The Nets won back-to-back home games for the very first time this season tonight, as they demolished the Wizards, 110-98, and it wasn’t nearly that close. The Nets were leading by over 20 points for much of the fourth quarter unti the last 5 minutes when they inserted Petro, Sundiata, and Horner into the lineup. The Nets played as well as they have ever played this season, never trailing in the game and being in complete control throughout. The Wizards only got within 10 once in the second half, and the Nets actually looked like a good team tonight, but this may be because they were playing the Wizards. They had one of their best offensive outputs of the year, and the defense was definitely above average.
The Nets had a very balanced attack in this game, with 7 players scoring 8+ points and 5 players with 14+. Unlike against Portland, the starters and bench players were equally effective tonight, and it seemed like every Net who got significant minutes played well. The key stat tonight was the field goal shooting: 56%. That is incredible for the Nets. They took a lot of good open shots, and were hitting them. The bench shot 20-30, despite an 0-2 from Petro. The starters were again led by Gerald Wallace, whose effort is incredible.
The Wizards showed us why they are the second worst team in the NBA tonight. Their defense is putrid, and this had their coach Randy Wittman making Paul-Silas-like gestures (his head was buried in his palms for most of the second half). The Wizards were led by John Wall, who had 18 points and a few highlight dunks, but he did not get too much help. Jordan Crawford only shot 3-12 and missed a lot of layups. Jan Vesely was pretty bad. Kevin Seraphin had 15 points and 9 rebounds, but really didn’t impact the game too much.
This was an important win for the Nets because they wanted revenge after getting blown out at home by the Wizards a few weeks ago. They definitely got their revenge tonight, capped off by an explosive Gerald Green dunk in the fourth quarter that got me out of my seat, yelling, “GREEN MACHINE!”.
Player stats, grades, and notes:
Marshon Brooks: 18 points, 8-15 FG, 6 reb, 6 ast, 2 to, 36 min. Grade: A+
YAY MARSHON!!! Marshon finally emerged from his slump Friday night and played his best game in a long, long time. His shot selection was pretty good, and his passing and rebounding were excellent. He even ran some point guard because of the Farmar injury. He played well at point guard too, and we may see Avery experiment with this as the season winds down. What a nice, refreshing performance from Marshon. He also played excellent D on Jordan Crawford.
Deron Williams: 19 points, 7-15 FG, 3-6 3 pt FG, 13 ast, 5 to, 33 min. Grade: B+
D-Will had his typical game. He shot better than average, and was also passing very well. His 5 turnovers are a little bit high, but he is the only point guard on this roster right now (sorry Sundiata, but you don’t count, you’re too terrible). It’s nice to see Deron make some 3’s at the Prudential Center, something he has almost never been able to do this year.
Gerald Wallace: 19 points, 6-9 FG, 3-5 3 pt FG, 5 reb, 3 ast, 2 blk, 1 stl, 1 to, 35 min. Grade:
Gerald Wallace has set the tone for every game since the Pacers game, which was the turning point in the season for the Nets. He gave them the lead in the first quarter, helped them hold on to it in the second quarter, and didn’t need to do much in the 3rd and 4th because the Nets already had a big lead. Wallace was able to draw fouls almost at will and even shot well in this game. I’m changing his grade to an A.
Kris Humphries: 8 points, 3-10 FG, 12 reb, 3 ast, 1 stl, 1 blk, 0 to, 28 min. Grade: B-
The Hump did not have a great game offensively tonight, but luckily he didn’t need to, as the rest of the team did. He shot poorly, but was still active on the glass. He got a good share of offensive boards and had a big Hump Block in the beginning of the game. An average performance by Kris.
Gerald Green: 9 points, 4-8 FG, 4 ast, 2 to, 27 min. Grade: A
Ok, Green’s stats don’t deserve an A, but his dunk in the fourth quarter got me out of my seat and this is why he deserves an A. That dunk officially clinched this W for the Nets, because soon after it was made, Avery sent in “The Big 3″-Petro, Sundiata, and Horner. We will be posting a video of this dunk soon.
Anthony Morrow: 17 points, 8-11 FG, 1-2 3 pt FG, 1 ast, 1 stl, 1 to, 20 min. Grade: A-
The only reason Morrow didn’t get an A or A+ is because he didn’t take enough 3’s! He was on fire tonight, but settled for 2-pointers. I am not mad at him for this, because a 2-pointer is still valuable, but come on Anthony! If you’re having “one of those nights”, take a few steps back and hoist up some 3’s. Morrow did play very well though, and almost averaged a point per minute in this game.
Jordan Williams: 14 points, 7-7 FG, 4 reb, 1 blk, 0 to, 24 min. Grade: A+
“J-Will! J-Will!”. That is what Nets fans should have chanted for Jordan after he left this game, even though I don’t think any of them actually did. J-Will had a career high 14 points and didn’t miss a shot in this game. For some reason, he was unable to get to the foul line, but I will take a perfect shooting performance and a career high in points any day.
After tonight, the Nets will have a day off and then have another home game against the Cavs on Sunday. After the performance tonight, it is hard to imagine the Nets not winning that game.