Skip to content

Knicks snap nine-game losing streak by crushing depleted Nets

Dec 5, 2013, 11:21 PM EST

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.

Latest Posts
  1. PBT Extra: How would the NBA benefit from legalized sports betting?

    Nov 20, 2014, 8:15 PM EST

    Adam Silver Adam Silver

    Adam Silver’s support for legalized sports betting is making him unpopular in some circles.

  2. Seven Grizzlies players questionable Friday with stomach virus

    Nov 20, 2014, 7:30 PM EST

    Tony Allen Tony Allen

    The virus has affected almost half of Memphis’ roster.

  3. Kevin Love: “I’m just trying to find myself in this offense”

    Nov 20, 2014, 6:45 PM EST

    Enes Kanter, Kevin Love Enes Kanter, Kevin Love

    Love is averaging 16.7 points per game in his first year with the Cavs.

  4. NBPA ready to appeal Jeffery Taylor’s 24-game suspension

    Nov 20, 2014, 6:00 PM EST

    Jeffery Taylor Jeffery Taylor

    NBPA director Michele Roberts calls the suspension “excessive.”

  5. Kobe Bryant says he and Kevin Durant didn’t mean what they said about Dwight Howard

    Nov 20, 2014, 3:40 PM EST

    Oklahoma City Thunder v Los Angeles Lakers Getty Images

    Rockets star has taken plenty of verbal abuse lately from opposing players

  6. Players union, after Jason Kidd’s negotiations, looking into agents representing coaches and players

    Nov 20, 2014, 1:21 PM EST

    Milwaukee Bucks v Brooklyn Nets Getty Images

    Current National Basketball Players Association rule forbids agents from representing players and coaches

  7. Doc Rivers: Magic’s Nikola Vucevic ‘is an all-star’

    Nov 20, 2014, 11:20 AM EST

    Los Angeles Clippers v Orlando Magic Los Angeles Clippers v Orlando Magic

    Clippers coach: ‘He’s probably the best player in the league that nobody knows’

  8. Shabazz Muhammad skies to slam one-handed alley-oop

    Nov 20, 2014, 9:00 AM EST

    Shabazz Muhammad Shabazz Muhammad

    Corey Brewer throws pass just low enough to avoid a turnover, high enough to make Muhammad look good

Featured video

Can Rockets, Grizzlies keep up hot starts?
Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. D. Rose (8659)
  2. D. Wade (7374)
  3. K. Durant (6883)
  4. R. Westbrook (5934)
  5. N. Young (5926)
  1. T. Jones (5907)
  2. I. Shumpert (5521)
  3. B. Beal (5429)
  4. K. Bryant (5312)
  5. R. Gay (4995)