Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Nets 100, Knicks 92 - Recap

Sorry for this semi-belated recap. Anyway, my thoughts on this game remain the same as last night. The Knicks let a good opportunity slip through the cracks by allowing the Nets to get hot from beyond the arc. The defense was at least competent otherwise, but on offense, the Knicks looked a little jumbled and unsure of what to do.

Can't pin this loss on anybody, however. Carmelo Anthony looked rusty and had some untimely turnovers, but was not a ball-stopper in the slightest, and for anything that he did wrong, the Knicks had other chances to make up for and didn't. It was a rather obnoxious game from Deron Williams - who was pulling 3s like a magician pulls a rabbit out of his hat - and the easily unlikeable Kris Humphries. Combine their will to show the Knicks up, the Knicks lack of execution, and the referees' general incompetence, and this one slipped away.

Take the jump for some more notes.

That Was Good!
 - Landry Fields quietly had a productive game. Though the jumper wasn't falling (eventually, those open 3s need to sink because the Knicks spacing could desperately use it), Fields had more success driving to the rim in this one. Landry was 5-10 for 10 points in this one, including a monstrous stuff right in the grill of Kris Humphries, which spoke volumes for everyone on the Knicks and in the crowd. Likewise, he pulled down 11 boards and played the best defense of anyone on Deron Williams.

 - On a night when there wasn't a whole lot of good, I guess we'll just pass it off to Jeremy Lin again. Lin was largely out-played by Deron Williams (but cunningly got Williams to foul out), but still had a good game at large. He looked physically worn down as the first step and explosion wasn't there on his drives. 7-18 is some pretty poor shooting, but Lin had a near triple double with 21 points, 7 rebounds, 9 assists, and 4 steals on top of it. With only 3 turnovers too. A day off should do Lin some good.

 - Melo and Amar'e had some nice back-and-forths in this one. Though neither played particularly well, Melo found Amar'e on a pick-and-pop (!!), a bullet pass to Amar'e under the basket for a layup, and on a post-up when he threw an over-the-shoulder pass to Stat for the and-1 dunk over Shelden Williams. They looked a little more like they did last spring when Melo arrived to New York, and they displayed some good chemistry.

That Wasn't So Good
 - The officiating in this game was pretty damn terrible. And that's being gracious. For three quarters of the game, the Nets hacked and whacked their way on offense and defense and received all of the calls, while being called for very little. During the shoving matches throughout the game, the Knicks were usually the team being punished. However, to be fair, in the 4th quarter a lot of bad calls went the Knicks way, that probably could have been no-calls. Overall, it looked like the referees either a.) disliked the Knicks or New York City, or b.) were given a fresh batch of brownies by the Nets before the game, and in exchange returned the thanks.

 - Connected to the bad officiating was Tyson Chandler's child-like behavior in his confrontation with Kris Humphries. Amazingly, Humphries, the goofy, ogre-like bafoon that he is, got the best of Chandler on the boards and in the mental battle. The two shoved and talked all night, but on a number of occasions, Chandler took it a step too far and was called for fouls or technicals for getting into with it Humphries. Likewise, Chandler allowed his opponent to sneak in for numerous offensive rebounds, and even some and-1 putbacks that really deflated the Knicks momentum.

 - The Knicks really missed Iman Shumpert's defense, especially when Deron Williams started shakin' and bakin' from outside. As we saw on Kobe during the Lakers' game, I would have appreciated it if the Knicks sent more traps and double teams on Deron to get the ball out of his hands.

Odds and Ends
 - The Knicks fans booed Kris Humphries for most of the night, which apparently rallied him to punish the Knicks on the boards. The worst was when he sank one of two free throws and then held his finger up to his lips to shush the crowd. I had to restrain myself from diving through my computer screen and strangling him.

 - The Knicks got 19 points from their bench, but they needed more shooting from Steve Novak and J.R. Smith in this one. Neither of the two ever found the stroke.

 - Baron Davis made his debut and threw a fancy, meaningless pass to Steve Novak for a corner 3 that was tenths of a second too late. He also took a stepback jumper on an isolation play in his first possession with the ball. And he also hit a deep 3 for his first basket as a Knick. In other words, welcome, Baron!

That's pretty much it. The Knicks play Atlanta tomorrow night at the Garden and desperately need to win that game to get some positive feelings flowing.

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