By Cory Bernstein
After a week long vacation, all the stress relieved by spending time in the Dominican Republic came right back by the middle of the second quarter of this game. To put it nicely, the Nets looked terrible. To put it honestly, the Nets barely looked like an NBA basketball team. This did not look like the team that gave the Hawks a nice run on Friday, but the group that was destroyed by Atlanta earlier in the week.
I said I thought the first five games where a stretch where the Nets should have been able to get to 3-2 or 4-1 before the season started, but obviously I was mistaken. Here are my grades for the team, soccer style (on a scale from one to ten). Note: It's the first time I'm doing this, so as a heads up everything is relative to what I expect out of the player. For example, Marshon Brooks could get a better rating than Deron Williams, but that does not mean Marshon
Brooks had a better game than D-Will, but rather he exceeded expectations more so than D-Will. Also only ratings to guys who actually had an impact on the game (Horner and Shawne Williams don't get them for this game).
Deron Williams - 3.0 D-Will has been struggling lately, and is the first one to admit it. He has freely admitted he is "playing bad", and this puzzling to me. Deron was supposed to come into this season in perfect shape, after playing competitive ball in Turkey for two months leading up to the season. But, this has clearly not been the case. Deron did have a some wonderful crossovers that lead to baskets, but all in all he struggled mightily, shooting 6-16 from the field with six turnovers. Deron will be fine, great players have bad games too, but doesn't make sense as to why he has been playing so bad.
Sundiata Gaines - 5.0 Gaines got another start last night and played decent in this unique role in the offense. He once again showed his great work ethic, always hustling and working to get steals and second chances, but needs to work on his ball handling. This was one of the sloppier games I've seen in a while, and Gaines contributed to that with five turnovers.
Damion James - 6.0 I've conceeded that James is a horrible offensive player. All I expect out of him at this point is to play good defense and shoot when he has to. And he wasn't as good as normal on defense, but was didn't try to do to much on offense, which is good when you cannot shoot a basketball and you are playing basketball.
Kris Humphries - 4.0 If he doesn't get nine rebounds, it's a bad game for Hump. When he shoots less than 45% from the field, it's a bad game for Hump.Hump had five rebounds and was one for five from the field (although he did go an impressive 9 for 11 from the line). Not his best effort by any means, but everyone stunk last night.
Mehmet Okur 5.0 - Memo had ten points and went two for five from downtown, and chipped in eight rebounds. However, he just seemed (as he has all season) a little bit off last night. Memo still seems to be learning the offense and getting into game shpae, which is fine. But if this team wants to start winning games, he has to play better as the man in the middle.
Anthony Morrow- 4.0 Morrow has really struggled this year, and although tonight was a slight improvement, he still had a poor game. Morrow only shot 33% from downtown. He was his same horrible self on defense, and although I love Morrow, he needs to put some effort in on the defensive end. I'm not expecting him to be the next Bruce Bowen, but he won't get tons of minutes and the respect of fans if doesn't try on one side of the ball.
MarShon Brooks - 3.5- His job is to provide instant offense. He scored zero points. The writing's on the wall for that one.
DeShawn Stevenson - 5.0 He was very indifferent tonight, Deshawn got some minutes, took a few threes and played okay defense, and I want to see that killer instinct he had in Dallas. I also want to see him punch LeBron in the face during the first Nets-Heat game.
Shelden Williams - 6.5 The Landlord played well last night, making all of his shots (he only took two though) and played good on defense. He is a good backup forward who hustles his ass off, and would be a great guy on a chance to win a title, which is pretty much any team besides the Nets right now.
Rookie Watch: Scoreless for 12 minutes of play, Swag had a pretty bad night, but it's too early to blame lack of consistency. We know he's got it in him, now it's all about self-confidence and "d-will" to get things done.
Next up, Indiana!
Get more great New Jersey Nets analysis over at Brooklyn-Bound.