The Nets beat the Knicks by a score of 103-80 in a rivalry game that had about as much heated action as a piano recital.
Knicks-Nets on Martin Luther King Day was circled on the calendar of most New York fans since the schedule was released over the summer. However, injuries and general mediocrity by both sides turned it into “just another matchup,” as the Nets quietly took care of business against their inter-city rival.
- Not that the Nets were unstoppable from tip-off, but the Knicks were doomed from the start in this one. Jason Kidd knew exactly how to break down Mike Woodson’s defense, and did just that, and at a nauseating rate throughout the game. While New York was busy doubling and switching on screens, Brooklyn was always just two passes away from a corner three, and capitalized on that strategy all game long. Although the Nets only made 14 treys, they shot 38 of them, and most of them were wide open looks. Believe it or not, it could have been much worse than a 23-point loss.
- Joe Johnson dropped 25 points, but had 20 in the first half, when for the most part, the game was decided. Random Knicks killer Alan Anderson added in 15 points and Deron Williams and his purple shoes returned for 13 points in 27 minutes. Many players wore purple to honor Martin Luther King Jr. On a brighter note for the Knicks, Paul Pierce, who has been on fire of late, was held to only three points.
- On the Knicks side of things, it was just another overall lackluster effort as a team. Carmelo Anthony put in 26 points and added 12 rebounds, but the surrounding pieces failed him once again. As soon as he headed to the bench for a breather, the offense suffered, despite J.R. Smith adding in 15 points himself. The ball did move, but it wasn’t consistent enough to ever bring the Knicks closer than nine. As a team, they shot 33 percent from the field and 65 percent from the line in the deciding first half. On the day, they missed 13 free throws, good enough for 13 post-game suicide sprints in my book, but will Woodson do enough to get catch their ear for the next game?
- The return of Pablo Prigioni brought forth the two point guard set once again, but the fan favorite played only 19 minutes, scoring only two points and missing several wide open threes. We’ll just call it knocking the rust off. Prigioni’s presence meant a reduced role for Beno Udrih and Toure Murry, who combined for just seven minutes of playing time.
- Even the crowd at Madison Square Garden knew this one was going to be a stinker, as the only time they stood up to cheer was for t-shirt cannons and the Knicks Kid Dancers, who just don’t cut the mustard after years of watching the Knicks City Dancers (sorry kids!). Luckily for the Knicks, they were’t able to hear most of the booing, due to the cheers coming from Brooklyn fans. That ‘BROOOOOKKKLYYNNN” chant has to be the most obnoxious one in sports, and was hard to bear knowing that nothing the Knicks did could back you up in the challenge for city supremacy. Michael J. Fox was in attendance, and probably got the loudest ovation on the day, although he couldn’t confirm if he saw any Knicks championships in his trip Back to the Future.
- The Knicks continue their homestand on Wednesday night against the Philadelphia 76ers. As always, TOK will have you covered.