The Brooklyn Nets are desperate for fresh bodies, but that hasn’t stopped them from putting together an impressive winning streak.
This is everything you need to know about the goings-on New York basketball. From the NBA to college hoops, there’s plenty of basketball in the New York metro area to keep fans interested.
The Brooklyn Nets are cruising
Don’t look now, but the Brooklyn Nets have their swagger back. The scrappy Nets are being held together by duct-tape and spit at the moment. Despite missing Caris LeVert and Kyrie Irving (and yes, Kevin Durant), Brooklyn has rattled off four straight wins and five of their last six.
Although he’s used to coming off the bench, Spencer Dinwiddie is on the warpath since his introduction into the starting lineup. Last week’s Eastern Conference Player of the Week is averaging 24.7 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 6.7 assists over his last six games. But his impressive stats don’t even tell the full story. The rangy point guard is hitting clutch shot after clutch shot to lift the Nets late in games.
This play illustrated how great of a scorer Spencer Dinwiddie is. Isolated against a capable defender in Frank Ntilikina, with the game hanging in the balance, he got to the spot, showcased elite footwork and finished when the Nets needed a basket. pic.twitter.com/CDr7mLwU67
— Nolan Jensen (@N_Jensen95) November 25, 2019
Fun times in Cleveland agaaiiiin
Your @MaimonidesMC Play of the Game ? pic.twitter.com/mTyqfE3vjF
— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) November 26, 2019
Jarrett Allen deserves a shoutout for his recent play as well. The 21-year-old is averaging a double-double this season and his 20-20 performance against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday was the second such game of his career.
Brooklyn is sandwiching Thanksgiving with a home and home against the Boston Celtics this week, but there will be no Kyrie in TD Garden for Celtics fans to boo. They’ll have to wait until March for that.
Are the New York Knicks stalling out?
It’s hard to figure out these New York Knicks. Just when they appear to be turning a corner, they blow two golden opportunities against the San Antonio Spurs and the aforementioned Nets.
At 4-13, the Knicks are in the basement of the Eastern Conference and don’t appear to be climbing out of there anytime sign. That being said, the guys in the locker room aren’t losing faith.
Veterans like Wayne Ellington and Taj Gibson are trying to keep the belief that the Knicks can turn the season around. After all, the Eastern Conference is an abomination this year. How do we know that? The Knicks have lost three straight and they’re only trailing the eighth-place Orlando Magic by 2.5 games in the standings.
Sure, the top of the Eastern Conference has some legitimate contenders, but the Knicks are not out of the playoff conversation just yet. This writer certainly won’t be predicting a playoff push, however, crazier things have happened.
Seton Hall preps for Atlantis
The Seton Hall Pirates (4-1) might be the only basketball team in the New York metro area with a legitimate shot at winning a championship this season. Led by Naismith Player of the Year hopeful Myles Powell, the Pirates are ranked No. 13 in the country and are proving themselves to be legit.
A three-point loss to powerhouse Michigan State earlier this season showed that the hype is real around Seton Hall. They’ll have another crack at a ranked non-conference opponent on Thursday night against 11th-ranked Oregon as part of the Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas.
Should the Hall take down the Ducks, they’ll likely face No. 8 Gonzaga in the semifinals. A win over the Zags would mean the Pirates would head to the championship. The other half of the bracket contains Alabama, Michigan, Iowa State, and No. 6 North Carolina.
It’s hard to envision Seton Hall winning the Battle 4 Atlantis with so many other great teams in the tournament. That being said, wins over three teams in the top 11 of the AP Top 25 would likely catapult Kevin Willard’s squad towards the top of the AP Poll and into the consciousness of college basketball fans everywhere.
St. John’s avoids disaster against UMass
St. John’s is in a bit of a transitional phase this year. The Red Storm (5-2) are in the first year of the Mike Anderson era and things are off to a rollercoaster kind of start.
Losses to Vermont and Arizona State will hurt the Johnnies’ NCAA Tournament hopes. However, a loss to UMass would have all but crushed those slim hopes at going to the Big Dance.
St. John’s trailed the Minutemen by five points with just under 11 minutes to play on Sunday but rattled off a 30-10 run to win in a landslide. Although the Red Storm will be overshadowed by the Pirates in South Orange this season, Anderson’s squad is showing some resiliency early in his tenure.