Offense: Gaines is strong-bodied and can finish around the rim (73 FG% at rim in his 10 games as a Net), but when he’s on the floor, he’s really not there to score. He attempts more three pointers (1.7 per game) than any other shot attempt, but only connects on those attempts 24 percent of the time, dragging down his entire field goal percentage to a less desirable 40 percent. Factor in his 50% success rate from the charity stripe, and you have a guy who really shouldn’t be relied upon offensively in any meaningful way – despite the fact that the guy made a name for himself in the NBA after being called up from the D-League in 2010 and hitting a dramatic game-winning three for the Utah Jazz.
He’s a an above-average ball distributor, with an assist ratio of 22.1 last season, but he also turns the ball over on about 14 percent of his possessions – again less than desirable for a guy who’s primary role on the roster is to give your all-star PG a breather.
Defense: Gaines, by all accounts is an above average defender despite his small stature – again his strong body allows him to outmuscle taller PGs, hence a rebound rate of 7.9 that surprisingly (sadly) rivaled Brook Lopez’s 10.0 last season. Looking at on court/off court numbers, the nets allowed 102.3 points per 100 possessions with Gaines on the floor and 111.8 with him off the floor, though with only 10 games and 15 minutes a game, that’s a small sample size.
2011-12 Outlook: Interestingly enough, Gaines joined up with the Nets after Deron Williams joined the team last year. Both played together in Utah, and we all know how D-Will is the assistant to the assistant GM. So you do the math. However, as of now, he’s the third-string PG, though I wonder if he can move into a bigger role if the Nets move Jordan Farmar.
I mentioned last year that Gaines makes Farmar expendable, but that’s also with the understanding that D-Will is healthy and playing 35+ minutes a game. Gaines is one of those guys who looks great in small spurts off the bench – making smart hustle plays and resembling an Energizer Bunny – but will get badly exposed in a more prominent role.
Facts of Life: Like his fellow PG teammates, Williams and Farmar, Gaines suited up overseas during the NBA Lockout, playing for the BC Armia Tibilsi in Georgia.
Relevant Jay-Z Lyric:
Cool, it might take a couple of takes for you to clarify
Don’t lie, you coulda never got in on the first try
But never to worry, I’m not in a hurry, take your time
Cause it’s my rhyme, I siggeda-said so