Brooklyn Nets vs. New York Knicks Pre-Game Report
Brooklyn comes into this matchup having lost six straight. Their last win was a high-scoring, 143-114 route of the New Orleans Pelicans on January 20th. Their horrendous play as of recent is in large part due to an injury to starting point guard Jeremy Lin, who re-injured his hamstring last week, sidelining him for another three to five weeks. They are currently the only team in the NBA to not have a double-digit win total.
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The Knicks come to the Barclays Center on the tail-end of a back-to-back. Last night, they lost to a red-hot Washington Wizards squad, pushing their record to 21-29 on the season. Despite being in prime position to make the playoffs a couple of months into the season, they have since fallen off dramatically amidst locker room drama.
Star point guard Derrick Rose took an unexpected leave of absence from his team to attend to undisclosed family matters. After missing one game, the former Chicago Bull resurfaced and still gave little reasoning for his disappearance.
In their first meeting of the season, Brooklyn lost on national television, 110-96. This game was broadcast nationally likely due to it being Lin’s first game in Madison Square Garden since returning to play for a New York team. Despite all the hype, Lin sat out of this contest due to his nagging hamstring injury.
Nets’ Keys to Victory
1) Must Connect on Threes
Perhaps the stat that sums up this Nets’ season best lies in their three-point shooting numbers. Kenny Atkinson’s squad attempts the fourth most shots from behind the arc, yet they are fourth worst in the league in terms of three-point shooting percentage. They also shoot nearly 40 percent from three-point land in victories, but only 33 percent in losses. Plain and simple; if their shooters are on point, then they will have a very good chance to win this contest.
A game such us Monday night’s matchup with Miami was a very winnable game for the Nets. However, shooting 15.4 percent from behind the arc will make it nearly impossible for any NBA team to gain a victory, especially an Atkinson-run team which is bound to rely very heavily on three-point shooting on a nightly basis.
On occasion, Brooklyn will catch fire and in turn, be able to put a game away easily. In their last win against the Pelicans, they shot 50 percent from behind the arc while putting the game away by the beginning of the fourth quarter.
2) Control the Glass
In their first meeting of the season, the Knicks out-rebounded the Nets 50-40. Role players such as Willy Hernangomez were able to enter the game and wreck havoc due to Brooklyn’s inability to hold their own in the rebounding battle.
While the Nets have improved rebounding-wise as of recent, they must not succumb to New York’s plethora of physical big men in tonight’s game.
Players to Watch
- Nets: Trevor Booker (will be tasked with guarding New York’s most versatile player, Kristaps Porzingis)
- Knicks: Carmelo Anthony (has been averaging 26.8 points per game over his last 10 games despite being talked about in trade rumors on a daily basis)
- OUT: Jeremy Lin (hamstring)
- PROBABLE: Joe Harris (ankle)
- QUESTIONABLE: Derrick Rose (ankle)
- QUESTIONABLE: Kristaps Porzingis (illness)
The game will be broadcast on YES Network at 7:30 PM EST. Join the conversation by tweeting @NetsBlogFS.
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