Net Worthless: Spurs 103, Nets 89

San Antonio Spurs 103 Final
Recap | Box Score
89 New Jersey Nets
Kris Humphries, PF 31 MIN | 7-10 FG | 1-2 FT | 8 REB | 0 AST | 15 PTS | -10

Thought he played well, considering the circumstances. The Spurs attacked the other big on the floor (either SheWill or Petro) with pick-and-rolls, but that’s because Humphries usually guarded Matt Bonner or DeJuan Blair instead of Tim Duncan. The alley-oop in transition was pretty nice, too. So yes, not too bad, but didn’t make a significant difference offensively and wasn’t in the position to do so defensively.

MarShon Brooks, G 24 MIN | 2-10 FG | 2-3 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 7 PTS | -19

Continuing to struggle with his shot, fading away unnecessarily on occasion, and still has issues defensively. Doesn’t box out, which gave some free offensive rebounds to Kawhi Leonard that could’ve been prevented.

Johan Petro, C 20 MIN | 3-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 6 PTS | -3

Decimated on pick-and-roll sets, but when you can’t guard slow (Tim Duncan) or medium (Richard Jefferson), there’s no way in hell you can guard fast (Tony Parker). He’s shot a shockingly high 49% in his small-sample-size 43 jumpers from 16-23 feet, the lowest-percentage shot in basketball, and Petro’s apropos go-to.

Deron Williams, PG 38 MIN | 9-23 FG | 7-8 FT | 4 REB | 8 AST | 27 PTS | -7

He can’t do it alone.

Anthony Morrow, SG 35 MIN | 5-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 11 PTS | -4

Hit a few shots, but got burned on a couple of spot-ups where he didn’t close out strongly enough. Shot 1-13 from three in the past few games.

Shelden Williams, PF 16 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -2

Same as Petro: the Spurs attacked him with pick-and-rolls and floaters, and he played paralysis, freezing between “crap, he’s open” and “crap, he might blow by me, I’d better stay back.” Hustle translated to jack.

Jordan Farmar, PG 31 MIN | 5-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 7 AST | 12 PTS | -5

Had a good all-around game, though his rebounding numbers are a bit of a fluke — the boards came mostly as a result of “right place, right time” than boxing out. But this is the type of game you’d like out of your backup point guard. Now, if only the other four positions could get it together.

Shawne Williams, SF 30 MIN | 1-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 3 PTS | -14


Four Things We Saw

  1. The Nets predictably got burned on pick-and-roll sets. The Spurs picked up 35 points on just 25 possessions directly from ballhandlers and roll men alone, freezing guards and big men alike, drawing unnecessary double-teams, and getting good, open looks from all over the court. When the Nets anticipated the screen, the Spurs went the other way (very Lin-like!). when the Nets guards went over the screen, the bigs didn’t drop down or communicate at all. When the guards went under the screen, the bigs froze between trying to stop their man or the guard, leaving both an open shot and everyone else in defensive limbo.
  2. The Nets also got hurt in transition defensively, but they picked up a fair amount of points themselves running the floor, with everyone getting in on the act.
  3. On one play in the third quarter, Sundiata Gaines screamed at Jordan Williams after Williams didn’t call out a screen. He did on the next play, but that type of communication and trust appears mostly absent from Nets defensive sets. It’s the reason they’re in the bottom third of the NBA in every type of defensive set and last overall in points per possession allowed (via mySynergySports).
  4. The Spurs had an answer for everything, and the game was never close. The Nets shrunk the deficit to six points in the third quarter, and the Spurs immediately opened it back up to 15. You never once got the impression that the Nets were winning this one, but given how they’ve played the last few weeks, that should come as no surprise. The three days off couldn’t have come at a better time.
  5. One bright spot in the mostly dark cloud: it was kind of cool to see MarShon Brooks pull off an impeccable Eurostep and-1 against the Spurs, of all teams.