Net Worth: Rockets 112, Nets 106

Houston Rockets 112 Final
Recap | Box Score
106 New Jersey Nets
Kris Humphries, PF 37 MIN | 5-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 10 PTS | -3

I can’t even blame him for these isolations — who’s creating for him if not himself with this lineup? — but that doesn’t make them any less aggravating.

Shelden Williams, PF 35 MIN | 4-5 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 10 PTS | -12

Got free at the rim for some layups off drive and dishes, keyed a big stretch of the third quarter on the defensive end but looked largely invisible otherwise. He has moments when he sincerely controls the glass and protects the rim, and moments when he seemingly remembers that he’s a killer backup/5th-option forced into a much more significant role than he deserves and just doesn’t read & react in a timely fashion.

Jordan Farmar, PG 34 MIN | 7-11 FG | 1-1 FT | 4 REB | 4 AST | 18 PTS | -13

Made his open shots, and his ridiculous ones — most notably the reverse no-look layup late in the fourth quarter. Played admirably in Deron Williams’s sneakers, but isn’t a create-first point guard and ended 3rd overall on the team in assists.

MarShon Brooks, G 32 MIN | 11-16 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 7 AST | 23 PTS | -2

Lost in the Greensanity is that Brooks had his best all-around game thus far tonight, grabbing loose rebounds, finding open teammates, and hitting more shots than anyone deserves. It’s beyond the point now where MarShon Brooks’s ability to make bad shots can be chalked up to sample size. Or maybe it’s not. All I think I know is that his fadeaway is one of the best in the league. And he’s only a rookie.

Gerald Green, SG 23 MIN | 10-15 FG | 2-3 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 26 PTS | +1

GERALD GREEN WINDMILLED THE UNIVERSE. Hit most of his open threes, though he missed a key one late. Complemented MarShon Brooks and Anthony Morrow equally well on the wings. Kept momentum going in the face of the Momentum Killers. And yes, tipped in a shot on his own basket, but without him there Scola would’ve just gotten it anyway. There’s no chance they don’t lock him up now. #StartGeraldGreen

Five Things We Saw

  1. Johan Petro and Sundiata Gaines should start an R&B duo called “The Momentum Killers.”
  2. This curl-and-cut offense the Nets run works when you’re running Deron Williams, mostly because you can run any offense that allows for shot creation and three-point shooting with Deron Williams and you’ll get enough good things out of it to keep afloat. Without him on the floor, the offense stagnates to the point of unwatchable. Outside of those few brief, wild moments, moments that exist only because the Nets make one right pass (usually off a slash-and-dish by Farmar, Brooks, or Gaines), the constant barrage of isolations gets tiresome.
  3. Basketball is a game of timing. Dwyane Wade and LeBron James have an impeccable understanding of when each will slip a screen and when to have their hands ready for the pass. Just a few tenths of a second can mean the difference between an open layup and a flailing attempt. The Nets have the “what” down — they do make the right passes much of the time — but they’ve got serious problems with the “when.” Only three Nets players racked up assists in the first half, and too many times the Nets didn’t hit the open man until his defender was ready to recover.
  4. Gerald Green re-imagined perfection in windmill form.
  5. You could look at this two ways: 1) the Nets nearly defeated a solidly superior team without their two best players, or 2) the Nets couldn’t win at home even with career nights from a rookie and a player on a ten-day contract. Regardless, a lot of excitement with little execution down the stretch, with lots of missed shots and poorly designed plays. Unfortunately expected with a roster mostly concocted of cast-offs and misfits.