Despite the many failures the Nets had this year, there were a few good moments, plays, and games sprinkled in between. With only one game remaining at Toronto on Thursday, I don’t think there will be any additions to this list, especially with half of the Nets team injured or not playing due to the meaninglessness of the last few games. In this article, I will do my best to provide you with my favorite moments from the 2011-12 Nets’ season.
BONUS #1: Petro for 3!!!
Johan Petro had an awful season for the Nets. As a 7-footer, he shot under 42% and averaged under 4 rebounds per game. He was booed frequently at home by Nets fans due to his incompetence on the basketball court. However, Petro did do one thing this year that he had never done before: he made a 3-pointer. Coming into this season, in his career, Petro was 0-8 from 3. This year, he was 1-1. Of course, Petro’s 3 did come in the last minute of a 30 point blowout loss to Miami. See his 3 below.
Bonus #2: Deshawn for 3!!!
This is very similar to Petro’s 3 above. Despite shooting nearly 40% from 3 last year, Deshawn shot under 30% this year, which is especially bad because 142 of Deshawn’s 168 field goal attempts this year have been from 3. However, Deshawn’s 3 point % should be even lower, because this shot should never have went in. He was attempting an alley-oop from halfcourt, but instead the pass found the bottom of the net. Like Petro’s 3 above, this shot came in a blowout loss in Orlando.
#10: Nets hit 20 3’s.
The Nets broke a franchise record and set the NBA season high by making 20 3’s in this game on 57% shooting from deep. The problem was that the Nets defense on the Denver Nuggets was terrible in this game, and Denver shot 61% on 3’s. The Nets lost this game, 123-115. One of the bright spots was Jordan Farmar, who scored a season high 26 points, most of which coming in the second half to keep the Nets in the game. You can see some highlights of the game below, but unfortunately most of those highlights are of the Nuggets.
#9: Nets come back from 19 down to beat Golden State.
This game was I believe the turning point in the season for the Nets. This was the first game of a west coast trip after they had recently lost all three games of a homestand to New Orleans, Cleveland, and Washington. They went 2-2 on the road trip and were competitive in all the games. The Nets played better at the end of the season than they had been playing at the start, and this game was the beginning of that turn around. Gerald Wallace had his first impact game with the Nets, scoring 24 points, grabbing 18 rebounds, and recording 6 steals. Gerald Green was also big in the fourth quarter, and scored 20 points in the game. Deron Williams only scored 9 points, but tied an NBA season high with 20 assists. See highlights of the game below.
#8: Anthony Morrow scores 42 vs. Minnesota.
Who says you can’t shoot with the sightlines in the Prudential Center? Anthony Morrow really did not have a great season for the Nets, but he had a career game on this night. He shot 13-20 from the field, 8-11 from 3, and 8-8 from the free throw line. Too bad the Nets couldn’t stop Nikola Pekovic, who had 27 points and 11 rebounds in a 3 point win for the Timberwolves. Morrow showed us what he was capable of on this night, but it is too bad he couldn’t do this more often this season. See a video of all of Morrow’s field goals below.
#7: Gerald Green’s windmill vs. Houston.
Gerald Green was one of the few bright spots this season for the Nets. Since the Nets picked up Green at the end of February, he has averaged 13 points per game and has brought some excitement to a mostly boring team. After winning the NBA slam dunk contest while with the Celtics in 2007, Green’s career really went downhill until the Nets picked him up this year. The one moment where we all knew he was back was this dunk against Houston. It was the best dunk of the year for the Nets and one of the dunks of the year in the NBA. My favorite part of this is the Houston bench’s reaction to it. At first they get really pumped up because the dunk was awesome, but soon realize that it was made by the other team. See the dunk below. #GREENMACHINE!!!
#6: Nets fans show up for final home game vs. Philadelphia.
Throughout the Nets’ time in New Jersey, Nets fans have gotten used to watching games in half empty areans, or even arenas full of fans of the opposing teams. The Nets had plenty of both of those situations this year, but there was one exception. After an 0-3 homestand where the Nets played Boston, Miami, and New York, the Nets returned to Newark a few nights ago to play the final NBA game in New Jersey. Again it was a sellout, but this time it was Nets fans who bought the tickets. The fans were louder than usual the whole night, but when the Nets were making a run in the third quarter, the fans were as loud as they have been since the Nets last made the playoffs in 2007. Even though the Nets lost the game, it was a good ending to a tough year in New Jersey. See highlights of the final Nets game in New Jersey below.
