Net Worth: Nets 93, Mavs 92

New Jersey Nets 93 Final
Recap | Box Score
92 Dallas Mavericks
DeShawn Stevenson, SG 17 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -3

Every bad word I ever had for DeShawn Stevenson gets put on hold for his defense on Jason Kidd on the game-winning shot. MarShon Brooks doesn’t make that play. Anthony Morrow doesn’t make that play. But DeShawn Stevenson, for all his crazy, makes that play.

Kris Humphries, PF 37 MIN | 5-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 15 REB | 0 AST | 10 PTS | -11

Ran the floor, boxed out well and picked rebounds, bodied Dirk Nowitzki throughout the game when he had the coverage, finished at the rim, and got one solid block. Per usual, not mad about the Mahinmi dunk, as it’d be worse if he didn’t contest it at all.

Brook Lopez, C 36 MIN | 17-28 FG | 4-5 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 38 PTS | +5

OH HELLO MR. LOPEZ. HOW GOOD TO SEE YOU AGAIN. Scoring from everywhere — mostly inside, though he did hit some jumpers out of the paint. Good to see him attacking the rim over and over again. The point total says it all, but encouraging is how he got those points — going to the rim first and barely relying on his outside jumper. The rip move, the spin, the hook shot, scoring through contact… Welcome back, Brook.

Deron Williams, PG 37 MIN | 3-15 FG | 4-5 FT | 4 REB | 12 AST | 12 PTS | -8

Shot badly, but opened the floor up, hit a couple of threes (including yet another three-and-the-foul), and found open teammates everywhere. The Nets keep running him off curl plays when he’s off the ball, and the attention he draws opens up space for Kris Humphries and Brook Lopez to attack the basket, as well as any spot-up shooters to score. This is the benefit of having a superstar, and Deron certainly felt the benefit of having a legitimate center, too.

MarShon Brooks, G 34 MIN | 2-4 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 3 AST | 6 PTS | -3

A relatively quiet game for MarShon. Hit a couple of buckets in transition, and functioned as the middle of that Stevenson-Brooks-Humphries double-lob dunk. But stepped back in the offense tonight, which given Brook Lopez’s night is nothing to complain about.

Shelden Williams, PF 5 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -2

Five minutes, four fouls. In his short time, he got burned guarding the stretch 4’s. He remains the box-out king of New Jersey.

Sundiata Gaines, G 11 MIN | 0-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 5 AST | 0 PTS | +9

I love this statline.

Anthony Morrow, SG 28 MIN | 5-15 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 15 PTS | +6

Hit his jumpers – most importantly, his threes. Everything else is ancillary.

Gerald Green, SG 19 MIN | 4-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 10 PTS | +2

#GREENSANITY! Holy goodness, Gerald Green can fly. The Nets finally have a player whose head can reach the rim. He hit a sick turnaround in the first quarter on a great fake, created a fast-break three for Anthony Morrow by drawing the defense, hit three-pointers. And, duh, that dunk. Sure, this is the honeymoon period, and he’ll inevitably fail miserably somewhere down the line. But for now, hey, look, a small forward!

Johan Petro, C 18 MIN | 1-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 1 AST | 2 PTS | +10

Tonight, we saw the best of Johan Petro. Didn’t commit fouls, used his length well defensively, grabbed rebounds, and other than a few weird moments, he didn’t try to involve himself in the offense. I can live with this Johan Petro.

Five Things We Saw

  1. Was that the most insane ending to a Nets game this season? I’m saying yes now. Let’s add it all up: the Nets take a double-digit lead, the Mavericks erase it in a matter of minutes, then miss 14 straight shots going into the fourth quarter, the Nets can’t close it out, then go straight to red-hot Brook Lopez to get points, give up Jason Kidd’s (seriously, Jason Kidd? Come on, narrative) first field goal of the game — a three-pointer to give Dallas a 92-91 lead, get two free throws from Brook Lopez after he nearly hits a rip move after getting blasted by Brendan Haywood, get a key rebound from Sundiata Gaines, followed by an awful turnover from Anthony Morrow when he just needed to hold on to the ball and get fouled, then DeShawn Stevenson saves the freaking day. Yup, I’m going with this one. Wow.
  2. When the Nets have depth, this roster looks completely different. Down the stretch, the Nets had a legitimate offensive option to consider inside, meaning teams couldn’t focus solely on the perimeter and force bad looks from the Nets guards. With Brook Lopez at center, everything changes — and he may not go 17-28 every night, but Deron Williams won’t go 3-15, either.
  3. The Nets ran like they’d never ran before, scoring a Lopezesque 21 fast-break points in the first half. Going against a group of mostly 30-and-aboves, running the hell downcourt as fast as possible is a good strategy. I did think the Nets pulled the trigger too quickly on some occasions — if you’re in a situation where you’re pulling up for a jumper, you should make sure at least one rebounder is in position. But with made shots, hard to complain.
  4. I thought Kris Humphries’ effort on Dirk Nowitzki tonight was admirable. There’s only so much you can do on Dirk’s sprawling fadeaway, but Humphries kept a body on Dirk in man coverage and kept his impact from exploding into “Dirk takeover” mode. Ditto for Brook Lopez. That’s as quiet as a 20-10 game comes.