A Franchise Torn: Williams, Wallace Criticize Trust, Effort, Communication

Tony Parker, Deron Williams, Joe Johnson


These days, call it typical Nets basketball.

The San Antonio Spurs marched into Brooklyn and made a mockery of the Barclays Center only matched by the BrooklyKnight, outscoring the hapless Nets 60-29 in the second half en route to an easy 111-86 victory. Led by Tony Parker with 29 points and 10 assists, the Spurs shot 58.9% from the field and 12-19 (63.2%) from beyond the arc, taking what was once a 61-all game in the third quarter and turning into yet another blowout.

The loss marked the sixth for the Nets in nine games, dropping them to 29-22 on the season with a negative point differential. It was their fifth consecutive loss against San Antonio, and somehow the 111-86 final score doesn’t do that final half justice.

What is typical Nets basketball? “We have to get back to trusting each other,” point guard Deron Williams said after the game. “We’ve talked a lot about that. Trusting each other on both ends of the floor. It’s a big thing. Look at the Spurs, they trust each other, regardless of who’s in the lineup. They’re missing Tim and Manu tonight, and they do the same thing.”

Williams acknowledged that this team does have a lack of trust. “At times. I thought we played really unselfishly the first half, then the third quarter comes, we get a couple moments where we can’t score and the ball stops moving.”

The Nets only recorded four assists in the second half, turning the ball over ten times and hitting just 12 field goals over the final 24 minutes.

“We would’ve hoped we’d be past this stuff, but it seems like it just keeps coming up,” Williams continued. “Until we play more consistently as a group, it’s going to keep coming up.”

“We went back to old habits,” Gerald Wallace said. “It’s effort. It’s character. It’s heart. We’ve got to be able to respond.

“Instead of pulling together as a team, we go in 5 different directions out on the court, and it shows,” Wallace added. “Our offense is stagnant, the ball sticks on one side, and defensively nobody helps nobody. they basically just do what they want to do offensively, and the results are what they are.”

The Nets allowed the Spurs to shoot 65% from the field in the decisive second half, as the Spurs hit 7 of 12 from beyond the arc and doubled the Nets’ field goal total (24 to 12). The team had no answer for pick-and-roll wizard Tony Parker, who sliced through the Nets’ seemingly random pick-and-roll coverage to create shots for himself and others at will. Wallace, who struggled as much as the rest of the roster tonight, blamed the team’s splitting mentality.

“We gotta understand that this is a team game, instead of getting angry – getting angry’s part of the game … but instead of going your own individual way, we gotta pull together as a team, buckle down, tighten our defense a little bit more instead of turning into five different guys on the court.”

The Spurs, who were without Hall of Famers Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan, got production across the board, with five players in double figures and seven hitting at least four field goals. The Spurs sank open shot after open shot as the Nets seemed powerless to stop the team with a league-best 40-12 record.

“We should take look at the guys in San Antonio, 1 through 15,” Wallace, in full-bore, continued. “Everybody knows their role. it doesn’t matter who they have on the court, their offense looks the same, their defense looks the same. We’ve got to get that mentality, regardless of who’s on the court for us, our offense and defense has got to look the same for all four quarters. We have to stay together as a team instead of pulling apart.”

Wallace seemed to indicate that the Nets were pulling apart at the seams, splitting mentalities in multiple directions. “There’s enough fight, but the fight’s in the wrong direction,” Wallace emphasized. “Everyone’s wanting to fight individually instead of pulling together as a team. (Instead of) us fighting as the Brooklyn Nets, we’re trying to fight as 15 individual guys on the court. I don’t care who you have, we’re not going to win playing individual basketball, we have to stay together as a team, get back to our principles defensively, and continue to help each other out.”

That help was not in session tonight — not for the guards who needed help containing Tony Parker, not for the bigs who couldn’t defend the Spurs’ big perimeter shooters, not from the entire team to buoy Brook Lopez & Joe Johnson’s efficient offensive games. It seems to come and go randomly, without warning; the only consistency in this team is its utter inability to remain consistent from game to game. With two games left until the All-Star break, it’s difficult to imagine when and where they’ll find it again. They don’t even seem to know.


