The Knicks jumped on the Nets early, slinging in 42 first quarter points. A trio of hot hands from Arron Afflalo, Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis cooked everything in Brooklyn's refrigerators. Then the bench unit just ransacked the cupboards. The Knicks led at the half by 23. In the second half they mostly worked on set pieces. Brooklyn bumbled brokenly through the entire game getting an occasional dose of inspired play from Thaddeus Young. Like knicksfanhere96 said in the game thread, it felt pretty good to beat a team and leave no uncertainty in the outcome. We'll dig deeper tomorrow but for now let's wrap this sucker up!
- Nets' best player tonight was Willie Reed. He didn't do too much, but he sprang some guys free with quality screens and rolled to the rim for clean looks. Yup, that was about as good as it got for Brooklyn.
- Carmelo Anthony's jumper looked much more articulate in this game than it has in the past few. He came out hot, and forced up a few heat checks. All told, Carmelo did some quality basketballing. He wasn't settling for isolations, and was moving the ball and himself early in the clock. Little bit of everything en route to an efficient 28 points on 18 shots.
My favorite bit of the night from Melo was seeing him set some nasty, jolting screens that opened up entire sides of the floor for multiple passes. Then if the ball got around the horn back to him, extra cool. Although, I guess I wasn't mad at his five triples.
- Speaking of three point shooting...
The Knicks made more 3-pointers in the first quarter tonight (7) than any of the previous three games in total.— charlie widdoes (@charliewiddoes) December 5, 2015
12-27 overall is very nice. Pushing the pace and breaking things open a bit can help you get quality looks. Keep doing that, friends.
- Arron Afflalo benefitted quite a bit from the hot three-point shooting. It allowed him to get space to operate in the post multiple times on his way to a very tidy 18 points. It's nice to see Afflalo go to work down there. He's very consistent and that is an extravagant change from the previous two seasons.
- This game was billed a whole lot of different ways depending who you decided to watch. Did you watch MSG, YES or ESPN? On MSG the Brook Lopez vs. Robin Lopez matchup was showcased with some lighthearted cutaway segments. In a lightsaber battle that was cut short because Robin grew tired of it, Brook won a war of words by saying, "I was gonna kill you some more".
Robin got the last laugh in a later segment revealing that Brook cried his eyes out before school when they got to first and second grades. Brook couldn't hide his embarrassment. Robin was able to own his when Brook tried to mock a speech impediment. Knicks win.
In actual game stuff, the zebras made such a horrible call on a Robin 3 second violation. I rarely lose my cool watching games, but this one drove me crazy. Probably because it struck a beautiful Porzingis assistingis from the box score. Went back and watched it a few times. Lopez enters the paint with 13 seconds on the clock, gets a foot out with 11 left, receives a very pleasurable bounce pass and is up and dunking with 10 seconds left. So mad!
- It was that kind of night for Porzingis, though. He obviously could not be stopped, and got 19 points, 10 bounds and 2 blocks in just 26 minutes, which is nice. But the refs stole from him and the scorekeepers tried to steal from him too. Late in the game, a rebound was suddenly taken away only to be given back a few minutes later. Just accept that he is infallible.
My favorite Flamingo moment was probably blocking a Jarrett Jack hesitation pull-up while standing like 12 feet away. It was just so unfair. Jack is such a struggle to watch as it is, now you throw a springy 90-foot windmill at him? Jokes on you, Jack.
- Sticking with jokes, Clyde talked with Jill Martin on air and they let loose that he recorded her new voicemail message. Kenny Albert made the first "joke" of his career when he asked Jill to give her phone number on air. Clyde went on to mention that he had previously recorded messages for a few "Knicks people" but that he got paid. Jill was somehow able to snag hers with that classic Frazier-Kryptonite: a Snickers bar.
I bet Tina Cervasio would get a Clyde-voicemail message 100% free. But James Dolan would probably fire Clyde for the offense and install Isiah Thomas into the booth.
- Jose Calderon is still a trashcapade on defense but had a plethora of assists to make up for it. I do love that he continues to hustle out over the top of 3-point shooters, but he just can't help himself sometimes. He constantly feels the need to double team the post from one pass away. First of all, you're too slow and small to pull that off, but most of all It has never helped anyone in the history of basketball to do that.
- Lance Thomas is definitely gonna get caught up in a steroids scandal if he keeps playing like this, skying angrily for tip dunks and axe-handling the air with the most rigid corner threes in the modern NBA. He carries 94% of his weight in that barreling chest of his. I'm always worried he will high step one direction then juke his body just a smidgen and brutally slam a Lance Thomas shaped body-hole through the floor.
- Overall the bench was exciting and active. Derrick Williams might flubber around and slip into weird places on the floor and try to pull off some very wobbly plays, but whenever he does it, the pace increases, and that somehow makes the game easier for Jerian Grant. Take away some options and Jerian suddenly gets very confident and hard to track. Then you have Kevin Seraphin being predictable and consistent in varying degrees and directions, but he never steps too far away from the his comfy corners. Now the ball is swinging around to Langston Galloway and he loves to put everything in order for them to keep working on what's humming. Really love the whole bench's camaraderie.
- My favorite reciprocal score of the night was 47-74.
- Punctuating a frustrating night for Brooklyn was Joe Johnson snapping a chunky elbow into Calderon's stubbly face and getting ejected for a flagrant two. It was nasty, but I don't know if he deserved the ejection. Although, a stiffer punishment may have been having to sit through the rest of that game. Instead old Joe got to hit the showers early, in a quiet locker room. I'm sure he was in there working on his doll house miniatures while sipping tea and carefully listening for the rest of the team to come in from finishing their futile field work.
The game was over as soon as it started. Once it was 18-6 Brooklyn seemed to waive the white flag, but New York didn't rest on that and pushed through to an absolute conclusion with both teams going full garbage time with about 4:20 left. Next game is tomorrow in Milwaukee!