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Posts tagged “Jason Kidd

Building a Rivalry: Part 2

spike jayz

Subway Serious!

WHAT A GAME!!!  Game 2 of this newly minted rivalry between the Brooklyn Nets and the New York Knicks was even more exciting than the first game between the two teams which ended in overtime.  Even after that first game there were doubters saying how this matchup couldn’t be considered a rivalry because of how new it was, but after last night’s thriller all of those naysayers must jump ship.  The intensity in the Barclays Center was so high that it had a playoff atmosphere feel to it.  Both teams had fans representing them cheering with “Defense” and “MVP” chants all night long.  The arena was filled with the expected superstar celebrities like Jay-Z, Spike Lee and many more New Yorkers that were split between the Knicks and Nets.  The game was exhilarating from beginning to end and the Knicks came out on top with a 100-97 win to even the series between these two teams at 1-1.

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Kidd Rocks! No Kidd’ing. Purrs like a Kiddy! Does not play with Kidd gloves! I could go on, but I have to empty my Kiddney.

While the excitement over this game was similar to the first game between these two teams, there were a lot of differences entering this contest.  In the first matchup between theses foes, the Knicks were without Jason Kidd and the Nets were full strength, while in the second matchup the Nets were missing their stud Brooks Lopez  and Knicks were healthy…that is without Shumpert and Stoudemire.  After the Knicks loss in game 1, I mentioned that the absence of Jason Kidd was the main contributor to the their demise.  Boy was I right!  Kidd showed flashes of the All-Star who lead the then New Jersey Nets to back-to-back NBA Finals a decade ago.  The Knicks were in a deep hole early in the game and trailed by as many as 17 points but with the veteran leadership that Kidd has displayed all season long, there never seemed to be a sense of panic on the side of the Orange and Blue.

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Age has not Melo’d this guy.He’s playing like the Carmelo topping of a perfect sundae!

While Kidd kept the pace of the game exactly where the Knicks needed it to be, the real superstar of this fantastic game was the man they call Melo.  Carmelo Anthony had his best game of the season and proved why the New York faithful has been justly chanting “MVP MVP” on a nightly basis.  Melo had a stat line of 45-5-3 while shooting a lights out 15-24 from the field.  It looked at times as if Carmelo had placed a magnet in the rim and the ball and every time he tossed it up it was just drawn to the hoop.  It was arguably his best game since the Knicks acquired him two years back.  The Nets came out of the gates flying and were up 21-5 at the beginning of the game, but Carmelo Anthony knew this was his game to win and he put his team on his shoulders and played outstanding and inspired ball.

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If Baltche catche fire too much, the Knicks get burned. Good thing the ‘Bockers had their extinguishers playing.

Brooklyn’s hot start was a huge surprise to me, especially with how well the Knicks have been playing and how poorly the Nets have been.  Since the first matchup between these teams, the Knicks had gone 6-1 while the Nets have been 2-5 and they were in the midst of a 4 game losing streak.  Everything seemed to be in the Knicks favor heading into the game but the Nets had a secret weapon that only my man NYBobby seemed to know about.  Andray Blatche, the back up to the injured Lopez, seemed to put anything he tossed up into the bucket.  I called Bobby before the game and said that the Knicks were going to manhandle the Nets because Lopez was out but he responded by saying that Blatche was going to have a huge game.  I hate to admit when he is right but I have to give credit where credit is due.  Blatche finished with 23 points on 9 of 13 shooting and he had the best +/- on the Nets with a +9.

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Ray Felton the floor most of the night, but thankfully Williams was also sleeping Deron the game.

As for the Point Guards in this matchup, there really was a lot of disappoints on both sides…more so for the Knicks.  For the second straight time against the Nets, Raymond Felton seemed to be lost on the floor for much of the game as he committed 7 of the Knicks 10 turnovers.  Felton’s shooting was abysmal where he finished with 3 of 12 from the floor to end up with an ugly stat line of 8-1-7 with 7 turnovers.  On the other end, Deron Williams, who is easily considered a top 3 PG in the league, had an off night himself.  While he ended up with 18 points and 10 assists, he really never found a rhythm all night and he even missed a potentially game tying open three pointer.

