When Brooklyn Favorite Son Spike Lee declared that he would not switch his allegiance from the Knicks to the Nets, we all grumbled but actually could respect his deep loyalty to the blue and orange.
But it's a whole different matter when the Knicks are out of the picture. Former Borough President Marty Markowitz had pleaded with Lee to at least make the Brooklyn team his second favorite.
It now seems clear that Lee is not only for the Knicks, he's against the Nets. He rooted for the Heat and sat near the Heat bench at the last game. There's a slightly mitigating factor: Ray Allen, a star of his movie He Got Game, now plays for the Heat.
Still: Loyalty to the Knicks over the Nets makes some sense. But loyalty to Miami over Brooklyn?
With all the attention on LeBron James' dominant 49-point performance in Game 4 that led the Miami Heat to a 102-96 victory, it's easy to lose sight of everything else. But one thing caught our eye: Joe Johnson and Deron Williams's offensive output not only didn't rise to some playoff-worthy output, it didn't even rise to their own averages during the year.
Williams finished the night just 5-14 from the field and 1-3 from three-point range, hitting both of his free throws for 13 points. Johnson finished the night 5-15 from the field and 2-7 from three-point range, hitting all six of his free throws for 18 points.
Let's keep it simple: given their shot selection, if Williams and Johnson had merely played at their average level in terms of field goal percentage, three-point percentage, and free throw percentage, Williams and Johnson together would have scored between 7-8 more points total. The Nets lost by six.
Shots are difficult to come across in the playoffs, especially against arguably the league's best team. Johnson also said that James's flop on Johnson's last shot of the game threw his balance off. In any one game, anything can happen. But if "Brooklyn's Backcourt" underperforms again with the season on the line, the year could end tonight.
This extraordinary map from The New York Times shows which teams dominate in which areas based on Facebook likes. The New York Knicks are the majority team in all counties in the tri-state region, except for Brooklyn where it's a statistical tie: 22 percent Nets, 21 percent Knicks and 9 percent for the Heat.
By that one slender percentage point, the Nets avoided being the only NBA team to not be the majority team in a single county.
In East Rutherford, where the New Jersey Nets played, 25 percent were for the Knicks, 15 percent for the Nets and 14 percent for the Lakers. There were no New Jersey counties in which Nets fans outnumbered Knicks fans. In Uniondale, Long Island, where the Nets started playing, 32 percent are for the Knicks, 12 percent for the Lakers and 10 percent for the Nets. There were no counties in Long Island where Nets fans outnumbered Knicks fans.
You can get the stats for any county in the nation. Many other fascinating patterns: strange pockets of Celtics fans in Alabama? Many Bulls fans in New Mexico?
Joe Johnson said Lebron flopped on his last shot attempt. #nets
— Dexter Henry (@NetsDailyVideo) May 13, 2014
— Matthew Boerschig (@MattB_DoWork) May 13, 2014
— Stephen K. (@skyleung) May 13, 2014
... MORE →
— Shane (@sswalls) May 13, 2014
ONE OF THE HEAT'S PLAYERS IS REALLY GOOD
The difference in this game is pretty simple so far: one team has LeBron James, the other team does not have LeBron James.
— Dan Soriano (@dsor8) May 13, 2014
Has Deron Williams ever come through in a big spot for the #nets in the playoffs?
— Tyrone Carver Jr. (@Mamkhoops) May 13, 2014
Why that stupid chant. "I believe we will win." Get the f*ck out of here. #NETS they had it
— J.cion (@RealJCion) May 13, 2014
Jason Kidd's inexperience coaching trumps the #Nets rosters playoff experience.
— SportsAllDay (@SportsAllDay_) May 13, 2014
PAUL PIERCE'S DEFENSE
— Emmanuel Ogando (@MannyFr3sh3) May 13, 2014
AND, OF COURSE, BROOK LOPEZ
— Celtics Australia (@celticaustralia) May 13, 2014
Some fans seem irate that Jay Z and Beyonce made nice with LeBron. I dunno. Those look like forced, awkward smiles to me. What should they have said? (New caption contest!)
— Shane (@sswalls) May 13, 2014
— Prescotte Stokes III (@PrescotteStokes) May 13, 2014