Both the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets have started off miserably this season. What is the latest on these organizations?
In the battle for the New York market, neither the New York Knicks nor Brooklyn Nets have yet made a move to establish themselves as the preeminent team after nearly three weeks of action. The Knicks came into the season with a revamped roster and hopes of improvement, yet find themselves saddled with a 3-6 record, compared to the 4-5 mark of Brooklyn.
Last week, the Knicks dealt with struggles on the court, especially on the defensive side, and controversy off of it. In the latter case, that related to the alleged uproar from team president Phil Jackson over the reluctance of new head coach Jeff Hornacek to implement his beloved Triangle offense.
In their four games last week, New York only won once, that victory coming against those Nets in a 110-96 win at the Garden on November 9. The first of their losses came at home three days earlier against the Utah Jazz, with a slow start to the fourth quarter proving to be deadly in the 114-109 win.
In the Brooklyn victory, the Knicks watched Carmelo Anthony get hot in the third quarter and used the bench contributions of Brandon Jennings and Willy Hernangomez. However, two nights later, they got drilled in Boston, 115-87. Both Anthony and Jennings were ejected from the Celtics game, with Anthony missing the last 28 minutes of action. At the time, the New York only trailed 44-38. One night later, the team struggled again versus Toronto, dropping a 118-107 decision.
The fact that Derrick Rose has joined in on complaints about official’s calls seems to indicate that the Knicks continue to have an unfocused approach toward simply playing solid basketball. That lack of discipline may keep them from taking advantage of their improved roster as they continue to establish chemistry.
For the Nets, it was an up-and-down week, beginning with the 119-110 win over Minnesota. That victory was aided by Brook Lopez’s 26 points, but the next evening, they lost to the Knicks.
The start of a four-game Western road swing began on a strong note with a 122-104 win against the Phoenix Suns. The key point of the contest came when Brooklyn ran off 17 unanswered points to blow the game open. Another bright spot for the Nets was the 16 three-pointers they drilled during the game.
New head coach Kenny Atkinson has been able to cobble together four victories despite having little experience to work with at the pivotal point guard spot, thanks to injuries. That depth may serve the Nets well when Jeremy Lin gets back from his hamstring injury, yet their defense needs to step up or hopes of playoff berth will become a pipe dream.