Our friends at Whoop De Damn Do, (A Nets Blog) provided us with great pre-game analysis and in-game commentary at the LBE. (You should check out the Knicks-Nets LBE; it was fun with BARF, Prince, Peace, O&B, DLT, Lives, and Nets blog writers, Victor and Adam spitting knowledge). Jaime Oppenheim closes out this game with an insightful post-game analysis. Thanks for the intel Jaime.
What did you learn about the Nets in their game against the Knicks?
Oh, I know this one! They have no shot of doing anything resembling basketball without Devin Harris. It’s not a coincidence the Knicks blew the doors down once Harris left with a knee injury. Brook might be the lone untouchable player on the roster, but Devin is still the best. He’s the only Nets player capable of dictating tempo, and he’s by far their most assertive player on defense.
What was the most critical aspect of this game from a Nets fan’s perspective?
It looked like we were going to have some decent storylines tonight (Brook vs. Amare, Avery’s erratic rotation), but only one thing matters right now: the results of Devin’s MRI. Devin did say he’s optimistic because the team doctor found the knee to be “stable,” but the possibility of a meniscus tear remains. Should Devin miss a significant amount of time, the Nets might as well start sending scouts to Chapel Hill to watch Harrison Barnes.
It was nice to see Brook stand toe-to-toe with Amare. Neither one is capable of guarding the other, which makes the match-up fun.
How do the Nets seem to be receiving their temporary home in Newark and how is Newark receiving them?
By all accounts, fans seem to enjoy the Prudential Center. If nothing else, Newark lends itself (and I can’t believe I’m saying this) to more of a “night on the town” feel. There’s restaurants and bars surrounding the arena, unlike the Meadowlands, which was surrounded only by a disastrous and incomplete shopping center.
Where do you expect the Nets to finish this year and will they wind up better than the Knicks?
As I write this, it’s impossible to predict. It all hinges on Devin’s MRI. With Harris, they can win up to 35 games, a monumental improvement over last year’s 12-win team. Without him, 20-62 is a possibility. Still, the Knicks finish ahead of the Nets in either scenario. Harris-Lopez can hang with Felton-Amare, but the Knicks have the advantage almost everywhere else. They do need to find a way to defend the post. Their defense on Brook was nonexistent.