Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce showed up in Brooklyn this past offseason talking about how the Nets were now capable of winning a championship. They look silly now, but Nets haven’t, by and large, heard a peep from Knicks fans because, as Jason Kidd put it, both teams stink.
The Nets have a list of reasons why they have started the season 5-13 which includes the fact that Pierce and KG are too old to lead a team, Jason Kidd may not have been ready to coach, he’s already “reassigned” a member of his staff, and there has been a minimum of four players hurt every night. The Knicks, meanwhile, are dealing with problems of their own.
The Knicks are 3-13 and on a nine-game losing streak. Carmelo Anthony called them the laughing stock of the league, Mike Woodson has been on the hot seat, Metta World Peace and Kenyon Martin are fighting, Melo and Iman Shumpert are fighting, Shump is involved in half a dozen trade rumors, and J.R. Smith still has knee problems. In other words, things are even worse across the bridge.
These are two teams that were supposed to be competitive, but instead each has been extremely disappointing. There is still enough time for both teams to turn things around, but at this point it’s hard to see where that’s going to start.
So who has the edge in this game? It’s hard to tell. The Nets are ranked 22nd in the association with a 102.1 offensive rating and 30th with a 110.2 defensive rating. The Knicks aren’t better or worse with a ORtg of 101.6 ranked 23rd in the NBA and a DRtg of 108.4 or 28th. With Tyson Chandler out and Smith’s chronic knee issues, the Knicks do technically have fewer health problems, but not by much.
The upside of this game is that somebody has to win.
• The Nets will be without Deron Williams for the 10th time this season as he’s still dealing with ankle issues. It was exactly two weeks ago that Kirilenko said he was without pain, but there is still no end in sight to his stint on the bench with back spasms. Jason Terry (knee) and Paul Pierce (broken hand) are also out.
• Brook Lopez recently compared this season to the 2009-10 season when the Nets went 12-70. Anytime that happens it’s clearly a bad thing.
“I thought I got the craziness out of the way early, I thought I’d be done with it,” Lopez told Fred Kerber of the NY Post. “This is definitely more bizarre than that, though.”
• Coming to the Nets/Knicks game? It’s cheaper than last season, according to TiqIQ, if you were thinking about it.