BROOKLYN, N.Y. — Things were so bad at Barclays, they had technical difficulties during a timeout. For more than a minute, the Barclays Center went silent, with Ally Love blaming something technical. Quite literally, everything was broken on the Nets end, Thursday night.
“We played really really bad,” said Spencer Dinwiddie. “Like laughably bad.”
They nearly had their worst shooting night in TEAM history and that includes New Jersey, and that includes Brooklyn. They shot 26.9 percent from the field, their season low and their worst percentage since 2000! The worst ever? 25.5 percent in 1989.
It doesn’t end there...
—The 26.9 percent was the NBA-worst this season, the Nets worst since December 5, 2000; worst by a Knicks opponent since Nov. 11, 2003; worst by any team since Jan. 23, 2012
—The eight (!!) two point shots made were the least two’s made in any NBA since 1950. That’s 70 years.
—It was also their third-lowest total score under Kenny Atkinson. whose teams won 20 and 28 wins in his first two seasons.
The (8-24) Knicks took a subway ride over and gave the (16-14) Nets a Brooklyn beat down, 94-82, Thursday night at Barclays Center. The game was pulled from TNT and everybody said it was the Knicks fault. Well, the Nets looked like the Knicks — and vice versa in this one.
The year 2019 has been good to the Nets, but this particular day was a nightmare waiting to happen.
The Nets haven’t played their best ball of late. They entered Thursday winners in three of the last four, but they were all against teams below .500, and they barely escaped, winning all three in the final minutes of the game.
Thursday, they just didn’t have it. There’s only so much Spencer Dinwiddie can do.
Dinwiddie did his thing, scoring 25 points — the 17th time in 19 starts in which he’s scored more than 20 points. The problem is, when he checks out, the Nets struggle to find any sort of offensive rhythm. They simply don’t have a play maker off the bench and that’s in large part due to the depleted roster.
It’s still no excuse, though.
Dinwiddie checked out of the game with 3:47 left in the first quarter, Nets down by one point. While he watched, the Nets missed 18-of-21 shots and turned the ball over five times, leading to just seven points in over five minutes.
The Nets dug themselves out of a hole with an 8-0 run as soon as Dinwiddie checked back into the game. The Nets, shooting at 26.7 percent from the field, were very lucky to be down just five at half.
Then, the Christmas tree came crashing down, the holiday spirit suddenly turned into a time of despair and angst among Nets fans watching their team get embarrassed by the lottery team across the river.
The Knicks went on an 18-4 run to start the second half and took a 22-point lead (!). They extended it to a 22-8 extended run and 33-20 in the quarter alone. The Nets shot 4-of-12 and turned the ball over five times, while the Knicks shot 14-of-26 from the field.
The Nets never got this thing within 15 after that point.
There’s something to be said about this team in this current moment. Yes, they’re depleted. Yes, they’ve kept their heads above water. But the schedule is only getting tougher and teams continue to adjust against them.
“During the game, when I was rolling and I looked towards the rim, I had at least two defenders in front of me,” Jarrett Allen said of his two shot attempts. “I think that was kind of the coverage to stop the roll and I think that is why we had a lot of 3-point (attempts) tonight.”
Again, there’s only so much Dinwiddie can do. It’s guys like Taurean Prince and Garrett Temple who need to step up. And they haven’t. In the last four games, Prince has shot 9-of-41 (22 percent) from the field and 4-of-25 16 percent) from three. In the last four games, Temple has shot 16-of-55 (29 percent) from the field and 9-of-32 (28 percent) from three. Wilson Chandler, who has the excuse of missing the first 25 games of the season, is shooting 10-of-28 (38.4 percent) and a shocking 1-of-16 from three (6.2 percent).
“Those guys will get it back,” said Atkinson on Prince and Temple. “It’s like a baseball player. Sometimes you go five or six games and you’re swinging. I trust those guys. I trust how they shoot. We’re going through a bad stretch right now, but we’ve had other guys pick them up. It can’t be those guys every night, but we had a lot of guys off tonight. Just collectively we were off. I don’t’ think anybody was in rhythm tonight, including myself.”
It’s one game, sure. But this has been a recurring theme the past couple of games. And like I already said (twice), there’s only so much that Dinwiddie can do. Teams have adjusted and locked Prince and Temple down, leaving Dinwiddie on an island of his own with nobody else to help create their own shot off the dribble. Joe Harris and Jarrett Allen are solid, but they aren’t those guys.
The Nets are 16-14 on the season and have played good enough basketball to be in the position they’re in. With teams adjusting and primary playmakers struggling, they could be in for a tough downfall with a three-game road-trip upcoming.
The positive? Caris LeVert should be back soon, said Kenny Atkinson. They can really use his playmaking right about now.
UPDATES ON KYRIE, CARIS
Kenny Atkinson on recent reports about Kyrie Irving having Thoracic Bursitis: “Its not true.”— Anthony Puccio (@APOOCH) December 26, 2019
So it’s still shoulder impingement and it’s still uncertain when he’ll return.
Kenny Atkinson says Caris LeVert did “a lot of contact” today. Said performance team basically thinks he’s “ready to go.”— Anthony Puccio (@APOOCH) December 26, 2019
Of course, the Nets will likely ease LeVert into the rotation.
Kenny Atkinson offered no timetable for LeVert’s return, but he said he’s “getting really close.”— Anthony Puccio (@APOOCH) December 26, 2019
Asked about whether or not Irving is potentially heading towards surgery, Atkinson responded, ”I don’t think we’re there. I think we’re still in the rehab process. I don’t think we’re there.”
