Nets Take Laughingstock Title Away From Knicks


VIDEO: The Knicks thump the Nets in a 30-point win

BROOKLYN – As the Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks accumulated a surprisingly sad 8-26 cumulative record, it became abundantly clear that neither team could defend to save its season. Entering Thursday’s matchup of the busted boroughs, the Knicks ranked 28th defensively and the Nets ranked 30th.

Only one of the two teams took advantage of this fact, and the Knicks ran away with a 113-83 victory at Barclays Center, ending their nine-game losing streak.

On Wednesday, Carmelo Anthony said his team was “the laughingstock of the league.” But 24 hours later, they’ve been stripped of that title.

The Nets have the worst 3-point defense in the NBA, allowing their opponents to shoot 40.3 percent from beyond the arc entering Thursday’s game. They’re slow and deliberate on both ends of the floor, but really lack the foot speed to help in the paint and then recover to the 3-point line. So it only takes a dribble drive or a ball reversal for their opponent to get an open look from the outside.

The Knicks knew this, moved the ball and fired away on Thursday, hitting a season-high 16 threes on 27 attempts. Anthony (six assists and only 12 shots) shared the ball, Iman Shumpert (5-for-7 from 3-point range) shot with confidence, and the Knicks looked like the team they were last season, when they set an NBA record for 3-point makes and attempts, ranked third in offensive efficiency, and racked up 54 wins.

Against the league’s third-worst defense, the Nets should have been similarly efficient. With Andrea Bargnani and Amar’e Stoudemire as two of their three rotation bigs, the Knicks have consistently been torched on pick-and-rolls this season, often escorting opposing ball-handlers to the basket.

Yet the Nets went a good 10 minutes of the first quarter without running a pick-and-roll once. They too often tried to run their offense through the post, which allowed Bargnani and Stoudemire to stay stationary. The few times they did make those guys move, they got good shots.

Part of that is coaching. Though Brook Lopez led all scorers with 24 points, the Nets’ offense could have been a lot more effective as a whole if he was catching the ball on the move more than in the post. Jason Kidd has to find a way to get the ball and his players moving offensively. It’s far too early to say that hiring him was a mistake, but we’ve seen enough to say that he’s not a very good coach right now.

Injuries are obviously an issue. The Nets are still without Deron Williams, by far their biggest threat off the dribble. With Williams sitting out for the 10th time in the last 11 games, point guard duties were again left to Shaun Livingston and Tyshawn Taylor. Livingston is athletic, but not all that quick. Taylor is quick, but shaky and inexperienced.

Still, Brooklyn could have run more pick-and-rolls with both, or with Joe Johnson, and just tried to make the New York defense move. They didn’t and they lost by 30.

Both Kidd and Kevin Garnett cited the injuries when discussing their struggles after the game. Garnett added that the Nets are making changes in the wake of Lawrence Frank‘s sudden departure from the bench.

“Those things play a big part into this,” Garnett said. “I’m a firm believer when we’re whole and we have our team full throttle, then that’s what I believe in. Obviously, I believe in the guys that’s put on the floor and we’re going to give it an effort, but when you’re playing teams, you want to play at your whole. That’s what I believe in. And I’m not going to believe anything else until we are whole.”

Before the game, Kidd said that “we all feel confident we have enough to win.” After the game, he asked not to be judged until his team is healthy.

“I think you get evaluated by being whole,” he said. “It starts there. And then once that occurs, then you’re evaluated. That’s as simple as it gets.”

Yes, the Nets are missing four of their top eight guys. And Williams’ importance became even more clear on Thursday. But the Nets still lost at home … by 30 points … to a team that hadn’t won in three weeks and is missing its most important player. The injury excuse only goes so far. And while Williams will help the Brooklyn offense, the defense isn’t going to start looking like that of the Heat upon his return.

Tyson Chandler’s eventual return isn’t going to solve all New York’s problems either. The Knicks are still a long way from digging out of the hole they’ve dug for themselves, especially because they don’t get to play the Nets again until Jan. 20. But they do have a relatively soft schedule over the next two weeks and certainly found some confidence Thursday.

Will that translate into a run up the standings? Even if it doesn’t, at least they’re not the laughingstock of the league anymore.

27 Comments

  1. justsayin says:

    If they really want to salvage their season they need to get Hollins on the bench and Kidd on the court.

  2. PalmOil Preference says:

    As a Knick fan still very disappointed in my team. The fact we only have one more win then the Bucks says it all.

    As far as laughingstocks KG is hilarious. “I don speak Italian” priceless response.

    As far as the Knicks we live and die by the 3 so until we get some type of flow on offense this team will continue to pile on the losses. Prigioni and Udrih should get more clock at the point spot. Beating a bang up nets team was just good to sees victory but my concerns are for real with this team.

  3. ant says:

    I don’t understand why they dont have their lineup be

    PG- Deron
    SG- Joe
    SF -Anderson
    PF-Evans
    C – Lopez

    Then have pierce come off the bench for scoring and use garnett as liability since hes not scoring or defending.

  4. nbafan says:

    Kidd is gonna be a good coach, the ones who dont see this, doesnt understand basketball, i must say…with this roster, and with these available players, this record is the rality. I mean, johnson is not a star player anymore, but still thinks he is…garnett is a joke. pierce still has some game, but constantly injured, not to mention deron and kirilenko (who would be their elit defender). Lets face it: livingston, taylor, alan anderson, blatche, plumlee…they have to play big minutes, and they are not better than this 5-14 record. So its nothing to do with Kidd.

