After the completion of a wild New Jersey Nets season, Nets are Scorching will be looking back at the players that made it happen.
Final Stats: 42 G, 10.4 MPG, 3.8 PPG, 1.6 APG, 1.5 (0.7-0.7) RPG, 0.3 SPG, 0.2 BPG, 42.4 FG%, 37.5 3P%, 58.9 FT%, 14.8 PER
Ben Uzoh was fortunate to get a spot on the Nets after going undrafted and impressing Avery Johnson during the offseason. As a no-risk proposition, Uzoh wasn’t a relatively bad pickup. Serving mostly as a third-string point guard (and filling in as backup with all the injuries), Uzoh did what was expected of him. In his limited minutes, he didn’t have the time to produce any tangible offense or rebounding, but when you prorate his numbers on a 40-minute basis, he wasn’t half-bad: he averaged 14.4 P/40, 5.6 R/40, and 6.3 A/40, all resulting in that 14.8 PER, just a shade below the league average. But Uzoh’s greatest asset was effort, as he was one of very few Nets who cared on a regular basis. He proved to be a plus defender, actually earning an honorable mention on John Hollinger’s All-Defensive Team (Insider) for his impressive defensive on-off differential of minus-5.10.
The Pink Shirt: This has to be Uzoh’s making the team. Again, he was a long shot without much worth, but he scrapped his way onto a squad that benefited from his dedication at times. If he’s not with the Nets, he’ll very likely get a shot somewhere else around the league considering his per-minute numbers.
The Paper Bag: It’s hard to pick one in particular, but Uzoh didn’t really play well against the Philadelphia 76ers. In his three games against them, he shot 6-of-18 from the field in just 30 minutes of play.
Final Thoughts: Honestly, Uzoh was a good one-year experiment with no discernible downside. With the Nets’ decision to sign Sundiata Gaines for next season, Uzoh is essentially expendable. Again, though, he’ll get a chance for another NBA team.
Final Grade: B