PORTLAND, Ore. — The Nets were in the midst of a blowout loss Friday night at Utah, but a radio announcer’s job is to find the redeeming quality that keeps it interesting. So Nets play-by-play man Chris Carrino narrowed his focus to describe only what D-League acquisition Quincy Acy was doing on each play.
“It was great,” radio analyst Tim Capstraw said, “because he was involved in everything.”
In what amounts to a blowout season for the 10-51 Nets, everyone who is paying attention understands that the game within the game is for coach Kenny Atkinson and general manager Sean Marks to identify who stays on next season’s roster and who goes.
Acy’s season-high 18-point game at Utah, and even his four-point effort in a win at Sacramento and seven-point game in Saturday’s loss at Portland in his three games since recovering from a sprained ankle, are evidence of the positive impact he has made. His next chance comes Monday night in Memphis.
“They call that small sample size,” Atkinson said of Acy’s 15 games as a Net. “I’ve learned that. There’s probably not enough data yet, but the early signs are promising. He has a level of aggressiveness that we’re looking for. He’s pretty versatile, a much better shooter than I thought. I like what he brings defensively. Really positive signs so far from Quincy.”
Considering Acy, 26, bounced from Toronto to Sacramento to the Knicks to Dallas and the D-League before being picked up by the Nets, it would be easy to write him off as a long shot, a marginal player. But after shooting 32.3 percent from three-point range in his first 225 NBA games, Acy has shot 56.3 percent from three (18-for-32) with the Nets, a remarkable transformation.
“I think God just works in mysterious ways,” Acy said. “I went from the Mavericks, where I made one or two threes, even though Coach [Rick Carlisle] was encouraging me to shoot it, to the D-League, which is what really boosted my confidence as far as game reps and game shots.
“I worked to better my shot, and my confidence is growing. I think the sky’s the limit. I’m going to try to become the best shooter I can become. I came into the league, and nobody thought I could shoot. Whenever I leave, they’ll know my name. That’s my goal.”
When Acy returned from his injury, the four points he scored against Sacramento came at a critical time in the fourth quarter when the Nets were struggling to hold their lead. His energy at both ends helped them break their 16-game losing streak.
“Energy has been my game since I started playing basketball in high school,” said the native of Tyler, Texas. “That part never changed. It’s just putting everything else together, adding an offensive skill set, adjusting to the league, the physicality, the size and the schemes.”
To Capstraw, Acy’s addition to the Nets has been a godsend. He called him a poor man’s version of the Warriors’ Draymond Green.
“That’s a great comparison,” Acy said. “Going into the  draft, we were matched up against each other a lot, and he really took off and figured it out early. He already had a ballhandling skill set I real ly don’t have, but we do similar things. Hopefully, I can get my chance to figure it out and keep on improving.”