One of the most disappointing players for the Brooklyn Nets this season was Gerald Wallace. But since the playoffs have begun, he has become one of the most important.
The stats speak for themselves. In games 1, 4, and 5 (two Nets wins and a triple overtime loss), Wallace has scored 14, 17, and 12 points, while scoring 5 field goals and hitting at least 1 three in each game. In those games the Nets have also averaged 117 points, although the triple overtime game does skew that number a bit.
Meanwhile, in Nets regulation losses, Wallace has scored just 7 combined points, which is closer to his season average of 8 points per game, although it was much lower than that towards the end of the year.
So is Wallace the key to the Nets’ offense? There’s a good chance that he is. When he is a threat from 3-point range, the Bulls can’t just leave him wide open knowing that he will miss uncontested 3’s. If there is a good possibility that he will hit those shots, the Bulls need to keep a defender somewhere near him, which opens up the paint for cutters and slashers like Deron Williams, C.J. Watson, and even Brook Lopez.
The Nets have always had 3 extremely talented offensive players in their starting lineup with Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, and Brook Lopez. If they can add a fourth to the mix in game 6 and if necessary game 7 with Gerald Wallace, perhaps they will be the 9th team in NBA history to win a series after being down 3-1.