Knicks-Nets: What to Watch For

This is one the Knicks should win. Nets star Deron Williams is OUT for tonights game. Williams was a one man wrecking crew, or three point machine, in the last Knick-Net matchup in which New Jersey won 100-94. Shelden Williams, aka the landlord, will also be out tonight. Gerald Wallace is a game time decision. Without those players, and even with those players, the Nets are depressingly bad.

This is also the last time the Knicks will be playing in New Jersey. I’m not sad or sentimental about this in any way.

Here’s what to watch for:

  • Baron Davis is OUT tonight with a stomach flu. I believe Baron must’ve eaten his headband, which would understandably give you stomach problems. He didn’t have it last night because it is firmly jammed in the corpus of his stomach. The corpse of Mike Bibby will get the start tonight. If he shoots more than 5 times, I may hurt someone (probably my roommate). Unfortunately, Toney Douglas will also get some run tonight, in all likelihood. Thank god the Knicks are playing a Deron Williams-less Nets, or else I’d actually feel somewhat worried about the game tonight.
  • Don’t let Kardashian Humphries hurt you. Say what you want about the troubled Nets power forward, but he can play. He’s a walking double-double, averaging 13 points and 11 boards on the season. In his past 5 games, Humphries has averaged 17.8 ppg and 10.4 rebounds. Against Miami on Monday, Humphries scored 29 points. He can do some damage and the small lineup bearing Knicks must contain him. Chandler and Melo will have to work to keep him off the offensive glass. I don’t see him getting 29 points, but I could see him making a big impact on the game.
  • Iman Shumpert versus MarShon Brooks. This will actually be a fun matchup. Shumpert is one of, if not, the best defensive rookies in the league this year, while Brooks is one of the best offensive rookies. Brooks put up 24 on Miami on Monday. I really like Brooks’ skill set. He’s athletic, he can shoot and he can create his own shots. I think Shumpert is a better player, and I think he’ll do a good job on Brooks.
  • Melo should dominate. If Gerald Wallace doesn’t play, the Nets will attempt to defend Melo with some obscure combination of Kris Humphries, Gerald Green and DeShawn Stevenson… That is a clear advantage for the Knicks.  I don’t see Melo struggling at all tonight. He may not score 40, due to the fact that the Knicks may blow out the Nets, but he should be good early in the game and get the offense rolling.
  • JR must party again tonight. The Knicks need consistent great performances from JR Smith. He should be able to deliver that against a bad Nets defense. I’d like to see the Knicks continue to run him off some screens to get him open spot up opportunities. I loved how he wasn’t forcing stupid isolation three’s last night. He hit some open spot up 3′s early and that got him in a rhythm. The Knicks should work to get JR more open spot up 3′s tonight.
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