Thursday, December 6, 2007

Knicks 100 Nets 93

About midway through Wednesday night’s Knicks Nets game, I had to stop myself from asking my editor for space in the Friday paper. I felt as if the game was one great big “I told you so” for me. I’ve been saying that having Marbury and Crawford together and having Curry and Randolph together on the court at the same time was counterproductive due to overlapping skill sets. Now without Marbury and Curry out, the Knicks have their most efficient offensive showing of the season.

The Knicks typically put up 101.8 points per 100 possessions. Last night they were on pace for 114.9, a mark if sustained would have them among the top offenses in the league. With only one low post offensive threat and one threat to shoot ballhandler on the floor at any given time, the Knick offense really thrived ; they committed only ten turnovers and only two in the second half.

The Knick offense came at the expense of a Nets team minus Jason Kidd who missed the game due to migraines, and this game underscores that while Kidd’s reputation is for circus passes on the fast break, his greatest value is on defense. All of his teams have improved markedly in Defensive Efficiency, points allowed per 100 possessions, after his arrival, and his absence last night was telling. The Nets were on pace or 106.9 points per 100 possessions last night, a slight improvement over their putrid season average of 100.8, but their defense suffered due to Kidd’s absence.

While watching the game, I was keeping tabs on Philadelphia who was making Boston work for their win. The Sixers have a poor record but they’re not doormat. This weekend’s two game set should be a competitive pair of games.

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