Net Worth: Boston Celtics 89, New Jersey Nets 70

New Jersey Nets 70 Final
Recap | Box Score
89 Boston Celtics

Game Grades

Shelden Williams, PF 3-6 FG | 2-2 FT | 9 REB | 0 AST | 8 PTS | -8

Attacking the glass, playing solid defense, scoring garbage points… A few bad layups aside, easily his best game in a Nets uniform. Finally living up to the “75% of Kris Humphries for 10% of the price” moniker born in the offseason.

Damion James, SF 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | +7

Injured his foot in the second quarter. Didn’t return for the second half. In this case, C- means “Incomplete.”

Mehmet Okur, C 2-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 4 PTS | -9

Had some struggles in the first half — he more than anyone else benefits from playing next to Deron Williams — and couldn’t get his outside shot going, but was solidly unspectacular with some decent play inside.

Sundiata Gaines, G 4-12 FG | 0-1 FT | 1 REB | 6 AST | 8 PTS | -7

Gaines improved his and took smart shots without dominating the ball. He’s still no three-point shooter by any means, despite his own thoughts to the contrary, but he put more on the floor than he took away.

MarShon Brooks, G 7-16 FG | 2-4 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 17 PTS | -16

Brooks forced the Celtics into pressing him at all times and doubling him within 20 feet in the second half. It’s rare that a rookie can completely alter a team’s offense with his presence alone. It’s even rarer that said rookie drops to 25th in the NBA draft, only to get flipped for 27. With each passing day, he looks more and more like a blessing.

Jordan Farmar, PG 4-9 FG | 2-3 FT | 1 REB | 6 AST | 11 PTS | -12

Farmar may be out of the rotation, but he outplayed Sundiata Gaines tonight. Missed a few open threes, and turned the ball over more times than you’d like, but he certainly wasn’t the root of the blowout.

Anthony Morrow, SG 4-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 9 PTS | -16

Didn’t make a real dent in this game, but it’s nice to see him make a few jumpers for once. But once the Nets are back to 100% health, it appears his starting spot is as good as gone.

Shawne Williams, SF 2-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 5 PTS | -11

Made two shots in garbage time and got walked on defensively.

Five Things We Saw

  1. TVD. TVD is my new shorthand for tunnel vision defense, otherwise known as “when the Nets’ defenders not involved in a play leave their defensive assignment to cut off one of the immediate options, screw up the rotations, and leave someone else open.” I like it because it sounds like a disease. The Nets let one solid half of smart defense go completely to waste with a terrible effort in the third quarter. TVD is curable with enough work and focus.
  2. The Nets still have no touch from outside. Shawne Williams, Sundiata Gaines, DeShawn Stevenson, Jordan Farmar, and Mehmet Okur combined to shoot 2-15 from beyond the arc. The Nets as a whole shot 4-20.
  3. All five Nets starters — Deron Williams, MarShon Brooks, Damion James, Kris Humphries, and Brook Lopez — missed either part or all of yesterday’s game with various injuries. Don’t bemoan a lack of talent. Tonight the Nets merely suffer the short end of the fate stick.
  4. I’m ignoring his injury — a sprained left ankle, he’s officially listed as day-to-day — to mention one very encouraging sign from MarShon Brooks: he does not force his offense. One of my concerns about Brooks is his potential to commit guerrilla warfare on team play when given the opportunity, but tonight, he took shots worth taking. When faced with double-teams, Brooks routinely found the open man, and that open man routinely bricked his open jumper. That’s a very good sign. And it bears repeating: MarShon Brooks controlled the first half offense so perfectly that Boston — one of the best team defenses in the NBA — had no choice but to double him anytime he was within scoring range in the second.
  5. Jordan Williams scored his first career NBA points, on a 10-foot jumper from the right side, and finished with four points and five rebounds in seven minutes of garbage time.

View From The Other Side

CelticsHub: Celtics Beat Starter-less Nets: Celtics 89, Nets 70