Scotto: Midseason Report Cards for Knicks and Nets

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knicks-vs-brooklyn-nets-at-barclays-centerBefore the season, championship expectations were attached to both the Knicks and the Nets.

The Knicks were coming off the team’s first season with at least 50 or more wins and a trip to the Eastern Conference semifinals since the 1999-2000 campaign, when Jeff Van Gundy patrolled the sidelines, Patrick Ewing wrapped up his final season in New York and Allan Houston was in the prime of his career.

The Nets were coming off their first trip to the playoffs in six years and considered the winners of the offseason after landing future Hall of Famers Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, along with Jason Terry, in a blockbuster trade with the Celtics.

However, neither team has lived up to the hype with the All-Star break now upon us.

With that in mind, it’s time to break down the season into four sections for both teams: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly and The Future.

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SH Blog: Kidd’s simplified schemes paying off for Nets; are the Cavs shopping Waiters?

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Damian LillardDamian Lillard is very good.

Okay, maybe we knew that already.

But watching him carry the Blazers to an incredible win against a Cavs team that was very much on top of their game tonight, and then cap it with a game-winning three… that was something else.

LaMarcus Aldridge is also very good, and so are Wesley Matthews and Nic Batum. But it’s Lillard who makes the whole thing work.

SH Blog: Kidd says he won’t miss Lawrence, Kobe not ruled out for Sunday

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STORY OF THE DAY:

KiddWhen Jason Kidd demoted Lawrence Frank from the assistant coach position, it was assumed that there was a rift between them. While that’s all but true, it appears there was tension between the two the moment Frank agreed to join the team. Tim Bontemps and Fred Kerber of New York Post detailed what went wrong from the jump:

One league source told The Post the Kidd-Lawrence union began on rocky footing. After Kidd’s very public courtship of Frank, when the former head coach called to accept the job, he began laying out plans for the team. Frank suggested film sessions immediately.

“I think Jason was like, ‘Whoa, slow down,’ ” the source said. “He had other things to do on summer weekends.”

Multiple reports said Frank took issue with the fact he — as the most experienced assistant on the staff and the only one with NBA head coaching experience — wasn’t tapped to coach the Nets in the opening two games of the season while Kidd served a two-game suspension for pleading guilty to driving while impaired during the summer of 2012.

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Sprung: Amid coaching chaos, Nets only imagine what could have been with Shaw

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KiddJason Kidd and Brian Shaw were the two finalists for the Brooklyn Nets coaching position during the summer.

While Kidd won out and was hired by the Nets, Shaw ended up getting his first head job in Denver with the Nuggets. So far, it sure seems like Shaw got the better end of that deal.

While Brooklyn languishes near the bottom of the Eastern Conference, Denver won its seventh straight game Tuesday, efficiently eviscerating the Nets, 111-87, on a night where turmoil and turbulence raged in the home locker room.

Before the game, Kidd announced that top assistant Lawrence Frank, who was reportedly at odds with Kidd, was demoted and reassigned to “doing daily reports.”

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SH Blog: Inside the Knicks’ clubhouse turmoil; Kidd re-assigns top assistant Frank

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Carmelo_AnthonyThe Knicks are dominating the headlines like few 14th-place teams could.