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Season in Review: Gerald Wallace

As we continue our dissection of the Nets season, let's move on to another key player from the 2011-2012 season. Who's up today?

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Photo from SB Nation

Take the jump and we'll discuss Gerald Wallace.

Before we begin, I'd like to ask two questions? What does 7.6% mean to you? That is the chance the Nets to win the Draft Lottery and get the #1 pick, widely believed to be Kentucky's Anthony Davis. And what is your viewpoint about trading away a potentially high draft pick in a lost season? If you are against that, then you would have been in the majority here at NetsDaily and seemingly everywhere else in the basketball blogosphere. Despite that, the Nets traded Mehmet Okur, Shawne Williams & that draft pick to the TrailBlazers on March 15 for Gerald Wallace. After spending 6.5 seasons as a member of the Charlotte Bobcats, Wallace was traded to the Blazers last season, where he experienced a bit of a renaissance. When the wheels fell off for Portland (more specifically, when they got obliterated at Madison Square Garden), they decided to clean house and Wallace was moved.

How did Wallace's performance stack up compared to his half season in Portland & his career marks? Let's check it out:

Gerald Wallace

Minutes per Game

True Shooting %

Rebound Rate

Assist %

Usage Rate

PER (Player Efficiency Rating)

Win Shares per 48

Wins Produced per 48

New Jersey

35.8

52.8

11

15.1

20.5

17.2

.113

.161

Portland

35.8

55.6

10.7

12.4

17.8

15.5

.111

.176

Career

31.1

55.4

12

11.1

20.6

17.4

.127

.191

Well this is interesting. Wallace's shooting took a dip, thanks in large part to his poor shooting at the rim (he was shooting 61% at the rim as a Blazer vs. just 50% as a Net). He certainly maintained his aggressiveness, as he attacked the rim the same way he did in Portland (in this instance, I'm using free throw attempts and shots at the rim as a measure for aggressiveness). Throughout his Nets tenure, I complained about Wallace shooting three pointers every chance I got. And as it turns out, I was wrong to harp on that. He shot a career high 39% from downtown vs. his career average of 31%.

Wallace was never known for his scoring, so when he came over to the Nets in March, he was expected to contribute in other areas. And he was able to do that for the most part. Wallace was a capable rebounder & passer, which took on added importance when Deron Williams went down with injury. I should also mention that Gerald Wallace missed time as well due to a hamstring injury. He came back near the end of the season when he didn't have to and won over a good amount of Net fans as a result.

Moving on to the defensive side of the ball, the picture doesn't look so good. His individual took a step back when he joined the Nets. According to 82 games, opposing small forwards had an eFG% of 46.8% and PER of 12.8 when Gerald was defending them as a Blazer. Probably the most impressive aspect of Wallace's defense as a Blazer was how the team performed with him on the court. The Blazers were 12 points better with him on the court (101 allowed per 100 possessions) than with out (113 per 100). As a Net, he took a step back. Opposing threes had an eFG% of 55.2% and a PER of 15.2. I should note that 15 is league average PER, so it's not that big of a step back. The Nets were... well, they were still pretty awful defensively. With Wallace, they allowed 108 points per 100 possessions vs. 111 without him.

Best Game as a Net: March 30 in Golden State

This game is probably most remembered for D-Will recording 20 assists, but Wallace was the star of the game. He was super aggressive shooting the ball(13 shots at the rim and nine FTAs), a force on the glass (18 rebounds, 8 coming on offense), and was pesky on defense (six steals). If you were to ask Billy King that night about Wallace, he'd tell you that's what he envisioned Gerald bringing to the Nets going forward.

Worst game as a Net: March 23 in Atlanta

At the time, the Nets thought they could make a run at the 8 seed. This game didn't help their slim chances. Wallace's shooting really hurt Jersey's chances, as he took jumpers for most of the game. Of his 14 field goals, 11 came from 16 feet+. On the bright side, he did chip in with 9 rebounds and 6 assists.

The outlook going forward: Like Deron Williams, Wallace will be a free agent this offseason. Wallace said he would like to stay with the Nets, and Billy King considers him a "core piece." Wallace wasn't bad as a Net, but there are some concerns going forward. One concern would be his style of play. Wallace's game is based heavily on his athleticism, and that could become a problem as he ages. He didn't finish at the rim as well as in the past, and I'm a little worried about that. He's never been much of a perimeter shooter (in the years Hoopdata has the shot locations (2007 onwards), Wallace has shot over 40% only once & he's a career 31% 3 point shooter), and if he is unable to finish at the rim, he loses his effectiveness when shooting the ball. His individual defense took a step back, but he was still a league average defender, which would still be a massive upgrade over what the Nets had been putting at the small forward position for the past couple of seasons. Another concern would be possible injuries. Wallace has dealt with injuries in the past (including concussions) and with his attacking style, that could lend itself to missing a good amount of games related to injury.

If I had to guess what contract Wallace would be offered, I would say somewhere in the vicinity of 3 years & 27 million. And with the Nets hoping that Deron Williams remains with the team and Brook Lopez developing into an above average center, that trio, along with some other moves, might be enough to get the Nets into the playoffs in the top heavy Eastern Conference. I don't think that collective would be good enough to make a deep run, but you've gotta start somewhere.

I still think not placing enough protections on the draft pick was a mistake by Billy King and the Nets management, but I could see the logic behind their choice to move it for Wallace. The Nets didn't suck enough to have a real shot at the top pick, and perhaps most importantly, just because you have a high pick doesn't automatically mean the player you've selected will become a star. For the Nets sake, they need to resign Wallace and hope that he stays healthy, regains his touch around the rim and can continue to be a solid all around player.

Part 1 of the Season in Review series: Deron WIlliams

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