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.

 

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.

 

Gerald Wallace Brooklyn Netsvia Newsday's Rod Boone:

Gerald Wallace has never been shy about how much he hates losing -- you can hear it in his baritone after every loss -- but has never derided his Brooklyn teammates for contentedness before tonight's 108-93 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.

After an 11-4 start, the Nets have skidded back to .500 by losing 10 of their last 13 games. Wallace is averaging 11.1 points and 6.9 rebounds in 34.2 minutes per game, shooting 44.1% from the field. Despite his relentless energy that birthed the nickname "Crash," the team has struggled with Wallace on the floor this season.

 

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:

 

Nice to think that even with Wallace losing athleticism, he's still got a lot of athleticism.

 


The final shot


 
Gerald Wallace: We forced a turnover, it's just the shot didn't fall. I had a good look.

Joe Johnson: I saw we had the ball, and when Deron kicked it to me up the sideline, I didn't want to take a 3 so I just tried to get in the lane and make a play. I saw C.J. open and he saw Gerald. It's a shot that we'll take, just didn't make it this time.

Deron Williams: He had a good look. We fought our way back.


Losing: the lead and the game

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Unfortunate that it came in a loss like this, but still: Gerald Wallace is awesomely irreplaceable.

 

Check out the box score from last night's victory here.

Some immediate takeaways:

  • Gerald Wallace and Joe Johnson played 50 and 52 minutes respectively and are now pitted against one of the most physical defenses in the NBA tonight in the Chicago Bulls. Wallace particularly took a number of hard hits to the floor, so we'll have to see how Avery Johnson uses these two tonight, especially if Brook Lopez is limited and/or held out of the game.

  • Kris Humphries had 0 assists, unless you count his inadvertent tip pass to Kyle Singler which tied the game at 105. It was probably the prettiest pass Hump has made this season.

  • The Nets scored 31 points combined in the third and fourth quarters after putting up 36 points in the second quarter alone. Not only did the team's poor third quarter play return, but it was really a terrible second half and the Nets were on the brink of losing that game multiple times.

  • Deron Williams finished 7-17 with six assists. I vaguely remember a lot of similar stat lines from Devin Harris during the 2009-10 NBA season. Not saying Devin Harris is as good as Deron Williams, but if I can make that comparison that easily, something has to be done, whether its rest or just less shooting for DWill, because the Nets are not going to resemble anything close to a contender in the Eastern Conference with these performances mounting from their star PG.
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    Deron Williams POINT GUARD

    Will feed the trolls a bit here. In a vacuum, 17 points and 6 assists sound nice but it was accompanied by 7-17 shooting and 5 turnovers, including some key misses in the extra session and an awful turnover in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter on a show-offy crossover. Not the performance you want to see from your de facto leader.

    Joe Johnson SHOOTING GUARD

    Hit probably his two biggest shots in a Nets uniform: a six-foot floater to put the Nets up 104-103 in OT and of course the game winning two. Meanwhile, led all scorers with 28 points. But only three free throws (including a crucial miss that allowed Detroit to tie it)? Still, have to love back-to-back great games from JJ.

    Gerald Wallace SMALL FORWARD

    Didn't hit the game winner, but his tip-in in the fourth quarter forced OT and his omnipresent hustle went into an even higher gear. With the Pistons up 100-98 in the closing seconds of Overtime, Wallace's offensive rebound while falling to the ground (and having the wherewithal to pass the ball to a teammate and not travel) was a sight to behold.

    Kris Humphries POWER FORWARD

    I'm at a loss to find the positives here. OK, an offensive rebound. No field goals, a -16 +/- and a tipped rebound to Kyle Singler that gave the Pistons the lead late in 2OT. If it wasn't for frontcourt foul trouble and Brook Lopez's gradual re-introduction to live basketball, I imagine Hump wouldn't have seen the floor much in the second half. And I have to wonder if he's playing himself out of the rotation if Avery Johnson goes with Crash as a small "four."

    Brook Lopez CENTER

    Was rusty and only played 24 minutes. Still he showed some vintage Lopez offensive moves and had a monster block of Greg Monroe in the third quarter.

    Andray Blatche POWER FORWARD

    This is what drives you crazy about Blatche. 16 points on 7-12 shooting, but a stupid loose ball foul in the fourth quarter gives him an early exit on a night where he needed to stay on the floor to preserve Lopez.

    MarShon Brooks SHOOTING GUARD

    Fans keep clamoring for MarShon and with Jerry Stackhouse hurt, Avery obliged. But is 1-5 shooting and a -14 really want you want to see from your sixth man? He did get a nice block, which I guess means he has some defensive instincts.

    Reggie Evans POWER FORWARD

    He's the team's best option at PF right now, but with every game he starts, he's getting exposed more and more as the one-dimensional player everybody knew he was before the season started.

    C.J. Watson POINT GUARD

    It looked like DWill hurt himself early and Watson stepped in and actually got the offense humming in the second quarter before everything ground to a halt in the third. Two threes and 4 assists is good enough for me.


     

    Not quite on par with Jason Kidd dishing to Lucious Harris bowling ball style, CJ Watson still with an impressive trick in the first half, intercepting an errant Detroit pass and blindly throwing the ball over-his-head from behind half-court for a Gerald Wallace slam (here's the play in real time). Have to think this will be a top 10 play by year's end.

    Nets-Knicks: Pregame Primer

    Posted on: December 11th, 2012 by Devin Kharpertian Comments

     

    Grade the players at any time!

    Game Info: The New York Knicks (15-5) take on the Brooklyn Nets (11-8) tonight at 7:00 P.M. at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The game will be televised on YES Network and nationally on ESPN. Ian Eagle and Jim Spanarkel have the call on YES. WFAN has the radio call, WADO has the Spanish radio call.

    OUT: Brook Lopez for the Nets. Amar'e Stoudemire, Iman Shumpert, Marcus Camby for the Knicks.

    Last time: The Nets beat the Knicks 96-89 in overtime at Barclays Center on November 26th. The Knicks were without Jason Kidd, the Nets were with Brook Lopez, who led the Nets with 22 points in their last meeting.

    Starters: ... MORE →