Last night the Brooklyn Nets were able to even the season series against their biggest rival, the New York Knicks. Brooklyn was able to turn their usual third quarter collapse into a third quarter run to come back and beat New York 121-110 in Madison Square Garden.
Looking at the box score, you wouldn’t think the Nets would’ve come out on top. They only shot 32 percent from deep, had only 19 assists, had almost twice as many turnovers as New York, and the bench only scored 39 points. That is not a winning formula for this Nets team but they were able to pull it out against a struggling, almost spiraling Knicks team.
This game was a perfect example of how Jeremy Lin impacts this team, that you shouldn’t give up on Rondae Hollis-Jefferson playing power forward just yet, that Brook Lopez is still one of the best post scores in the game, and Caris LeVert has Carmelo Anthony‘s number on defense.
Jeremy Lin Was The Catalyst For Brooklyn’s Offense
If you’ve seen it written once, you’ve seen it written a thousand times; but Jeremy Lin holds the keys to this offense. Despite not being the most ideal motion point guard, Lin’s relationship with Atkinson and intangibles as a point guard make him invaluable to this team.
Last night against Derrick Rose and the Knicks Lin had 15 points, eight assists, four rebounds, and two steals while shooting five of sixteen from the floor in 29 minutes of action. He was the initiator of most scoring plays when he was on the floor, had only one turnover, and ended with a plus/minus of +14 on the night. He did struggle a little in the early second quarter and couldn’t find his stroke from behind the three point line, only going two of nine, but aside from that he was able to score or pass the ball wherever he wanted to.
When Lin is on the floor with this team, they are an entirely different unit. Statistically speaking, Lin’s insertion back into the lineup has made them more formidable but the the stats don’t show the whole picture. Its the little things he does, like communicated on defense or taking the time to go talk about something he saw in a previous possession during a dead ball. His leadership and inclusive personality is the glue that is preventing this rag-tag group of rookies, role players, and Brook Lopez from falling apart.
Don’t Give Up On Hollis-Jefferson At The Four Just Yet
Every time Rondae Hollis-Jefferson looks like he maybe isn’t the best fit at power forward, he does something to prove doubters wrong. Last night against New York, he did just that by scoring 20 points and pulling down 10 rebounds on his way to dominating Lance Thomas the entire game.
Hollis-Jefferson went seven of eleven from the floor and a perfect six of six at the line. He didn’t just get it done with putbacks or dunks, he showed some nice touch on his jumper too. The fact that he went six for six from the free throw line is evidence enough that he doesn’t have an entirely busted shooting motion.