|Kris Humphries, PF 30 MIN | 8-11 FG | 2-3 FT | 10 REB | 1 AST | 18 PTS | -21
Another double-double performance which is expected from the Hump. Completely unable to contain Paul Millsap who was a complete beast in the paint. Humphries’ defense was too soft and wasn’t as aggressive as normal. He was just outmatched completely.
|MarShon Brooks, G 29 MIN | 3-6 FG | 4-6 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 11 PTS | -2
A strange game from him as he didn’t take a lot of shots, which is really all that’s expected out of him now. He gets burned on defensive rotations–especially around the perimeter–but consistently hustles, fights for loose balls and plays aggressive on both sides of the ball. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but I think we’ve gotten a pretty good deal out of the #25 pick so far. Inconsistency is expected.
|Mehmet Okur, C 30 MIN | 4-9 FG | 1-1 FT | 7 REB | 2 AST | 9 PTS | -8
Got a nice ovation from the home Utah fans, but overall was less than stellar on either side of the ball tonight. Grabbed some boards, which was fine, but, like Hump, couldn’t stop Al Jefferson in the paint. Okur is incredibly frustrating to watch because he is so soft on defense and never goes up for a block. Never.
|Deron Williams, PG 33 MIN | 3-15 FG | 9-10 FT | 3 REB | 5 AST | 16 PTS | -17
Ugh. Remember Vince’s first game back in Toronto? The boos completely inspired him and he went off on that Toronto defense. Deron did just the opposite. Couldn’t buy a bucket and actually made the offense worse with his turnovers. Also, five assists? Really? You can only excuse so many because of the Nets poor shooting — and 41% isn’t bad enough to be the reason for low assist numbers. Only thing that keeps him from a straight-up D was his tight defense on Harris. Bottom line: D-Will was plain bad tonight.
|Anthony Morrow, SG 31 MIN | 4-10 FG | 2-3 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 12 PTS | -19
Not the same shooter he was the past few games, started off nice and made a few threes, but could really find his shot, like Brooks, can’t keep up with the defensive rotation. It’s tough for the Nets to be competitive on the defensive end when there are two crippling liabilities on the wings.
|DeShawn Stevenson, SG 16 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 PTS | -3
Wished we could see more of him out there. I’m honestly confused by Avery’s decision to start both Morrow and Brooks at the two and three because they are both so bad on D. Stevenson brings toughness and tight coverage that no other Net has and he really should be plugging more minutes in. Was held scoreless, which will happen when you only take threes all night.
|Devin Harris, PG 24 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 6 AST | 2 PTS | +12
Well, at least he didn’t play much better than D-Will and was held to limited points. Had some nice looks and great transition offense that he was known for in Jersey. Harris is a classic fast break point guard and displayed a few of those as well.
|Derrick Favors, FC 27 MIN | 2-7 FG | 2-5 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 6 PTS | +4
Favors is such an interesting prospect. Around the second quarter, I tweeted that Favors is like Tom Hanks in Big–it’s like he woke up in this huge body that he hasn’t figured out how to move in yet. Favors displayed the hustle and aggressive play he always does, but he still has a lot of growing up to do. Three rebounds is pretty inexcusable for a power forward who logged 26 minutes. I will root for the kid for sure and wish him well.
Five Things We Saw
- Return of Deron Williams. That was humiliating. I find it really hard to swallow that a superstar player coming back to his former city could put up such a terrible performance. Tonight was the first night of this season that I’m really starting to get concerned about the future of Deron and the Nets. He was just so bad and a detriment to the team’s success tonight. I don’t know how that could have been his follow-up to, questionably, his best game in a Net uniform.
- Brooks and Morrow as starters? Why is Avery Johnson starting two players who play the same position and do the same thing? I can’t fathom why DeShawn Stevenson is not the Nets starting small forward and either Brooks or Morrow the starting shooting guard. New Jersey has little defensive presence in their starting lineup and they could put that in easily by playing #92 more minutes. Brooks and Morrow do not need to both be in the lineup and would be much more effective as a rotative group.
- Transition defense. The Nets have been getting consistently burned all season on fast breaks–but tonight was especially bad. At some points, you could see two or three Nets players not even run on the way back because the Jazz were so far out in front. We’ve talked about this in previous threads, but for such a supposedly defensive wizard, Avery Johnson’s squad has absolutely no discipline on the defensive side of the ball.
- Shooting in the paint. Sure, the Nets shot 43% tonight. But shooting only 26 points in the paint is pretty terrible, especially when that number could have been much higher. The Nets big men (with the exception of the Hump) are pretty soft on offense and don’t really go hard under the basket. It doesn’t help that guys like D-Will get completely stuffed going up for buckets. It’s getting ugly.
- Inconsistent basketball is a story this season. With the tight schedule and lack of practice, we’re going to see a lot of inconsistent play for teams. Deron Williams’ poor play is pretty inexcusable and I’m really wondering exactly what is wrong with him. I can’t figure out the Nets identity at all. They put a different team on the floor every night–you can call it finding a rhythm or just a result of exhaustion, but the Nets are just a confused team right now and you can see it by the product they are putting on the floor