Nets-Pacers Recap: Nets Pull Off Surprise Win


The Nets shocked and surprised the 5th place Indiana Pacers Wednesday night, pulling off one of their more impressive wins of the season, a 100-84 victory. This is not the first tough opponent the Nets have knocked off this year, but it is probably the best team the Nets have beaten at home. The Nets also snapped their 9-game losing streak to Indiana and improved to 1-3 against them this year. There are some games in the NBA where weird things happen and the better team just has an off night or maybe came in unprepared. When I first thought about how the Nets could have pulled off this win, I had no answer. Then, I realized that this was very much a trap game for Indiana. They were coming off one of their best wins of the season, a blowout win over Miami and had won 4 of 5. The Nets have been blowing 4th quarter lead after 4th quarter lead recently, and Coach Avery had finally had enough of it. He spoke out after the Utah game saying that blowing leads would not happen again. Of course, nobody believed him. But tonight, he was right.

The Nets had a good effort tonight from start to finish, led by Deron Williams who was both shooting and passing well, a rarity for him. The first half was quite boring and featured plenty of garbage time, but the Nets were leading for most of the way and were up by 6 at halftime. The first quarter featured absolutely no defense at times and if the teams were hitting their shots, it would have been a very high scoring game. Paul George, a well-known Nets Killer, had 10 points only about 6 minutes into the game. He finished with 22 (I predicted at least 20). In the third  quarter, Indiana made somewhat of a run and took the lead briefly, but the Nets reclaimed a two-point lead heading into the fourth quarter. This is such a typical thing for the Nets to do. They have done this plenty of times recently, and had a small lead heading into the fourth quarter. However, they have always blown this lead and every Nets fan had the same sinking feeling that the Nets would do the same tonight. I would like to note that the Nets were already missing Jordan Farmar and Anthony Morrow entering this game due to injury. To make things worse, early in the game Shelden Williams got poked in the eye by Tyler Hansbrough and never returned. Hopefully he won’t be out too long. The backup center Jordan Williams even left the game with concussion-like symptoms. This is very bad. J-Will was starting to make progress and this is a great opportunity for him to get playing time. I feel very bad with him, and concussions usually cause players to miss multiple games. We hope to see you back soon, Jordan. With the Nets’ two centers done, it was up to Johan Petro to hold up the fort. Oh no. This is going to become a blowout fast. But somehow, the Nets held onto the lead, and even increased it, as the quarter went on. At one point, the Nets were leading by over 20, and they won easily by 16. I couldn’t have been more surprised.

Even though this was an important statement win by the Nets, they will always have that draft lottery hanging over their heads, and this win hurt their chances of getting a top-3 pick. Let’s look at how some of the teams in competition with the Nets did. Detroit beat Cleveland. Toronto lost. Charlotte lost. Sacramento and New Orleans will play later tonight. The Nets now have the fourth worst record in the NBA, and are 3 1/2 games behind 3rd place New Orleans. It is unlikely that they will catch the Hornets.

Player stats, notes, and grades:

Deron Williams: 30 points, 11/19 FG, 4-7 3 pt FG, 9 ast, 1 to, 2 stl, 37 min. Grade: A

There wasn’t much more Deron could have done tonight, and this was the best game I have seen him play in a long, long time. He stayed positive throughout the game, shot well AT THE PRUDENTIAL CENTER, and passed well too. He was making his 3’s throughout the night, and played good defense on Darren Collison. This is the Deron the Nets were expecting when they traded for him.

Marshon Brooks: 17 points, 7-13 FG, 4 reb, 3 ast, 34 min. Grade: A-

Is Marshon finally coming out of his slump? Nets fans should hope so. This was the best game I have seen Marshon play in a long time too. I don’t remember the last time he shot over 50% from the field, and his 4 rebounds and 3 assists were also above average. I hope that Marshon will be able to keep up these good numbers.

Gerald Wallace: 10 points, 4-15 FG, 6 reb, 5 ast, 3 stl, 1 blk, 4 to, 35 min. Grade: B+

Offensively, Gerald Wallace did not have a special game, shooting only 4-15. But defensively, he was the difference maker, and he might be the reason why the Nets won this game. Danny Granger, the Pacers leading scorer, only scored 5 points tonight thanks to Crash. Crash got Granger into foul trouble early, and he was never able to get into a rhythm. He eventually fouled out of the game, playing only 21 minutes and turning the ball over 4 times. Wallace also took a few charges tonight and got into a minor fight/argument with Louis Amundson. This was very amusing to me.

Kris Humphries: 12 points, 5-11 FG, 8 reb, 1 stl, 1 blk, 32 min. Grade: B-

The Hump didn’t do anything special tonight, but he got the job done, especially coming off of one of his worst games as a Net. He played good defense on Roy Hibbert and David West, who only combined for 17 points. His rebounding numbers were a little below average, but the Nets still won the rebounding battle tonight, 43-39.

Gerald Green: 14 points, 6-10 FG, 4 reb, 3 stl, 1 blk, 28 min. Grade: B

These numbers are more than you would expect from a D-League call-up, but Green has definitely raised my expectations. He shot the ball well, knocked in two 3’s, and was good enough defensively. In many of the recent games, Green was the Nets’ only offense. This was not the case tonight, which is a good sign.

Johan Petro: 4 points, 2-5 FG, 5 reb, 1 blk, 14 min. Grade: C+ (A in Petro standards)

After J-Will and Shelden got hurt, I thought the game was over because of Petro. But he surprised me and actually didn’t play badly in fourth quarter crunch time. He was actually watchable. He played as little defense as usual, picking up 3 fouls in 14 minutes and allowing easy layups and dunks, but he was fine on the glass, especially on the offensive end. He even had another French Flush. Not a bad game for Johan (pronounce the J, please).

This was a very surprising win for the Nets, but I don’t think, or hope (for draft lottery reasons) that they will keep it up. They will be heading on a 4-game road trip now, starting in Golden State on Friday. We hope you will stay up and watch with us, as it will be a 10:30 eastern time start.