I won’t insult you with a late recap. However, I do want to talk about this game. Brooklyn defeated Portland 111-93, and it was a blowout from the outset. Brooklyn led by 20 at the end of the first quarter, and by 23 at the end of the first half. To end the game, Brooklyn shot 48% from the floor, grabbed 19 offensive rebounds (54 total rebounds), and four of the five starters had at least three assists, led by Deron Williams with his ten total assists. Anytime you have a game like that, you’re going to win. All five starters received an A from me in the first watch, but I did a bit of regard in the morning rerun, and decided to post them here. I want to talk about Reggie Evans.
For every preview and recap I post, Reggie Evans has been shortchanged. Mainly because of his past antics in other organizations, but mainly because I don’t believe he’s that talented. While he does bring two very important NBA talents to the table, the prevailing thought when watching this Nets team is: If Brooklyn only had a power forward who can hit an 18 footer. In the previews, I usually write about how lackluster he is offensively, how he’ll muster his way to about eight to ten rebounds, and become a detriment on the offensive end. In the recap, I usually supply him with either an A or a F, based on his rebounding, defense, and hustle. Yesterday against the Portland Trail Blazers, Reggie Evans was magnificent. Evans finished with twenty-two points on 9-13 shooting, twenty-six rebounds, three assists, and could’ve had more if he makes more of his free-throws (Evans was just 4-9 from the charity stripe). Overall, Reggie Evans had one of his best games, whether it be his energy around the basket, or his defense on J.J. Hickson. While Evans struggled to man LaMarcus Aldridge (11-14 shooting, twenty-four points, and just four rebounds for LMA), that was to be expected for Evans. Everything else he did was great, and as someone who constantly overlooks Reggie’s contributions, I think not only is a congratulations is in order, but a round of applause as well.
Touching on another point about this game: This was a huge win for the Nets. Not because it moved them up in either the playoff picture or Atlantic Division picture, but because after the close call against the Suns, it seemed like Brooklyn was capable of blowing games against inferior opponents. At this point in the season, that doesn’t need to happen, and Brooklyn came out early and set the pace. I noted how four members of the starting five had three assists or more, well not only did they move the ball around well enough to get Keith Bogans, a starter due to an injured Joe Johnson six three-point attempts, but they also found Gerald Wallace for twelve field goal attempts, all while getting Lopez his twenty-four attempts. This is a huge win, mainly because it showed us that Brooklyn has another level to their game, and when they play like this, it’s almost impossible to stop them.
Let’s talk quick grades.
Deron Williams: 6 points | 10 assists | 3-11 shooting| Grade: B-
- Damian Lillard got the best of him tonight, but Williams will still masterful at setting up others for decent looks.
Kieth Bogans: 11 points | 3 assists | 4-7 shooting| Grade: B
- Got the start for an injured Joe Johnson, and made the best of it. Not only was he hitting the three ball, but he also was helpful on moving the ball, and playing defense on both Lillard and Wesley Matthews.
Gerard Wallace: 12 points | 5-12 shooting | 6 rebounds | 5 assists | Grade: B’
- Not to stay too boring, but if Wallace made two or three more baskets, I would’ve giving him an A. Wallace brought it on both sides of the court, and that will be needed come April. I think he also found some areas where he could get his shot off too. If Wallace can get about 10-14 shots a night (at the power forward position, please P.J.), I think the Nets are going to be a tough out in the playoffs.
Reggie Evans: See above.| Grade: A+
- Reggie did his thing.
Brook Lopez: 28 points |12-22 shooting | 5 rebounds | Grade: B
- I thought Lopez had a solid game, even though he missed ten shots and couldn’t grab any rebounds from Reggie. Another strong offensive night, and he even held his own against Aldridge and Hickson on the inside.