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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Game Thread: Knicks vs. Nets

Always fun when the two New York area teams collide. The Nets are the surprise team so far in the NBA by most folks estimation, led by the stellar play of Devin Harris and the resurgence of Vince Carter. Should be an interesting matchup, although the Nets haven’t played since the 6th and the Knicks are going back-to-back.

Here are Thomas B’s thoughts from his Week in Advance.

Wednesday, December 10 @ New Jersey [First meeting of the teams this year.]

The Nets are a team of contrast. New Jersey is bad on defense, and their efficiency (111.3, 27th), and eFG% (51.3 %, 26th) are among the worst in the NBA. On the other hand, the Nets are strong on offense (110.2, 5th) and they take care of the ball (14.4 Turnovers, 2nd).

What to watch for: The Nets are over .500 due to the great play they are getting from Devin Harris. Harris leads all Eastern Conference PGs in PER (27.6), and scoring (24.5/36 min, 5th overall). He averages 0.8 3PM/36, which means he does most of his damage on the inside and at the free throw line (9.2 ftm/36). I have not seen him play this year, but those numbers indicate that Harris drives a lot. The Knicks need to give Harris room to take the jumper rather than let him get into his comfort zone of driving.

What to watch for 2: Defense. I have said this every week, but the Knicks need a strong defensive effort against teams that are efficient on offense. The Knicks’ defensive focus has to start with Harris. Duhon will need to play smart (stay out of foul trouble) as he may not have Nate to back him up.

49 comments on “Game Thread: Knicks vs. Nets

  1. Italian Stallion

    I love D’Antoni’s sense of humor.

    When asked how he’s going to deal two 7 footers, he said “With two 6′ 7″ guys”. LOL

  2. Italian Stallion

    They are playing with a little more energy than I expected given the back to back and tough loss last night. At least they’re in the game.

  3. blackriderx

    The Nets are such a weird franchise, pretty good drafts, pretty good FA and trades, players appear to give good efforts, interesting players, but still running in motion.

  4. Italian Stallion

    Ah to be Anthony Roberson and have those kick ass court side seats….

    LOL!

    I’m actually enocuraged by the first half. The Nets played their best possible ball, but the Knicks are still in it. I think we have a shot to take this if we play a little better in the 2nd half or the Nets aren’t as hot from the field.

  5. beanmaxz

    Chandler with his best game since the trade. He seems to do well when the defense is keying on the three point threats and he’s given room to hold onto the ball and make a move. When the ball moves around the perimeter and he’s camped on one of the corners as a spot up shooter, he’s not so great.

  6. Z

    Well– I actually just checked the box score and see Lopez has 5 turn overs. But Lee can’t get a rebound and Lopez looks pretty active (kind of like a taller, stronger David Lee).

  7. beanmaxz

    I’m still waiting for Jeffries to catch one of those passes from Duhon off the pick and roll. I think he’s cost Duhon at least six assists over the last three games.

  8. Z

    Ah to be Anthony Roberson and have those kick ass court side seats….

    I kind of get the feeling that Walsh may have something lined up for next Monday when contracts signed this summer become tradable. Not that anyone would want Roberson, but maybe he’s a throw in in some deal that’s been discussed. Otherwise, why wouldn’t he have been waived in favor of someone who will actually play??

  9. Italian Stallion

    I guess that means Malik Rose is back in action. Ugggh. OMG, we can’t get a break with all these injuries.

  10. Italian Stallion

    One thing I can confidently say about Gallinari is that he has been wearing some pretty sharp suits on the bench lately. He must have found a really good Italian tailor in Little Italy. LOL

  11. DRed

    Wow-I stepped out at halftime, expecting another lackluster performance. Then I get home and we’re up by 10. Let’s hope the 6 guys we have left can hold on.

  12. beanmaxz

    Sean Williams must have been interrupted in the middle of a bowl to commit a foul that stupid against Chandler.

    Then Chandler drives Knick fans insane at the 4 minute mark trying to make a Dwade type move.

    But overall, a great effort tonight — really gutsy. Like how the Knicks have slowed down the tempo and exploited mismatches in the 4th.

  13. Italian Stallion

    How excellent is that Crawford for Harrington trade looking lately?

