Monday, April 30, 2012

The Brooklyn Nets Are Officially Born

This recently leaked logo may be the Brooklyn Nets official one, but we won't be sure until Monday morning
As of right now (12:00 am EST on Monday, April 30th), the Brooklyn Nets are officially a member of the NBA and the New Jersey Nets are gone. This moment is a landmark for the Nets franchise as the much-excited move to Brooklyn has been in the works for years now and is sure to help the Nets be more successful than during their 35 years in New Jersey. This also means that Brooklyn Balling is now a Brooklyn Nets blog as opposed to a New Jersey Nets one. It also means that in a few hours (at roughly 6:50 am on CNBC) the Nets' new jerseys, logo, and team identity will be revealed by Nets CEO Brett Yormark. Congratulations fellow Nets fans, we have been waiting for this day and time to come for years now and its finally here. Now, as the blog has stated since January, the Nets are "Brooklyn Balling".

Friday, April 27, 2012

Game 66 Recap: Toronto Raptors 98, Nets 67

Goodbye New Jersey Nets, and hello Brooklyn Nets. In the last game ever of the new Jersey Nets franchise, an oddly-mixed collection of NBA and D-League players took the floor for both the Raptors and Nets, both teams decimated by injury. I guess the Toronto collection of guys, led by former Net Ben Uzoh and his first career triple-double, just wanted the meaningless win more than the people (not good enough to be a team) they faced at the Air Canada Center.

Other than the official farewell to the New Jersey Nets--which kinda sounds weird now---this game didn't hold much intrigue. However, the loss did help the Nets leapfrog the Raptors in the lottery standings, giving New Jersey/Brooklyn a slightly better chance of landing in the 3-spot and enabling it to keep its pick from the Trail Blazers. Tanking at its best! Plus, I know I kept tonight's recap short but don't worry as Brooklyn Balling will have more analysis and commentary on this past Nets season and what is ahead. Also, the next time we will see a team resembling the Nets will be in October of 2012, in a preseason game possibly at the Barclays Center. See you then Johan Petro!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Game 66 Preview: Nets (22-43) at Toronto Raptors (22-43)

Goodbye, see you guys in Brooklyn
That's all folks. In the last game of another much-maligned Nets season, the team takes on the Toronto Raptors, another lottery team, in what is officially the last game ever of the New Jersey Nets. Tonight will be bittersweet for anyone that is a Nets fan because we have to wait until October of next year for basketball in Brooklyn in addition to the fact that the last time that Deron Williams is on the Nets could be tonight as he might leave the team this offseason as a free agent. However, the biggest feeling that Nets fans should be feeling is excitement because, as mentioned above, the next Nets game after tonight will not include the New Jersey Nets but instead it will be the Brooklyn Nets.

Oh yeah, the actual game. In terms of playoff chances, this game means nothing for both teams but it has incredibly coincidental lottery implications. The Nets and Raptors have exactly the same record right now so the winner's lottery chances will be worse than the other. Honestly, that's why I don't necessarily want the Nets to win because I would rather take the slight increase to our chance of getting our 1st-round pick this year than a meaningless April win. Sorry for all the people who want the Nets to get that elusive 23rd win of this condensed season. 

Background on Toronto
Toronto, like the Nets, is missing a ton of their good players due to injury so there really isn't much healthy talent to talk about on this Toronto team right now other than  DeMar DeRozan, James Johnson, and possibly Ed Davis. Another thing to note; former Net Ben Uzoh is on Toronto and might even start tonight. If you don't remember Uzoh's relatively short tenure with the Nets, then you didn't miss much. In 42 games last season, the Tulsa graduate scored just 3.8 points per game in around 10.4 minutes per. Not exactly lighting up the scoreboard, huh?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Brooklyn Nets Logo Leaked?

Yep, it looks like it. Deadspin, along with other sites, is reporting that this image above will be the new logo for the Brooklyn Nets. Supposedly, some guy on Twitter that is working IT at the Barclays Center site snapped this photo of an office wall at the facility. Maybe this is some sort of publicity stunt by the Nets but I think it might be the real thing and I kind of like it, other than the fact that it is missing red, which is one of my favorite jersey colors. 

