“Lets Go Knicks” chants rain down in the Barclays Center
Written by William Lee
Tonight’s much hyped match-up between the New York Knicks and the Brooklyn Nets before the season began, wasn’t exactly the marquee match-up we all hoped it would be. Instead it was a match-up between the two bottom feeding teams of the Eastern Conference (which is saying a lot with only two teams over .500 in the Eastern Conference). Each coming into tonight’s game with 13 losses, it was a must win atmosphere for both teams, but it was the Knicks who came out desperate. The Knicks blew out the Nets, looking much like the Knicks’ of last year, where they made an NBA record breaking three point field goals, knocking down 16 from beyond the arc, cruising to a 113-83 victory over their inter-borough rival.
Andrea Bargnani as usual, got off to a great start for the Knicks in the first quarter, going a perfect 4/4 from the field for nine points, and making his presence felt on the defensive end with two blocks. On the very first possession Bargnani blocked Brook Lopez, and then immediately knocks down a jumper on offense. Bargnani at the 8:44 mark of the first quarter again blocks Lopez, which lead to an Iman Shumpert three on the fast break. The Knicks went on a 12-2 run, capped off by a Carmelo Anthony three, to give the Knicks a 24-10 lead. This prompted the first “Let’s Go Knicks!” chants at the Barclay Center. More “Let’s Go Knicks!” chants were heard on the next Knicks’ possession when Bargnani completed an and one. The Knicks lead 29-23 after the first quarter, finishing 70.6% from the field, with four threes. The Nets shot 36% from the field, but kept themselves in the game with nine offensive rebounds, leading to ten second chance points. Brook Lopez had seven of the offensive rebounds himself. Lopez and Joe Johnson scored eight points each in the first quarter, receiving very little help, with the rest of the team combining for less than eight points combined.
The Knicks and Nets exchanged baskets for the second quarter, with the Knicks leading 50-43 at the half. The closest the Nets would ever get to the Knicks was after a Brook Lopez shot with 2:29 left in the first half, trimming the Knicks’ lead to three 44-41. The Knicks made seven threes after the first half, with the Nets staying in the game by scrapping for ten offensive rebounds, and scoring 22 points in the paint.
The Knicks went on a 21-9 run to start off the third quarter, connecting on five threes during the run. Iman Shumpert’s three threes were sandwiched in between a Raymond Felton and JR Smith three. JR Smith’s three gave the Knicks a 71-52 lead with 4:09 left in the third quarter. The Knicks continued to extend the lead, running a few Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire pick and roll to end the quarter, to take a 84-59 lead. The Knicks played suffocating in the third quarter, holding the Nets to 27.8% shooting for the quarter, with no Nets making more than one field goal for the period.
With everything going right for the Knicks, you can sense that the Barclay Center crowd favored the New York Knicks, instead of the home team Brooklyn Nets. With the third quarter coming to an end, Carmelo Anthony launched a shot from ¾ court with the time expiring. It looked on line to make the shot, the crowd moaned when it just clipped the net, showing they were rooting for the Knicks. With the blowout in full effect, the most exciting thing to happen next, was when Kevin Garnett and Andrea Bargnani got tangled up fighting for a rebound with 9:12 left in the game, and began jarring at each other. When the dust settled from the altercation between the two, Bargnani received a loose ball foul, and the both received a technical foul. More “Let’s Go Knicks!” chants rained down from the Barclay Center to throw salt into the wounds of the Nets. A minute later Andrea Bargnani hit a shot over a late close out by Kevin Garnett, and proceeded let him know about it, while walking up the floor in transition. The trash talking got Bargnani another technical foul, and got him kicked out of the game. (Thanks Joey Crawford…..it’s the Joey Crawford show, and we all just live in it)
The Knicks had six players in double figures scoring with Carmelo Anthony leading the way with 19 points 10 rebounds and 6 assist. Brock Lopez led the way for the Nets, with most of his damage being done in the first quarter, with 24 points and 9 rebounds. For one night, the Knicks are victorious over their inter-borough rival, but at the end of the day, it is just one game out of 82. The media will no doubt hype up the match-up again when the Nets visit Madison Square Garden on January 20, 2014, and again with the two meet twice in April, possibly still fighting for the Atlantic Division crown.