|Kris Humphries, PF 31 MIN | 7-18 FG | 6-7 FT | 10 REB | 4 AST | 20 PTS | -13
A solid game from Humphries, in spite of everyone else. The 20-10 is a bit misleading, since 20 points on 18 shots and seven free throws isn’t as impressive as it seems on the outset. But he was the Nets’ best player tonight, which isn’t saying much.
|Deron Williams, PG 36 MIN | 5-12 FG | 3-4 FT | 6 REB | 5 AST | 14 PTS | -16
Felt like watching last year’s Deron again — all the moves on the ground, all the crossovers and quick steps, with none of the execution and effectiveness. Part of this was due to Andre Iguodala (more below), but this did not seem to be a particularly engaged Deron Williams tonight.
|MarShon Brooks, G 36 MIN | 4-11 FG | 2-2 FT | 5 REB | 3 AST | 10 PTS | -1
Brooks continued his slump, though he did make a few nice plays offensively when creating off the dribble. Unfortunately exhibited some clueless defensive moments, most notably when the Nets lined up in their zone defense — except for MarShon, playing man.
|Johan Petro, C 14 MIN | 5-10 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 12 PTS | -5
Shook the stanchion with a ridiculous dunk at the end of the third quarter and didn’t wholly destroy the flow of the offense. Wasn’t great, but wasn’t noticeably worse than the rest of this team. Did have a few moments in the fourth quarter where he seemed like a single-engine tank machine, attacking the basket off the dribble and taking every shot possible.
|Jordan Williams, F 21 MIN | 3-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 6 PTS | -18
Another quiet, effective, underwhelming masterpiece from the final Williams. Had one particularly nice block in the first quarter.
Five Things We Saw
- This game was lost in the middle quarters, when in the second the Sixers turned the game into a dunk-a-thon, and in the third when the Nets tried to stop that dunk-a-thon and sent the Sixers to the line fifteen times. Lou Williams hit three-pointers in multiple places, Andre Iguodala threw out his regular brand of destroying everything when near the rim, and Spencer Hawes scored 17 quiet points in the span of 15 minutes of playing time. This loss officially and statistically eliminates the Nets from playoff contention.
- The Nets played a strange brand of lethargic tonight — often pushing the ball and attacking strongly in spurts, stuck in between bouts of nothingness that lasted for minutes at a time. Playing the best defense in the NBA can do that to you.
- Speaking of said defense, the Sixers stuck Andre Iguodala on Deron late, and it paid off. Deron refused to attack the basket with the best perimeter defender in the league on him, and with no one else creating good offense, the Nets didn’t stand a chance.
- I’d like to see more of the Nets zone that we saw tonight — which, like the rest of the game, looked very good in those short, surprising bursts when the Sixers didn’t expect it and couldn’t create against it, but looked relatively unimaginative and uninspiring otherwise. In the first half, the Nets made five consecutive stops with the zone, but started giving up offensive rebounds with it in the second and all hell broke loose. In a game where the Nets have a decent output for 48 minutes, it could prove interesting in larger bursts.
- I refuse to give Sundiata Gaines any more grades until he can prove he’s able to attack the basket with something other than a head of steam and a vague idea of what he’d do if there were no defense in front of him. His high PER is a function of his surprisingly good secondary stats — he’s a fantastic rebounder for a point guard and racks up an unusually high number of steals. But his lack of ability to create once he’s decided where he’s going with his dribble gets more and more frightening with each passing game. Tunnels tell Sundiata Gaines to keep his eyes off them.