed to Yormark’s actions. Too many people coming to Barclays so they can post pictures to their facebook timeline.

          1. Dude- I couldnt agree more..sadly. Im a half season ticket holder ( section 13).. been a longtime fan ( jersey carry over). Although the Barclays is an improvement over the Rock and Izod..it’s still really underwhelming. My section especially. I shelled out ALOT of money ( and im not made of money either)..to do the half season plan for decent seats but everytime my friend and I try to get the crowd going they just sit there and give us dirty looks as if we’re at a tennis match. Hopefully a playoff run will remedy the crowd doll drums..but right now It seems far too reminisicent of the Jersey crowd.

            1. Same thing happened with Yankee Stadium the first year or so. People get there and since it’s their first time there, they’re more infatuated with the arena than the actual game.

              I have no doubts that it will improve over time.

              MSG has been there forever, so people could really care less about the building. They are there to see the Knicks and nothing else.

              1. Max, these points are well taken. The problem is a lack of die-hards. Like the instance of fan in front of me, this isn’t just about first timers. The current stadium demographics are leaning to a crowd that is younger and subscribes to a phony “Brooklyn aloofness” that is so out of place in a stadium. These are not the middle-class crowds you saw in Jersey: these are people looking to be entertained at a major event.

                Yes, the crowds will get bigger and more passionate. But few of the fans seem to have switched genuine basketball allegiance to follow the Nets. Most likely, Barclays is being filled by new basketball fans. I can’t wait for it to change and a trip to the ECF would change the dynamic quick.

                1. Playoff basketball will change a lot. Especially success in the playoffs. Being better than the Knicks can’t hurt either.

                  Brooklyn has to prove itself if it wants to grow it’s fan base beyond people that are just happy to be wearing the black and white.

                  I think Yormark has done his job quite well, now it’s up to management, the owner and the players to win.

                  1. Don’t get me wrong. I have been impressed with Yormark’s marketing of this team since the move to Brooklyn. It’s so unfortunate that he took the small crowds in NJ personally. Yes, the crowds were smaller but the fans were more passionate. However, that should change over time.

                    1. I think you are talking about the Nets/Denver game. Solid crowd (seemed like a near sellout) but very quiet. I’m not sure why because it was a pretty good game. Though to be honest the Nuggets are the more entertaining team. So mainly we had “Ohhs!” when McGee would dunk the sh!t out of the ball.
                      You can’t really expect too many diehards at a new stadium in a new city. Not too many folks followed from Jersey. And, heck, a lot of the Brooklynites are recent transplants to Brooklyn as well.
                      Still we have tremendous fan support. Just tremendous. That stadium is pretty full even when scrub teams come. And it is packed pretty much anytime we play a playoff caliber opponent. Next time you NBA league pass other teams in a non-marquee matchup, check their stadiums. I follow the Rockets (which is a good and entertaining team, playing in a big city). If they are playing just a normal run of the mill team on a Tuesday night or so, their stadium seems under half full. Lots of empty seats even in the good sections. I can’t think of a single game where we were less than half full (and I guess I’ve been to over a dozen games so far this season).

  3. Gotta disagree with Mark on Wallace: without the signing of Wallace I don’t believe Deron Williams would be here. Could King have made the pick more protected? Probably, but we weren’t negotiating the deal and a deal had to get done.

    1. Wallace really isn’t this team’s problem. It’s also hard to criticize that trade without criticizing the preceding Dwill trade. What’s worse: Giving up Harris, Favors, Kanter and a pick for a Dwill rental? Or giving up Harris, Favors, Kanter, Lillard and a pick for Dwill, Wallace, Watson, Bogans and Evans. I’d say the former is worse, and now we have a deep team with veteran role players who came for the minimum.

      1. I also think by over-paying for Wallace, it opens the door for other free agents to really yearn to be traded to Brooklyn.

        You think other agents and players didn’t see how Mikhail Prokhorov will essentially give you a blank check if he owns your bird rights?

        We may have over-paid for GW but it’s going to help a ton in the future since players and agents know that Brooklyn is where the money is at.

