Had a quiet first half, other than back-to-back possessions attacking the rim, but really started to get into the offense in the second half. Picked up only seven assists, but felt like more with his ball movement. Still finding his shot -- but did hit a straight-on three in the third quarter.
JOE YOU FANCY HUH? The highlight of tonight's ugly contest was Joe taking the fourth quarter over, hitting the Magic with a between the legs crossover, a shimmy-shake, and nailing a midrange jumper. The Nets ran to Johnson early, and he delivered -- hitting a spot-up three and jumpers over tough defense in the first quarter, and kept it going throughout the game. He also hit shots in the post and threw some sweet passes, including a nice one to Blatche in the lane for a layup. Played solid defense on Arron Afflalo down the stretch. Arguably his best game so far.
Caught fire in the third quarter, hitting four threes -- most notably one off a sweet, wide open behind-the-back dish from Deron Williams, and the fourth with a hand in his face. For what you expect and want Gerald Wallace to do, he did that, AND hit five threes. Still jumping a bit on pump fakes, but that's minor compared to his impact tonight. Top-notch effort.
Picked it up a bit in the third, getting free for two dunks off Deron Williams feeds. Thought he played some really nice defense tonight and did an admirable job carrying the bench late as the Nets closed it out.
Played admirably as the starter. Hit a couple of nifty layups that took him between defenders and didn't seem as tunnel-visioned at the basket as he has in some games. Attacked the glass with purpose, and thought he fought better for rebounds than his total would indicate.
#MarShonFreed. Promptly missed his first shot but started getting out in transition, scoring one fancy layup on a smooth Eurostep and getting to the line. Was clear he was trying to prove himself with his scoring -- as soon as he got a step, even 75 feet from the basket, he was going coast to coast. Not really in rhythm -- but can you blame him?
Picked up his fifth straight game with at least ten rebounds -- off the bench, no less. Usual boardgobbling tendencies, aside, I thought he played great defense -- other than one or two bad breakdowns (which I think came when he was playing "center" next to Teletovic), opponents didn't get in the lane or come hard around pick-and-rolls.
Also, there was one point in the first half when Kris Humphries was driving in the lane with the shot clock winding down, Reggie was open from about 12 feet away, and it sounded like he screamed for the ball. Why? What did he want? He's not trying to score. Is it possible that he's looking for that now? Is the 18-footer he hit in Boston perhaps the worst thing that ever happened to him? Stay tuned.
He's back... and outside of hitting one three on a rim-bounce, didn't really show why.
Was quiet, but hit his three-point attempts and didn't stagnate the offense. Happy for more, but hard to ask for it.