Grade the Players at any time!
Today: The final regular season “Battle of the Boroughs” game takes place between the 24-16 Brooklyn Nets and 25-13 New York Knicks, at 3:30 P.M. in Madison Square Garden in New York. The Nets most recently split a home-and-home with the Atlanta Hawks, while the Knicks have returned from London after beating the Detroit Pistons in England. The Knicks are first in the Atlantic Division and second in the Eastern Conference; the Nets are two games back from first place in the Atlantic and fourth in the Conference.
More after the jump.
Watch & Listen: The game is broadcast on YES Network and nationally on NBA TV. Ian Eagle and Greg Anthony are on the call. The game is radio simulcast on WFAN, and in Spanish on WADO.
Injuries: None for Brooklyn. New York is without starting point guard Raymond Felton (pinky), and are also missing Rasheed Wallace and Marcus Camby. Knicks shooting guard Iman Shumpert is back from ACL surgery and starting for his second straight game.
Further Reading: Check out today’s Nets-Knicks matchup breakdowns, the tale of the tape complete with advanced statistics and terrifying mascot comparisons, and our Nets-Knicks Roundtable & Predictions.
Brooklyn Nets: Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Gerald Wallace, Reggie Evans, Brook Lopez
New York Knicks: Jason Kidd, Iman Shumpert, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Copeland, Tyson Chandler
Nets-Knicks Games in Review (by Benjamin Nadeau):
Nets would win game one, 96-89. New York basketball fans alike had to wait until November 26th for the newly minted rivalry to kick off after Hurricane Sandy postponed plans. The wait was well worth it. Deron Williams (16 and 14) and Carmelo Anthony (35 and 13) lead their respective teams throughout the game. While it was a match-up of superstars, it was two supporting players, Ray Felton and Brook Lopez, who ended up deciding the game. Lopez was clutch all-night and finished with 22 and 11, shouldering the scoring load at times. However, it was Felton who shot 3 for 19 and took the ball out of Carmelo’s hands for much of the 4th and O.T. as Brooklyn clawed their way back again and again. Tyson Chandler, in a preview of things to come, chipped in with 28 and 10. Jerry Stackhouse scored 14, including the tie-breaking three in overtime.
Knicks win game two, 100-97. The second match-up saw an old ally get sweet revenge. Jason Kidd drilled the game winning three with 24 seconds left. Kidd was 6/8 from three for 18 points and added 6 assists and 6 rebounds, reminding Nets fans of a different era once more. Carmelo was unstoppable this time with Ray Felton out with an injury, dropping 45 points on 15/24 shooting. Reggie Evans contributed 18 rebounds and Blatche was impressive starting for the injured Lopez and finished with 23 points. Deron Williams and Gerald Wallace both had good looks at a game-tying three, but could not get the ball to fall. Through two games, the rivals would split as the home team won both times.
Knicks win game 3, 100-86. Finally, there was the December 19th game that, perhaps, broke the proverbial straw on Avery Johnson’s back. Back in Brooklyn, the Nets played a wholly disappointing game and were thoroughly dominated in every sense. Brook Lopez looked helpless against the pick and roll offense that Felton and Chandler ran perfectly. If you want any indication of how that game went, simply youtube search: “Tyson Chandler ally-oops against Brooklyn.” Here, I saved you the depressing effort.
Things to note: Ray Felton’s smug face, Lopez’s utter cluelessness and Chandler’s eyes destroying your soul and everything else that ever mattered to you and your family. There are stats from this game, but they hardly matter. Chandler finished with 16, 12, 3 blocks and at least one soul-stealing slam dunk. Anthony scored 31 points and JR Smith added 19. The Nets finished with bruised egos and many calling for Avery Johnson’s head.