Editor's Note: I'm working on the ticket winners. In the meantime, here's Rohpuri' recap of last night.
In case you missed it, the final score was 113-93 in favor of the Nets.You can thank fellow P&T'er "Serious Garbage Time" for the headline. Tonight the Knicks got slapped around like the 1970's diva. This was the analogy that NBA TV was hinting at in their post game show. However, I don't like it, although it was the first one that came to mind. I feel the comparison below to be more appropriate.
If you are like me, you've probably listened to Jim Rome a few times over the past few years, especially when he goes on long winded tangents that sometimes involve him replaying funny 9-1-1 phone calls. I equate tonight's loss to the 9-1-1 call Tanya Harding made after punching her boyfriend and throwing him to the ground. Only the Knicks were the boyfriend from the end of the call who screams "I've got nothing to hide, so come on over officers." From midway through the second quarter til the final buzzer, it was brutal. Sadly enough, the Knicks gave 110% effort out there and still got taken to the woodshed, by a team that entered tonight's contest with a world beating 6-55 record. Indeed, the Knicks had nothing to hide. They left their sucktitude out on the hardwood for all the world to see. The Knicks could have used a "COPS" intervention to put an end to the domestic assault they received at the hands of their little step brother from across the Hudson River.
Continue reading after the jump.
The Nets were on the heels of back to back home losses to the Cavs and the Magic as they rolled in to New York. Tonight's game was the start of a five game road trip that has the Nets playing its next four games in the Western Conference cities of Memphis, Dallas, Oklahoma City, and Houston. Who knew their matchup with the Knicks would be their most winnable game? Anybody? Anybody? Buehler, Buehler, Frye, Frye? I guess that makes all of us when I say no one saw this coming. And if any of you did, then show me your betting slip.
Regardless, the Nets left the Garden with their seventh win of the season, while the Knicks where busy spraying down MSG with a big bottle of Ferbreze after the stink of their 41st loss this season. Before I dish out the blame for this pisspoor spectacle let me throw some quick stats at you, as well as my explanation as to why the Knicks are 21-41 (just terible, Kenny!).
If you're sadistic enough to look at the box score, like genius here, then all I ask is that you pay attention to one stat and one stat only. Three-point shooting. Folks, tonight's game was both won and lost from beyond the arc. The reason the Nets won tonight's game was the simple fact they shot 58.3% from downtown, going 14-for-24. This performance would have brought a smile to the face of legendary Knicks' assassin, Reggie Miller. Three Nets played as though they were the lone gunman on the grassy knoll. Jarvis Hayes (off the bench), Devin Harris, and Courtney Lee combined for 65 points, and 12-for-20 (60%) from the ABA line. If this was the ever popular N64 game Golden Eye, those three earned themselves the "Marksmanship" award. What's more, they didn't just shoot their threes off any one play.
They nailed their threes coming off of fast-breaks, in transition, and within the half-court offense. Hell, there were several instances where a New Jersey player would miss a shot from a short distance, then another teammate would grab the rebound, kick the ball back out to the permiter, and then one of the above would drain a three to add insult to injury. It was gut wrenching watching the Nets have an extended team shoot-around because of the "mind fuck" which took place with the Knick players.
How'd they respond you ask? The Knicks as a team collectively earned themselves the "Where's the Ammo?" award as they fired nothing but blanks. Yes, your New York Knicks were an abyssmal 0-for-18 from three-point distance. No, your eyes are not deceiving you, the Knicks actually shot a donut that was so big it made every cop in Midtown make a pit-stop for some Entenmann's. Who were the goats tonight?
The award for "Most Harmless" goes to.....drum roll please.....opens the envelope.....read's names (not surprised)....folks, tonight we have a three way tie. Would Al "Bricks" Harrington, Eddie House, and Tracy McGrady please step up to the stage and accept this award?