No word on Nicolas Claxton who’s battling a hamstring issue.
As of Saturday, the Nets can apply for a hardship exception (which is different from the disabled player exception). Teams who have four or more players out for at least three games —and certify that four of the players will be out for another two weeks— can sign a player until one of the four return.
While a lot of you were shopping for Christmas or Hanukkah presents, airing grievances, etc., we had a couple of exclusives...
Clara Wu Tsai, co-owner of the Brooklyn Nets and a founding partner of Meek Mill’s Reform Alliance, held an event for children with incarcerated parents due to harsh probation laws. At the forefront, was Meek Mill who went to jail for those same laws.
Wu Tsai sees it as a way to give back to Brooklyn.
“I love all of this because it’s a way for me to give back, it’s a way for me to give back to Brooklyn,” Wu Tsai told NetsDaily. “I care so much about economic mobility and what that means is helping the least advantaged move up.”
We also profiled Henry Ellenson, the Nets’ 17th man and two-way player who has been playing well (20 and 10) in the G League. Although he hasn’t gotten much time with Brooklyn, the 22-year-old appreciates the minutes he’s getting in Long Island.
Ellenson understands he has a ways to go. Still, he acknowledges he is getting minutes as a member of Long Island that he hadn’t gotten in years.
”For me, I know we have been losing and it’s tough and that’s the tough part,” Ellenson said of the team’s 5-11 record. “But I haven’t played in three years. I don’t think I played this many games in a year in a long time. I have been on trips but I haven’t played like this in a while. It is like an AAU tournament all over again so I am having fun and just playing. It is just that plain and simple.”
POOCH’S TOP-10 NETS FROM THE DECADE:
10. Kris Humphries
9. Caris LeVert
8. Joe Harris
7. Devin Harris
6. Thaddeus Young
5. Spencer Dinwiddie
4. Joe Johnson
3. Deron Williams
2. D’Angelo Russell
1. Brook Lopez
Who you got? Listen to my end-of-the-year periscope here.
For a different perspective, head on over to Posting and Toasting, our Knicks sister site on SB Nation.
A UNIQUE JERSEY EXCHANGE
Before the game, Spencer Dinwiddie exchanged jerseys with Siya Kolisi, one of the world’s top rugby players. Kolisi, raised in a South African township outside Port Elizabeth, is the first black captain of that nation’s national rugby team.
NEXT UP: Houston on Saturday, 8:00 PM ET.
- Box Score: New York Knicks 94, Brooklyn Nets 82 - NBA.com
- Recap: New York Knicks 94, Brooklyn Nets 82 (Video) - NBA.com
- NYK @ BKN: Nets Postgame Show (Video) - Chris Shearn - YES Network
- Kustok and Eagle on Nets’ loss (Video) - Sarah Kustok & Ian Eagle - YES Network
- Atkinson on Nets’ loss to Knicks (Video) - YES Network
- Allen on Nets’ shooting difficulties (Video) - YES Network
- Wear Brooklyn At? (Video) - YES Network
- Atkinson previews matchup with New York (Video) - YES Network
- Knicks hold Nets to NBA season-low 27% shooting, win 94-82 - Brian Mahoney - AP
- Randle scores 33 as Knicks subdue Nets - Larry Fleisher - Reuters
- Knicks whip brick-laying Nets in stunningly easy fashion - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Caris Levert’s imminent return the beginning of Nets reshuffling - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Nets’ Caris LeVert takes a critical step toward his return - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Knicks interim coach Mike Miller picks up résumé-building win - George Willis - New York Post
- Nets can’t take over the Big Apple playing like this - Kristian WInfield - New York Daily News
- Moving Kyrie Irving off the ball doesn’t make sense and won’t happen - Kristian WInfield - New York Daily News
- When Julius Randle succeeds, so do the Knicks - Stefan Bondy - New York Daily News
- Nets’ Kyrie Irving doesn’t have ‘thoracic bursitis’ says Kenny Atkinson - Stefan Bondy - New York Daily News
- Misfiring Nets embarrass themselves in loss to Knicks - Greg Logan - Newsday
- Julius Randle’s 33 points help Knicks rebound with comfortable win over Nets - Steve Popper - Newsday
- Brooklyn Nets have historically bad shooting night in loss to Knicks - Malika Andrews - ESPN
- Caris LeVert ‘getting closer’ to return; Kyrie Irving still not practicing - Malika Andrews - ESPN
- Nets’ Kenny Atkinson: Surgery not yet an option for Kyrie Irving - Alex Smith - SNY
- Nets Takeaways from Thursday’s 94-82 loss to the Knicks, including a dismal shooting performance - Alex Smith - SNY
- Mike Miller: Elfrid Payton has been ‘a coach on the floor’ for Knicks - Alex Smith - SNY
- Sources: A few Knicks have said privately that they prefer to be traded - Ian Begley - SNY
- Knicks Takeaways from Thursday’s 94-82 win over the Nets, including a big night from Julius Randle - Alex Smith - SNY
- Nets’ historically bad loss to Knicks shows just how much they miss Caris LeVert - Alex Schiffer - The Athletic New York
- KNICKS 94, NETS 82: SPENCER DINWIDDIE SCORES 25 FOR BROOKLYN - Tom Dowd - Brooklyn Nets
- GALLERY: NETS VS. KNICKS - Brooklyn Nets
- NETS VS. KNICKS: JARRETT ALLEN, SPENCER DINWIDDIE, AND KENNY ATKINSON TOP QUOTES - Tom Dowd - Brooklyn Nets