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It’s that time of the year! Everyone loves the Nutcracker, and that’s what the Knicks were.

During last night’s contest I was on the edge of my seat the whole time as the game was filled with nonstop action.  With the series between these teams split 1 a piece, the next game has a lot of importance.  Luckily for fans of both clubs, we don’t have to wait to long for that matchup because the two teams face off again, this time in the Garden, a week from today.  I am thrilled to say that New York not only has two potentially dangerous playoff teams, but they have a newly found rivalry that I expect to be around for years.

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Building a Rivalry

If you are a basketball fan, then you were definitely tuned in for the first ever game between the newly formed inner-city rivalry New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets.  This was a make up game that was postponed due to the devastating destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy.  One of the biggest questions heading into this contest was whether or not these teams could be considered a rivalry or not.  If it wasn’t a rivalry before the game, it sure as hell is now.  While the outcome of 96-89 win for the Brooklyn Nets was a disappointing one to Knicks fans like myself, the atmosphere around the game was absolutely brilliant for the NBA and especially New York.

My boy NYBobby recently wrote about how the Brooklyn Nets deserve more praise then they are getting for their impressive start the season (https://sports-debaters.com/2012/11/18/big-ups-to-brooklyin/).  I, of course, gave him a hard time and explained that to get quality press you must get quality wins.   Since that article, the Nets had a huge win over the LA Clippers, who are a top 3 team in the Western Conference, and last night they pulled out an even bigger win against the then Atlantic Division leading Knicks.  Now the Nets sit tied on top of the Atlantic Division with the Knicks and I feel that I owe them some recognition.  Clearly, the Brooklyn Nets are a team to recon with this season and while I still rank them behind the Knicks, the disparity between the two isn’t nearly what I thought it was.

Last nights game was a lot more then just a regular season win for the Brooklyn Nets and loss for the New York Knicks.  The game was played in the Nets new stomping grounds, the Barclays Center, and boy was it rocking.  The turnout for the game was way more electrifying then I thought it could be and both teams were represented well by their supporters.  While the commentators seemed to think the crowd was a 60-40 split in favor of the Nets, I thought it was 50-50.  There were actual points in the game where I couldn’t tell if a play went good or bad for the Knicks because they had an equal amount of fans and haters.  The stadium was a very unappealing mix of black, silver, blue and orange and the intensity was high.

Throughout the game, I was on the phone with Bobby talking about how exciting this regular season game was.  I rarely put much stock in any of the first 50 games of an NBA season as teams are just trying to find their footing.  That being said, the Knicks and Nets clearly new what this game could mean for the city and after the Nets big win, the city of New York now has 2 #1 teams to root for.  While I am Knicks fan through and through and I will never root against them, I do now have a small place in my heart for New York’s newest team.  New York has not had two quality teams in the same sport since the Subway Series between the Mets and Yankees back in 2000.  The Jets, Giants and even the forgotten Bills are never good at the same time, or in the Bills case…ever, and the Mets always seem to suck when the Yankees are thriving, which is almost always.

A lot of people are saying that the Nets and Knicks can’t be considered a rivalry because neither has been relevant in quite some time, but that’s not how I see it.  Knicks/Nets games has always been an important matchup on each teams respective calendars for a while now.  Just because neither team has been good recently shouldn’t take away from the intensity that both teams bring out of each other.  In their first battle as newly minted inner-city rivals, the two teams fought tooth and nail to earn a “W” and the Nets came out victorious in an exhilarating overtime thriller.  Sure, the Knicks were without Jason Kidd, Iman Shumpert and Amare Stoudemire and the Nets were completely healthy, but I’m not an excuse maker and the Nets deserved the win.  Deron dominated Raymond and while Melo and Tyson had their best games of the season, it just wasn’t enough to defeat the scrappy Nets.

