After starting the season 3-2 and leaving many critics wondering if the Nets were as good as billed, they started off a winning streak that they hope to continue tomorrow against the Lakers. But first, let's talk about the game against Orlando in Brooklyn on the 11th.
The Nets came out on top 82-74, a score that resembled an NCAA game. Nevertheless, an until-then quiet Kris Humphries exploded with 21 rebounds and 14 points. Brook Lopez had 20 points and shot at 50%. Deron Williams also performed well, finishing with 17 points and 7 assists. Joe Johnson shot an abysmal 3-13 from the field, but still finished with 13 points. Johnson has had a very slow season to this point, and unfortunately it didn't get much better throughout the week, with the exception of the next game against the Cavaliers which was next on the schedule.
The Nets won that game 114-101. Johnson finally returned to form, finishing with 25 points and shooting over 50% from the field. Brook Lopez also was once again on fire, finishing with 23 points and ending at 10-14 from the field. Deron Williams recorded a double-double with 10 assists and 26 points in what would probably be considered his best performance of the season. Humphries slowed down a bit, finishing with 6 rebounds and 12 points, but seeing as the team got the win, no one will complain. The next game would be their biggest test so far this season other than the Miami Heat- the Boston Celtics, and they handled them well.
They beat the Celtics 102-97 in a game where they played well on both ends of the court. Kris Humphries once again recorded a double-double, finishing with 13 rebounds and 10 points, something all fans are hoping he can make a regular performance. Brook Lopez once again provided the bulk of the scoring, dropping 24 points on 11-14 from the field. Deron Williams also provided 24 points and had 8 dimes. Joe Johnson rattled off another impressive performance, finishing with 19 points, but had a slightly disappointing field goal percentage, where he shot 6-19, or slightly below 33%.
Just last night did the Nets take on the Sacramento Kings, all the way out in Sacramento, in a game where they also won, 99-90. This was the first game back for Gerald Wallace since injuring his ankle opening night, but he only played 24 minutes for precautionary measures. He did not perform extraordinarily well, only finishing with 4 points, but fans should give him a pass seeing as he clearly was not at 100%. Deron Williams finished with 14 points and 10 assists to record his second double-double of the week, but injured his arm in the process. He was able to shake off the injury and continue on, so it wasn't much to worry about. The majority of the scoring came from the bench, with Andre Blatche, the amnestied big man, finishing with 22 points on 11-12 shooting. MarShon Brooks had 14 on 5-6 shooting, and CJ Watson also had 13 points and 3 assists, a respectable total for only 23 minutes.
One thing of note that is a bit disturbing is the lack of playing time for Bosnian import Mirza Teletovic. During the offseason, the Nets elected to sign him using their MLE, and thus were unable to resign Gerald Green, who had very quickly become a fan favorite. One has to wonder if the Nets made the right decision in going after Teletovic, but of course, this is his rookie season and he is a player from overseas, so growing pains are expected. Another troubling thing is the lack of production production from Joe Johnson. Johnson had a few good games this week, but last night he shot 10% from the field against a bad Kings team. Johnson is clearly not used to the big lights of New York, but his current field goal percentage is unacceptable. He needs to start shooting at with more efficiency and stop being so nervous to drive to the net. Brook Lopez has been on fire all season, picking up the slack that Johnson was expected to have. His performances have had Nets fans asking- Dwight Howard who?
The Nets take on Dwight Howard and the Los Angeles Lakers tomorrow evening at 10:30 PM, in Los Angeles.