|Gerald Wallace, SF 35 MIN | 7-12 FG | 3-4 FT | 11 REB | 4 AST | 18 PTS | -8
I’m not about to go on record saying I now support the trade that brought him to Newark, however, it’s tough to envision this team without him. Crash proved yet again that he is as valuable to this team as D-Will and Lopez, and I think I’d rather have his proven leadership over anyone besides the Unibrow, MKG and Robinson. So in a way, I am starting to side with King on this deal, at least a little.
As far as the game tonight goes, there was never any question that he was the best guy on the floor for the Nets tonight. The offense ran with his skill set in mind, putting him in isolation early and often, and allowing him to touch the ball with basically every offensive play he was on the court for. We also saw his standard effort and toughness, grabbing in eleven rebounds and shooting 7-12. His scoring was missing in the fourth though.
|Kris Humphries, PF 34 MIN | 6-11 FG | 0-1 FT | 7 REB | 3 AST | 12 PTS | -12
I’m going to go with a “notably absent for three quarters” score from Humphries. I do enjoy the work of Ersan Ilyasova, but Humphries should have been able to hold his own against him. The fact that he didn’t is more annoying than anything. Why Ilyasova dominated the glass all night is a mystery to me.
|Sundiata Gaines, G 27 MIN | 5-8 FG | 1-3 FT | 0 REB | 3 AST | 11 PTS | -15
I’m a member of the Skip Bayless School for Point Guards Should Be Passers, but I didn’t totally mind the offensive play of Gaines tonight, despite my dislike for his style. He shot the ball accurately, and hit some nice turn-around shots in the first. But his defensive performance against Brandon Jennings was despicable and there were a couple of plays (I’m thinking the one with 1:32 left in the fourth specifically) where he literally had no idea where Jennings was on the court before Jennings destroyed everything Sudianta Gaines has ever loved.
|MarShon Brooks, G 31 MIN | 7-18 FG | 2-3 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 17 PTS | -18
Did his thing on offense and was crucial in the attempted fourth quarter comeback. Hit some nice jumpers and some dunks and even shot better than his Monte Ellis counterpart. He seems to have found his stroke back.
|Johan Petro, C 20 MIN | 3-7 FG | 2-2 FT | 8 REB | 2 AST | 8 PTS | +4
I’ll take this Petro, grabbing rebounds and sinking three ten-foot jumpers over the usual slop.
Five Things We Saw
- The Nets had the opportunity to change their name to the New Jersey Spoilers, but Brandon Jennings said, “nahhhhh.” They even came within two in the fourth quarter before Jennings hit a pair of behind the arc daggers. I’m guessing he heard that the 76ers won earlier, meaning a Net win would have been an elimination for Milwaulkee.
- Have to be honest, this was a boring game despite its closeness. Neither team really seemed into it until the fourth quarter with the exception of a few guys. Gerald Wallace was one of these guys and if the Nets don’t find a way to retain him, I am going to be one angry dude.
- The Nets defensive performance as a whole was ugly. The team (specifically Gaines) had no answer for Brandon Jennings and he took complete advantage of this. Thirty-three fast break points too for Milwaukee and they, especially down the stretch, had no problem running all over the floor.
- Glaring stat of the night: Nets with fifteen attempted free throws, Bucks with thirty-seven. I’m thinking back to the six fouls to end the half, all charged to the Nets.
- With Deron Williams likely having played his last game as a member of New Jersey, the Nets have a scary need at point guard. I really, really, really hope D-Will has the decency to tell the organization he is leaving if he is so the Nets can go all-in for Kendall Marshall come June, who I have a ridiculous man-crush on.