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Nets play Knicks at MSG

New York Knicks v Oklahoma City Thunder Photo by J Pat Carter/Getty Images

We tried to tell y’all they’d be fun. The Brooklyn Nets held serve with the Cleveland Cavaliers all night, got out to a double digit lead in the fourth quarter, coughed it up, and almost caught an L in front of the home crowd. However, Spencer Dinwiddie came through with the heroics late and Brooklyn pulled off the upset on Wednesday.

The opponent tonight will be the New York Knicks. We knew things were going to be difficult after they traded Carmelo Anthony to Oklahoma City, but it’s been even worse than expected. They’re the only winless team left in the league after getting blown out in Boston on Wednesday night.

Where to follow the game

Double coverage tonight. YES Network and MSG on TV. WFAN 101.9 FM and ESPN 98.7 FM on radio. Tip off after 7:30.


D’Angelo Russell missed Wednesday’s game due to an ankle sprain, and his status for tonight is doubtful.

Frank Ntilikina has been bothered by an ankle injury, but Jeff Hornacek expects him to play. Joakim Noah is still serving a suspension for PED violations.

The game

Coming in to the season, Hornacek stressed the importance of defense for his team. One week in, it doesn't appear as if they've made any progress. New York is allowing 109.3 points per 100 possessions and with their offense struggling, they're in for a long year.

Here’s something you never wanna hear. After the loss on Wednesday, Courtney Lee discussed one of the big issues affecting the Knicks:

There's plays that we go over in practice, if we're messing up in practice and we're messing up in games we got to understand these plays and get in those positions to where we're executing and being sharp. If we miss shots, we miss shots. That's part of the game. But not being in the right position takes away a shot for your teammates. We got to learn the plays."

Oh dear.

With Melo gone, Kristaps Porzingis has become the focal point of the offense. The shooting percentages aren't there yet, but he is getting to the free throw line nine times a night. He'll have to move up to center eventually, but for now, the Knicks will continue to use him at power forward. With a team like the Nets, they’ll be able to drag KP away from the rim and have him around the three point line. Look for Rondae Hollis Jefferson and Trevor Booker to play major roles tonight.

Depth will be key for the Nets as they battle injuries. Dinwiddie has shown himself to be a capable guard that can play both positions as well as keep the offense running well with Russell out. He provides Kenny Atkinson with a variety of options and flexibility when they face teams like Boston and Washington.

Player to watch: Tim Hardaway, Jr.

Hardaway was the big acquisition of the summer for the Knicks, but he hasn't gotten his game going. He’s been bothered by a nagging ankle injury since the preseason, and it's shown. Although he's averaging career highs in minutes and shots per game, he's at career lows in all of the shooting categories. As he gets healthier and more comfortable in his new role, his game should pick up.

The duo of Caris Levert and Allen Crabbe will be key tonight. They provide different skills and will test that leaky Knicks defense. With Crabbe on a mini minutes restriction, Levert should see the majority of the minutes between them.

From the Vault

No fancy setup here. Just Jason Kidd getting a triple double vs the Knicks.

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