I would love to see the jerseys for this logo which will probably be announced on April 30th which is the date that Nets' management set for the official release of the team's new logo. If this isn't the real thing, than we can hope that the real thing is nearly as good as this. If this is indeed the real thing, then the Nets got it right and the Brooklyn Nets' inaugural jerseys will be awesome. #HelloBrooklyn

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Game 65 Recap: 76ers 105, Nets 87

Goodbye Prudential Center and as Chris Christie said, good riddance.
Well, that was a fitting end to the Nets' extremely unsuccessful New Jersey existence. An extremely undermanned Nets squad stayed close throughout with the playoff-bound 76ers but just faded away late. The final score was an aberration for how this game played out much of the night in the last time the New Jersey Nets, or any other team for that matter, played a game in the state of New Jersey itself. It was a very emotional night at the Prudential Center as the team honored a bunch of former Nets at the half-time, some of which have passed on, have fallen on hard times, or are even in playoff situations with other teams.

Back to the game. Just needed a win or Milwaukee loss to clinch the 8th-seed in the East (they got both by the way), Philly raced out of the gates to a big 25-11 lead in the 1st quarter looking like a team that didn't want to just back into the playoffs. However, the Nets didn't want to roll over in their last home game in New Jersey and fought themselves back into the game in the 3rd quarter, cutting the 76er lead to one at the 3:44 mark of the period on a Gerald Wallace jumper.

Wait, you didn't think that the Nets would be able to sustain that intensity for the rest of the game right? Well, if you thought that then you would be wrong. By the end of the 3rd, Philly had built a 76-68 cushion and held onto that lead for the last 12 minutes of the game until blowing it completely open in the waning minutes of the Nets' New Jersey experience. Truthfully, what more could you expect from a team missing so many key players due to injury.

As always with this team, there was a lot negative to last night's game but there was a silver lining as well. First off, I think we've found our replacement for the extremely unreliable Sundiata Gaines and his name is Armon Johnson. The Nets' recent call-up from the D-League scored 10 points in 23 of play off the bench last night but his best contributions couldn't be quantified in the box score. He played great defense on Lou Williams and Jrue Holiday (combined for 9-24 shooting), ran the offensive sets well without mistakes (just one turnover), and even picked up the intensity and effort of his fellow teammates.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Game 65 Preview: Philadelphia 76ers (33-30) at Nets (22-42)

This guy (Kenny Anderson) will be at the ceremony while Jason Kidd will make an appearance via video. We really could have drafted Dikembe Mutombo instead of Anderson but of course the Nets drafted the guy with the shorter and much less effective career. Good riddance New Jersey!
Well, here it is. Tonight will be the last NBA game in New Jersey for the soon-to-be Brooklyn Nets and probably the last one in the state for a long, long time, if not forever. I will be at the game and am less excited about the actual game (Philly has something to play for while the Nets haven't for a few weeks) than I am about the half-time ceremony honoring the many characters/basketball players and personnel that played a big part of the team's crazy 35-year tenure in the Garden State.

After tonight, the next Nets home game will be in Brooklyn at the Barclays Center, hopefully with Deron Williams (and maybe Ersan Ilyasova or Ryan Anderson? Eh, maybe not, I might be getting my hopes up.) Whoops, back to the actual game. D-Will and Shelden Williams probably won't be able to go while Gerald Wallace looks to be good to go. The 76ers don't have any major injuries.

Background on Philadelphia
The Nets beat the 76ers in Philadelphia just 10 days ago so not much has changed with this team since them. They are still oddly centered around the bench players to a certain extent with key contributors in Lou Williams, Thaddeus Young, and Spencer Hawes all out of the starting line-up. The way to beat Philly is to contain the bench because when the bench is limited, the starting line-up becomes less effective and voila, the 76ers become beatable.

Houston Rockets Eliminated From Playoff Race, Keep Their Lottery-Protected 1st-Round Pick

By losing to the Miami Heat on Sunday afternoon, the Houston Rockets have been eliminated from contention for the 8-seed in the Western Conference and will spend another season not in the playoffs. Normally, this news would mean nothing to Nets fans but it actually is very important because by missing the playoffs and entering the lottery, the Rockets keep their protected-1st rounder that they traded to the Nets for Terrence Williams last season. This means that the Nets might not have a 1-round pick in this year's draft. On the bright side, the pick rolls over the next season and is once again lottery-protected so if Houston finally makes the playoffs, the Nets get their 1st-rounder.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Game 64 Recap: Bucks 106, Nets 95

Brandon Jennings is a really hot and cold player, tonight, he was pretty damn hot
An 11th game against the Milwaukee Bucks, an 11th-straight loss for the New Jersey Nets against the Bucks. The injury-hampered Nets team just couldn't score enough points to offset Brandon Jennings' unstoppable 30-point performance. As stated in my earlier preview of the game, the Nets needed to stop the perimeter scoring of Jennings and Monta Ellis tonight in order to win, but, of course, that didn't happen at all.

