Rapid Reaction: Cavaliers 98, Nets 82

New Jersey Nets 82 Final
Recap | Box Score
98 Cleveland Cavaliers

Game Grades

Kris Humphries, PF 1-5 FG | 9-11 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 11 PTS | -5
Not his best game. He was active enough to get himself to the free-throw line, but not active enough on the boards tonight with just five. Plus he wasn’t able to control Jamison on the other end.
Damion James, SF 3-5 FG | 4-6 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 10 PTS | -10
A better game for him. Defensively James showed some athleticism with weakside blocks. Would love to see him rebound and create more from his position, but if he can produce 10 points on five shots nightly, it’d be serviceable.
Mehmet Okur, C 4-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 3 AST | 10 PTS | -18
He’s at his best when his perimeter shot is falling and to hit his first three of the game opened things up for him the rest of the night. However, his lack of athleticism hurts the Nets defensively.
Deron Williams, PG 6-16 FG | 3-4 FT | 4 REB | 5 AST | 16 PTS | -3
He’s always the straw that stirs the drink, but tonight it just seemed like Deron was pressing and trying to create too much tonight and was again reckless with the ball. The Nets had 21 turnovers as a team, and DWill was the biggest culprit with 6.
Sundiata Gaines, G 5-12 FG | 0-2 FT | 4 REB | 4 AST | 11PTS | -12

Sundiata Gaines is not a player who should be playing 34 minutes a night, but on this team he’s asked to do just that. Offensively he was aggressive and did a nice job creating in late clock situations. Defensively he did his best to chase around Irving and Gibson.

Shelden Williams, PF 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | -5
As our “muscle” off the bench, to play 15 minutes and not grab a single rebound is pretty inexcusable. The landlord certainly did not take up much space tonight.
Anthony Morrow, SG 5-13 FG | 3-3 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 15 PTS | -17
Had his shot falling and we saw him being utilized in different ways tonight (some post-ups and coming off curl screens). Still nobody we’d rather see the ball kicked out too off penetration.
Marshon Brooks, G 0-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -8
One step forward and two steps back. After three stellar performances, Brooks had his first scoreless night as a pro. Hopefully this is just a small bump in the road for Brooks and something he can bounce back from.

Five Things We Saw

  1. Lack of defending on the perimeter. The Cavs shot 61.5% from three this game and it was due to breakdowns on defense. Poor rotations, failure to contain penetration which allowed for kick-outs and bad close outs. You let a team make 16 three-pointers in a game, you can count yourself out for that game.
  2. Poor Bench Play. Aside from Morrow who had 15 points, the rest of the bench gave us virtually nothing in this game. Brooks was ineffective tonight and Shelden Williams and DeShawn Stevenson each looked the part of bit pieces not really integrating into the team yet.
  3. MarShon Brooks. Who thought this year would be all peaches and cream with no setbacks? Not you? Me either. Looks he’s a rookie and was playing his third game in four nights, so games like this will happen. What will be interesting is to see how he bounces back from this, I got to imagine he didn’t have many scoreless nights at Providence.
  4. Where did the assists go? Deron Williams’ assists totals have been going down and his turnovers have been going up. His larger responsibility to score and lack of talent around him are definitely factors, but I think even he’d admit his playmaking and decision-making need to improve.
  5. On to the next one. We knew this season would not be the smoothest and things only got rockier with the injury to Brook Lopez. The beauty of a shortened season is you don’t have to wait too long until your next game. Move on, get better and beat the Pacers tomorrow night.