|Nets Lose as Humphries Debuts
By Ben Couch – NJNETS.com
January 13, 2010
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J.—The Nets traded baskets with the Celtics for the first 2 1/2 minutes of Wednesday's game at the IZOD Center, but couldn't keep up for the following five as Boston nailed 10 of its first 11 shots. The 22-6 run left the Celtics up 18, and the Eastern Conference's No. 2 team cruised to a 111-87 victory that dropped the Nets to 3-35.
By halftime, the Celtics led 71-35 after shooting .684, including a 5-of-10 showing from three-point range. The Nets couldn't muster much of an offensive response; Brook Lopez led the team with 12 points (18 total), but shot only 3-of-9, finishing 5-of-12. Point guard Devin Harris played for the first time in three games after sitting out the two weekend contests with tendonitis in his wrist, tallying 15 points and six assists, most of which were accrued after the game had spiraled out of reach.
"Some of the things you can’t repeat when you’re in a halftime like that," said Nets coach and GM Kiki Vandeweghe. "It’s about standing up, being accountable, everybody has to come to play. It’s not about pointing fingers. There’s plenty of blame to go around. All of us. All of us together. The players had to decide if they were going to continue to lay down or come out and play. Luckily, in the third quarter they came out and played. There was no way to get the game back under control. At least they showed some heart and some desire and some fight in the second half."
Forward Kris Humphries debuted late in the first quarter, taking a pass from Terrence Williams before driving and attempting a short jumper that ricocheted off the front rim. As could be expected for someone with a reputation for energy and rebounding, Humphries aggressively crashed the boards, though he was whistled for an over-the-back foul.
Humphries also missed his second attempt, a pullup on the next possession, before breaking through when he put back a layup after rebounding his own miss with 4.4 seconds left in the quarter. He finished the game with nine points (1-8 FGs) and eight rebounds (five offensive) in 16 1/2 minutes, earning 10 free throws and making seven.
"I really don't know a ton of the plays yet or anything, but I'm just trying to provide some toughness," Humphries said. "If you watch us, we have stretches where we really compete. We have to do that for the whole game and put ourselves in position to win."
Also making his first appearance in a Nets uniform was Shawne Williams, who shot around pregame after passing his physical earlier in the day. Previous to being acquired by the Nets, Williams last played Jan. 4, 2009 against the Grizzlies and hadn't been with the Mavericks all season, spending every game on the inactive list.
When Williams spoke to Vandeweghe, the coach and GM told him this was a second chance, and the Nets would allow him to work into playing shape before coming to any conclusions. Williams, a college teammate of Chris Douglas-Roberts, welcomes the opportunity after being relegated to the bench for so long.
"First thing I'd say (I'll bring) is a lot of energy and defense because I know it's going to be hard getting back into game rhythm," Williams said. "It’s like 30, 40 games into the season and that's unbelievable for me not playing like since before the All-Star break a year-and-a-half ago. I'm just going to come in and do whatever I can: play defense and rebound and hustle. The points and stuff just come. I'm not worried about scoring."