Farmar and Stevenson May Be Roots of Nets’ Recent On-Court Woes


The Nets are now mired in a 4-game losing streak, and during this time, two players have been missing from the team who have been there the whole year: Deshawn Stevenson and Jordan Farmar. Stevenson last played on March 16th, a blowout loss in Orlando. That was also the last game before the Gerald Wallace trade, and since then Wallace has taken over Stevenson’s starting job and Stevenson has not even entered the game once. Between February 15 and March 16, Deshawn started every single game, but since then he has not played a minute. The Nets are 0-3 since that time, losing all three games at home against weak opponents. Deshawn is not injured, so Avery’s benching of him is very interesting. Farmar last played on March 14th against the Raptors in a Nets victory. He injured his groin in that game and has not played since. The Nets are 0-4 in that time. They definitely need him back on the court ASAP.

Even though Deshawn Stevenson‘s numbers may not say it, he has definitely impacted whether the Nets win or lose this season. When Deshawn has started for the Nets this year, they are 12-14. In contrast, when he has either not played or come off the bench, the Nets are just 3-19. That is a huge difference, and it is not a coincidence. When I saw this, it really surprised me because Deshawn has been very frustrating to watch this year. 107 of his 125 field goal attempts this year have been from 3, where he is only shooting 27%. Whenever he puts a 3 up, I assume it is going to be front rim and I wish that he wouldn’t have even shot it. Deshawn is only averaging 3.0 ppg, 2.1 rpg, and 0.8 apg, but he is clearly helping the Nets get victories. One reason for this might be his defense, but even this I am unimpressed with. He is now in his 30’s, and really cannot keep up with the young, fast players anymore, but I guess he has to be better than some of the other Nets defenders. Also, he is an NBA veteran and a good role model for younger players. I’m not sure how this impacts the Nets’ play on the court, but it is clearly leading them to victories.

Moving on to Jordan Farmar, who has been injured recently. During his absence, a combination of Sundiata Gaines and Jerry Smith have been the backup point guards, and neither has played well at all. I have always liked Sundiata’s effort and hustle, but he just isn’t talented enough to be a backup point guard in the NBA. He should be one of the last guys on the bench and only play in garbage time or emergency situations. He is playing too many minutes now, and when he plays a lot, he gets tired and can’t hustle as much. Backup point guard is too big of a role for him. Jerry Smith was a nice college player, but sorry Jerry, you’re a career D-Leaguer. This year, Farmar has averaged 10.6 points and 3.4 assists per game as a backup point guard. Those are solid stats for someone who plays about 20 minutes a game. Also, Farmar plays more and more as the game goes on, and if it is close in the fourth quarter, you are likely to see him playing. He hit the game winning shot to beat the Clippers this year, and could be the Nets most clutch player (I have nothing else to back that statement up with other than the Clippers game, but no other Net seems to be clutch at all, including D-Will). Another reason that Farmar is valuable is that he can get hot quickly and out of nowhere, and he can make just about any shot when he’s hot. He has really become an excellent shooter this year, improving his 3 point percentage from 36% last year to 44% this year and his free throw percentage from 82% last year to 90% this year. Those are some huge improvements, and he is among the NBA leaders in both categories. Maybe even more important than his shooting is that, unlike Gaines or Smith, Farmar can lead an offense and is a good point guard. He has good court vision and has made his share of good passes this year. Without Farmar, if Deron is not in the lineup, the offense becomes stalled. The Nets really need Farmar back in the lineup if they want to win any more games this year.