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Knicks snap nine-game losing streak by crushing depleted Nets

Dec 5, 2013, 11:21 PM EDT

New York Knicks' Anthony reacts after scoring against Miami Heat during their NBA basketball game in Miami Reuters

NEW YORK – In a game that was supposed to be a lively and competitive rivalry contest between two teams who share a city and began the year sharing aspirations of contending for a title, the end result was to fans what the entire season has been for both the Knicks and the Nets — a disappointment.

There was very little competing going on thanks to the injuries that have ravaged this Nets team, and along with Brooklyn’s propensity to not show up for the third quarter of games which has plagued them all season long, New York took advantage of the league’s worst defense by running up a lead that reached as many as 34 points before settling on the final 113-83 margin.

Things look horrendous in Brooklyn right now, but the Knicks, remember, came into this one riding a nine-game losing streak. They’ll take the positives wherever they come no matter the shape of their opponent, and try to build upon them with a game at home against the Magic the very next night.

“Our pace was a lot quicker tonight and it looked like the Knicks of old,” Knicks head coach Mike Woodson said afterward. “The three ball was falling, the ball was moving and the defense was clicking. That’s how we have to play.”

New York did show flashes of last season’s team, one that lived by the three-point shot and was successful in doing so when the ball movement created open looks. The Knicks hit 16 of their 27 attempts from distance, good for a mark of 59.3 percent. Iman Shumpert got hot and hit five of his seven looks from beyond the arc, and finished with 17 points and six rebounds in just 23 minutes.

“We put a complete game together for 48 minutes, offensively and defensively,” Carmelo Anthony said afterward. “It also helps when you make shots. We shot the ball well today. Most importantly it was a great road win for us, a great division win.”

Ah, yes. The division. The Knicks and Nets happen to play in the league’s worst, which is led at the moment by the Celtics with a record of 8-12. Both New York and Brooklyn are only 2.5 games back of first, which matters because the division winner gets into the playoffs with a lowest possible seed of fourth in their first round matchup.

That little fact is one reason that neither of these teams has imploded over its dismal start. The other, at least in Brooklyn’s case, is the reality that multiple star-level players who have gone down with injuries in the early part of the season are expected back in the not-too-distant future. The Nets have refused to use injuries as an excuse specifically, but both Kevin Garnett and Jason Kidd made multiple postgame references to needing to get “whole” before any verdict on their team can be passed.

“We have a lot of guys coming in and we’re asking a lot of them,” Garnett said, trying to explain what the issues are. “We have a new system. We’re changing things on the fly. Jason has been putting in a lot of new stuff since [assistant coach Lawrence Frank] has left. On top of that, guys who usually are not playing a lot of minutes have a lot of responsibility and are playing big minutes, and are asked a lot of them in those minutes. We don’t have Kirilenko, we don’t have Paul, we don’t have Deron. Chemistry just doesn’t snap [together]. Those things play a big part into this.”

It comes down to overall talent, as well. Beyond Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez, there just aren’t any reliable offensive options. And with the constant shuffling of different players in and out of lineups due to all of the injuries, there’s been no ability to get defensive rotations down or get Kidd’s philosophies put into practice.

The Knicks and the Nets are in similar situations, although with tonight’s win New York has a chance to begin to crawl out of its misery. In Brooklyn, after the Nets trailed by close to 30 points for the second straight game at home, they appear to be right in the thick of theirs until they get some of their best players back.

  1. detectivejimmymcnulty - Dec 5, 2013 at 11:38 PM

    When you’ve admitted your team has a 1-2 year title window, why in the hell would you hire Jason Kidd? More importantly, how did Billy King ever get a GM job!

    • bjornreyes - Dec 6, 2013 at 1:42 AM

      Kidd as a lead assistant is not bad. Kidd as the head on a rebuilding team is okay. But it is obvious Kidd as head coach on a self-declared championship contender with 1-2 year title window is bad.

    • patsfan92 - Dec 6, 2013 at 5:47 AM

      ,thats the first question i asked. common sense would tell you hiring jason kidd for this was a bad move. purely an emotional signing to sell tickets

      • mogogo1 - Dec 6, 2013 at 10:34 AM

        Crazy part is that nobody ever buys tickets based on the coach unless it’s somebody known to always produce winners. (Though, I supposed it must have been entertaining to be courtside for the soda spill incident. Come for the game, stay for the slapstick comedy routine.)

      • j0esixpack - Dec 6, 2013 at 2:50 PM

        Hindsight sure is 20/20, but it sure is a question worth asking, especially since the window could well be one year and one year only… why the hell would you have a rookie head coach with absolutely no head coaching experience?

        The fact that his assistant – a former head coach – appeared to be undermining him makes this look even more like an epic fail.