Early on, both teams slugged through the game and didn't really show much intensity until the end of the 2nd quarter, when Milwaukee distanced itself from the Nets to take an 11-point halftime lead. Then, the Nets fought back to make it a close game towards the end of the 3rd and the beginning of the 4th quarters. However, the Bucks distanced themselves once again after a Kris Humphries jump-shot cut the Milwaukee lead to 84-83 at the 6:16 of the final quarter.

Once again without Deron Williams (calf), the Nets took most of the game to find their offensive groove. The two Geralds (Green and Wallace) took the charge on offense for New Jersey as Green scored 16 points on 6-12 shooting while Wallace scored 18 on 7-12 shooting to go along with 11 rebounds. I don't even care anymore if we don't get to keep the lottery pick we gave up for Wallace anymore because he, in his limited time with the Nets, has given the team much-needed veteran presence, intensity, and defensive talent which can't always be quantified in the box score. I hope he, and Green (who is an unrestricted after the season) return next season because they form one of the better starter-to-bench small forward tandems in the whole NBA.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Game 64 Preview: Nets (22-41) at Milwaukee Bucks (29-33)

In order for the undermanned Nets to win, Gerald Green is going to need to have a monster game. At least we know we he can do it.
There's just three games left this season for the Nets, and only four for the Milwaukee Bucks. I guess that's a good thing for both teams as the Nets can't wait to start next season at the brand-new Barclays Center in Brooklyn while the Bucks can't wait to eliminate the terrible taste in their mouths from their epic collapse this season. Just two weeks ago, Milwaukee was only a half-game behind the Knicks for the 8th-seed in the East but after losing five of six games since then, they are three games behind the current 8th-place 76ers. A three-game deficit with four games remaining looks to be too big to come back from so Milwaukee's once-promising playoff hopes have diminished incredibly.

Background on Milwaukee
As mentioned above, the Bucks are a team with a lot of potential but have been dreadful down the stretch of this season. They did get much more explosive and athletic on both offense and defense by trading for Monta Ellis and Ekpe Udoh from the Warriors at the trade deadline. However, the addition of these guys helped the team early on but has been disastrous of late as the defense has been simply horrendous during their late-season swoon. Milwaukee has given up at least 97 points in their last six games (1-5 during that span) highlighted by allowing 121 in a loss to Washington and 118 in a loss to Indiana. They may be a hard-to-stop offensive team, but the Bucks are brutally inept on defense which should bode well for the undermanned Nets.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Game 63 Recap: Knicks 104, Nets 95

You know that old saying, if you don't join them, score 33 points on them and beat them
The Nets are normally the team that lives and/or dies from the 3-pointer, but tonight, the Knicks ended up as the living team. The Nets' crosstown rivals won the final Hudson River game in New Jersey on the strength of a ridiculous scoring performance from Carmelo Anthony, who scored 21 points in the first quarter alone. Even with the return of Gerald Wallace from injury and inspired defensive play from DeShawn Stevenson, the former Denver Nugget still went nuts on offense and simply couldn't be stopped. Without D-Will in the line-up, the Nets just couldn't keep up.

Granted, the Nets outscored the Knicks by seven points over the last three quarter of the game but with the 38-point 1st from New York, the lead was insurmountable. Sure, it got really close at some points (especially in the 3rd quarter when the Knicks were only leading 76-71) but the undermanned Nets just didn't have enough offense, and defense for that matter, to keep up with the star-studded Knicks. However, that doesn't mean that the Nets didn't play well at all.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Springfield Armor Eliminated from D-League Playoffs by Canton Charge

Former Hofstra star Antoine Agudio led the 7th-seeded Canton Charge with 24 points in a stunning win in Springfield.
The Nets' D-League affiliate Springfield Armor, the regular season Eastern Conference champion of the NBDL, fell to the Canton Charge, the affiliate of the Cleveland Cavaliers, at the MassMutual Center in Western Massachusetts last night. The crucial third game of the best-of 3 series, in which the Charge and Armor split the first two games in respectively, was won by Canton by a score of 115-106. Recent Net call-up Dennis Horner scored 21 points and grabbed seven rebounds for the Armor while perennial D-League All-Star JamesOn Curry scored 24.