This trio delivered a turdsandwhich to all those who had nothing better to do on a Saturday evening. This unamazing triumvirate combined for 20points, while going 0-for-11 from downtown. Special recognition needs to be given to Tracy McGrady for the uninspiring performance he had, outside of his three blocked shots and seven assists (five in the first half). On this night he only scored two points going 1-of-6 (0-for-2 from 3pt). This might sound mean, but he's my candidate for "Most Cowardly", as he's displayed the uncanny tendancy to run away and hide in all nine of his games with the team. However, in all fairness, this team sucked long before Donnie Walsh pulled the trigger on his cap saving trade for T-Mac. The reason behind the team's struggles became clear to me during the Raptors game on Friday night. Now before I begin, I know when I say this all of you will collectively call me Captain Obvious. I ask that you hear me out.
Folks, the Knicks' woes on defense are more to do with the 41 losses than anything else. I know, shocking. However it's not their strategy in the half court that's killing them. Rather, their poor shot selection on offense leads directly to their ineptness on defense. Have you ever asked yourself why is it that this team always seems to give up a lot of points in transition whether it comes from "and 1's", easy layups, or wide open 3's; and how they typically are called for a cheap foul on these plays?
Their matador ways are the result of the team standing around and watching shots miss-fire when they are on offense. Once it becomes clear the shot will miss, the team is still flatfooted with their backs to end of the court they must defend. This allows the other team to rebound, kick the ball out in transition, and blow right passed the Knicks who will most likely be late in getting back on defense. As a result, you have one of the league's worst defenses in terms of opponent's field goal percentage. Plain and simple. No specific player is the culprit in this regard, as it is an epidemic with these guys. Unfortunately, it is too late in the season to cure them of the disease. This is something the coaching staff has to work on from day one in training camp next season. Sure, this team can go out and sign any player they want this summer, as a near overhaul of the roster might transform them into a playoff team. However, they won't become a legit title contender until this 500 pound elephant is removed from the room. Now that this mystery has been solved, I have a quick bone to pick with the chuckleheads at TNT.
I partially blame TNT's Inside the NBA that aired on Thursday Night for tonight's loss. Near the end of the show, Ernie Johnson poured over New Jersey's remaining schedule and threw the question to the three analysts, Chris Webber, Kenny Smith, and Charles Barkley. EJ asked them how many games they thought the Nets would win. He was of the opinion the Nets would finish the season with 12, yes you heard me, 12 wins. Much to his chagrin, C-Webb, Kenny, and Charles went to town on him. Kenny went on a five minute tangent where he said no free agent in their right minds would go to a team that was this bad. His analysis:
"Normally when you bring in free agents you sell the player(s) on the pieces you have, and how they [the free agent] will be the one to push them over the top...typically when you're trying to paint a picture to the free agents about your franchise, you show them that you were good enough to win 30-40 games, and how the savior is [insert free agent]. The Nets, haven't done that, if I'm LeBron James I'd take one look at that team and say to myself, they might not win ten games this season, and then ask myself if I want to play with any of these 'pieces.' "
From there, Smith said the Nets might not win another game. Immediately after, as Barkley was trying to hold back his laughter and give his opinion as to how many games the Nets would win, Johnson and Webber cut him off and shifted the debate to whether or not the Nets would be able attract any marquee players given the team's close proximity to New York. Webber was of the opinion that because "the Nets play in the Tri-State Area" they wounldn't be shut out by this summer's big ticket attractions. Barkley retorted "TRI-STATE AREA?!? THAT'S NOT NEW YORK!" Great, thank's for the georgraphy lesson Charles.
Webber's response "where do the Nets play? They play in the Meadowlands, which is five miles from New York." Barkley quickly explained "they have this expression, a New York mile, those five miles are like 25 New York miles." Kenny Smith quickly interjected "New Jersey is not New York, take it from me, I'm from New York." Webber replied "Kenny, I expect you to say that, but Charles man, come on, just answer me this Chuck, where do the Jets and the Giants play?" Barkley replies "In New Jersey, but it don't matter. Mississippi and Lousiana are close to Alabama, but they aint no Alabama." Barkely then said the Nets would tie the 76ers for the NBA's single season record for futility. On the otherhand, if I'm not mistaken, Chris Webber said he felt the Nets will have the record come season's end.
Thank you Inside The NBA, I highly doubt this segment, and it's proximity in time to the Knicks Nets game, was merely a coincidence. These ass clowns outdid themselves in trying to emulate Tony Dungy for biggest douchebag sports analyst of the year. Now if you excuse me, I will be dousing myself with Febreze.