Saturday, February 4, 2012

Knicks vs. Nets - Preview

Rounding off the back-to-back-to-back tonight, the Knicks take on the New Jersey Nets in a cross-river battle. Back at home after a disappointing letdown in Boston, New York will try and rebound and get one of the elusive "win" things.

The Nets, who have been equally as lowly as the Knicks (although more justifiably), are also coming off of a tough loss last night at the hands of Minnesota. With the way the two teams have been thus far, it could be mediocre match made in heaven. Hooray!

Jump for some notes.

Thursday night the Knicks gave it their all, but just couldn't outplay the very tough Chicago Bulls. Friday night, they let what would have been an impressive win over the Celtics slip through their fingers, as they just could not execute during the 4th quarter. Tonight they'll face a slightly easier opponent, but as we've seen this season, that usually means nothing to the Knicks. Here's what I'll be watching for:

 - TONEY DOUGLAS vs. JEREMY LIN
  • In the first half of last night's game, Mike D'Antoni went with Jeremy Lin over Toney Douglas and got decent results. Lin didn't look good, but he at least looked competent and was able to dribble and run the offense past midcourt. However, Douglas got to spin in the second half and looked awful. The offense came to a complete stand-still and the Knicks' lead slipped away forever. We'll see who plays tonight.
 - 4TH QUARTER EXECUTION
  • The Knicks' poor late-game execution has killed them in the last two games. Against Chicago, they ran their plays, but just couldn't convert on the shots (Amar'e's missed 3 off the inbounds). In Boston, the Knicks were unable to execute as Landry Fields and Iman Shumpert both missed open 3-pointers, and then the last second inbounds play was botched and resulted in a wild miss by Steve Novak. If the game comes down to the final seconds again tonight, we'll see how it looks.
 - MELO'S PASSING
  • Carmelo Anthony, since returning to the lineup, has shown a willingness to pass and move the ball. At times, his hands have gotten sticky, but for the most part he's passed at all the right moments. Tonight, the Knicks need him to continue that trend and pick and choose his spots to isolate against the Nets.
New Jersey Nets Scouting Report

 - The Nets' management has been trying to pry Herb Williams away from the Knicks, so that he can round out the Nets' All-Williams lineup, featuring Deron, Jordan, Shawne, and Shelden.

 - With the additions of Keith Bogans and DeShawn Stevenson, the Nets now have two defensive-minded shooting guards, who do little on offense except shoot 3-pointers. For this reason they hate the offensive-minded MarShon Brooks, and have been viciously hazing him since Bogans joined the Nets.

 - Mehmet Okur has still only ever seen Kris Humphries through his television series during his brief marriage to Kim Kardashian. When Okur finally does get the chance to meet him, he is planning on getting Kris's autograph.

Get ready for the Nets! Knicks need a win tonight! Let's go!

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