The Brooklyn Nets and their fancy-pants head coach are known for playing a brand of ball that relies heavily on ball movement. On Wednesday night they showed the Knicks just what kind of damage that unselfish style can unleash, building a 15-point lead in the first half.
But the Knicks were able to counter with the antithesis of sharing and caring. They erased that first-half deficit and rode to a 107-102 win on the back of an undrafted rookie whose Twitter handle is literally @ISO_ZO. Allonzo Trier torched Brooklyn for 20 first-half points, and his teammates tightened up on defense just enough to come away with the victory.
Trier finished with an iso-rific 25 points on 8-12 shooting (8-8 from the free-throw line) to go along with 4 rebounds, 1 assist and 5 turnovers. To be fair, he did make a few nice passes, but passing isn’t what makes Allonzo great!
To the Zo highlights!
New head coach David Fizdale wants to emulate the Nets’ ball-sharing offense this season, but he wasn’t about to look a gift horse in the mouth.
— Nets GM Sean Marks, the greatest genius in basketball history, has earned particular plaudits of late for drafting center Jarrett Allen and signing the most underrated free agent of the summer, Ed Davis. It came as a surprise, then, that the duo was annihilated by Knicks center Enes Kanter, who put up one of the easiest 20-20 games in recent memory. It only took the big Turk 26 minutes of playing time to drop 22 points on 20 on Brooklyn’s ballyhooed centers. These Knicks aren’t going to rebound much, so it may often take a herculean effort by Kanter to keep them close on the glass. Nice to see he is up to the challenge.
— Trey Burke once again started at point guard and chipped in a solid 9 points, 3 assists and 2 steals. But the diminutive Burke had trouble checking D’Angelo Russell. It was particularly annoying to watch if for fans who remembered last season, when Frank Ntilikina shut down Russell.
Well praised be to Fiz, because the coach subbed in Frank in the second quarter to check the red-hot Russell. And that was it for D’Angelo — dude somehow finished with 11 points on 4-12 shooting after a hot start. Frank owns that guy.
But Frank wasn’t simply content to shut down Russell. He also swatted a Spencer Dinwiddie layup so hard I literally dropped to my knees and cried.
Frank swatted an Ed Davis shot for good measure. He did not mess around on Wednesday.
— Ron Baker and Damyean Dotson helped put away the Nets with some quality play in scrub time. Notice I have mentioned five guards before bringing up Emmanuel Mudiay. The former lottery pick was once again terrible, shooting 1-5 and notching 1 assist against 2 turnovers. Frank also only got 1 assist, but he shot 4-8 for 9 points and was an aforementioned defensive beast. He has a clear strength, as does Burke. Mudiay? Ehhhhhhhhhh.
— Tim Hardaway Jr. has his good games and his bad games. This...was a bad game. Timmy shot 3-11 and turned it over thrice. It’ll be interesting to see how many wins the Knicks can pull out in the regular season when he is going through the motions like he did Wednesday.
The Knicks will finally play at MSG on Friday when they take on the Pelicans, though these games at Barclays Center always feel like a semi-home game for the ‘Bockers. Like P&T’er Melo’s Bucket Hat Collection noted, you might as well count this as the first home W of the preseason.