Decimated. What else can you say about this game? It was a stinker and a laugher. A fart joke. The Nets took control right away, canning three pointers and shipping them by the gross to each perimeter defender's face. Then Brook Lopez overtook anyone who decided to let him get excellent position on the low block, and either scored or got to the line or both. And we can't forget the timely hooping from Joe Johnson and Deron Williams. The Nets' top guys scooted around and made sure Brooklyn always had some scoring pop, even if things weren't going quite right. Generally everything went as scripted for the Nets.
Walt Frazier mentioned that there was no player interested in taking charge of the team; everyone was playing with a complete indifference. As The Monsieur eloquently echoed in the game thread, "Comme ci, comme ça". I knew this game was gonna be a total destruction, because not only did Robert Randolph make his season debut, but the perpetually untrill Bill Pidto lauded Robby Randy before the game. Even going so far as to say the word "household". I don't ever want to hear about your "household" again, you pud. It was thirty something minutes before tip off and I could already sense the game was long over. A sad state of affairs for the loyal viewers. If it's any consolation, the Nets should actually contend for a playoff spot, so this is one of those games you should get, were you lucky enough to be in that sort of position. Plenty of season left to work on getting this boat to row. Some notes:
- Carmelo Anthony continued to slump and gump en route to 19 points on 20 shots in 36 minutes. He did manage to get to the line (8-9), but Melo got pissy and abandoned the Triangle in the last chunk of his first quarter. He played three or four consecutive possessions of hero ball while his teammates wondered whether they should stand still or cut. It was around then that the Nets put this thing away.
This loss isn't entirely on Melo, because everybody played poorly in some regard, but it's safe to say that Melo playing poorly hurts the team more than anyone else playing poorly. The Knicks simply can't afford a bad Melo game if the rest of the team isn't going to click on offense, or ramp up the effort on defense.
- Iman Shumpert and Tim Hardaway Jr were your starters in the backcourt. Both of them flashed some nice offense but they couldn't hide some ugly D underneath their trench coats. Whether getting beat backdoor, gambling at inopportune moments or giving up on rotations, these guys looked young out there.
The good about them looking young was their willingness to push the tempo, especially Shumpert as the primary ball handler. The Knicks totally failed to Triangulate, but they were Triangu-early enough to get a good number of passes side to side. This gave them more quick hitting looks out of the formation. Unfortunately there is still a lot of thinking, and not enough reacting.
- Shane Larkin was shuttled to the bench for this game, a seemingly awkward choice. Shane has been playing well-- in particular, his Scrappy Rate is at 74% good for 17th in the league. I know: small sample size. Worth noting though, because this team was so very blah. Needed someone who wanted to fight for it.
- Someone who impressed with his vigor was Cleanthony Early. Cle got 16 minutes and really seems like a solid contributor as a system player. His ceiling might be dynamic role player, but at least he played with passion. He also rammed on Brook Lopez for the Chase Loser's Game Winner:
Tossed in a couple three's to boot, it was like he was playing for Brooklyn out there!
- Amar'e Stoudemire and Quincy Acy got the surprise starts in the second half, pushing Samuel Dalembert (five minutes total) and Jason Smith to back-up roles. Nobody played good defense. STAT had a few nice charges to the rim. Acy didn't ruin too much on offense and had a gorgeous tip dunk that inspired Walter Szczerbiak to inexplicably force his nickname "Cookie Monster" to the fans who were unfortunate enough to watch the MSG Half Time Show.
- Travis Wear played like Travis Outlaw.
- Cole Aldrich took up space for a handful of minutes and was able to shovel home a magnificent dish from JR Smith.
- Swish made some things happen in his return from suspension. He was operating well in Triangle sets (compared to some of his teammates). He slipped out of his shoe. He knew how to push without forcing, despite a few miscues. The whole team was bad, though. He tried to make it work. That's respectable.
- Speaking of respectable, Derek Fisher got his first regular season technical foul as a coach! The most he ever had as a player was 7. At this rate he should have about 13 before all these terrible contracts expire. It's a badge of honor in this town, we're proud of you, Coach! **EDIT: Major props to lavor postell for predicting this in the game thread!
- Jerome Jordan made an appearance. He immediately walked. Once a Knick, always...
This game really belonged to the Nets. They crushed it from downtown right from the get-go and were steadily efficient inside the arc. Heck of a game for them. They wanted to beat the Knicks, and they went and punished 'em good. Up against the Hawks tomorrow. I'd be worried if I were you.