        1. what people also forget is that NOBODY wanted to come to the Nets, if i’m not mistaken Crawford took less money to go to the Clippers. I’m sure if Billy had a crystal Ball and a guarantee from DWILL that he would sign he wouldn’t have traded the pick but at the time he had just lost out on Dwight and needed to start building a team around Deron or Dwill would have split, remember Dwill was making his decision early because he had to leave for the Olympics so its not like Billy would have had all summer to build a team, he needed to make quick decisions and odds are that usually your not going to get a player that will be able to contribute right away after the 3rd pick. (remember it was top 3 protected) Its unfortunate that Crash hasn’t been as productive as we all would have liked but again, BK did not have a crystal ball

  4. to the contrary last night–it was pretty loud in the arena
    the most disappointing player to me clearly is Williams-not just his subpar play–but his leadership skills are poor,as i have been told -he is incredibly moody and his enthusiasm is far from consistent day to day!!

    it looked at court level that the players seemed to enjoy playing without him yesterday—the last time i felt this way was when Stefon Marbury was the leader—as soon as he was shipped out to Phoenis and Kidd came-the team went from awful to nba finals—when Marbury was traded,i approache Kendall Gills former girlfriend and asked her if the other players would miss Marbury

    her response was literally–that the team hated him–Marbury would dribble left then right–only if he didnt have a shot–would he then pass the ball with little time left on the 24 second clock leaving others to take bad shots!!

    doesnt the above resemble what DWill is doing–holding onto the ball too long and passing when he doesnt have a good shot!!

    therefore i call Deron Williams -MARBURY reincarnated!!
    iwould attempt to get rid of him and ship him to the Lakers for Dwight Howard directly but i dont believe DWill could coexist with other big name stars there!!

    in summary,the Nets would be better off without him and his AWFUL ATTITUDE!!

    1. I disagree with all your points.

      The Barclays center was nowhere near close to being loud last night. The chants for Miami, now THAT was loud.

      I don’t know how the Nets players feel about Dwill, but he is clearly no Marbury. Dwill makes everyone on the team better.

      Why the hate? The guy was playing with two gimpy legs and didn’t utter a word of complaint.

      1. i dont know what you are talking about]

        Even Jerry Stackhouse was quoted as saying the passing has been better without Deron Williams playing–what do you think of that?there is a major problem when one of the senior veterans makes a remark like that!!
        lastly,your comment about Williams not uttering a word of complaint is just Completely Inaccurate!!!
        he is known within the organization as an incredibly moody guy!!!to me,i would not put someone like this in the leadership role!!
        your remark that DWill makes the other players better is also false—as shown by the way the players have been energized without him playing and as implied in Stackhouses comments!!

        i reiterate that DWilliams level bof play,selfishness and moodiness reminds me of another Stefon Marbury!!!!!!!!

  5. Blatche- D – He is at his boneheaded worst during the big blow out losses. He destroys momentum at times and good teams jump all over them and end the game right there. Talented but…..

    Williams C minus – I think he has probably been hurt most of the season so I won’t give him a D. But he hasn’t been a floor leader and too often he is sulking ( yeah I get it he is hurt). but if he is going to be on the floor at less than full strength he has to bring the intangibles. May make some sense to sit him for a while before the playoff grind.

    Evans C. – His hands are made of stone. If he could catch a pass the Nets would be averaging another 4 points a game. His defense really is only adequate. Great bench player but really shouldn’t be getting more than 12 minutes a game.

    Lopez A – so what if he is a throw back to the 90s. Who can guard him?

    Brooks C – I know he hasn’t gotten consistent minutes but he is a chucker. In the schoolyard that used to cause us to lose interest in the game. That seems to be what is happening to the Nets when he is on the floor.

    Johnson B plus. Way too much isolation but that seems to be the game plan. When he is aggressive to the basket and throws out of the double team, the team is the most effective.

    1. Brooks a chucker? Last night’s line:

      Minutes: 6
      Shots attempted: 1
      Assits: 3

      People are still seeing this kid through Avery-fogged lenses.

      1. I thought he played within him self last night and when he does he can be a nice off the bench player. But all too often throughout the season, as soon as he gets the ball he is looking for a shot and many of them are early in the clock and not good ones.
        I hope that he has more games like last night but call me skeptical at the moment.
        Also I would think he will be playing on another team in a week. Not that I am hoping for that but he is really their only bargaining chip.

        1. Marshon has definitely been looking to score all season. In fact he has toned it down a bit lately and the Denver game was a good example. The thing is that he has been scoring and getting to the rim nicely all season. Sure he has been running his own ISOs with the second unit, but he’s been scoring. His shooting percentage is up nicely from last year. If he can keep this up for the rest of the season, he should come back as the undisputed backup SG next season and get much more minutes.

