Avery Johnson could see right away that Monday wasn't going to be a normal day.
The long orange sleeves that rode high up Carmelo Anthony's arms probably covered goose bumps for most of the night. He said he gets them when he hears the Barclays Center crowd chant "Brook-lyn."
BROOKLYN — While Mike Woodson and Tyson Chandler both pointed to some fatigue as a factor leading to the Knicks’ collapse Monday night, there were mostly no excuses in the team’s locker room.
The Knicks admitted that the Nets outplayed them down the stretch.
“It was a hard-fought game. Our hats go off to them,” Rasheed Wallace said. “They played a good game. I guess they wanted it just a little bit more this evening.”
Added Raymond Felton, “It was still a good game, went into overtime, but they got it.
If he forgot for a moment that he was one of the biggest stars on the Knicks, and looked at things from the perspective of a kid from Brooklyn (which he once was), Carmelo Anthony could appreciate the atmosphere inside the Barclays Center on Monday night.
“Unbelievable. To step back from this and take my Knicks uniform off … just to see that and be a part of that atmosphere is nothing like it,” he said.
Unfortunately for Anthony, he also had to consider the reality of what actually happened on the court.
Even with Tyson Chandler coming off two weak performances, Mike Woodson wasn’t concerned about his starting center entering the game against the Nets on Monday night.
“He’s that type of competitor, so I’m not too worried about Tyson,” the Knicks coach said before the game.
Right away, Chandler’s competitive spirit was evident, as he scored eight points in the first quarter — his best start of the season. And he finished with a career-high 28 points on 12-for-13 shooting in the Knicks’ 96-89 overtime loss.
You can’t just wish a rivalry to suddenly take hold in one 48-minute basketball game. It takes time, and here it will take two strong teams with two great home crowds, in Brooklyn and Manhattan, making it impossible for the visiting team to win.
Fans ambled in early off Flatbush Ave., some dressed in black-and-white, others in blue-and-orange. Even-Steven. They filled the Barclays Center with life and passion, feasted hungrily on the inaugural showdown between two New York City teams who happened to be playing for first place.
Raymond Felton attempted one more shot and made one more shot, or else his shooting numbers in the Knicks’ historic first game in Brooklyn would have been identical to the most infamous shooting line in team history.
The town, at least for one night, belongs to the Nets. With Jay-Z, Beyonce, Mayor Bloomberg and couple of Giants sitting courtside it was the Brooklyn Nets and not the Brooklyn-born Carmelo Anthony that posted a victory on an historic night on Atlantic Ave., not to mention the Atlantic Division.
Gerald Wallace wasn’t finished nagging Carmelo Anthony, not with Nets leading the Knicks by five points and 16.3 seconds remaining in overtime. Wallace, known as Crash, sprinted past halfcourt to catch up with Anthony.
Jay-Z’s 99 problems apparently don’t include the Knicks. At least not anymore.”The city is under new management,â? the rap mogul tweeted after Monday’s 96-89 overtime victory over the Knicks.The Nets are now 3-0 with the minority owner in attendance. He watched courtside next to his superstar wife, Beyonce.
Jason Kidd never made it to Brooklyn with the Nets. He hasn’t gotten there yet with the Knicks, either. Kidd didn’t accompany the Knicks for their hurricane-delayed first regular-season visit to Barclays Center because of back spasms.
“Big-stageâ? Deron Williams, as dubbed by his coach, put the Nets on his back and ran by the Knicks. He was the leader the Nets envisioned when they inked him as their franchise, $98 million player over the summer, picking up as many assists (14) as the entire Knick squad in Monday’s 96-89 overtime victory.
At the end, as the final seconds melted away and the final buzzer groaned, the eerie chant came tumbling down from the upper reaches of Barclays Center. Nothing manufactured about it. Nothing artificial about it.
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