Net Worth: Knicks 99, Nets 92

New Jersey Nets 92 Final
Recap | Box Score
99 New York Knicks
Kris Humphries, PF 34 MIN | 5-9 FG | 10-12 FT | 12 REB | 2 AST | 20 PTS | +1

Played through the boos and the contact. Hit shots in the lane and got his share of dunks. Cleared out well and picked up some monster blocks (notably on a Carmelo Anthony dunk attempt). Drew some fouls, particularly on Amare Stoudemire, and got to the line 12 times. With Brook out, he’s Deron’s primary pick-and-roll-or-pop option, and he got a fair share of looks going towards the rim.

Shawne Williams, SF 30 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 6 PTS | -4

He really likes Madison Square Garden, and he really likes that corner. If only his usefulness extended beyond that.

Shelden Williams, PF 21 MIN | 0-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -1

Worked his butt off on the boards and on defense. Can’t give him enough credit for that. Pushed Tyson Chandler around, though he can’t stop Chandler in the air. He’s done about as well as I think anybody expected. But you’ve also got to make shots at the basket, and you’ve also got to know to pick your spots. Sometimes seems like he can do everything but score.

Deron Williams, PG 44 MIN | 7-19 FG | 4-4 FT | 6 REB | 11 AST | 21 PTS | -3

Offensively, other than a couple of bad plays — most notably getting stuck behind the basket on a shot-clock violation early in the game — D-Will hit some shots and found teammates for open ones. Unlike most of his turnovers this season, product of recipients with brick hands, the Knicks played the lanes and anticipated his passes. Kept the Nets afloat in the third quarter. The two big complaints: I wish he’d done more when the Nets had their backs at the wall, and he couldn’t stop Jeremy Lin in crunch time. This isn’t the first time an opposing point guard has made the difference against New Jersey this season.

Anthony Morrow, SG 38 MIN | 4-12 FG | 1-1 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 11 PTS | +2

Didn’t exactly follow up his 42-point performance with a similar display of greatness. Struggled looking for his shot and didn’t make enough to be effective.

Keith Bogans, SG 16 MIN | 2-4 FG | 1-1 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 5 PTS | -6

His defense on Carmelo Anthony sublime, his cuts to the basket previously unseen on this roster. Morrow, Stevenson, Extra E, et al all prefer shooting from outside, and rarely cut to the rim like Bogans has in his short time here. A good friend that watches the Bulls closely told me I was going to love him. Love is strong, but he’s provided a strong defensive presence on the wings mostly absent thus far.

Jordan Farmar, PG 25 MIN | 7-13 FG | 2-2 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 19 PTS | -12

I’ve become a big fan of the two-point guard set with Deron and Farmar, provided that the opposing shooting guard is someone Deron can check defensively. Farmar’s a solid outside shooter, and played well off the ball to get himself in a position to score; on the ball he’s a good individual creator and helped keep the Nets in the game early in the fourth quarter.

Johan Petro, C 3 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -3

Blocked an Amare Stoudemire dunk attempt, then promptly threw a pass directly into Carmelo Anthony’s hands. The Johan Petro experience!

Jordan Williams, F 26 MIN | 3-7 FG | 4-6 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 10 PTS | -3

A slow and grounded defender, and couldn’t handle Tyson Chandler. Still, attacked the boards and the basket well, including one ultimately surprising play where he ran the floor ahead of everyone else and was on the receiving end of a Deron Williams assist. Not an impeccable game, and I’m not sure why he shot so many reverse layups, but out of the 36th pick in the draft, he’s looking more like a (Josh) boon(e) every day.

Five Things We Saw

  1. Okay, uh. Jeremy Lin? The Nets didn’t know how to handle Jeremy Lin. Carmelo Anthony? Sure. Amare Stoudemire? No problem. Tyson Chandler? They weren’t going to stop him anyway. But Jeremy Lin took over the game before the fourth quarter, and then completely decimated New Jersey down the stretch. The only thing Lin couldn’t do was shoot from the outside, but the Nets couldn’t stop him from getting into the lane. Lin used screens and read the defense like he was a Harvard graduate, getting easy layups even when the Nets went into zone. Lin matched up with Deron Williams and looked like an NBA-level point guard. He’ll last in the NBA.
  2. Lin is the story, but the way the Nets handled Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire was as good as you can hope for. The Nets let Stoudemire’s aggressiveness get the better of him, and Keith Bogans just annoyed the hell out of Melo and forced him into shooting bad midrange shots through most f the game. You’re just not banking on that type of performance from Jeremy Lin.
  3. The Nets’ offensive sets look nonexistent far more often than natural. Sometimes, Avery draws up great plays, like the Farmar back cut for a layup in the fourth quarter. But shortly after, the Nets had no movement, nothing attacking the rim, and only got bailed out on a dumb foul with 3 seconds left on the shot clock. Shawne Williams airballed a 30-foot fadeaway on an earlier play because the Nets didn’t get the ball inside the arc the entire set. They had two 24-second shot clock violations where nobody looked to shoot in the entire span of the shot clock. The Nets need to have movement and smart cuts all through 48 minutes, not just sporadically when they remember the object of basketball.
  4. It bears repeating, as it does in nearly every game: missing three of their starters, a fourth player they once started, and a player they traded for to replace one of their starters, the Nets remained competitive in a game against a team at full strength (and if you say “No Mike Bibby or Baron Davis!” in the comments, I’m going to ban you) and weren’t far off from victory.
  5. Again, Lin is the story. But the Nets couldn’t stop Tyson Chandler, either, and for good reason; Chandler is 7’1″ and long, and the tallest Nets on the court — Jordan Williams, Kris Humphries, and Shelden Williams — are 6’9″ and not. Throw the ball in the air in the vicinity of the basket, and Chandler’s just going to jump over New Jersey. Without Jeremy Lin, the Knicks don’t win this game, but they don’t without Chandler either.