|DeShawn Stevenson, SG 13 MIN | 0-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 0 PTS | +6
One day he’ll score from inside the arc. That day was not today.
|Kris Humphries, PF 40 MIN | 8-14 FG | 2-3 FT | 15 REB | 2 AST | 18 PTS | +10
The double-double machine keeps on churning. Hump got better and better as the game progressed. Made his mark shots in the middle quarters, registered at least two soul-stealing block and a couple of nice dunks, and routinely slid under Andris Biedrins for good looks at the rim. Other than sometimes getting a little block-happy, leaving him out of position and putting him in danger for fouls, had a very good all-around game.
|Mehmet Okur, C 39 MIN | 5-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 13 PTS | +9
Staggeringly consistent — offensively opens the floor up, and defensively can’t switch or guard outside of the lane. He got going early and helped carry the Nets offensively, but he was quieter in the second half.
|Deron Williams, PG 38 MIN | 6-13 FG | 8-8 FT | 8 REB | 10 AST | 24 PTS | +18
Had about as quiet a superstar-level game as you can have. Made few mistakes, found teammates for open looks, snared more than his share of rebounds, and knocked down his many free throws — six of them on three-point shooting fouls. Scored efficiently, and took over in the fourth quarter as necessary. The supporting cast amplifies his turnovers — often a well-placed pass bounced errantly off the hands or chest of his teammates. I wafted between A and A+ given his often disappointing defense against Klay Thompson, but his control of the game in the 4th sealed the deal.
|MarShon Brooks, G 41 MIN | 8-15 FG | 4-4 FT | 8 REB | 6 AST | 22 PTS | +5
Fadeaways, bank shots, runners, threes, floaters, fakes galore; Brooks ran the second half, knocking down shots and setting up teammates (particularly Kris Humphries). Added up to a career-high in points and assists, and his play did not mirror flukiness. Defense is still a ways away — he was often beat off the dribble by Monta Ellis, understandably so, but offensively he makes the difficult look routine nightly.
|Shelden Williams, PF 17 MIN | 3-3 FG | 4-6 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 10 PTS | -6
Had another great “backup big who you don’t expect much flash from” game — hit the shots inside, banged down low with the Golden State front line, and drew enough fouls to make David Lee angry. Hit double-digits in scoring for the first time this season.
|Jordan Farmar, PG 20 MIN | 2-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 4 AST | 5 PTS | -10
Hard to get in a rhythm across the flow of a season when you’re not sure if you’re in the rotation that game, but Farmar’s doing about as well as you can expect. Dished out some nice assists inside, and in the end got the game-sealing rebound.
|Anthony Morrow, SG 27 MIN | 4-10 FG | 4-4 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 13 PTS | +11
Made some key shots in the second quarter and down the stretch. Ideally, this is his role — a spark shooter off the bench. Now if only the demon from the underworld can give him his three-point shot back.
Five Things We Saw
- Hot starts. The Nets are notorious for their poor starts this season — prior to tonight, they’d averaged just 19.2 points per game and a -7.8 margin in the first quarter, both league-worst by a sizable margin. Tonight, they looked like a different team in the first half; Brooks, Williams, and Okur paced the Nets early, and Hump flexed his presence in the second. All four finished in double figures by halftime.
- Poor ORB/TOV ratio. I’ve always seen offensive rebounds and turnovers as polar opposites for comparison; one preserves a possession, and the other takes a possession away. The Nets finished a +9 on the offensive glass, but cancelled it out with a -8 in the turnover department. They attacked the glass well throughout the game, but wasted that advantage with sloppy ballhandling and passing and tentative defense. May not be so lucky next time.
- Gifts. Golden State missed three key free throws and a rushed Klay Thompson jumper in the final two minutes, then didn’t box out as Brooks swooped in to the lane to grab the game-sealing rebound with 20 seconds left. The Nets did everything they needed to offensively, then allowed the Warriors to give the rest away. This is a great win for New Jersey, but it’s just as bad a loss for Golden State.
- Crunch-time execution. Those gifts we just talked about? The Nets gave none of them late. 18 turnovers is an awful number, but they had just one in the final nine minutes — a shot-clock violation with under a minute left when 24 scoreless seconds counts as a victorious possession.
- Fear the MarShon. It deserves further notice that MarShon Brooks has absolutely exceeded any and all expectations. The scoring we knew would be there, but the efficiency, the intelligent decisions with the ball, the chemistry with Deron Williams and Kris Humphries, the way he’s responded to an enormous role for the 25th overall pick, all staggering. He’ll certainly struggle at some time this season, but for now, ride the wave. The Nets certainly are.