It was further encouraging when they followed that impressive victory with an even better 38-point victory against the Orlando Magic. New York hit a combined 33 3-pointers in that two-game stretch. In the anemic Atlantic Division, all they really needed was to put a string of good games together to get back into the thick of things.
It usually starts December 15, the first day players who were signed in the offseason become eligible to be traded. But after seeing Rudy Gay’s immovable contract somehow sent from Toronto to Sacramento, it is clear that shopping season is under way.
Come next Sunday, NBA general managers will have increased flexibility when looking to improve their rosters, which was Kings GM Pete D’Alessandro’s approach in acquiring Gay, or their payroll, which was Raptors GM Masai Ujiri’s approach in moving him.
In addition to the Raptors-Kings deal, we’ve already heard reports that the Houston Rockets are telling teams reserve center Omer Asik is on the block and they are looking to move him between Sunday and Dec. 19, which is the deadline for any player acquired for Asik to be rerouted before the trade deadline on Feb. 20.
So Rockets GM Daryl Morey may make two deals. Or he may make one deal. Or he may not deal at all.
BROOKLYN – Mikhail Prokhorov once vowed to take over New York as owner of the Brooklyn Nets and turn Knicks fans into Nets fans. But on Thursday night in front of a national TV audience, it was the Knicks who took over Brooklyn and Barclays Center.
It was so bad, Brooklyn’s introductory video malfunctioned before loud boos for Kevin Garnett and Jason Kidd filled the arena during the starting lineup introductions.
Chants of “Let’s go Knicks” began as New York pulled away from Brooklyn en route to a 113-83 win.
By this point, James Dolan’s grin probably spanned the entire Brooklyn Bridge.
During quarter intermissions, Ally Love – Barclays Center’s arena host – routinely encouraged Nets fans to get loud by saying, “Where’s Brooklyn?”
Sadly, Nets fans have asked themselves the same question about Brooklyn’s roster all season long.
No one expected these two teams to be as bad as they have been over the first month of the season, but various factors – primarily injuries and adjusting to some new faces – have turned them into the laughingstocks of the league.
Someone still had to win the game, and the Knicks took charge of this one quickly in the second half to embarrass the Nets 113-83. All the shots that wouldn’t fall for New York during its nine-game losing streak finally went through the net, as the team shot an impressive 16-27 from beyond the arc. Brooklyn did little to stop the barrage, repeatedly leaving shooters wide open.
Too often through much of the season, the ball stuck to one player for the Knicks. Against the porous defense of the Nets, they moved the ball freely and managed 24 assists and 12 turnovers, with six players in double figures. It would be the Nets who refused to make simple passes and resorted to one stubborn isolation play after another, evidenced by 11 assists and 16 turnovers. It was truly an ugly style of play, and the game quickly got out of reach by the time it got to the fourth quarter.
Time flies, the Portland Trail Blazers are for real, critical injuries can derail any team, and the Eastern Conference may never have been worse.
After another impressive 111-104 home win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday, the Blazers are a conference-best 16-3 – something no expert or fortune teller could have predicted coming into the season. They are easily one of the biggest surprises of the season, but it’s also worth noting that their schedule has been awfully friendly as well. Through their first 10 road games, only two of them – Golden State Warriors and Denver Nuggets – currently have a winning record. It’s something to keep in mind, as tough teams at home await their chance to see what these Blazers can do against better competition on the road. At home, they have had some impressive wins against Indiana Pacers, San Antonio Spurs and Chicago Bulls.