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Nets begin road trip at MSG vs Knicks

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Memphis Grizzlies v New York Knicks Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

While everyone was focused on the Election and its consequences last night, the Nets and Wolves played in Barclays Center. Brooklyn came away with an impressive 119-110 victory in front of the home crowd. They’re gonna be out of town for the next week and a half after tonight and will return to Brooklyn on the 20th to face the Blazers.

The opponent this evening will be the New York Knicks. The Knicks underwent a series of changes this past summer in an attempt to revitalize the team and return to the playoffs for the first time since 2013. They last played on Sunday, losing 114-109 to the Jazz at MSG. They’re off tomorrow and are back in action on Friday as they start a weekend back-to-back that will take them to Boston and Toronto.

Where to follow the game

We’ve got tons of options tonight. YES Network, MSG and ESPN on TV. WFAN 101.9 FM and ESPN 98.7 FM on radio. Tip off after 7.

Injuries

Jeremy Lin and Greivis Vasquez are out. Gorgui Dieng stepped on Isaiah Whitehead's face last night, but IW returned to action and should be good to go here. No word yet on Caris LeVert’s return.

Nothing doing for the Knicks.

The game

Because the Knicks are the Knicks, they’re always in some shit (that’s a technical term). This time, they’ve decided to name Kurt Rambis the defensive coordinator. On the surface, hiring a defensive coordinator is a smart decision. The Knicks have the league’s worst defense, allowing 110.9 points per 100 possessions on a 52.5 effective field goal percentage (third worst in the league) while posting the seventh lowest turnover rate. On the other hand, it’s Kurt Rambis and he hasn’t done a good coaching job anywhere he’s been. Maybe Phil Jackson knows something the rest of us don’t.

The Nets faced the best big man from the 2015 Draft Class last night, and tonight they'll face the second best big from that class. Kristaps Porzingis had a great rookie season last year and appears to have gotten better this year. The most encouraging aspect of his game so far is the three point shooting. We knew he had the range to make shots from deep, and KP is shooting an impressive 43.3 percent from downtown on five attempts a night. Trevor Booker

Feeding the big man is always a good strategy. Brook Lopez had a team high 26 points on an efficient 10-16 from the field with three three pointers made. He didn’t play the last time the Nets had a back-to-back, but with there being no travel involved this time, I’d be surprised if he sat this one out. In the event he does sit, Justin Hamilton will take his place in the starting lineup. Joakim Noah is on the other side and his passing skills should come in handy on a roster such as this one.

Player to watch: Derrick Rose

For the past two years, Rose was involved in a civil lawsuit that alleged he and his friends sexually assaulted a young woman in Los Angeles. The case went to trial at the beginning of October and Rose was found not liable by a jury. There was a lot of fascinating discussion about the case, its implications, and how we discuss allegations of sexual assault more broadly and if you haven’t, I recommend you check them out when you have a chance.

As Rose was dealing with that, he didn’t play much in the preseason. He managed to get enough reps in and has started every game for the Knicks so far. The stats aren’t pretty, but in the times I’ve seen the Knicks play, I’ve seen him driving to the rim and being as aggressive as he was when he was a Bull. As he gets more acclimated to New York, it’ll be interesting to see how his game progresses.

Despite catching a big ole foot to the face, Isaiah Whitehead came back and contributed to a Brooklyn win yesterday. With Lin out for the time being, the rookie will have time to impress Nets management and earn the main backup role when Vasquez gets back.

From the Vault

A Tribe Called Quest is dropping their final album on Friday (rest in peace Phife), so let’s take a trip back to 1998 and revisit The Love Movement. Take care of yourselves, y’all.

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