  6. I agree that Barclays will improve over time. Most of the crowd is from Brooklyn and they just got a team dropped on their lap. It takes time to develop affection and identification with a team.
    Also, I still think Hump would be a solid contributor with more minutes and his value would be optimized with the first unit. I love what Reggie Evans brings, but I am also sick of seeing him get blocked three times a game.

    1. Crowd will definitely improve. New team and all new players. Lots of guys like Joe Johnson and Blatche that I never rooted for before this year.

      Hump is an average PF. Nothing wrong with an average PF. This team was not constructed to win games through the PF spot. And trying to make a desperation trade to change that mid-season seems unlikely to work.

      Just get DWill healthy and get his confidence back in his shot, the wins will follow.

  7. The last two wins over the Pacers and Nuggets might have helped Billy Kings bargaining position leading into the trading deadline next Thursday…Nets don’t look as desperate as they did especially after the blow outloss to the Spurs. I rather Billy make no move than a bad move and now maybe he can feel more at ease when deciding what should be done in the next seven days.

    As for Deron Williams grade I would give him a B. Until he missed the last couple of games he was top 15 in total minutes played in the NBA this season…He hasn’t played as well this season but he’s still out there on the court with bad ankles trying to earn his paycheck.

    1. I’m still of the belief that the Gordon-Hump deal is last resort for King and we will see Humphries in a different uniform no matter what.

      It won’t change anything in terms of assets (in fact, you could argue that Gordon is more of an asset next season than Hump is) and it will also unclog the PF rotation whereas we can find out what this guy they call Mirza Teletovic is capable of.

          1. Max,

            What happens if we find out Mirza can’t play? I really don’t know how the Nets field a team if they trade Hump and then any one of Lopez, Blatche or Evans misses a game. I mean do we just cancel that game? I believe Mirza will figure it out. He was too good in Europe not to. But it might not happen this season. And currently he can’t hit a shot (TS% 47%, way below league average), can’t rebound, and seemingly can’t defend. Trade Hump and we are one injury away from Mirza playing 30 minutes a night.

            1. Humphries has given this team nothing this year. Zilch. Especially for $12 million a year.
              The Nets know (from the players, right on up to ownership) that they are not beating the Heat in the playoffs this year. The unproductive Humphries has played only 12 MPG in February and has been invisible most of those minutes. Playing a guy like Teletovic (who no one knows if he can play or not) will not affect the team at all and it’s necessary to do instead of let him rot on the bench all season without getting a true assessment of what type of player he can be.
              We know what type of player Humphries is already. He’s been here for three years (one year too long if you ask me). He is not the future of this team. We know for a fact that he has lost his way with the coaches this season (putting him on the bench) and management (trying to trade him almost every day of the week). He is very expendable.
              And believe me; if Teletovic was not good enough to play in the NBA, he would never be playing 30 minutes a night. The coaching staff is not reluctant to play Evans big minutes and with Wallace’s ability to play PF, they would find ways to patch up any holes left from an injury to a big man.
              My feeling (with no inside knowledge of course), is that Billy King will trade Humphries at the deadline. I really believe that he wants to see Teletovic get regular minutes in the rotation so he could further assess his skill and potential.
              If worse comes to worse, we find a PF this summer or at the deadline next season.
              This is why I think the Ben Gordon-Humphries swap ultimately makes sense; it replaces an unproductive player with one who fits a need, it allows Mirza to get more consistent minutes to find out whether he can play or not, and it doesn’t get rid of an asset (Hump and Gordon essentially have the same contracts).

  8. I know I’ve wasted way too many keystrokes on the Wallace-is-underappreciated theme, but no one seems to understand his game.

    It begins with this given: he is assigned to defend the other team’s best player on every play. He’s not spending his defensive time (half of each game) standing in front of a wing in the corner for 20 seconds. He’s fighting screens and matching moves with the world’s best players every night.

    Next is attitude and the fear that he strikes in the opposition from the fearless way he throws his body around at both ends. Pity the opponent going in for a breakaway layup.

    On top of this, he hits threes to space the floor (2-4 last night, huge one in OT Monday), attacks the basket, rebounds the ball and steals it too. Look at his line last night–filled it up

    Gerald Wallace: A-

    PS: Kenji is right about it being loud last night, with standing ovation at game’s end. Kenji is also right about the team looking jazzed to be playing without Williams weighing down their offensive flow.

