Big guys put in big effort, little guys do little

for The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like The Brooklyn Paper on Facebook.

The Nets are off to their best start in a decade — and they’ve got their big men to thank for it.

Despite a minor stumble in Saturday’s loss to the Heat, the Nets finished November with an 11–4 record, their finest showing since the 2002–2003 season when they last reached the NBA Finals.

And the majority of that success should be attributed to the production of their front court on both sides of the floor.

Entering the season, the big men were the biggest question marks surrounding this Nets team. Could center Brook Lopez emerge as a star after missing nearly all of last season with foot injuries? Would reserves Andray Blatche and Reggie Evans gel with the team and provide a spark off the bench? Would Kris Humphries keep racking up the solid offensive numbers like he did last year?

The answers to those questions have been a resounding yes, a resounding yes, and a not quite (Humphries’s numbers are slightly down from last season).

But the much-touted back court hasn’t lived up to the hype — nor the contracts — they were awarded entering the season.

Deron Williams, the Nets leader and one of the best passers in the game, has struggled offensively all season long, shooting a dismal 38 percent from the floor — the worst of his career. Recent wrist and ankle injuries may have contributed to the poor production, but Williams must do better.

His back court mate Joe Johnson and swingman Gerald Wallace have also been disappointing through the first month of the season. Johnson, brought in during the offseason and dubbed the missing piece, has yet to produce the way the Nets envisioned. And Wallace, while excellent in spurts, has yet to find a groove offensively, averaging four fewer points per game than his career average.

Save for the aging Jerry Stackhouse, whose solid play has been a pleasant surprise, the back court hasn’t carried its weight.

Blame it on early season slumps or coach Avery Johnson’s slow paced offense, but whatever the case, the Nets marquee guards must raise their game to match the big play of the team’s big men.

Tom Lafe is a 6-foot-5 sports world insider with a middling high school basketball career who believes the Nets will be driven by the success of the team’s big men.

Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like The Brooklyn Paper on Facebook.

Reader Feedback

kyle from brooklyn heights says:
They do at least share similar stats with regards to flopping fines, thank you gerald wallace!
Dec. 6, 2012, 7:44 pm
Ny knicks from Ny says:
Weren't the nets better than aging and overrated knicks Tom? Lmao, why no more comparison?
Dec. 10, 2012, 12:44 pm

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.