With both teams at a combined 14-23, the usual tension behind the Nets-Knicks rivalry has been lacking as of late. Even with ESPN’s attempt to hype the game via a Latvian rap song and Kristaps Porzingis himself remarking that “our fans are better than theirs,” it just hasn’t packed the same punch it used to.
Tonight, unfortunately, won’t do much to remedy that.
In the first quarter alone, the Knicks started off a blistering 7-11 from three-point range and lead by 21 points after mere minutes. From there, it didn’t get much better.
On defense, the Nets were crippled by the Knicks’ hot start and they never quite recovered, instead reverting to flat-footed efforts and slumped shoulders. On offense, somehow, it was even worse and the Nets seemed content to shoot long mid-range jumpers and do little else.
Since winning two in a row, many believed that Brooklyn had actually, finally, turned the proverbial corner, but even after just a few minutes, it was tough not to violently recall the Nets’ horrendous effort in Boston a few weeks ago.
For now, the rivalry in New York won’t be re-ignited, but that’s mostly thanks to the Nets’ complete non-participation in tonight’s game. Oh, and they have Stephen Curry on Sunday.
Lethargic, uninspiring, and sloppy, the Nets were entirely disappointing in this year’s first game against the Knicks — so, in honor of that dark, sinking feeling in your gut, the game grades tonight are done with the help of alcoholic comparisons.
The stats: 21 PTS, 8-20 FG%, 4 RBS, 2 ASTS, 1 STL, 2 BLKS, 2 TOs
THREE GLASSES OF CHARDONNAY
Brook Lopez is a classy man, an old-school baller with post-moves that harken back to a forgotten style.
But, just like having a glass of wine too many, Lopez seemed sleepy tonight. He was constantly beaten for second-chance opportunities by Robin and Porzingis en route to finishing with just four rebounds.
All things considered, a twenty-point effort with a couple blocks from Lopez would usually be praised, but the better twin took a backseat tonight.
The stats: 2 PTS, 1-4 FG%, 3 RBS, 1 AST
FIVE CANS OF NATTY ICE
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson was completely out of his element against Carmelo Anthony and looked like a total freshman at college in the process.
It happens and he’ll be better for it in the long run, but he’ll be hungover tomorrow morning after this one.