Avery Johnson had a good point after the Nets’ 90-84 victory Monday, because I’ve asked myself the same question over the last two games: Why are these people hating Kris Humphries? Why was he booed by the visiting crowd, both in New York and Washington? Why was he voted the most hated player in the NBA? We all know it’s Kardashian-related, but my reaction to seeing Humphries get dragged through TMZ’s mud is compassion, not anger. Apparently Johnson feels the same way. “I don’t know why. I’m trying to figure out, what did he do?” Johnson said. “I’m serious. Maybe because I don’t follow reality TV, I don’t know all the ins and outs of it but it’s pretty hilarious to me. I don’t know if they even know why they’re booing him. Keep booing him, we’ll take the 20 and 16.” Humphries, who brushed the heckling off his shoulders and dropped 21 points with 16 rebounds, said he’s now using the boos as “motivation.” “This was nothing compared to New York. This was a walk in the park. I love going on the road, people are screaming at you. It’s all good.”
Stefan Bondy, New York Daily News — Avery Johnson: Why all the Humphries hate?
Blatche — who welcomed the 17,102 fans before the game, declaring, “This is your captain” — took the criticism personally. In his seventh season, Blatche has pledged to take on a leadership role with the team. But as he sat in his locker room, dejected and still wearing his uniform as his teammates were showering, Blatche placed the blame on Saunders for not giving him the ball where he wanted after he finished with 11 points and eight rebounds and was outplayed by his counterpart, Kris Humphries (21 points, 16 rebounds). “I said that I need the ball in the paint to be effective. You can’t keep having me pick and pop and shooting jump shots. Give me the ball in the paint,” Blatche said after going 5 for 13 from the field. “That’s what I’m most effective at. I’ve been saying that since training camp — I need the ball in the paint. I don’t want to be the pick and pop guy that I used to be. Because it’s not working for me. I’m not saying the offense has to flow through me, but I prefer to be in the paint.”
Michael Lee — Wizards vs. Nets: Washington blows 21-point lead in season opener
Deron Williams looked like his usual self, stuffing the stat sheet to the tune of a game-high 23 points, eight assists and eight rebounds on 8-for-21 shooting — including 4-for-11 from 3-point range. The 27-year-old superstar asserted himself on the offensive end, both by knocking down shots from all over the floor and finding his teammates for open looks. Williams was seen grabbing his right hand with 4:13 remaining after John Wall drove into him. He didn’t seem to be hampered at all, though. With Williams on the bench, the Wizards took a 74-66 lead early in the fourth quarter, but once he came back in the game the Nets took over, playing tenacious defense while outscoring Washington 24-10 over the final 10:51.
Mike Mazzeo — Rapid Reaction: Nets 90, Wizards 94
Wall said he thought Williams might be the best point guard in the NBA. “It depends on what night and what type of point guard you want,” Wall said. “(Williams is) probably the top point guard in the league. I mean, he can shoot the ball well; has got very good size, his change of direction is good. He’s not that athletic, but he knows how to play the game. He gets everybody involved and also can take over a game at any point in time, so he’s one of the toughest point guards I’ve played in my whole life.”
Colin Stephenson, The Star-Ledger: In John Wall, Nets face point guard Nets once thought would lead them
With a roster in flux after a roller coaster of an offseason, the Nets weren’t even sure what to expect from themselves to start the season. What they got was an unabated disaster of a first quarter. The Nets couldn’t make open shots (25 percent from the field) , they couldn’t hold onto the ball or finish alley-oops (seven turnovers), they couldn’t play defense (Washington shot 55 percent). The Nets were behind by double digits minutes into the game, and trailed 26-13 after the opening frame. They fell behind 38-17 early in the second quarter. The struggles weren’t a shock, considering many of these Nets were playing together for the first time. It was the scope of the Nets’ ineptness that was hard to fathom. But somehow, they began to piece it together. Backup guard Sundiata Gaines sparked the team with his defense. The Nets limited standout guard John Wall to 13 points after a fast start. They took the lead in the third quarter, and stormed back from an 8-point deficit early in the fourth.
Andy Vazquez, The Record — Kris Humphries stars in Nets’ comeback win over Wizards