As tough as last nights loss was, I am very happy to know that the Knicks will not have to wait long to pay the Nets back with a taste of their own medicine as the two teams will face off once again on national television Tuesday, December 11th in the Barclays Center and then again on December 19th in the Garden.  Firstly, I want the Knicks to win because I just love the Knicks. Secondly, I want the Knicks to win to shut Charles Barkley and Shaq the hell up.  Congratulations to the Nets for their hard fought victory and I know I will be ready for another exciting game two weeks from today.  Sit back and enjoy the ride New York because it looks like our city has two teams that are looking to make some noise this year.


Is it Too Soon to Celebrate?

It has been an extremely trying time for everyone affected by Hurricane Sandy.  While a lot of people were impacted by the treacherous storm, the Tri-State area was hit especially hard.  It was without question one of the worst disasters that mother nature has ever inflicted upon the Northeast.  In a time when people have lost many of their belongings, some even their lives, all of us in the Tri-State area needed something to lift our spirits.  In times of depression, many people turn to sports to distract themselves from their hardships.  Knowing this, the New York Knicks made it their mission to make sure they didn’t give New Yorkers more to be upset about.

The New York Knicks were supposed to start their regular season last Thursday against their new inner-city rivals, the Brooklyn Nets.  Unfortunately for fans of each of those teams, Hurricane Sandy ravaged the city so badly that Mayor Bloomberg and the NBA decided to postpone the game until later in the season.  The Knicks second game was scheduled for the next day and was a match up against the defending NBA Champions, the Miami Heat.  While a lot of people thought the game was going to be cancelled, the Mayor decided that Manhattan had recovered enough to go through with it and have the Knicks and Heat battle it out to open New York’s regular season.  No one in their right mind would ever want to start their season facing  the clear best team in the NBA, but the Knicks had a city to defend and something truly special cause to play for.

Before the opening tip, Carmelo Anthony addressed the crowd and showed his and the Knicks support for all of those affected by the storm.  While his speech was short, it was very effective and got the crowd roaring.  From the jump ball to start the game until the final buzzer, the Knicks had a fire in their eyes that I haven’t seen since the days of Ewing and Starks.  There was no way they were going to lose this game.  Not only were they going to beat the defending Champs, but they were going to obliterate them in front of a sold out arena that wouldn’t stop shaking in excitement.  Carmelo led the team with 30 points but the game was the true definition of a full team effort.  There are a lot of new faces on the Knicks squad this year and every single one of them made an impact to make this game one of the most entertaining and fulfilling opening nights I have ever witnessed.

Two days later, the Knickerbockers had another game at home against one of their division rivals, the Philadelphia 76ers.  Once again, the arena known as the Mecca of basketball was sold out and the crowd was going nuts before the game even started.  As a matter of fact, the Knicks got penalized during the camaraderie with a delay of game warning due to the new rule about being ready for tip off within 90 seconds of the lineup announcements (https://sports-debaters.com/2012/10/17/rules-are-made-to-be-broken/).  The Knicks came out firing and like their game against the Heat, New York seemed to be hitting anything they threw up.  From Carmelo in the post to Novak behind the arc, the Knicks scored in a plethora of ways.  Raymond Felton and Jason Kidd, with a little help from Pablo Prigioni, had Knicks fans easily remove Linsanity from their minds with precision passing and quality ball control only seen on winning teams.

The Knicks third game of season was the following night, once again against the 76ers in the second game of a home-and-home.  This was the first Knicks road game of the season and to quote my man Walt Clyde Frazier, they came out with some “tenacious defense” and were “wheeling and dealing” on offense.  This game started a little differently for the Knicks as they found themselves down 10 early on and looked slightly sluggish.  Their struggles lasted merely a few minutes because they started popping from deep and quickly took the lead.  Once they had their lead they never relinquished it as they went on to win for the third straight game.  Not only was this the Knicks third in in a row but it was their third straight win by more than 15 points, which they had never done in their history of season starting.

So as the Knicks sit at 3-0 and have to wait until Friday to play their fourth game, there are many questions that linger over them.  Are the Knicks truly as good as they looked in their first three games?  Will they still be playing this well once Amare Stoudemire returns from his most recent injury?  Should Knicks fans be getting excited about their early success?  Is it too soon to celebrate?  Regardless of what you think, I for one am thrilled about how the Knicks have opened the season and really do appreciate how they have been able to divert my attention during a truly trying time.  LET’S GO KNICKS!!!


