Passion is a prerequisite for playing pro ball.
In Friday’s matchup against Golden State the Nets were literally dragging their feet in the first half and at the beginning of the third quarter. They didn’t get back on defense, and as a result the Warriors killed them in transition, stretching their lead to as many as 19 points.
You cannot compete in the NBA without passion for the game. You must bring energy to the floor night in and night out. If you don’t consistently play hard at this level, your opponent will quickly open up a large lead and run away with the win.
Sparked by some big hustle plays made by tenacious 11th-year veteran Gerald Wallace, the Nets woke up before it was too late and rallied to knock off the Warriors 102-100. Wallace had 24 points, 18 rebounds and a block that sealed the deal in Oakland and helped New Jersey sweep the season series.
When you miss a shot, don’t waste your time trying to bring a missed foul call to the referee’s attention. Hustle down the court and get set on defense immediately, or you could wind up giving away an uncontested basket to your opponent.
Jordan Crawford’s freshman season is drawing to a close as the Wizards will sit out the playoffs for the third year in a row. But since his arrival in D.C. at the end of February, Crawford has already gained valuable experience and made significant contributions while filling in at the two spot for Nick Young, who’s been sidelined with a knee injury for the past five games. Crawford has averaged 16.3 ppg during March, scoring an NBA career-high 27 points in Washington’s recent loss to Chicago.
Though his pro career is off to an impressive start, Crawford did make a rookie mistake in the Wiz’s 98-92 W over the Nets last week. After Crawford shot and missed a jumper against the Nets in the second quarter, he proceeded to explain to the official that he’d been fouled. Meanwhile, Humphries grabbed the rebound; the Nets pushed the ball down the floor; and Vujacic sank a deuce. You don’t have time to have a discussion with the ref after a missed shot. Your opponents are not going to wait for you. You have to sprint back to the other end and get set on defense right away.
When you lead by 2 in the final seconds of a game, do not under any circumstances allow your opponent to get behind the 3-point line and launch a shot.
Monday night’s Nets-Spurs matchup was a nail-biter that came down to the final two possessions in overtime. Anthony Morrow scored 9 points in last 20 seconds of the fourth quarter and knocked down a huge, off-balance shot as the clock wound down to keep the Nets alive and take the game to overtime.
New Jersey had a 2-point advantage with 9 seconds remaining in OT, but Phoenix had possession. So the Nets had to get up there and play the Suns at the 3-point line. If the Suns scored inside the arc it would still be a tie game. But the Nets could not afford to allow them to get behind the 3-point line and win the game with a single shot as Channing Frye had done the previous night in Indiana when he sank a 3 at the buzzer for the win over the Pacers.
The Suns set up the inbounds play, Gortat set a screen for Frye, and Frye managed to get open for the pass. He stepped back, lined up a 3 and buried it to give the Suns the 1-point lead with 6.6 seconds left to play. When the Suns needed it most, Frye delivered again. The Nets nearly converted on their subsequent possession, but Humphries’ tip-in was just a fraction of a second too late, so the Suns held on for the 1-point win in overtime: 104-103.
When you see your teammate screened you have to switch out and get to the 3-point shooter. What happened was Nash faked a slice, and Humphries was anticipating the switch with Nash so he did not follow Frye off the pick right away. Frye stepped off the screen and parlayed the trigger from Hill into the game-winner for the second night in a row.
Channing Frye was deadly from the arc firing back-to-back game-winners against the Pacers & Nets.