Brooklyn Shooters: Nets 108, Cavaliers 97 (GAME GRADES)

Nets Logo


The Brooklyn Nets CENTER

The Nets played some sloppy basketball on both ends, but just dominated an undermanned, under-good Cleveland Cavaliers team with a barrage of three-point shots.

They also out-rebounded their opponent for just the seventh time in the last 25 games, keeping Anderson Varejao & company at bay with solid boxouts and a good effort from their role players.

Nice win after three overtime games.

Deron Williams POINT GUARD

Smart offensive game from Williams, who took good shots (including a beautiful play that opened the game to get him a corner 3), threw out a few deadly crossovers, and exerted just enough energy after playing 40-plus minutes for three straight overtime games.

Shaun Livingston POINT GUARD

Big-time at doing the little things.


Quietly effective: the Nets know how to use Johnson in the post and he got free for just enough open shots to make Spot-Up Joe a real threat.


When you start a game hitting with 17 points on 4-4 shooting, you’re probably doing something right, right?

Left for the locker room after his hot start after apparently re-aggravating his shoulder injury but returned with no outwardly ill effect. Did get into foul trouble, but it didn’t affect his final line: 22 points on 6 shots and 7 free throws is damn near impossible.

Andray Blatche POWER FORWARD

Blatching Blatche is backing back. Pulling behind-the-back crossovers out of nowhere on seven-footers that lead to dunks? Falling down while either shooting or passing (it’s honestly impossible to tell) and somehow getting an assist out of it? Spinning and smashing and hooking? Useless stepbacks that somehow work anyway? Missing wide open reverse dunks and getting called for offensive interference? Who does that? Nobody does, not nobody but Dray.

I missed you, LudiBlatche. Never leave us again.


Hit some shots that looked Thornton-like in the first half, including a pretty reverse layup.

Mirza Teletovic POWER FORWARD

Went from a total non-factor to hitting two quick threes in the third quarter. Like how he attacked the glass, especially on the offensive end.

Marcus Thornton SHOOTING GUARD

Would shoot a man in Reno just to watch himself shoot.

Mason Plumlee CENTER

Smashing into the rookie stanchion. The toll of starter’s minutes and multiple overtime games might be taking its toll on the rookie, who wasn’t expected to play nearly this much this season. Teams are getting in the lane more easily with Plumlee in the middle. He’s better suited as a backup — Andray Blatche and Jason Collins aren’t block-to-block interior defenders like Kevin Garnett is and Plumlee can be in spurts.

Jorge Gutierrez POINT GUARD

A lot of guys on minimum deals or ten-day contracts force their offense, trying to prove they deserve a bigger deal with gaudy, inefficient scoring numbers. But Gutierrez smartly does the opposite: he lets the offense come to him, deferring to higher-efficiency players and taking offense when he’s got a good look. He’s a minimum player, and certainly a third point guard, but he’s leapfrogged Marquis Teague and earned a contract for the rest of the season easily in the last 20 days.