By Cory Bernstein
With Deron Williams and Kris Humphries out with minor injurires, the Nets had to go into Boston without three of the their best players. We knew this was going to be ugly, but the question was how much so.
The answer, not good, but the Nets gave it their all against one of the best teams in the league. MarShon Brooks has gone from a rookie who can score to an offensive machine who could win Rookie of the Year. Brooks carried the Nets to a shocking first half lead, where he scored fifteen points and had the offesne running through him. But, the Celtics caught on to Brooks' act, double teaming the budding star they traded on draft day, shutting him down completely.
Despite a semi-collapse in the second half, I can't be upset with a team comprised of largely backups playing competitively for two and half quarters.
Sundiata Gaines- 4.5 The Celtics let Gaines shoot open jumpers for most of the game, and this plan worked. Via hoopdata, Gaines was 0-3 on mid range jumpers (ten to fifteen footers) and had the same numbers from beyond the arc. Gaines did have six assists, but he needed to capitalize on the opportunity the Celtics gave haim.
MarShon Brooks- 7.5 Brooks was an absolute beast. He killed the famously stingy defense in the first half, exploding for fifteen points. The Celtics double-teamed Brooks at the end of the first half, and to repeat THE BOSTON CELTICS DOUBLE-TEAMED MARSHON BROOKS. One of best defenses of the past decade had to double team the 25th pick in the most recent draft. It's fine that he was rendered useless after the half, as his first half was so incredible. Brooks got hurt in the fourth quarter, and it seems he will be okay. If not, we could be in some trouble.
Damion James- 4.5 He got hurt at the end of the first half, so its hard to judge him. He did nothing on offense in eighteen minutes (two points) though.
Shelden Williams- 5.5 Shelden literally cannot play offense, but it's fine if he gets rebounds (which he did) and makes extremely easy close shots (which he also did). He's a backup whose starting, and has done okay in an extended amount of minutes the last few games.
Mehmet Okur- 4.0 Dear Mehmet Okur, You are seven feet tall. You have been blessed with height and have worked hard to become a good basketball player, but you insist on only shooting threes. Other teams know you can't dribble and just play up on you, because you are seven feet tall shooting threes. Please be like a normal center and play under the rim. You can still shoot some threes, but you can do things like rebound and post up when you are less than twenty five feet away from the basket.
Jordan Farmar- 5.0 After doing much of nothing for a few games, Farmar got twenty seven minutes and played like Jordan Farmar. He is a very average player, shooting 4-9 with six assits and three turnovers. I don't like him, but he should be getting 8-10 minutes a game to give some guys a rest when the season gets rough.
Anthony Morrow- 5.5 Games like these should help Morrow as he's shooting poorly. He was able to let it rip at the end of this game, and he did well, going 4-7 from the field and making the only three he took. When he gets his groove back, Morrow will be the elite shooter that we remember as from last season.
Shawne Willaims- 4.5 Like Farmar, he also played very average. As I was turning the game off (with about three minutes left), he sank a corner three, which seems to be the only thing he can do. I'd like so see him play better defense and be more involved like he was on the Knicks.
DeShawn Stevenson- 4.0 He's been doing nothing when on the court. He took two shots, had one rebound, and one assist. Ho hum.
Johan Petro- JP Frenchie played a little better on defense, but still is Johan Petro. (Hence the JP mark)
Next up, Toronto! (Although for some reason, the Nets official site feels the need to ignore what may be the team with the best chemistry in the East, and promote the Heat game)
Get more great New Jersy Nets analysis over at Brooklyn-Bound.