Knicks @ Nets Previews & Game Thread
Mike and Robert were both invited aboard the Mothership this afternoon to give their thoughts on the Nets-Knicks rivalry, fashion, architecture, and a whole bunch of other shit I don’t understand:
1. Knicks or Nets: Better leading man?
Mike Kurylo, KnickerBlogger: Knicks. The Knicks have two leading men who surpass any on Brooklyn’s roster. Carmelo Anthony is sporting the best PER of his career (24.0) while Tyson Chandler is the reigning Defensive Player of the Year. Whether you choose Brook Lopez or Deron — both have a claim for Nets’ best player — they are one tier down from the Knicks’ duo.
Robert Silverman, KnickerBlogger: Knicks. If owner James Dolan hadn’t upped the ante in 2011, both stars easily could’ve found themselves in the other borough, adding some serious “What if?” juice to this comparison. But by playing defense and sharing the rock in a manner that must haunt George Karl’s fevered dreams, Melo tops Deron’s career-low .392 shooting percentage and paltry 11.4 PPG over the last seven games.
Read the whole thing here and then make me an omelet. Please.
Meanwhile, Devin Kharpertian of The Brooklyn Game (formerly Nets Are Scorching) was kind enough to invite me over to get my take on a few burning questions… Right before he rips my heart out and puts it in a blender.
Devin: On a scale of 1-10, how confident are you in the Knicks winning tonight’s game now that we know Brook Lopez will sit?
Jim: A 19. How’s that?
In all seriousness, Lopez’s distinguishing threat — an intermittently feathery touch from midrange — is one Chandler isn’t forced to deal with often. That ability to draw Tyson out of the paint is itself reason enough to be glad that Brook ices his pixie feeler one more night. You could certainly argue that Chandler’s superlative performance back in November (28 point and 10 rebounds, including seven on the offensive end) would’ve gone even more gangbusters had it been up to Blatche or Evans to body up the Knicks’ bearded linchpin. For all his faults — and in this diluted era of franchise-driving pivots, no center is without one — Lopez still wields an admirable skill set that can pose problems for opposing defenders and defenses. So please, by all means, attend that Lena Dunham book proposal reading, Brook.
This will also double as your game thread. As always, have fun, be civil, and make fun of Reggie Evans as often as possible. Let’s roll.
Beyond his work for KnickerBlogger, Jim is a contributor to the New York Times Off the Dribble NBA blog, ESPN.com, and The Classical. He is currently working on a biography of Robert Silverman, titled "Clownin' and Astoundin.'" Follow him on Twitter @JPCavan.