While the Brooklyn Nets are crumbling, the New York Knicks are in shambles. Collecting the old molted skins of Metta World Peace and Amar’e Stoudemire, the Knicks don’t have much going for their bench currently. Pablo Prigioni has proved to be pretty good, unless Mike Woodson decides to inexplicably not play him. Tim Hardaway Jr. is the middle of the Hot Pocket, a volume chucker that fluctuates from being unable to extinguish and frozen solid.
But, you say, the Nets’ bench is pretty weak right now too. And you’re right! With Anderson sliding into the starting lineup and Shaun Livingston having regressed inside of a turtle shell, it leaves two people even worth mentioning: Andray Blatche and Mirza Teletovic.
Andrea Bargnani plays center for the New York Knicks. Just let that sink in. Behind him is Amar’e Stoudemire. One of them has to guard Brook Lopez and neither of them are good defenders– check out this and this if you believe otherwise. Enter Andray Blatche. He should have a field day with those crafty Eurosteps and inspired crossover, step-back jumpers. If they’re falling, the Nets will win this game.
As for Mirza Teletovic, who has played his best basketball in the NBA over the last few games, Thursday’s contest (or “rivalry” if you can still call it that..) may hinge on his shoulders. Throw in three 3-pointers from #FEARZA and that may just coax J.R. Smith to shoot the Knicks out of this game.
Speaking of which: J.R. Smith has been bad since he came back from suspension. They tried him in the starting lineup, that didn’t work either. If the Knicks have any hope of turning this season around before heads start rolling, it needs to start with J.R. Smith. A game against the cross-river rivals may be just the game he needs to get back on track.
Still, the thought of Andray Blatche’s bevvy of moves against the blundering Stoudemire is too much to pass up: advantage goes to the Nets.
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