    1. No, Kenji is wrong. There’s a standing ovation after every Nets win.

      I’m a season ticket holder. There is no way that you can argue the crowds are getting better because they are much worse. It’s not even close. There wasn’t even a decent “Broook-lyyyn” chant last night, which you can always count on.

      Even the PJC and the players have eluded to the NOTICEABLE drop in fan enthusiasm.

      1. Agreed. I’m also season ticket holder and have been to a bunch of games. Crowd was very quiet against Denver. But no not dead. Crowds are quieter. I’m missing the Brooklyn Cheer. We need to get that going. But there have been some losses and we are in the middle of the season. The NBA season is long (probably too long) and we have kind of gotten to the point when the teams and fans are starting to look to the playoffs. Nets are lock it seems, so except for avoiding a first round matchup against the Heat (which also seems a lock) there isn’t that much more to play for during the regular season at this point.

        1. Disagree. Jockying for position among the 8 from the East is critical. It means the difference between a first round exit and the Nets’ stated goal of reaching the Eastern Conference Finals.

          Most basically, we need to be second or third seed so we can avoid the Heat until the end. Home court has proven a huge advantage for us and most others–look at Indiana–so 2 over 3 is next in importance after avoiding 4 or below. But its importance may also turn on the first round match up it brings. The Bucks are a bad matchup and have killed us (we’ll see next week, but maybe without Williams) and who want to play the Celtics?

          Because each division winner automatically gets a 1-4 seed, winning our division should be our number one goal (its criminal that all head-to-heads with the Knicks were loaded into the first third of the season). But its not enough unless we have a better record than the best non-division winner or the winner of the Central. If we don’t win our division, our only hope is for the 3 spot by having a better record than the Central champ.

    2. i agree with you completely about Wallace–he just does whatever it takes to win–the kind of things that dont appear in a review of stats!!

      it is not realistic but i would love to dump Williams—between his crappy attitude,moody behavior,almost a disrespect for his teammates seen too frequently and nagging orthopedic issues–i think he will never be a winner—the problem is that NO team would pick up his max. contract–
      his stats. like stefon Marbury may be fine-but the intangibles including bringing the best out of his teammates are lacking.

      however,if there was a way to put either Dwight Howard or Kevin Love next to Lopez–i would get rid of Williams in a heartbeat!!

    3. I really think that the drop off in Wallace’s game has to do with the PF and the lack of spacing Evans creates. Others have already said it; Wallace is a slasher and Evans just clogs the lane. Even if Evans floats out the defensive player will not come out to defend him.

      It would be interesting to go back and look at the early games when Evans was playing on the second unit; I would bet that some of Stackhouse’s early success had to do with the crowding down when Evans and Blatche were playing together.

      In any case it may just be my perception but it seems to me that Wallace plays his best when paired with Humphries. The biggest beneficiary of acquiring a PF who can hit a midrange shot will be Wallace.

  9. I like Wallace a ton. people are down on him about his scoring, but with the fist unit, he is the fourth option. I would love to see him cutting and driving towards the hoop more, but it is not what the offense calls for. His defense is great and his attitude is even better. I sometimes wonder if we would get more from him offensively if he spent more time with the second unit, but then we would lose the valuable minutes he spends defending the other team’s best player. I think he gets a B+. Hopefully, he can work on his 3 pt. efficiency as he gets older like Jason Kidd did.

    Could you imagine if Kidd could have shot like he does now ten years ago? There would be a Championship banner hanging in the Barclays Center.

    1. 10 years ago, Kidd ran the offense and took the ball to the rim.

      He did not stand outside the three-point line taking open shots. He was always guarded.

      1. I agree that Williams has not played well at all. But I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt that his injuries have taken away his ability to penetrate.

        The question now is whether or not he will ever gain that ability back once he has time to heal. That healing will have to be both physically and mentally.

  10. the grades are fair but i disagree with the wallace grade. C- is way too low. I would give him a B- actually. Gerald Wallace is the heart and soul of this team. Once a former all star not too long ago, and an above average starter who plays lights out every night who has the hardest job in the league(guarding the best player of the opposing team each and every game).

    Dwill trade- i like Dwill but he def has not been playing like a superstar. The 100 million man needs start playing like the 100 million man or else ill ship em out to boston for Rondo and Bass…even trade.

    1. Agreed on Wallace. It’s easy to feel a few shades differently on any of the grades (especially with all the inconsistent play), but that was the one grade that made me scrunch my brow a bit. He is most of the “Beast Mode” this team has, save for Hump, who is a bit too clumsy to give much to cred to.