Written by William Lee
New York hardcore basketball fans, Knicks’ fans and Nets’ fans alike marked down December 2, 2014 on their calendars before the season began. Both going into the season optimistically, unfortunately those expectations were never met. Both teams so far underachieving, needing to combine to produce double digit victories, while combining for a total of 23 losses. Not much of a bragging right for whoever wins really.
To start the game Brook Lopez shot an air ball, but quickly heated up, scoring six points after that misfortune. Lopez led the way for Brooklyn, constantly attacking the paint. Lopez scored of his 19 points of his 23 points by halftime. The Nets had their way in the paint scoring 30 points in the paint by halftime, with 20 points alone just in the first quarter. This theme continued as Brooklyn outmuscled the Knicks, scoring 48 points in the paint, and grabbing 21 offensive rebounds.
Carmelo Anthony shot a couple of air ball threes before finally getting it going late in the first quarter, scoring six straight points for New York before finally taking a rest with a little under two minutes remaining in the opening quarter. Without Anthony there was no other reliable shot creator on the team, and the Nets went on a 6-0 run, giving Brooklyn a double digit lead 27-16. This is especially true with the absence of J.R Smith, who missed the game with the “flu”.
New York clawed back into the game, holding Brooklyn to one field goal in the opening five minutes of the second quarter. The Knicks got into the bonus early in second quarter, but did not take advantage of this, going to the line only one more time before halftime. Even so, New York kept it close, always within arm’s length of tying the game, within one possession several times.
New York came out of halftime flat, and was extremely careless with the basketball. Three straight turnovers to start the second half forced Derek Fisher to call an early time, as he watched the lead grow up to 54-45 a couple minutes into the third quarter. Jose Calderon knocked down a three out of the time out, but on the next possession continued the Knicks’s turnover woes, coughing the ball up again leading to an easy hoop on the other end to make it a double digit deficit. New York turned the ball over six times in the third quarter, 14 in total for the game. Two threes from Deron Williams in a minute brought down boos from the Madison Square Garden faithful’s, as New York’s deficit grew to 71-55 with 3:37 left in the third quarter.
The three ball got New York back into the game, connecting on three-threes from beyond the arc early in the fourth quarter to go on an 11-2 run, getting within arm’s length again midway through the final quarter 83-79. Brooklyn called a timeout, and looked like they shut down any hopes of a comeback after going on an 8-3 run to increase the score to 91-82 with three minutes remaining.
Amare Stoudemire practically willed the Knicks back into the game, first getting into the paint for a layup, and then a pair of free throws to get within one possession again 91-88. Then he would should some effort on the defensive end, causing Kevin Garnett to travel. Stoudemire finished the game with the best +/- of any Knicks player, scoring 17 points and grabbing 9 rebounds.
After exchanging blows, with 16 seconds remaining in the game, New York still had a chance to tie the game. Anthony walked the ball up, and as Anthony crossed half court, it looked like Derek Fisher was signaling for a timeout. Only problem is the referee standing next to Fisher never acknowledged it, and neither did Anthony as he hauled up a three. It clanked off the rim, and New York lost to their metro city rival 98-93.