Note: These grades are the aggregate of the grades earned in our rapid reactions thus far this season.
|DeShawn Stevenson, SG
A one-trick pony on offense, and he isn’t good at his trick. DeShawn is allegedly a “three-point threat,” but he hasn’t displayed much of that this season. Has gone for multiple stretches scoring zero points a game, which, in a single number, tells you just how effective he is with the ball in his hands. Would be the Nets’ best defensive player if he wasn’t so inconsistent this season. DeShawn gets under other players’ skin and is very tight, especially when trying to slow down ball movement. He has shown some flashes of excellent defensive performances and his absence on that side was noticeable when he was out with his knee injury.
|Shelden Williams, PF
A blue-collar big man who fights and plays tough in the paint. It doesn’t always work, but the effort is clear in every game. Shelden was a consistent starter without Brook Lopez and will be useful coming off the bench in less minutes. Easily the Nets best big man defender; plays tough and aggressive under the basket and can annoy opposing centers. Shelden isn’t afraid to get in the center of traffic to stop a drive or fight for a rebound. Again, much of his charm comes from his fearless play and it doesn’t always work out for him. He will be better utilized off the bench in the second half.
|Deron Williams, PG
The undisputed king of New Jersey, Deron distributes when needed, shoots when needed, has the best crossover in the league in his arsenal and is as good a threat off the ball as he is with it in his hands. Turnovers have been his biggest issue, sometimes he’s a little sloppy and lazy when trying to create. However, without Deron Williams, this team would be a complete mess offensively and he is the clear leader there. Not an A+ defender, but capable. Deron is good in one-on-one situations and matches up well against the top-tier point guards. Solid awareness, can intercept passes and anticipate where a guy is going on offense.
|MarShon Brooks, G
MarShon’s offensive game is far from perfect and still requires a lot of additional work. But, he displays seemingly limitless potential. Brooks can score from anywhere on the floor, confuses defenses, and creates his own shot at will. A deadly threat when used correctly, but there are times when he takes head-scratching jumpers and neglects to share the ball. Defensively, he leaves much to be desired. Slow and unaware on rotations and relies too much on his long arms to do the work. Lost in man-to-man. Usually grabs a few defensive rebounds a night, but most of that is due to his length.
|Kris Humphries, PF
A dominant scoring big man he isn’t, but for being the most consistent big man on the team this season, he has done a good job. Clumsy under the basket and, at times, does incredibly stupid things in the paint — take an extra dribble, bring the ball down after an offensive rebound, attempt a shot that is sure to be stuffed back in his face, etc. This can all be infuriating. However, he has been the Nets’ best big man and has had some very good scoring games. His game just isn’t as fluid as we would like it to be. That said, just because Humphries is a great rebounder, it does not mean he is a good defender. Yes, he is tough in the paint chasing loose balls and grabbing defensive rebounds, by far his best skill as an NBA player. However, Kris is not strong against offensive big men, rarely goes up and challenges a shot and doesn’t draw a lot of offensive charges. Rebounding he can do handily, stopping an offensive threat is a different story.
|Sundiata Gaines, G
Sundiata was the team’s starting shooting guard earlier in the season, but has played his way out of that role. The Nets have learned exactly what he is — a quick, energy guy off the bench and he does that just fine. He isn’t a detriment, but he shouldn’t play more than 15 minutes at most per game.
|Anthony Morrow, SG
Anthony followed up a slow start with a stronger finish. When his shot isn’t falling, he hurts the flow of the offense, which goes through him whenever he is on the court. Morrow developed nice chemistry with Deron Williams when MarShon Brooks was out, but with Brooks back in the lineup, his minutes have gone down. Morrow is a one-dimensional offensive threat, but what he does, he excels at. Still, gets caught sleeping often in rotation and not a strong one-on-one or zone defender. If Morrow couldn’t shoot, he probably wouldn’t play as many minutes as he does. A total liability on the other side of the floor.
|Johan Petro, C
Johan’s highlight reel would likely include missed two-foot shots, rimmed out jumpers and dropped passes. He hurts the Nets offense whenever he is on the floor and only plays because New Jersey has little else to put on the court. He has started six games and wouldn’t start on any other professional NBA team. The one thing Petro has an advantage in is that he lives life as a tall human being. He isn’t very aggressive, but is a decent defender on smaller big men because he can stop ball movement with his long arms. Case in point: Petro did a good job defending Tyson Chandler last week, simply because he is big and long.
|Mehmet Okur, C
A near incomplete, Mehmet has been absent for about half of the season. When he does play, he is slow in the paint and not aggressive in fighting for rebounds. A solid three-point shooter at best and generally can’t keep up with the dirty work under the basket. Not a strong defender and moves too slowly in the paint. Like Humphries, has a hard time stopping an offensive threat under the basket. Okur never goes up for a shot block which is so frustrating. However, he is a big presence and body for players to go through, and for that, he is useful.
|Jordan Farmar, PG
Frustrating to watch when he doesn’t pass the ball. Takes too many shots when there are other, capable scorers available. Farmar is at his most effective when he is passing-first and creating, but that doesn’t happen as often as it should. Provides some defensive energy off the bench and is decent in one-on-one coverage. His best skill here is creating turnovers and anticipating passes, which he does effectively. However, he isn’t quite fast enough to matchup against better point guards and can be easily shut down.