Brooklyn Misses Important Chance At Momentum with Ugly Loss To Knicks

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 27: Michael Beasley
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 27: Michael Beasley /

There are few teams Nets fans have more disdain for than the crosstown rival New York Knicks. So when the Knicks handily pummeled the Brooklyn Nets last night 107-86 you can be certain it did not look pretty if you were one of the many Nets fans in attendance.

The other night against the favored Cavaliers, what was witnessed out there on the court, was in some bizarre way akin to a Tony Robbins seminar gone right.

The mantra that head coach Kenny Atkinson had been preaching seemed to of seeped into the players heads when they pulled together and defeated Cleveland. Unselfishness, pushing pace, extra effort, moving the ball….. It was all there, not perfect but cohesive. All the components came together.

However, what was witnessed against the New York Knicks last night was that same Tony Robbins seminar gone terribly… terribly…wrong.

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Coming off of a great win, the thinking was that the Nets had momentum and would have a good shot at defeating the win-less Knicks. It did not turn out that way.

The mental edge that the Nets have been bringing to recent contests was just not there against the Knicks. The early signs of disaster were there when the Knicks opened up the game on an 8-0 run.

First thing’s first. There are not many good things to speak about in this game if you are a Nets fan so let’s get the moderately good things out-of-the-way.

As individual performances go QuIncy Acy had his best showing of the season scoring 12 points but most impressively draining 4 three-point buckets and shooting a whopping FG% 66.7. He took what the defense gave him and that happened to be a lot of real estate on the perimeter.

Spencer Dinwiddie followed up his heroic performance in Cleveland with a good showing. He was the one Net player on the court able to facilitate for his team mates tallying 11 assists.

Brooklyn had numerous issues in this game but their biggest one came in the form of a 7’3″ Latvian Juggernaut named Kristaps Porzingis.

Porzingis did whatever he wanted  against the lackadaisical Nets. He made a good deal of fantasy league owners happy, filling up every column in the stat sheet, most notably scoring 30 points and adding 3 blocks.

The dominance of Porzingis was indicative of a larger issue the Nets faced – the Knicks big men. It was not only Porzingis who did damage but Enes Kanter and Willy Hernangomez followed suit as well.

Kanter scored 12 points and Hernangomez hustled hard. Don’t forget Kyle O’Quinn who  beasted on the boards with 12 rebounds for the game. Conversely, the Nets high man in rebounds was Demare Carroll who had 5. That is a huge disparity.

The Knicks out-hustled  Brooklyn and by the end of the second half had 13 second chance points thanks to the Nets.

The Nets offense looked anemic and disjointed. Caris Levert was playing quickly and not letting the game come to him.He  had a very rough game with 4 turnovers and shooting poorly at a 25% clip from field goal range.

The promising youngster has shown the ability to score and get steals in his young career , but he has been a bit plagued with the turnover bug lately.

The rookie Jarret Allen looked lost at times, especially in the second quarter where his shot was blocked, missed a relatively easy bucket, fouled unnecessarily, and turned it over.

The Nets high scorer was D’angelo Russell with 15 points, but it is important to note he finished the game with only 1 assist. Sometimes the ball sticks with D’angelo and that is what happened against the Knicks.

Will Russell buy into the unselfish culture here? He has shown some flashes of brilliance thus far but only time will tell. His development this season might be the difference between having a bad season and truly competing for a playoff spot.

As a team, the Knicks had a higher FG% than the Nets and obliterated them on the boards 68-43! It is difficult to understand why Kenny Atkins did not play the larger Timofey Mozgov more minutes (he only played 13), considering the Knicks big men were swatting around the smaller Nets like flies. Mozgov actually had a good game in the short time he played with 6 points, 5 rebounds, and a block.

The two teams will face off again in December. Strategically speaking it will be interesting to see if Atkinson decides to go bigger on the inside. Surely, something needs to change.