Tonight, the Brooklyn Nets defeated the Dallas Mavericks with a final score of 113-96. The Nets finished with 50.6% shooting from the field, 33.3% from three, and 76.2% from the free-throw line. With no Kris Humphries for the Nets tonight, Brooklyn took advantage of a pretty poor Dallas team. The defense was a concern going into the game, and a 32-point first quarter from Dallas wasn’t looking good, but Brooklyn shut down the Mavericks in the second and fourth quarter, holding them to just 19 points in each quarter.
Talking about my X-Factor, Andray Blatche had a good offensive game (6-7 shooting, 14 points), but he looked lackluster in other aspects of the game. Along with average defense against Dallas’ second unit big men (Elton Brand and Brandan Wright), but his four rebounds were also average. While it seems that Reggie Evans has locked himself into Brooklyn’s starting power forward spot, Blatche needs to come with better production off the bench as the team moves into the playoffs.
Let’s talk about these grades:
Deron Williams: 31 points | 6 assists | 13-25 shooting | Grade: A
Deron Williams has been remarkable since the All-Star break, but he’s also dominating opposing point guard on the offensive side of the ball. I thought Darren Collison would be pesky defending Williams, forcing him into terrible shots, and while he’s force Williams into some horrible shots, Williams fought through it, and made a ton of them. Great game for Williams, and while the assists total was low, he was looking for teammates.
Joe Johnson: 9 points | 5 assists | 4-12 shooting | Grade: C
I’m grading Johnson on a curve. He had a horrible shooting night, but like Johnson is tend to do, he goes into a facilitating mode that just impresses me. He’s an great pro, and when he realizes he can’t hit a basket, he will gladly hand it off to his backcourt counterpart. Along with Johnson’s offensive performance, he did a better than expected job on O.J. Mayo and Vince Carter on the defensive end. I thought him forcing post-ups on Vince allowed him to take advantage of him. With Mayo, Johnson had a couple of excellent closeouts that impressed me.
Gerald Wallace: 9 points | 5 steals | 2-6 shooting | Grade: C
The Nets will never play Wallace at power forward, I guess. Regardless, Gerald Wallace had another one of his games. He wasn’t much of a factor on the offensive end, mainly because he just won’t shoot, and he did a ton of annoying things on the defensive end. Wallace found himself guarding Jae Crowder (who replaced Shawn Marion) and Dirk Nowitzki at times, and for the most part, Wallace did a good job. Again, shoot the ball Gerald Wallace.
Reggie Evans : 4 points | 22 rebounds | 2-5 shooting | Grade: A
Reggie Evans just does Reggie Evans things. Dude just walked away with 22 rebounds, and that’s where he makes his money. I was also a fan of his non-defense tonight, but overall, 22 rebounds is going to get you an A from me.
Brook Lopez : 38 points | 11 rebounds | 15-22 shooting | Grade: A+
Phenomenal performance from Brook Lopez tonight. Not only did he score 38 points, looking dominant in every way, but he also grabbed 11 rebounds. Between Williams and Lopez, the Nets had zero chance of stopping either, and with Lopez operating the way he did (hook shots, drop steps, jumpers, and turnarounds), it’s very difficult to see any stop him when he was doing what he was doing tonight. Along with that, the defense was solid. I thought Lopez did well in defending some of Dallas’ low-post players, and he even contested Dirk on the outside. Overall, a fantastic performance for Brook.
Next Game: Nets go Los Angeles to face the L.A. Clippers. 10:30 on March 23rd.