    IF its ever gonna be a healthy Deron-Joe-Pierce-Garnett-Lopez with Terry, Kirilenko and Blatche from the bench, this team are going to win ballgames, and have a chance to be an elit team in the east.

  5. JimD54 says:

    I think D Williams is a decent player but the Nets need to find a good healthy point guard, Williams stays on sick leave too much, and you can’t build a team around a part time player, look what he did to Utah, in this league you need a good dependable point guard to run your team and D Will ain’t it…..

  6. eck says:

    Kid is a joke as a coach. The Nets should know that not all great point guards could coach. Remember Magic Johnson or Isaiah Thomas to name a few. With a bunch of veteran superstars, they should be above the 0.500 mark. Better rethink about another coach or be the biggest disappoint of the season…

  7. Big O says:

    Who’s that horrible commentator on today’s videos… just annoyingly annoying!

  8. NotSoFast says:

    It is a bit rough to say the Nets with 5 Wins are the laughingstock of the league when FOUR teams have less wins than them and THREE teams have only 6 Wins.

    That’s 8 teams that one could say deserve being called the laughingstock of the league.

    • mee(a)t says:

      Its because of who’s in this team. A team with HOFers and all stars alone would be expected to be a legit title contender. Yeah chemistry issues are a concern but to perform so horribly…last year Lakers wasn’t even this bad.

    • justsayin says:

      It’s not news when teams you expect to be bad are bad. When you go deep into the luxury cap with one of the highest payroll ever in the nba – to buy whats supposed to be a championship contender – and underperform like this? Sorry but that’s “picture in encyclopedia” definition of laughingstock.

  9. Drago says:

    The Nets really have a bad couch and they are out of luck with injuries but they should have won at least 4 more games considering their roster.The Kniks are a bad team because Carmelo is not Brayant or Lebron he doesnt pull his teammates he just plays his game.

  10. Wildcat23 says:

    Surely Kidd would know some motion offenses to get his team moving and not so stagnant.
    I mean you could run a UCLA 1-4 or a flex with some stagger options, horns even! Get defenders out of the paint, use the roll options and then go to the post if all else fails.

  11. okc2014 says:

    Correction: The Knicks are not the laughing stock of the NBA. The Knicks, Nets, Bucks, Kings and Jazz are the laughing stock of the NBA.

  12. boston rules says:

    The laughing stock of the nba has to be either the knicks, nets or the jazz. People wise, it would be jason kidd because he thinks he’s good at management when he really isnt. Spills drink on the court and gets fined 50k, was it really worth it? no hope both new york and brooklyn never make playoffs. melo will move to heat because mainly of bandwagon like half the nba

  13. Sharpie says:

    I can understand why the Nets aren’t any good. They threw a guy onto the coaches seat who has absolutely no experience. It’s pretty bad when your best move as a coach is spilling your soda on the floor. Kevin Garnett is a joke and needs to retire. It seems like every time I watch him play he gets physically and mentally owned by these younger players (maybe he should wear his headphones during the game.) Plus their PG is injured. However there is no excuse for the Knicks. Yes Chandler is out but Melo is more talented and has a better team around him than all but 2 or 3 teams in the entire Eastern Conference. I’m neither a Knicks or Nets fan but as a basketball fan I’m scratching my head when I see a team with Carmelo Anthony, in a severely watered down East, start the season 4-13. I guess the only good thing for Knicks fans is that your team can’t get any worse and it should all be uphill. The Nets on the other hand threw away their season when they got Jason Kidd, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. Deron Williams is a decent point guard but this team has no hope. If they somehow make it to the playoffs there is no way they make it out of the first round.

  14. J says:

    Both teams are stinking up the NBA.

  15. peterhermann says:

    The players need to start moving more without the ball, be more aggressive in going to the rim, and start playing like they actually enjoy being out there.
    Funny how the “rebuilding” Celtics are doing.
    Still a Brooklyn fan, and staying.

  16. peterhermann says:

    The players need to start moving more without the ball, be more aggressive in going to the rim, and start playing like they actually enjoy being out there.
    Funny how the “rebuilding” Celtics are doing.
    Still a Brooklyn fan, and staying.

  17. erik spoelstra gf is hot says:

    i feel sorry for the new owner..getting kidd as coach is a bad idea..

  18. Bob M says:

    Man, that was a heinous beat down!!

  19. A.J. says:

    Who is the incredibly annoying “it’s all about me!” guy doing the highlights voiceovers for Thursday’s games? Did ESPN have another one of those “let’s find the next SportsCenter anchor” reality shows? Because this dude sounds like he came in last place.

    • Teunis says:

      It is really that terrible. That guy is the worst man

      • New Yorker says:

        LOL, I was thinking the same thing today. I just didn’t know where to mention something. Thank you! That guy is exceptionally annoying. Please ask him to lower in by a few dB.

  20. A.J. says:

    First Jason Kidd got busted for beating his wife. Then he got busted for driving while drinking like a blue whale. The guy is a triple criminal threat, he clearly has absolutely no idea what he’s doing when he’s not actually playing on the court, now he’s murdering the fan base while stabbing a certain tall Russian guy in the heart.

  21. dustydreamnz says:

    The Nets are an absolute disgrace. I know they have a poorer record than the Knicks but the Knicks have been more competitive. I think when Pierce and Williams come back from injury their starting 5 should be:
    C-Lopez
    PF-Blatche
    SF-Pierce
    SG-Johnson
    PG-Williams/Livingston

    If they can’t perform then they’re in big trouble. The Knicks with Chandler could go on a run.