|Kris Humphries, PF 41 MIN | 5-14 FG | 6-8 FT | 9 REB | 1 AST | 16 PTS | 0
Hump had his hands full all night long, playing against the dominating Kevin Love. I actually really enjoyed the match-up. Scoring was ugly, but the rebounding battle and aggression under the basket was tough, dirty basketball. Hump played well against who I believe to be the best power forward in the league, even if his stat line didn’t completely show it.
|Shawne Williams, SF 27 MIN | 2-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 5 PTS | -3
It looks like Shawne read Devin’s column. Unfortunately, he still couldn’t hit any shots. Shawne shot 2-6 from the field and didn’t offer a whole lot in transition. He was a big reason the Nets fell so fast in the second quarter and killed a lot of fast break momentum.
|Shelden Williams, PF 22 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-2 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 2 PTS | +6
Now that he’s started the last few games, I like what he is: a tough presence who messes with big men under the basket. At times, he actually reminds me of a poor man’s Kendrick Perkins because of his ability to stop movement in the paint. Tonight, we didn’t see a ton of that, so you can send blame to Nikola Pekovic.
|Deron Williams, PG 38 MIN | 5-18 FG | 2-2 FT | 5 REB | 14 AST | 12 PTS | -10
Not a bad D-will game by any means, just not the Deron we are used to as of late. He didn’t shoot the ball well and took too many shots. Despite ten assists, Deron was overly selfish tonight, taking shots he didn’t need to take, especially in the fourth when the Nets were on a six-straight-misses streak. Some of that can be alluded to Morrow’s foul trouble, but he needs to know when he is shooting cold. Also, that final turnover left a sour taste.
|Anthony Morrow, SG 33 MIN | 13-20 FG | 8-8 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 42 PTS | +7
Lights out all night long. Unguardable from behind the arc and just phenomenal chemistry with D-Will. These two guys are so much of the reason the Nets have had a pretty successful run the past week or so. A lot of this can be alluded to Deron, but Morrow deserves as much of the credit. He has been on fire. He is just as vital to the future of this team as D-Will and any other franchise center the Nets decide to trade for who is all wanted by said franchise center. I’m just going to retype this stat line: 12-20 from the field, 8-11 from the 3, 42 points. And we want to trade him for cap space?
|Keith Bogans, SG 19 MIN | 1-6 FG | 1-2 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | -3
It is a bummer that he has to play more than ten minutes for the Nets right now. He simply looks lost out there and who could blame him? I would like to see him get a little comfortable with the team, but I will take his hustle on defense and six boards.
|Jordan Farmar, PG 30 MIN | 6-11 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 7 AST | 14 PTS | -1
Played fine off the ball and got involved in the offense a little better than usual. Eleven shots is still too many for a back-up point guard, and I’d like that number to be around seven or eight. But, he shot 55% with seven assists, so I am more than likely just being nitpicky.
|Jordan Williams, F 16 MIN | 4-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 8 PTS | -6
A statement game from him tonight. 15 minutes, five boards and shot 4-6? From a guy who started the season “dehydrated”? Who has been sent down to the Armor twice this season? Good for him.
Five Things We Saw
- 8 versus 9. Rubio is incredibly flashy, and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. When it doesn’t, he misses a lot of alley-oops, fumbles crossovers, or goes all Ryan Fitzpatrick on the court and his passes are returned for, er, pick-2’s. When it works, he is a blast to watch. Deron and Rubio together made for exciting,between-the-leg pizzaz, and it was as fun to watch as it was frustrating.
- 43 versus 42. I loved this matchup, even if it was was slightly ruined by Pekovic, who outshined them both. Tough, gritty, rebound-frenzied basketball from start to finish. Humphries and Love both took hard fouls with equally hard misses.
- Deron Williams’ turnovers are a problem. A case could be made that both of his turnovers in the last thirty seconds (the one that rolled off his hip and the one that Rubio knocked out of his hands) are to blame for the Nets loss. They had other issues, but if Deron doesn’t lose the ball on those drives, the Nets are definitely in a better position to win. I’m not sure why he is turning the ball over so often, or even what to do to fix that. But he needs to figure it out immediately.
- Hot and cold. The Nets were incredibly streaky tonight, shooting hot for the first quarter, cold for the first half of the second, hot in the second half of the second, lukewarm in the third, cold in the fourth and hot at the end of the fourth. Most of this is due to the play of Anthony Morrow and when he heats up his shooting. When he’s getting the ball in a position to score, the Nets offense is effective, especially at the three-point arc. When Deron is dishing to Shawne Williams, the offense comes to a screeching halt and you see things like six straight misses.
- Another close loss. The Nets are keeping games close, which is a positive sign for the will of this team. It would be nice to see them pull some of these games out, especially ones like these where you could point to a specific play that would change the outcome of the game. Tomorrow at Madison Square Garden is going to be a difficult game where the Nets don’t matchup particularly well. It’ll be interesting to see how motivated they can get to keeping the game within a winnable distance.