Tonight, Gerald Wallace and the Nets were defeated by the Milwaukee Bucks, 106-95, as Brandon Jennings went off for 30 points and Ersan Ilyasova collected 17 rebounds.
Before I begin, feel free to check out our live game notes if you missed the game and want to read about individual plays and moments.
The Nets only dressed ten players tonight and often looked like a depleted team. Sundiata Gaines, third string point guard, was unable to guard Brandon Jennings. Also, Jordan Williams and Kris Humphries were overwhelmed in the paint by Ilyasova and Gooden. Even though the Nets didn’t have the players to keep up with the Bucks tonight, New Jersey scored in a variety of ways and finished with a 47% shooting efficiency. As a result, the Nets were able to hang around until crunch time in the fourth quarter. Late in the fourth quarter though, the Nets’ lack of ball movement on offense and poor rebounding made winning feel impossible.
The game lacked intensity for long stretches tonight. Much of the first half featured some very embarrassing moments that probably happened because neither team was entirely focused. Both teams had way too many fast breaks and open dunks, particularly in the first quarter. The Nets had countless disorganized offensive possessions that resulted in last second desperation shots. Thanks in large part to Sundiata Gaines, many of those desperation shots went in. Needless to say, this was not a pretty brand of basketball to watch.
The Nets came close to tying this game in the second half. Gerald Wallace, Gerald Green, and MarShon Brooks made some impressive plays. I was very encouraged by MarShon Brooks’ performance in particular. He was the only Net to show up in fourth quarter crunch time. In my mind, the jury is still out on MarShon because he has had an up and down season. With the Nets so undermanned and these final games so meaningless, MarShon has a great chance to show off his offensive game. He showed up in the fourth quarter on offense.
Player stats, grades, and notes:
Sundiata Gaines: 5-8 FG, 11 PTS, 0 REBS, 3 AST, -15. Grade: D+
Gaines always brings energy and passion to the table, but that was just not enough tonight. He is completely inept at running an offense, as many people have long suspected. He is also bad at one on one defense and Brandon Jennings exposed him tonight. His scoring efficiency was definitely a positive – but I didn’t like some of the shots he took.
MarShon Brooks: 7-18 FG, 17 PTS, 3 TO, -18. Grade: B
Late in the fourth quarter and the game slipping away, MarShon drilled a big three and had a dunk in transition. This was great to see. I feel like he has gotten better in crunch time as the season has gone on. His defense improving? Not so much. He had the worst +/- on the team. He also took some bad shots, at least two of which were blocked. I really hope he can get better at drawing fouls.
Gerald Wallace: 7-12 FG, 18 PTS, 11 REBS, 4 AST, 34:35 MINS. Grade: A-
Wallace led the team in points, rebounds, assists, and minutes played tonight. His double-double is very legit as yet again, he brought so much to the table. Countless times, the Nets relied on Wallace to make something happen on offense. More often then not, he delivered. However, he was invisible in the fourth quarter.
Kris Humphries: 6-11 FG, 12 PTS, 7 REBS, 3 TO, 33:40 MINS. Grade: C+
For the second time this season, Humphries was outplayed by Ersan Ilyasova. The Nets are very undersized and rely on Humphries to compensate for it with solid rebounding. He certainly did not do that tonight. 7 rebounds is too little. Also, he only took one free throw all night (and missed it).
Jordan Williams: 4 PTS, 6 REBS. Johan Petro: 8 PTS, 8 REBS. Collective Grade: C-
I am grouping Williams and Petro together because they each played 20 minutes and had the same role: collect rebounds. They didn’t do a good enough job of it.
Gerald Green: 6-12 FG, 16 PTS, 3 REBS. Grade: B
Solid game from Green. He scored on a variety of midrange jumpers – the usual. I wish he were better at rebounding, considering he jumps so high.
Anthony Morrow: 2-7 FG, 4 PTS. Grade: F
I am disappointed with Morrow’s recent performances. He has been very streaky this season.
On Monday at 7:30, the Nets will play their last ever game in New Jersey versus the Philadelphia 76ers. We’ll see you then.