#5: Brook Lopez scores 38 vs. Dallas.
Brook Lopez only played in 5 games for the Nets this year due to many injuries, but he showed what he is capable of doing in this game against the defending NBA champion Dallas Mavericks. He dropped 38 points on 17-28 shooting in this game, leading the Nets to a surprise 1-point victory on the road. If only the Nets had Lopez the entire season, who knows where they could be right now. See all of Lopez’s field goals below.
#4: Humphries Leads Nets to shocking road win in Chicago.
This game was shocking for many reasons. The Nets had an 8-game losing streak going into this game, while the Bulls had the best home record in the NBA and only 1 home loss heading in. Deron Williams had a good game with 29 points and 8 assists, and The Hump dropped 24, while also pitching in 18 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 Hump Blocks. What makes this even more shocking is that this game was a blowout as the Nets won by 12, and it wasn’t even that close. Bulls fans were definitely shocked at the outcome of this game. See highlights of the game below.
#3: Deron Williams drops NBA season high 57 points at Charlotte.
Another one of the few bright spots in the season for the Nets was whenever they played the Charlotte Bobcats. Of course, the Bobcats only have 7 wins and are one of the worst teams in NBA history, but it is still good to sweep the season series from any team (the Knicks couldn’t sweep the Bobcats this year, thanks to Boris Diaw). In this game, the Nets had a nailbiter and were only able to win by 3, but that was not the story. Deron Williams scored more points in this game than any NBA player has scored in a game this season. What makes this even more impressive is that he is also tied for the lead in assists in a game this season with 20. Deron shot 16-29 from the field from the field in this game, and, even more impressive, shot 21-21 from the foul line! That’s unheard of! See all of Deron’s field goals below.
#2: Deron Williams leads Nets to big win over Knicks at MSG.
When the Nets move to Brooklyn next year, they want to take over New York City and leave the Knicks in the dust. Even though this was only one game, it definitely went a long way in showing Knicks fans that the Nets are coming to town. This was a big statement win for the Nets and was arguably their most important victory of the season. Deron Williams scored 38 points before fouling out midway through the 4th quarter, including scoring 10 straight points in less than a minute in the third quarter. After D-Will fouled out, the other Nets were just able to hold on to get the win. It felt great to beat the Knicks in this game, and hopefully we will see many more victories over New York next season. See a video of Deron on fire below.
#1: Humphries blocks Griffin and Farmar’s buzzer beater stuns Clippers.
The best moment of the Nets 2011-12 season comes in two parts from the same game. The Nets were facing a far more talented team in the Los Angeles Clippers, who are led by Blake Griffin and Chris Paul. The Nets countered with Kris Humphries and Deron Williams. The first great moment from this game came when the Clippers were making a run back into this game. Early on, it seemed like this game was going to belong to the Nets. They led by 8 at halftime and seemed pretty comfortable heading into the third quarter. However, the Clippers began making a comeback in the third quarter, led by Blake Griffin, who had already had plenty of highlight reel dunks earlier on that night. At this point of the game, The Hump had had enough of Griffin and was ready to tell him to get out of here. On a perfect lob pass from Chris Paul to Griffin, Humphries came flying in out of nowhere and blocked Griffin. It was a great defensive play on the best dunker in basketball and was one of the Nets best moments of the year. The second moment of this game came in the last second. The Nets were leading the whole game until the very end, when the Clippers made a run and finally took a 2-point lead on a pair of Chris Paul foul shots. But the Nets were not done and had a chance to tie or take the lead with 5 seconds left. The ball was inbounded to Deron Williams in the back court, who made a perfect bounce pass to Jordan Farmar, who swished home a wide open 3 with less than a second remaining. This was one of the few impressive home victories the Nets had this season. See videos of Humphries’s block and Farmar’s 3 below.
Do you think my list should be in a different order? Do you have any additions or subtractions that you think should be made? Post your opinions in the comments section below.