The quick playoff exit was extremely disappointing for a Springfield team that has its best ever regular season in the D-League this past year and seemed poised to win an Eastern Conference that they owned during the season. However, the season was a major success for the franchise and only bodes for more success in the future, and hopefully more effective players for the big-league Nets to call up.

Game 62 Recap: Heat 101, Nets 98

No typo, the absurdly short-handed Nets really did only lose to the mighty Heat by three points and New Jersey actually led most of the game. Without D-Will, Gerald Wallace, Lopez, among with a bunch of others, the Nets controlled this game for roughly the first 46 minutes while Lebron James controlled the last two. Next game is on Wednesday against the Knicks at the Prudential Center and full game coverage (previews and recaps) will return then. Gotta give this team credit though for busting their butts and nearly shocking one of the best teams in the NBA at home nonetheless.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Game 62 Preview: Miami Heat (42-17) at Nets (22-39)

If someone knows how to stop this man, please contact Avery Johnson with tips
The super-team comes to Newark tonight as Lebron and Dwyane Wade and co take on our New Jersey Nets. The Heat don't have a whole lot riding on this game because it looks like they will be the 2nd-seed in the East for the playoffs as the 1st-seeded Bulls (3.5 games ahead of Miami) and 3rd-seeded Pacers (4.5 games behind Miami) are either too far ahead or behind the Heat to change positions this late in the season. That makes this measly Monday night game relatively meaningless. Let the tanking commence!

Background on Miami
What else is there to say? The Heat might be the most athletic and purely talented team the NBA has ever seen and some nights, always against the Nets, they are simply unstoppable on both the offensive and defensive ends of the floor. Sometimes they don't really show up which is when they lose to bad teams but those occurrences are extremely rare. Other than that, it's going to be really tough for the Nets to stick with Miami's extremely talented scorers.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Game 61 Preview: Boston Celtics (34-25) at Nets (22-38)

Bill Simmons (in number 7 of his article) says that the Nets could have traded for this guy instead of Gerald "Crash" Wallace, I'm not convinced.
Coming off their second road win over the Philadelphia 76ers in as many games, the Nets look to knock off another Atlantic Division foe in the 1st-place Boston Celtics. Unlike the Nets, the Celtics are right in the middle of the Eastern Conference playoff race and currently hold the 4th-seed. This game, as is every game for the rest of the season,  is extremely crucial for Boston because they are tied with the 6th-seeded Orlando Magic and are only three games ahead of the 7th- and 8th-seeded Knicks and 76ers.

Background on Boston
As we Nets fans know very well, the Celtics are an older team but have some of the best veterans that the NBA can offer. With the core of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, and the younger Rajon Rondo, Boston boasts the ability to score in multiple ways in addition to playing some of the defense in the league. I know, not a great matchup for the Nets but at least Ray Allen is a gametime decision with a sore ankle. Optimism!

Game 60 Recap: Nets 95, 76ers 89

Hey, looks like someone broke through their proverbial "rookie wall"
Well then, looks like this Nets team embraced the spoiler role more than I gave them credit for. Tonight at a half-empty Wells Fargo Arena, our Nets shocked the (probably) playoff-bound 76ers with a tough, gritty win, capped off by a 32-point 4th quarter. The difference in this game was pretty easy to determine: 3-point shooting. Both the Nets and 76ers shot exactly the same from the field (34-81, 42 percent) but New Jersey made 38 percent (6-16) of their 3-pointers while Philly only hit 10 percent of shots behind the arc.

In surprising fashion, the Nets actually got out to a great start in this game by leading by six after 12 minutes of play. Then came the patented let-down quarter in which defense was optional and hard-to-come-by and the offense was even worse. However, the poor 2nd quarter effort was salvaged by a quick 5-point spurt (two D-Will free throws and a Gerald Green three) in the last 32 seconds of the half which cut down Philly's lead from a game-high eight points down to three.

