|Kris Humphries, PF 42 MIN | 11-15 FG | 9-12 FT | 18 REB | 1 AST | 31 PTS | 0
For the first 18 minutes, Kris Humphries dominated the Bucks. He knocked Ilyasova and Larry Sanders into quick foul trouble and took advantage of a weakened front line. He threw down alley-oops and hit midrange jumpers. On one transition play, he grabbed the steal, drove coast-to-coast, and slammed a one-hander down on a fearful Ilyasova. He dropped a 21-10 by halftime, hit his career high midway through the third quarter, and single-handedly carried the Nets through an otherwise rough shooting stretch. The Nets’ Game MVP.
|Jordan Farmar, PG 36 MIN | 7-18 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 7 AST | 17 PTS | 0
Gave an awful lot of space to Brandon Jennings to create without providing much himself. Sometimes it seems that he makes the decision to attack regardless of reading the defense, and just barrels into the lane hoping to create. That often ends badly. When Brandon Jennings is hitting shots like that, there’s not much that any defense can do, but Farmar shouldn’t try to be Brandon Jennings in retaliation.
|MarShon Brooks, G 35 MIN | 4-10 FG | 2-4 FT | 2 REB | 3 AST | 10 PTS | +1
His fakes game is just ridiculous. Bill Simmons recently said he’s straight out of 1978, and style-wise, I’d agree. The sheer versatility in his scoring game — the post-ups, spins, fakes, floaters — make him a valuable asset every night. Tonight was no different, though he didn’t take control of the ball as well as he’s done in the past.
|Gerald Green, SG 30 MIN | 4-11 FG | 3-4 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 11 PTS | -7
Hasn’t stopped attacking the rim, which I love. I haven’t gotten over his bounce yet — he’s a human kangaroo. I’m not sure there’s anyone in the league that jumps like him. On top of that, he’s drawing fouls with that quick bounce. Teams can’t play off him, either, because he’s hitting his midrange jumper, and it doesn’t look fluky. But it should be clear by now that the #StartGeraldGreen movement is much more about DeShawn Stevenson than Gerald Green.
Five Things We Saw
- The Nets struggled all night cutting off shots at the rim. Outside of Kris Humphries, the Nets didn’t rotate to stop cutters and it resulted in a number of wide open looks from within eight feet for Milwaukee. The Bucks don’t have any enormous dunkers, but they layuped the Nets to death tonight off of quick passes once the defense had inevitably broken down. The Bucks picked up a staggering number of assists, many of them to cutters at the rim — the easiest way to get two points.
- Communication on defense is anathema to the Nets, and it led to terrible pressure on midrange shooters. The Bucks didn’t run anything special — most of the curl plays they’d run to get their shooters open are the plays the Nets run for Deron Williams. But without a consistent strategy to either switch or push on the screens, they were powerless to defend it. On at least two additional occasions, two Nets stared down the opponent with the ball, then both backed away, leaving an open jumper.
- Speaking of curls, did the Nets run any curl plays tonight? They usually run it with Deron Williams, but it seemed as though most of the Nets’ plays tonight ran the full 24 and broke down into an isolation or a Kris Humphries post-up or spot-up. After a significant tally of free throw attempts in the first quarter and half, the Nets seemed content to waste the shot clock and fire up jumpers. An oddly rudimentary night for an NBA offense.
- There’s little you can do to stop Brandon Jennings when Brandon Jennings is shooting the way he did tonight. And sure enough, Jordan Farmar did little.
- The good: after allowing a 29-25 to him in their last matchup, the Nets made a concerted effort to cut off Ersan Ilyasova, and given the circumstances, they did incredibly well. The Nets threw two bodies at him when boxing out on a few occasions, and Humphries took advantage of his eagerness to attack and drew quick fouls on him. After earning Eastern Conference Player of the Week honors, Ilyasova looked largely invisible as Kris Humphries dominated him on both ends of the floor.