  1. Any way we can trade Deron Williams now? In 2 years that probably looks like the worst contract in the league.

      1. IF the Nets had a top point guard and leader-frequent games like this would be rare-UNFORTUNATELY,when the team leader is Williams who is known to be nuts–this kind of game becomes common
        The nets made a HUGE error trusting team leadership to Williams–i have been REPEATEDLY told by people affiliated with this team that no one knows day to day what kind of mood Williams will be in–DOES that sound to you like someone who you trust your hopes of winning on?
        i dont!!!

        in terms of Humphries-i have been told that he needs to leave as he has been deeply affected by his marriage escapade and cant get over that he is booed everywhere—for 12 million a year–i think he should be able to deal with it and move on!!but he for some reason cant-therefore he should move on to a new team

        in summary,they will rid themselves of Humphries But the powers of the Nets may find a bigger issue with Williams and his emotional lability!!

  2. PJ is a f—ing liar. He said he would make changes to the lineup to shake things up and he trotted out the same f—ing starters and substitutions. Does he not understand that Evans HAS TO BE PUT ON THE BENCH!?

    The announcers and everyone in the WORLD sees that teams are NOT guarding Evans and Wallace and loading up on Williams, Johnson, and Lopez. We doesn’t he see this!? Williams consistently hits Evans with wide open looks in the paint and the guy either misses, allows the defense to recover and gets fouled , or passes up the shot and commits a turnover. The guy can’t start with the offensive slippage has.

    Humphries comes in and makes things happen, but the minute he gets on a little roll PJ takes him out for Evans. MarShon Brooks…why are we talking about getting more offense with Ben Gordon when PJ sits a young player with WAY more upside then Gordon will EVER have. As a matter of fact, if Brooks actually got playing time he would be having a better season than Gordon.

    I’m done with PJ, he done exactly what Avery’s done, and that’s inhibit the growth of his team. The team is going no where until they get a coach who actually appreciates offense.

  3. I truly believe that this team is suffering from a roster of non-competitive spirits (Deron, JJ, etc.) that lack the fire and passion that we see in Chandler, Melo, and Kidd. I feel that we have more talent than the Knicks, but they have more fight in them and play with more passion.

    Furthermore, our coaching this year is horrendous. Isn’t the definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results. Evans isn’t a starter. Wallace isn’t a spot up shooter. Omar, you bring up excellent points with Evans. This guy should not be playing more than 8-12 minutes a night.

    Why can’t we run the same offense as Utah when Deron played at an elite level. Wouldn’t it make sense to adapt to the personnel rather than forcing the personnel into a system that is not conducive to their style? Wallace should be cutting to the hoop rather than taking outside jumpers.

    I think the first quarter last night was refreshing to see what Johnson can do when he attacks the hoop. I am so sick of the YES network claim how talented he is and how he is too big for smaller guards to defend, yet he doesn’t take advantage. If this guy is 6’7 240 lbs, then post up, drive, and get to the line. Stop backing down a smaller defender and then kick it out to Wallace.

  4. There are some definite tudes on this squad. Think of them in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle terms. Seriously. There is no Leonardo: D-Will is such a Rafael, always getting mad and just isolating himself. Brook is kind of Michelangelo cause he’s goofy. Joe Johnson doesn’t really have a good turtle parallel but I’ll give him Donatello because he’s good at stuff, but he sure as hell isn’t going to lead the team. Wallace is the closest thing to a Leonardo because he has that physical/mental toughness and is willing to lead but he doesn’t have the necessary skills to get the other dudes to follow.
    Tough to win without a Leonardo.
    Nice handshake between Wallace and Stephen Jackson caught on film in this vid:http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=oEkifcb94LE

  5. I am not feeling the TMNT analogy. Maybe, because I am thirty-five years old. I do think that Utah’s offensive system was better, but Dwill gets into the lane and is roaming free on the arc. He is shooiting extremely poor for a man of his skill set. If he were shooting 45%, he would easily be averaging over 20 pts per game and the Nets would have five more wins at least. Hump or Teletovic have got to start. Evans is being thoroughly exposed, especially starting the 3rd quarter once adjustments have been made.

    Can’t wait to see how much of a fool Ferry makes Billy look like with a Josh Smith trade. I am guessing We give Hump, Marshon, and 2 first rounders for a player Atlanta doesn’t want anyway.