The 2nd half proved to be much better for the Nets. The defense improved, the offense became more efficient, and the 76ers seemed to lose the killer instinct that most teams in the heat of a playoff race have. The Nets kept inching away towards the end of the 4th and finally put the game away with a Marshon Brooks 3-pointer with 43 seconds remaining. Marshon had his best game in recent memory with 22 points on 9-15 shooting to go along with six rebounds and four assists.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Game 60 Preview: Nets (21-38) at Philadelphia 76ers (31-27)

Deja vu. These two teams faced each other on Tuesday as the 76ers won going away in a big blow-out win. Philly has something to play for while the Nets are just counting down the days until they move to Brooklyn. Other than acting as the spoiler to the 76ers' solid playoff chances, there just isn't much motivation for the Nets anymore. 

Background on Philadelphia
Similarly to what I said for last game's preview, the way to stop Philly is to contain their key bench players, specifically leading scorer Lou Williams, Thaddeus Young, and Net-killer Spencer Hawes. Definitely an easier job said than done for a defensively-challenged Nets team that is near the bottom of the NBA in defensive rating and might be without Gerald Wallace again with his hamstring injury. Oh yeah, and the 76ers also have Andre Iguodala, Jrue Holiday, and Elton Brand for the Nets rag-tag crew to try and defend. Good luck with that.

Nets' Move to Brooklyn Officially Approved By NBA

Barclays Center, the future!
Well, we all knew that this would happen so the NBA's Board of Governors' approval of the move of the New Jersey Nets to Brooklyn to become the Brooklyn Nets was more of a formality than anything else. Some other interesting happenings from that meeting today: the Hornets were bought by Saints' owner Tom Benson for $338 million and the Kings' efforts to stay in Sacramento took a pretty big hit.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Game 59 Recap: 76ers 107, Nets 88

20 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists. Just a normal game for Lou Williams against the Nets coming off the bench.
Gonna be a short recap tonight as I wasn't able to watch the game, but I guess I didn't miss much. The Nets' season-high home winning streak of three games was snapped short brutally in a blow-out loss to the desperate 76ers that are fighting hard for one of the final playoff spots in the East. Stat of the night: Philly had 53 rebounds while the Nets had 36. Yep, I guess you could say that we missed Gerald Wallace tonight.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Game 59 Preview: Philadelphia 76ers (29-27) at Nets (21-37)

Lou Williams always seems to kill the Nets when these two teams play. Wait, who doesn't?
UPDATE: Gerald Wallace is out tonight with his left hamstring strain. Gerald Green is also a game-time decision with ora surgery, according to Nets beat reporters.

The Nets look to spoil the playoff run of the Philadelphia 76ers as they try to win their fourth straight game at the Prudential Center in Newark. These teams play three times total in the next two weeks, games that are crucial for the 76ers who are tied with the Knicks for 7th in the East and are only one and a half games up on the 8th-place Milwaukee Bucks. The Nets are playing well of late and the 76ers not so much, so this game could be interesting. Don't just count the Nets out because of their record; they have been playing great basketball of late and would like nothing more than to ruin a divisional rival's chances of making the playoffs.

Background on Philadelphia
Without a main star player to focus on, the 76ers can be considered a scoring-by-committee team that doesn't live or die with the efforts of one player but instead with the efforts of the team collectively. They also have a good bench, highlighted by their leading scorer, Louis Williams, and third-leading scorer, Thaddeus Young. Since the Nets are defensively-challenged, they could run into trouble in having to defend the roughly 10 76ers players who consistently score and get significant playing time for Philly.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Nets Sign Armon Johnson to 10-Day Contract

To provide some depth at point guard after Jordan Farmar's season-ending groin injury, the Nets announced that they have signed former Trail Blazer point guard Armon Johnson to a 10-day contract. Johnson spent some with Portland last season and early this season after being called up from the Idaho Stampede of the D-League. In 38 games with the Trail Blazers last year, Johnson, a 23-year old who went to Nevada, scored 2.9 points per game on 40 percent shooting.

Making the Case for Brooklyn as a Potential Landing Spot for Deron Williams

This Nets team has been a major part of Melodrama (Carmelo Anthony), Linsanity (Jeremy Lin), Dwightmare (Dwight Howard) and now this. If D-Will doesn't come to Brooklyn, we can call the Deronisaster but it he does re-sign with the Nets, it will be pure Headeron (mix of heaven and Deron, not my best work). 
Basically all the NBA writers that cover the teams involved in the complex Deron Williams and Dwight Howard free agency saga sort-of-thing have started to pencil in D-Will as being a Maverick next season. This is coming on the heels of Deron announcing that he will indeed opt of his current contract with the Nets after the season, making him a free agent on July 1st. Guys like Tim MacMahon of (who obviously is a big Mavs fan) are saying that this news makes the potential scenario that D-Will will head to his hometown team in free agency a "likely" occurence.

