Dec 19, 2012; New York, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets point guard Deron Williams (8) drives between New York Knicks point guard Raymond Felton (2) and center Tyson Chandler (6) during the first quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
Tonight, the Manhattan Knicks defeated the Brooklyn Nets, 100-86, as the Knicks pulled away in the second half. The first half was closely played, but once again the Nets could not string together good offensive possessions in the second half. Tyson Chandler and Carmelo Anthony both shined tonight and the Knicks knocked down many three pointers. In the second half, Brook Lopez was not aggressive enough and Joe Johnson disappeared.
The Nets have not been able to find the offensive continuity that propelled them to an incredible record in November. They settled for way too many three point shots tonight and got to the free throw line way too few times. As a result of their poor chemistry, their shots were simply more difficult than the shots that the Knicks took. The Nets also needed to establish a better presence in the paint create more turnovers on defense.
The Nets trailed by 4, 48-52, going into halftime. Both teams went on a few short runs in a largely well-played first half. Keith Bogans was on fire from three point territory, connecting on three consecutive three pointers in rhythm. Joe Johnson also knocked down three three pointers in the first half. Carmelo Anthony missed a buzzer beating three point attempt at the end of the half.
Player grades and notes
Deron Williams: B
In the second half, Williams sometimes seemed like the only starter creating offense. He finished with 16 points, 10 assists, and 5 rebounds, but 5 turnovers in 36 minutes. Williams’ teammates did not support him well enough. At the end of the game in garbage time, Williams sat quietly on the bench, probably extremely frustrated.
Joe Johnson: C+
Johnson was on fire in the first half, but was completely shut down in the second half. He played 40 minutes tonight, but was largely invisible for many of them, especially in the second half. He finished with a team leading 17 points.
Gerald Wallace: C
Wallace loves the challenge of matching up against Carmelo Anthony; however, he lost the match-up tonight. Anthony finished with 31 points while Wallace did very little on both sides of the court. He did however have one monster dunk in the first half.
Kris Humphries: B-
Humphries had no role in the Nets’ offense tonight as he finished with 0 points. However, he fought hard for rebounds and finished with 9 in only 18 minutes of playing time. Humphries matches up poorly against the players the Knicks play at power forward.
Brook Lopez: C
Lopez was not aggressive enough on offense tonight. He simply did not get close enough to the basket before shooting on numerous occasions. He did however lead the team in rebounds for once, with 10.
CJ Watson was mediocre, Keith Bogans was on fire in the first half, Andray Blatche struggled, and Reggie Evans only had 2 rebounds in 10 minutes.
The Nets’ second half woes have led them to lose 8 of their last 10 games. They are now only one game above .500 at 13-12. The good news is that they have a long time to think it over, as their next game isn’t until Sunday afternoon, when they take on the struggling 76ers.