No More ‘Kidd’ing Around

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Stark raving lunatics

Let’s get something straight, I understand that the New York Knicks have not made it easy on their fans over the past 12 years but all the whining is getting old.  There are two types of Knicks fans in the world, one that bleeds orange and blue while keeping faith and supporting their team all the time, and the other is a pouting little bitch that complains about any move the organization makes and pulls their vintage Starks jersey out of the closet once the team starts winning again.  I understand the Knicks have been awful in recent years and they have been the comedic punching bag of the NBA for over 10 years, but unless you are blind you can’t deny the organization has been working their asses off to turn things around.

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Okay, let’s frame this action and track the lighting a little to center. Now do the right thing, and look towards camera 3 for the final shot.

It seems that all of these bootleg Knicks fan’s minds have been permanently tainted by the horrid dark years that  the moron Isiah Thomas was responsible for in the early 2000’s.  The fact of the matter is that the Knicks are not far off from becoming a contender once again in the Eastern Conference.  Sure in the last two season’s, the Knicks have been eliminated embarrassingly from the first round of the playoffs but there were outstanding circumstances that definitely were not in their favor. Between Stoudemire’s stupidity and an endless array of injuries, the Knicks really didn’t have a chance in either of those series.

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Terry Crews? Is he here for Spike?
Only Kidding.

In the Knicks most recent attempt to bring success back to the world’s most famous arena, they came to terms with Jason Kidd of the Dallas Mavericks.  The second I heard this news I knew that every Knicks “fan” that has been drinking their ‘Hater’ade on a daily basis was going to come out of their shell to criticize this signing without thinking the move over.  What they see is a washed up point guard at the end of his career, what I see is one of the greatest point guards that the NBA has ever seen who is only 2 years removed from winning the NBA Championship as the starting PG.  I understand Kidd is not the player he once was, but if you honestly don’t think he can help improve the Knicks than you should take your head out of your ass.

Amare Stumblemire.

Will the Knicks treat Lin with Kidd gloves?

Let’s put it into perspective.  The Knicks have one of the most talented scorer’s in the world in Carmelo Anthony. They have the second best defensive Center in the NBA in Tyson Chandler, who just won the NBA Defensive Player of the Year by the way.  They have a highly talented and young Iman Shumpert, who definitely proved he can play with the big boys last season, and they are most likely going to retain the young phenomenon, Jeremy Lin.  Now I can mention Amare as a formidable player, but he has given me no reason to do so.
With all that being said, I have a few reason’s why this Jason Kidd acquisition will work in the Knicks favor.  If nothing else, Jeremy Lin will be able to play out his most impressionable years in the NBA under the tutelage of one of the smartest players to ever step foot on the hardwood.  Kidd also has proven chemistry with Tyson Chandler, as they were both integral parts around Dirk Nowitzki during the Mavericks championship run just two years ago.  Another positive that comes with Kidd is that he demands absolutely no offensive possessions, and in the isolation style of basketball that the Knicks play, that is very good news.  Those should be enough reason’s to get some of these haters to shut up for a moment.

Ja and Ty – the new Sons of Anarchy?

Now I am sure some of you will come at me with rubbish like, “well Melo and Amare can’t play together,” or “Lin was a flash in the pan and will suck now,” or even “Kidd is just going to be another Baron Davis.”  All I can say to that is that you should just wait and see because nobody knows for sure what’s going to happen.  I’m not an idiot, of course I would have rather had Steve Nash at the point, but once he was scooped up by the Lakers, Kidd was the next best choice and not such a bad one at that.  Unless you wanted the Knicks to resign Raymond Felton, they went with the right choice.  Mike Woodson will now have a complete off-season to get his team together and maybe build some chemistry that has been nonexistent for the past two years and if everyone can stay healthy the Knicks will be a team to fear.  Will the Knicks be on the same level as the Miami Heat?  Of course not, but no one will.  So all I ask is that all of you crybaby supposed Knicks fan’s just shut up and roll with the punches because I see good things ahead.