Sports

NBA Analysis: Lessons Learned from Nets vs. Clippers

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By Mihnea "Mike" Gheorghita

“The Nets’ comeback falls short” is a little phrase we’ve been seeing all too often over the past weeks. This is not the team that lambasted the Clippers last year, and it most definitely isn’t the one with the 5-game winning streak. It’s a team that’s suffering intensely from losing a half of their star duo. Because there are no arguments whatsoever pointing anywhere else when it comes to Brook Lopez. When Deron Williams joined the team, not only did he make Brook better, but he got better in return because of Brook. The point – big man on-court relationship is invaluable for most teams, let alone the struggling Nets.

Brook’s 20 ppg and 7-8 boards were once again missed with a passion. Kris Humphries –who last time put Griffin down like a rabid dog- was unable to record another double-double, D-Will found his game late in the first half (and that didn’t help too much), and the refereeing was atrocious. I know, I know, it’s gotten so bad that we’ve got to blame the refs. But Dick Bavetta and his crew made some calls that spelled “I <3 LA” all over. Bright sides?

MarShon “Kobe Iverson Holy Mother of God” Brooks. 4th scoring leader tonight, Brooks is becoming a star in his own right – at a pleasing alarming rate! Also interesting, Petro got called “scoring machine” and Shelden Williams (after being called Shawne on a number of times by the Clips commentators) actually got stuff done. Let’s check the marks.

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Nets player of the game: MarShon Brooks (9.0). I assume he’ll be on our POTG list quite a lot from now on, as he appears to be the only one whose scoring hasn’t suffered in the past games. Maybe that’s happening because he’s still underrated, but he’s shown what he’s capable of, and man, it’s a joy to watch him grow! 19 points and 8 boards for the long-armed rookie who was on the court more than anyone.

Deron Williams – 6.0 Williams struggled once again, finding his game late (and losing it quickly afterwards). He was 5 out of 14 (!!!) from the field, and dished out just 6 assists. He’s sorely missing Brook Lopez, and his chances of being in Brooklyn next year drop dramatically (as do Dwight’s).

Johan Petro – 7.0 Now let’s be clear, Frenchie is marked solely on a Petro marking system. So a 7 for him equals a 5.5-ish for the rest. But either way, the new “scoring machine” got the most shots out, being 5 of 7 and adding a bit of everything else: 1 board, 1 assist, 1 steal and 1 turnover.

Shelden Williams – 6.5 Can I call him She-Will? Either way, the other Williams paid tribute to the first’s number, adding 8 points and 8 rebounds in 20 minutes of play. A product of Duke, Williams knows how to take a charge, and by God he took them. Not an excellent FT shooter, but surprisingly enough he did his job.

Anthony Morrow – 2.0 Ammo gets marked for how many points he scored. His only points came from the free throw line, and he was virtually inexistent beyond the arc. He’s being unsettlingly inconsistent, and that hurts both the Nets and Howard’s chances of landing here. Either he was intimidated by Okur’s 3pt self walking the court, or something keeps happening.

Mehmet Okur – 7.0 Memo pulled the “early Lopez”, scoring 15, but grabbing just 2 rebounds. He was decent from 3p land, and also got 3 assists. While this was slightly above average performance-wise, his defense was just as atrocious as the rest of the Nets’.

Jordan Farmar – 6.5 Farmar was as inconsistent as Morrow was, but was undoubtedly –and this hurts to say- THE point guard for the New Jersey Nets. Controlling the tempo, dishing out 7 assists and grabbing 7 boards (!!!), his major setback was poor shooting, being just 2 of 11 from the field.

Kris Humphries – 7.5 Kris was just his regular mediocre scoring, rebound grabbing self. He got 14 points, but also got blocked a consistent number of times, including by Blake Griffin, who made a show of it afterwards. 14 points (5 of 10) and 7 boards for the Incredible Hump, who was calm and collected during the whole game.

Get more great New Jersey Nets news and analysis over at Brooklyn-Bound.