This notion is ridiculous and is nothing more than a biased view from a writer who would certainly benefit from covering a team with one of the best point guards in the league on it. The only thing that Deron has said which would seem to support him leaving the Nets and going down to Dallas as a free agent is that Deron is from a Dallas suburb and said that he likes playing at the American Airlines Center. Putting all of these half-truths and pure speculations aside, let's take a look at why Brooklyn is the place that Deron should be when next NBA season comes around.

Game 58 Recap: Nets 122, Cavaliers 117 (OT)

This is Lester Hudson. You probably didn't know that before last night's game but you should now.
I was at this game and boy was it interesting/exciting. Cleveland didn't have Kyrie Irving due to injury but that didn't matter as they got extremely productive performances from some unassuming forces as they fought back to tie up the game with a 38-point 4th quarter. As usual, the game started off with the Nets being sluggish as Cleveland jumped out to a quick 22-13 lead. The Nets stormed back to take an 8-point halftime lead by winning the 2nd quarter 30-18.

Then, after a particularly even 3rd quarter, the Cavs went crazy in the 4th by hitting 12 of their 21 shots, especially six of seven from behind the arc. 10-day contract signee Lester Hudson put his mark on the game in this quarter by scoring 18 of his 26 points, highlighted by a three with 0.3 seconds remaining that sent this game to overtime. Honestly, I had no idea who Lester Hudson was as a player prior to the game but now I know that he can shoot from really deep and with players in his face. Yet another D-Leaguer who burned the Nets.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Game 57 Preview: Washington Wizards (12-43) at Nets (19-37)

John Wall went 1st overall the season after the Nets had the worst record in the NBA, we can dream
The Nets return home to New Jersey after a relatively solid 2-2 West Coast road trip. They took care of the bad Warriors and Kings before losing to the Lakers and Blazers. As is usual with the Nets, injuries ensued and D-Will missed a few of the contests, leaving New Jersey with Sundiata Gaines running the team most of the game in Portland. No wonder they got killed. 

Background on Washington
The Wizards stink and hold the 2nd-worst record in the whole league. Yep, good characteristics to beat the Nets who for some reason, play terrible basketball against all the bottom-dwellers of the NBA, except for the Bobcats of course. The last time these teams faced each other, March 21st in Newark, the Nets got crushed by 19 points to a Washington team that was energized by the debut of Nene, who was acquired from Denver at the trade deadline in exchange for much-maligned center JaVale McGee. Also to be noted, the Wizards are 1-9 since that game. That hasn't been helped by the absence of Nene who has missed the last four games with a foot injury. He's a game-time decision for tonight's game.

Jordan Farmar Done for Season

According to Mike Mazzeo of, the Nets have announced that Jordan Farmar will in fact miss the rest of the season with his groin injury. This has been hinted at by Farmar for awhile and now it's official. Looks like we will be subjected to Sundiata Gaines for the rest of the season as out sole back-up point guard. Uh oh.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Game 54 Recap: Nets 111, Kings 99

The streak shall live! After yet another poor first quarter which left the Nets down by nine points at the 3:50 mark, they played incredibly inspiring ball the rest of the way and basically blew out the Kings, who did put up a fight late in the fourth quarter. The Nets started tonight's game with the exact same lack-of-effort and intensity as they did against Golden State but like Friday's game, they pushed through those doldrums and ended up with a very convincing win.

In very non-Nets fashion, the kick-starter for their rally which culminated in the win was actually defense. Sacramento scored a ton of points, 35, in the first quarter but were held to nearly that amount, 41, over the next two quarters. The Nets turned up the defensive pressure on the Kings and that ended up shooting New Jersey onto an offensive explosion that turned this game from a close barn-burner into a 19-point blow-out.

Tonight, the main offensive cog for the Nets was Anthony Morrow who definitively broke out of his recent slump with a 24-point game on the power of six 3-pointers. Gerald Wallace continued to live up to his nickname of "Crash" by flying around the court, hitting jump-shots, making contested lay-ups, grabbing rebounds over Kings players, making key steals, and even the occasional block. If it wasn't clear before, Wallace is a serious player and is a lot more underrated that I thought he was.