Brooklyn Nets vs New York Knicks Notes & Observations: 3/12/17

Unless you live under a rock, chances are you’ve heard the Brooklyn Nets beat the New York Knicks at home last night 112-120 behind a strong performance from Brook Lopez and fourth quarter heroics from Jeremy Lin.

Contrary to popular belief, this was far from an upset. The Knicks have been a disorganized mess for most of the season, starting with the super team gaffe and peaking at banning Charles Oakley from the Garden temporarily where the Nets have spent the season recovering from a win-now mindset in 2013 and injuries to their catalyst, Jeremy Lin. Instead of focusing on the negatives or what the Knicks did to lose this game, the focus should be put on everything the Nets did to walk away with a win.

The Brooklyn Nets have gone 3-4 in the past seven games, by far the best stretch of games on the year. They rode into Barclays feeling confident in their game and it showed last night. Brooklyn was able to win because Brook was on fire from deep, Lin took over in the four quarter, the youngins played like veterans, and the Nets bench outplayed the Knicks bench.

Brook Lopez Burned Barclays To The Ground

This game could’ve gone a much different way if it wasn’t for Brook starting the game a perfect five for five from three. The Brooklyn Nets outscored the Knicks 39-26 in the first quarter and 28-23 in the second, largely due to Brook’s success from deep and other players following his lead. The first half cushion was crucial because the Knicks went on to outscore the Nets 31-24 in the third quarter and 32-29 in the fourth.

Brook finished the game with 25 points, two assists, six rebounds, one block, and one steal while shooting eight of seventeen from the floor and six of nine from deep in 28 minutes of action. After starting the game 0-2 and attempting a very, very weak dunk attempt on Courtney Lee of all people, it was almost like he couldn’t miss from deep in the first half. The transition he has made from an elite back to the basket type scorer to someone that can stretch the floor past the three point line is nothing short of incredible and fascinating.

Willy Hernangomez was tasked with trying to slow Brook down in the first half last night and obviously was not up to the task. The young Spaniard has been pegged as the next Gasol but after last night’s showing, people might pump the breaks a little. Hernangomez finished with six points and ten rebounds in 17 minutes, still impressive given he is a young player that hasn’t seen the floor too often, but Brook exposed him and his inability to guard out to the perimeter. After Kristaps Porzingis was switched onto Brook, he did slow down considerably. Despite that, his first half explosion gave the Nets the cushion they needed to win this game.

Jeremy Lin Plays Fourth Quarter Hero Yet Again

The impact that Lin has on this team is equally as fascinating as Brook’s three point revolution. With him off the court, the Nets are hands down the worst team in the league. When he is on the court, the ragtag group of role players plus Brook looks like a unit that could actually give most NBA teams a run for their money.