Warriors 109, Nets 102: Downgrade For Defense

Everyone in this game gets a slight downgrade from the grade I’d like to give them for the total team effort. Yes, Stephen Curry is just going to hit threes sometimes — he’s very good at that. But the Nets turned the ball over in the fourth quarter like that was basketball’s mission, gave up offensive rebounds and open shots to David Lee, and rushed their way towards trying to win this one against a team that’s better at rushing. They lost this game, on their home court, fair and square, despite some excellent individual showings. Here’s your Net Worth:

Deron Williams POINT GUARD

Controlled the pace of the game really well in the first quarter, but lost that control when trying to push at the Warriors pace in the middle quarters. Started to find his touch more early in the fourth quarter, but couldn’t hit pull-up quick shots down the stretch and there wasn’t much defense for the way Stephen Curry was shooting. Did his best and did what he felt he had to do late, but the late-game offense essentially boiled down to “find Deron for three” and it didn’t exactly work to perfection.


Is Mo Johnson finally dead and gone!? Did Joe hear our prayers? Johnson came out firing early, and after missing his first corner 3 caught fire from inside and outside the arc. The Nets went to him in the low post early in Lopez-esque fashion and he delivered, hitting three straight shots from there (the third an and-1), then spacing him out. He hit threes that barely touched the net en route to 20 first-half points. Played with a similar intensity in the second half, though not as successful — the Nets went away from the ball movement that had gotten him good looks and started purposefully isolating him, leading to more low-percentage shots out of the offensive flow. But in the context of the team, he was great tonight. Mo Johnson was nowhere to be found.

Gerald Wallace SMALL FORWARD

Functional, but thought he got caught out of position defensively one too many times. Wallace did get stuck guarding one of the two Warriors shooters often, and just wasn’t quick enough to hold them back. But though Crash’s effort doesn’t change, this wasn’t his best game.

Kris Humphries POWER FORWARD

Preserved a few possessions that led to second-chance points in the first half, but even without Lopez available, sat more minutes than expected, and it didn’t seem wrong to sit him. Outside of a few above-average games, he doesn’t seem like the same player from the past two seasons.

Andray Blatche POWER FORWARD

Enormous double-double. Yes. Efficient. Yes. Some big dunks inside to keep this one within a sliver of possibility in the final minute. Yes. Another solid game for the Zero Hero’s standards, though his effort boxing out David Lee resembled a beached goldfish. But the most important part of this evening cannot go unmentioned: the pure ferocity with which Blatche stared down a three-point attempt, with seconds ticking off of the second quarter, was palpable. The entire arena knew he was going to shoot it. It was destiny, completely unnecessary, wonderful destiny. There is no show in the NBA quite like the Andray Blatche show, for better or for worse, and no more perfect explanation of the better Blatche than that three-pointer.


Avery Johnson said before tonight’s game that his bench players can’t get 50 chances; they’ve got to be efficient right out of the gate. Seemed like a direction to MarShon, who made one brief cameo and did nothing with it.



An oddly subdued game from Evans. Seemed like the effort was there when going for rebounds, but the effort just didn’t come to fruition.

Jerry Stackhouse SHOOTING GUARD

I’m sad.


Pregame, Avery Johnson mentioned that Watson’s shot just hasn’t looked right lately and that they’d spoken with him about fixing it. Seems like it worked: Watson hit two threes tonight and looked like the best player off the Nets’ bench. Unfortunately, that didn’t say much.


  1. This Nets team really confuses me. They have some quality wins against the Knicks and Clippers and yet they have some losses that make you scratch your head.

    I just don’t know what this team is or where this team is in terms of the Eastern Conference

    1. Sorry but IMO, this identity and chemistry has been developed enough to be able to beat a team like Golden State.

      Sad, bad, embarrassing performance especially since it’s the third loss in a row and it’s a night after the Knicks beat the Heat w/o Carmelo.

    2. Possibly, but there are several glaring problems.

      One is Kris Humphries. He has has a horrible season, compared to what he did last year/ I’m starting to wonder if he pulled the typicla; “It’s okay if I give no effort, I’m getting paid” routine.

      Second is MarShon Brooks. You traded within the first round to draft this guy. He’s getting no minutes at all and is getting no confidence. He’s starting to look like a wasted pick if this keeps up.

      1. Not sure what you are expecting from Humph.

        He’s playing 25mpg and getting 8.4 & 8.4.

        Less involved in the offense as Nets have more scorers.

        He’s overpaid, but I’m betting he would have signed for less.

  2. And people wonder how Avery lost to a #8 seed with a #1 seed. Hint: the opposing coach was Don Nelson.

    Put that together with the Nets failing to get back on defense for the last 2+ years and tonight’s loss doesn’t seem like such an upset.

  3. Being a team in flux isn’t an excuse for tonight’s terrible defensive execution and lack of production in the second half. But we should have SOME perspective. Is there cause for concern? Certainly. I hate to be the “it’s still early” guy, but you know…it’s still early.

  4. We can’t compare the season to what the Knicks are doing. Just have to worry about the Nets. GS is no slouch either.

    Lopez gets a lot of flak for his defense but these past three games there has been a noticeable drop-off in defense with Brook out. Blantche played admirably. I was yelling “noo!” when he sized up the three, but the dude is talented.

  5. Pretty harsh words for Marshon after taking one high-percentage leaner that rimmed out and getting fouled on a second attempt to drive to the basket while the rest of the team was settling for jump shots.