Monday, December 10, 2012
Knicks ready for Round 2 against the Nets
By Ian Begley
Carmelo Anthony says the Knicks beat themselves in their first meeting against the Brooklyn Nets.
Jason Kidd will face the Nets, one of his ex-teams, for the first time as a Knick on Tuesday.
He insists that it's just another game on the schedule.
"They're looking to stop a streak and we're looking to get better," Kidd said. "There's no hype about this game."
There may not be much hype from Kidd's perspective, but you can be sure that the Knicks will be properly motivated for Round Two against Brooklyn. They lost in overtime in their first trip to the Barclays Center in late November.
"We'll be ready," Carmelo Anthony said. "I think that first game, I don't think they really did anything to beat us. We kind of beat ourselves, so we kind of have that in the back of our mind."
One of the reasons the Knicks lost Game 1 against the Nets was due to a lack of ball movement. Deron Williams alone had the same number of assists (14) as the Knicks.
With Jason Kidd out that night due to back spasms, the Knicks offense grew stagnant, particularly in the second half and overtime.
The good news for the Knicks?
Kidd will be on the floor with them on Tuesday.
Jason Kidd missed the Knicks' first meeting against the Nets, but he's expected to start on Tuesday.
With Kidd in uniform, the Knicks simply have a better chance to win games. It's really that simple.
The 39-year-old Kidd has the the second-best assist to turnover ratio in the NBA, entering play Monday. He has the second-highest 3-point field goal percentage (50%) in the league and the best true shooting percentage (a percentage that accounts for free-throws and 3-points) among NBA guards.
But Kidd's stats don't properly illustrate his impact on a game.
The 18-year veteran seems to make the so-called 'little plays' every night for the 15-5 Knicks.
"When he's out there on the floor, he's like a machine," Mike Woodson said last week. "You don't see it on the stat sheet, but there's three or four or five plays that Jason does throughout the course of a game that beats the other team. It's amazing, (it's) beautiful to watch."
Case in point: Kidd beat Ty Lawson for a loose ball on a 50-50 play in the fourth quarter of the Knicks-Nuggets game on Sunday night and fed Ronnie Brewer for an open dunk to give New York a 90-88 lead with eight minutes to play.
Three minutes later, Kidd found Tyson Chandler on an alley-oop pass coming out of a timeout. Ex-Knick Danilo Gallinari (21 points, 9 rebounds) answered with a three-point play, but Kidd hit a layup over Kenneth Faried to put the Knicks up 101-95.
He had six assists in the fourth quarter alone, more than any other player accrued in the entire game.
"He always puts you in the right place," Chandler said.
It's something Kidd's been doing throughout his sure-to-be Hall of Fame career.
So how does he explain it?
"Just lucky to be in that situation for the last 17 years, I guess," he said.
Just like the Knicks are lucky to have him in Brooklyn on Tuesday night.