The Knicks and the Nets concluded their preseasons tonight with a surprisingly entertaining, competitive game in Long Island at the Nassau Coliseum. After a bumpy start, a strong second quarter, followed by competent basketball in the second half and a – dare I say – “gritty” overtime, the Knicks pulled together a final win to hopefully propel them into the regular season.
[tabs tab1="First Quarter Recap" tab2="Second Quarter Recap" tab3="Third Quarter Recap" tab4="Fourt Quarter Recap" tab5="Overtime Recap"]
- Ronnie Brewer still needs to get back into the rhythm of the game, but his, at times, woeful attempts on offense won’t do it. Healthy roster or not, Brewer will get his chances to score and he needs to be aggressive in doing so, but 14 shot attempts (he made four) is probably too much. Around the basket, Brewer’s knee looks untrustworthy as he missed five shots right at the rim, two of them blocked. The explosion just isn’t there yet, and Brewer is normally a fine finisher – normally in the mid-60s in FG% around the rim for his career. All this will come in time, but on a few occasions, it seemed Brewer was over-anxious and took some bad shots
- After a brief stint of Bad ‘Melo, Anthony settled down and stopped forcing as much. Most notably, upon being shifted to power forward, Anthony really went after offensive rebounds, especially on free throws, and looked to finish around the basket. Even with this increased hustle, I got the sense that Anthony was going half-speed, wanting to preserve himself for the season ahead.
- Though it isn’t official (that decision will com on Monday), Chris Copeland will almost certainly receive an offer to stay with the team. Tonight he was productive again on offense with 16 points on 5-12 shooting in 37 minutes. If the Knicks continue to be short-handed upfront, Copeland could really find himself rotation minutes, though he’ll have to improve his rebounding and defense. Turnovers, too, as he had 7 tonight on some flat-out silly mistakes.
- Pablo Prigioni has also made a case to be part of the regular rotation. Thus far he’s proven to be more effective than Jason Kidd, both at running the offense and playing defense. He gambles a bit much, but players’ dribbles are almost never safe around Prigioni’s quick hands, and on offense, his ability to run the pick-and-roll and hit open shooters is really valuable off the bench. For stretches, Prigs was honestly masterful.
- Mike Breen couldn’t wrap his head around the idea that the Nassau Coliseum – less than an hour out of New York City – would be so full of Knicks fans, excitedly reacting to the game action. But hey, it did sound fun in there.
- James White did not play in the second half with a “sore” foot of his own. Tomorrow, White will undoubtedly only have one foot left, because that’s how the Knicks’ diagnoses go.
- Assistant coach, Darrell Walker. Meth-dealer extraordinaire, Gus Fring. I see it.
- Chandler left the arena on crutches, but said that he’s fine. He’ll have an MRI tomorrow, so we’ll know more. Get better, Tyson!!
The Knicks now have a full week off until their season-opener in Brooklyn against these same Nets. I’m sure there will be a fair mixture of practice and rest during the span of that week, but it’s especially important that the Knicks get some bodies healthy again. If the Knicks’ staff is to be believed (I hardly do), Chandler and J.R. Smith should be ready to go for the opener. Marcus Camby is a maybe. I’d welcome any of them, all three would be nice, but Chandler and Smith especially make this Knicks team better.
And the countdown begins! Seven days until real basketball!