    If Mobley could play, the other one might be looking pretty good too, but it left us too shorthanded as is.

  14. Thomas B.

    One thing I can confidently say about Gallinari is that he has been wearing some pretty sharp suits on the bench lately. He must have found a really good Italian tailor in Little Italy. LOL

    Maybe Marbury bought him a few suits. He bought Barbosa a car and some clothes back in PhX

  15. Caleb

    Without Lee, we’re worse than the Thunder. No joke.

    Not tonight!

    Yeah, just tuned in… Wow. We’ll be fine as long as Thomas and Chandler combine for 50 points on 18/24 every night.

  16. Italian Stallion

    No matter how you slice it, this was an incredible effort by a team that has been short a few players, playing on the road, against a hot team, in a back to back, coming off a tough loss, in a big game. We haven’t seen this kind of effort in years. D’Antoni is a magician.

    I thought we had a shot based on the first half because the Nets really could not play any better and the Knicks missed a lot of 3s but hung tough.

  17. Caleb

    To throw in a really technical term, the Knicks players really seem to be in fantastic shape. They’ve faded late in a couple of games, but considering what they’ve been up against, the conditioning is impressive.

  18. nj hoop

    Did you notice to start the 2nd half the Knicks blitzing the pick and roll with Harris and showing double teams to take him out of his rhythm? That’s what good coaches do, they make adjustments. On the other side, why did Lopez sit almost the whole 4th quarter? I know the Knicks were going small (what else can they go?) but he was having a positive impact when he was in. Strange move by Frank.

  19. BigBlueAL

    Did you notice to start the 2nd half the Knicks blitzing the pick and roll with Harris and showing double teams to take him out of his rhythm? That’s what good coaches do, they make adjustments. On the other side, why did Lopez sit almost the whole 4th quarter? I know the Knicks were going small (what else can they go?) but he was having a positive impact when he was in. Strange move by Frank.

    First time the Knicks have made a Halftime adjustment and came back to win that same game since Van Gundy was the head coach….

  20. Gorky

    I didn’t catch this game, so I have two questions from looking at the box score.

    1) How did we play without a point guard for the 10 minutes Duhon sat out?

    2) How did Tim Thomas do so well? What has he done with the real Tim Thomas?

  21. BigBlueAL

    I didn’t catch this game, so I have two questions from looking at the box score.
    1) How did we play without a point guard for the 10 minutes Duhon sat out?
    2) How did Tim Thomas do so well? What has he done with the real Tim Thomas?

    Well I got home at the end of the 3rd qrter. From that point til a few minutes into the 4th they played w/o a PG (Q, Chandler, Harrington, Thomas, Jeffries) and did fine. Actually I believe they increased the lead by a couple of points, but their offense was just walking it up and isolating Harrington and/or Thomas. Most interesting aspect was seeing Chandler covering Devin Harris.

  22. Duff Soviet Union

    Anyone catch Melo scoring 33 in one quarter? Tied the record held by George Gervin. That’s what I love about the NBA. On any given night, pretty much anyone is capable of anything.

  23. Ben R

    Gorky – We had Jeffries running the point and it actually worked pretty well. Certainly not a long term solution but a good move by D’Antoni.

    I love us starting Richardson at the 2 as it allows us to get mismatches easily and we have really exploited the size we have at the 2,3 and 4 the last couple of games. With Thomas and Jeffries coming off the bench we are very long and athletic which because of D’Antoni’s motion and screens allows us to get either Thomas, Richardson, Jeffries, Harrington or Chandler on a much smaller man anytime we want.

    Combine that with the high pick and roll with Lee and Duhon and the spacing in our offense and it really gets us good shots almost everytime down the court. I have to say I am blown away by D’Antoni’s coaching. I also love that since everyone on our team except Lee and Duhon can cover almost every position we can switch and rotate to hide some weak man defenders and lack of size at the 5 without giving up too many bad mismatches.

    I am getting hopeful about the playoffs not because we are that good but looking at the East after the top 3 we could be competitive with everyone else. Atlanta after starting 6-0 have lost 9 out of the last 15, Detriot have gone 7-9 since the AI trade, and I do not believe that NJ, Chicago, or Miami are any better than we are. That leaves Toronto and Philly who have both struggled but are better than us on paper and then Ind, Char, Mil, and Wash who I think are clearly worse than us.

