Preseason: Nets 97 Knicks 111

Random Thoughts:

Eddy Curry looked good on offense. He has good hands when receiving the ball & is too strong for players to guard in the post. Curry does use his bulk too much, and had 2 first half turnovers. Unfortunately Curry looked pitiful on defense, especially early on. The Nets were scoring almost all of their early points in the paint, taking advantage of the small Knicks backcourt. Curry committed a flagrant foul by grabbing Richard Jefferson around the waist midair. Eddy’s problem seems to stem from a lack of knowledge on how to properly defend. He seems too eager to use his hands and not his body. If the Knicks stay with Marbury & Francis, Curry is going to need to be more active defensively. Remember the Nets were without Kidd & Carter, so you’d have to think that those two All Stars would have done more damage than their substitutes.

Speaking of which, Francis & Marbury played a lot of time together and both took turns running the point. Even on the same possession, one would pass to the other and relinquish PG duties. They have some qualities that compliment each other. Francis is a tenacious rebounder for a guard, and is much better at pushing the ball up the court quickly. Both these skills were apparent when the Nets missed a shot. Francis would attempt to rebound on each Nets’ possession and if he didn’t get the rebound he would demand the ball from the Knick that did. Steve would then speed up the court giving the Knicks the quicker pace that Isiah is trying to instill into his offense. On the other hand the pair have skills (or lack thereof) that don’t complement each other. Neither is a good spot up shooter, and neither looks comfortable moving without the ball.

Quentin Richardson was the first man off the bench, and was the Knicks’ second higher scorer with 14 points. With New York grabbing 2 small forwards during the offseason, Richardson coming off his worst season looked to be the odd man out. However if Q-Rich can contribute like this on a nightly basis, it would certainly make him a strong rotation player, and a fine 6th man.

Watching Jared Jeffries play tonight, I’m found myself considering printing out what I wrote about his signing. Should Jeffries play the rest of preseason the way he did tonight, I would then salt and mustard said print out. And if the Knicks new SF plays that way for the first month of the season I would definitely take the seasoned writing and devour it, hence eating my own words. Having a player like Jeffries helps stabilize the Knicks defense, especially when he plays with the small guard combo.

David Lee is one of those players that makes Isiah Thomas look like a draft day genius. He was all over the offensive boards, which is even more impressive considering Lee was the center of the Knicks’ small lineup. I’m not sure how many minutes Lee played at center, but when he manned the 5 he was flanked by Jeffries or Balkman at the 4. On one series (one that should be shown on local replays of the game) Lee and Balkman kept after an offensive board until David got control of the ball, and tipped it to Balkman for an easy bucket. In fact it’s Lee’s glasswork and both Jeffries & Balkman’s height that allows Isiah to play this small combination. If nothing else it’s an interesting solution to the Knicks’ center dilemma.

If you like reading blogs, you should check out this month’s Dime Magazine. They asked bloggers to contribute a few words on their team’s upcoming season, and Henry Abbott of does a fine job introducing the series.

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Mike Kurylo

Mike Kurylo is the founder and editor of His book on the 2012 Knicks, "We’ll Always Have Linsanity," is on sale now. Follow him on twitter (@KnickerBlogger).

5 thoughts to “Preseason: Nets 97 Knicks 111”

  1. This is what i’ve been waiting to see. I had most of my beliefs of what this team is capable of confirmed. I loved the motion and ball movement. I loved the high % shot attempts and overall efficient offense. Rebounding was solid and Defense wasn’t terrible. I felt like this team had to take advantage of its Guards and force teams to chase them all game, which would leave a lot of single coverage for our forwards and Center.

    Certainly Isiah DID have a vision for this team and the players he has picked. Since his offense doesn’t rely so much on a pure PG and everyone is involved in making the right pass, it really makes the players he has picked make more sense together. Guys like Jared, Balkman, Lee, QRich or even Francis who can rebound and push the ball. I really love the way he has this team passing more and dribbling less. Their fastbreak passing is much improved. I just want to see them keep it up and continue to improve and jell

  2. Nixluva – I’m more optomistic at this point as well. The Knicks did look good last night, but I have to temperment it with the fact that normally Kidd and Vince Carter are going to be out there instead of Hassan Adams, Marcus Williams, and Jay! Williams.

    Although another positive is that the Knicks blew out the Nets – which is what you’re suppose to do to a team with two key injuries. That’s a step up from last year.

  3. JJ was the man and did look good! He handled the ball in transition fairly well (as did Lee and Balkman)…3 guys who play similarly(do they cancel eachother out?)

    Curry looks like he has 2 left feet defending the paint(Jackie butler and Nazr where are you?)

  4. I watched Knicks in 60 (as I was watching the Met game during the game).

    And man…the only thing I took away from the game was that Knicks in 60 is an awful, awful program.

    Who the hell came up with the idea of haphazardly fastforwarding in time?

  5. Ditto Brian,

    It seems to me that given the thrilling line-up of late night programming at MSG (How many reruns of “sportsdesk” does one need between 1am and 7am anyway?), that it wouldn’t kill Dolan to rerun the entire Knick/Ranger game. Or cut out halftime and 15 mins worth of commercials to runa two-hour version (which I believe was their MO before some programming/pr genius came up with the “Knicks/Rangers in 60” idea — possibly the same cat who told Dolan it was a good idea to wear that nifty fedora when JD and the Straight Shot are rockin’ [and speaking of which, does it seem strange to anyone that Dolan’s band’s name is a reference to booze, and his band’s website is splattered with alcohol/bar imagery — this coming from a recovericng ALCOHOLIC?? Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah…]). The “highlights” shown in Knicks in 60 are random, the games are edited to make NO sense, has almost as many commercials as the actual game, and they seem to feel the need to show HALFTIME. Ugly. They’d be better served by having Al Trautwig sitting in a “masterpiece theater” style drawing room, in a smoking jacket, holding a snifter of brandy and reading the stat=sheet from a faux leather-bound volume.

    (NB: Has Al Trautwig seemed to age 10 years this off season? His teeth seem gnarled, he’s stopped dyeing his hair and he’s got soom serious basset-houndish jowls developing. Not that Al was George Clooney to begin with, but he’s really let himself go. Has being MSG/Dolan’s unwitting flack/dupe for all these years finally caught up with him? Does Thomas have some strange, magical, Doran Grey portrait of Trautwig, that he defames if Al doesn’t shill for the glory of the Knicks? Did Marv Albert personally groom Al pre-show in the glory days — only NOW, 2 years later. we’re seeing the effects? Just a theory…We’ve seen stranger things here in Knick-ville)

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