Searching Nets get blown out by Knicks in Madison Square Garden

Searching Nets get blown out by Knicks in Madison Square Garden

The Nets get blown out in the Garden. This seemed impossible not long ago. Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving were making fun of the team many thought they would during free agency.  Thibs and Jacque Vaughn agreed there can be no rivalry if only one team wins the games. The Nets were even beating the Knicks without their stars. Fast forward to February 2023,  KD and Kyrie are gone for good and the 9-game winning streak has ended.

Searching Nets get blown out
Spencer Dinwiddie and Jalen Brunson in Madison Square Garden

The New Kings of New York

In recent times the Knicks only had star power on the sidelines and not on the court. Most would say this is still the case however, the Manhattan team does have one All-Star and one could argue they should have two. The all-star, Julius Randle, had a decent game. He had a double with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Josh Hart added 27 points off the bench in his second game for New York. However, the player of the game was Jalen Brunson, scoring 40 points on a scorching 71 percent from the field and 66 percent from three. Despite the game being tied late in the third, Brunson enforced his will on the Nets, scoring 17 points in the frame and starting off a decisive run bridging the third and the fourth quarters. Even though this might not have been a statement game, the Knicks much looked better.

 

The JV Shuffle

Meanwhile,  the new-look Nets are searching. The rotations seem to be off and some of the decisions coach Vaughn makes seem questionable. Nic Claxton barely played 23 minutes. Cam Thomas played 20 minutes and Yuta Watanabe was only on the court during garbage time. Ben Simmons came off the bench again, only playing 12 minutes and not impacting the game positively. Not all problems start with the coach though. Creating good offense continues to be a problem for these Nets. Spencer Dinwiddie had an inefficient game, seemingly ignoring open teammates at times. Mikal Bridges followed up a 23-point debut with only 7 points and Joe Harris only got 1 shot up!

 

A Starless Regroup

The Nets have one more game before going into the all-star break. No All-Stars means all the time in the world to get to know each other and figure out a way to get consistent offense. Moreover a backup big is required. Despite winning the rebound battle a couple of times, Day’Ron Sharpe shouldn’t play big minutes. JV has work to do, Sean Marks has work to do and the team has gelling to do. There’s lots of time still. However, two things are needed if the Nets want to avoid the play-in. Consistency, and above all, wins!