        I initially bought in to the logic that with that many veterans a strong headed head coach would not be necessary and a player friendly head coach who’s role was to get the various veterans working together was more important than a proven X and Os vocal head coach

        Thus far it’s not worked out well – and injuries are not an adequate excuse for their performance

    • cruzan80 - Dec 6, 2013 at 7:42 AM

      Kidd isn’t the sole reason for their woes though. Danny Ainge did this in 2008….how do you think it’s a good idea to do the same thing with the same players 5 years later is beyond me. Billy King is a moron.

    • fanofevilempire - Dec 6, 2013 at 7:48 AM

      where is ALL the Knickerbocker haters, helloooooooooooooooo.

      funny how a starting point guard can make a difference, wait til the all star Center is back!

    • zerole00 - Dec 6, 2013 at 10:06 AM

      How did Billy King become GM? For the same reason Dolan lets Isaiah Thomas whisper sweet nothings into his ear, owners like to fall for their own hype.

      • mogogo1 - Dec 6, 2013 at 10:38 AM

        It’s just a revolving door with some guys. No clue why they get a million chances to fail. My personal favorite is Bernie Bickerstaff. Not only did he get multiple head coaching jobs but a couple of teams let him be GM. He was a disaster everywhere he went, but always somebody left who couldn’t wait to hire him. Now, he’s still an assistant, so might even get another shot again someday.

  2. cruzan80 - Dec 6, 2013 at 6:03 AM

    Brooklyn Nets = New York Jets

    • fanofevilempire - Dec 6, 2013 at 7:40 AM

      and NY Mets……

      • jcmeyer10 - Dec 6, 2013 at 9:10 AM

        Combined.

  3. jbeagles23 - Dec 6, 2013 at 9:25 AM

    The Knicks suck and people don’t care enough to comment

    • cruzan80 - Dec 6, 2013 at 2:56 PM

      ^^^^ Apparently people do care enough to comment……

  4. j0esixpack - Dec 6, 2013 at 9:59 AM

    Wow. The Nets really seem to suck.

    Although it was a leap of faith to put Kidd in charge with no experience, one thought that a player/coach would be good as there were enough veterans on the team to self-monitor and run the show on the court.

    All their free agent pickups made them look like one of the best teams on paper. But then again in just about every sport each season there’s a “best team on paper” that appears to be an epic fail.

    Who ever could have predicted that as of Dec. 6th the Celtics would be in 1st place in the Atlantic Conference and the Nets vying for last?

    Ironic that the Celtics-owned 2014 Nets draft pick – expected to be among the lowest – could actually be higher than the Celtic’s own pick! It remains to be seen how the Celts will use all those picks they got from the Nets (expected to bottom out AFTER this season) in future years, but thus far it looks like Ainge by far got the better of the deal.

    That being said, there’s still plenty of time for the Nets to turn things around – but they’ve got to show a bit more pride, and perhaps might want to admit sooner rather than later that Kidd has been an Epic Fail as head coach – and this coming from a guy who was pulling for Kidd and the Nets to do well!

    • mogogo1 - Dec 6, 2013 at 10:44 AM

      My theory is the veteran leadership of Pierce and Garnett is thwarted by their having zero history with the team. Also not entirely sure they were thoroughly welcomed by the current Nets or just seen as a threat to steal some of their minutes.

    • bougin89 - Dec 6, 2013 at 11:35 AM

      The Hawks have the right to swap first round picks with the Nets in 2014(from the Joe Johnson trade). The Celtics will get the rights to the first round pick after the potential swap. If the season ended today the Celtics would have 2 non-lottery first round picks because the Hawks and Celtics would be in the playoffs.

      • j0esixpack - Dec 6, 2013 at 2:37 PM

        Thanks for clarifying that. It’s still ironic that the Nets 1st rounder is more valuable (as of now) than the Hawks OR the Celtics.

        So it can be assumed that the Celtics ulimately will have the Hawks 1st round non-lottery draft choice (which ironically will STILL be higher than what I’d assumed the Nets would have been)

        Again, still plenty of time for the Nets to develop some winning ways – and the Celtics to begin to tank.

        Given the depth of this draft it will be interesting to see if Ainge decides to shop his two picks for one higher pick – or stands pat with the two 1st rounders he has, which may be the better option.

      • bougin89 - Dec 9, 2013 at 10:28 AM

        If you can’t get into the top 4 to get either Wiggins, Parker, Randle, or Smart I would take two swings in the first round. Their are plenty more talented players out there. IMO the top 4 is where it’s really at though.

  5. bougin89 - Dec 6, 2013 at 9:59 AM

    The Nets still had Joe Johnson, KG, and Lopez in the lineup. I thought they had more pride than this.

  6. 700levelvet - Dec 7, 2013 at 7:55 AM

    BOTH of these teams are garbage…

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