    To me we have the talent and coaching to end up anywhere 4-11. So I think if we can get and stay at least relativly healthy we have a legit shot at the playoffs. Great win.

  24. o_boogie

    I wonder why Don Nelson and Al Harrington had a falling out. Harrington has really been playing excellent in D’Antoni’s system since the egg he laid against Portland. Considering GSW plays a similar system to us, I would have expected him to have had some good games for GSW as opposed to being buried on the bench. Either way I think Walsh did a good job with this trade.

    For his last 5 games: 26.4 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 1.8 asst, .8 blk, .6 stl, 52% FG, 94% FT…solid

  25. Brian Cronin

    Agreed, Ben, the Knicks team (with a little added depth from when Marbury and Mobley finally come off the roster – although who knows when that’ll be for Marbury) looks pretty good, really, thanks to Walsh and D’Antoni.

    First time the Knicks have made a Halftime adjustment and came back to win that same game since Van Gundy was the head coach….

    I know it is a joke, but it sadly could be true.

    What is true is that D’Antoni is clearly the best Knicks coach since Van Gundy. Wilkins and Brown have good resumes, but as Knicks coaches, they were dreadful – D’Antoni is making a real name for himself here (I’m using the assumption that his prior name was shared with Nash, so this is D’Antoni’s chance to make a name just for himself).

  26. jon abbey

    Van Gundy wasn’t an especially good coach IMO. pretty good on D, awful on O. he couldn’t win a playoff series with Yao and McGrady, there’s a reason he’s out of work now.

  27. Brendan

    Wilson Chandler really needs to be singled out tonight for his defense. He did a great job on Harris in places, shockingly so given their size difference. And I’ll add to the praise of D’Antoni: he did a great job tonight reading and adjusting on both sides of the ball.

    First quarter, Harris is allowed to shoot and knocks the lights out; after that, he was mugged by the first man and dared to charge into the others, and as a result got himself into foul trouble and looked ineffective. Beautifully done by D’Antoni and executed by the Knicks. On offense they seemed to run a lot less screen/roll than normal especially after Lee went out, and allowed their forwards to beat the Nets’ one on one, which was never a contest. It looked a little like the Hawks game in reverse, except with more ball movement and team play.

    It never actually occurred to me that the Knicks would change their gameplan to take advantage of an opponent weakness; it’s been that long since this team was well-run. Going to have to adjust to that….

  28. Brian Cronin

    Agreed that he wasn’t very good on O, but I also disagree about his D. I don’t think he was just pretty good, I think he was amazing.

    The job he did in 1997-98 is just remarkable to me (99 was pretty good, too).

    He was an awful fit in Houston, and he still had a .555 winning percentage as coach.

    The reason he is not working right now has more to do with him not pursuing it than teams not wanting him (although, admittedly, there is some of the latter, as well).

  29. Ted Nelson

    Van Gundy wasn’t an especially good coach IMO. pretty good on D, awful on O. he couldn’t win a playoff series with Yao and McGrady, there’s a reason he’s out of work now.

    I agree that he wasn’t/ probably still isn’t a very good offensive coach, but from what I’ve read the reason he’s out of work is because he doesn’t want a job. As I recall he publically took himself out of the running for all the coaching jobs on the table one offseason, not that he necessarily would have gotten a job but I´m sure he would be working over some coaches around the league. I think he was/is a quality coach overall: one of the best defensive coaches in the NBA and certainly was a good coach for the Knicks.
    I don’t recall Adelman getting out of the first round last season (Yes, I know Yao was hurt).

  30. njhoop

    When the Knicks were down 15, it would have been so easy to mail it in at that point and say “Hey, it’s a back to back, our roster’s depleted, the Nets haven’t played in 4 days, etc.” I’m really impressed that they hung in there and won going away. Once again, it comes from the coach always being positive (which filters down to his players), making smart adjustments and running great offensive sets.

    As much as I’ve loved Harrington so far, he did pull a little Vince Carter routine in GS. Bad back, can’t play, then he comes here and lights it up. I’d be pretty pissed if I was a Warrior fan.

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