NBA One-Uppers: Knicks And Nets Battle Towards The Bottom
Less than a month into the season the proclaimed “NBA Revival” in New York hasn’t exactly rolled out according to plan. The Knicks have relapsed faster than Lindsay Lohan to their late-2000s form and the Nets have failed to capitalize on the opportunity to take over the city. A scenario that Stephen A. Smith calmly spelled out for us with his usual bull-like finesse.
As each team falls deeper into its early season pit, each franchise has morphed the rivalry into a competition of futility. There’s two ways to capture the back pages in New York: amazing play or amazingly bad play. The New York markets feeds more off the latter as the city seemingly lives off of consuming sports train wrecks and post-1 AM pizza.
As these teams play a continuous one-up competition, it reminds me of a favorite Kristen Wiig sketch from Saturday Night Live.
Now here’s our attempt to find out which New York NBA team can watch On-Demand movies whenever they close their eyelids.
Jason Terry wouldn’t admit to having a team meeting after the 108-98 loss to the Trailblazers at home, despite the locker room doors being closed for 25 minutes post-game. Players-only meetings are never a good sign, so they probably were looking to avoid that terminology. Next time around we can just refer to it as Kevin Garnett Circle Time.
One Up- Knicks hold a players-only meeting just four games into the season after a loss to the Bobcats. Maybe they were just looking to set a record for quickest team meeting to start a season. The Knicks embrace New York’s fast-paced mentality but luckily there was one person in franchise history they chose to be saintly patient with.
Nets fans showed their displeasure at the end of Monday night’s loss to the Blazers, as they showered the team with boos. In their defense, it’s difficult to tell what to do when the JumboTron doesn’t prompt them to chant “Brooooooooooklyn.”
One Up - Knicks fans chanting to fire Woodson. Well you certainly can’t fire Amar’e, so Woody is going to take most of the blame here. And we know if there’s one thing Knicks fans love more than undersized Asian point guards, it’s calling for their coaches’ heads. Although working for James Dolan sounds like a blast.
The only way that talk show could be more New York is if they all flipped off the camera at the end.
The Nets have battled injuries to their big stars so far as Joe Johnson is the only Net to start all ten games thus far. They played the Clippers last Saturday night with a starting lineup of Shaun Livingston, Joe Johnson, Alan Anderson, Reggie Evans and Andray Blatche, or as it’s better known, the worst thing 101 million dollars can buy.
One Up- Three different players on the Knicks have had knee procedures leaked after the fact. Iman Shumpert, Metta World Peace and J.R. Smith all had different “minor” knee operations since the summer with details not released until after the procedures had been done. This is without even accounting for Tyson Chandler’s injury yet. The Knicks have more shady injuries than a Jackie Chiles client.
Chris Smith demoted to D-League affiliate Eerie Bayhawks. If you are on the Knicks in this time of desperation and can’t crack the roster then it’s probably time to reevaluate. I’m looking at you Cole Aldrich.
One Up- There is no one-upping this. The fact that Chris Smith was on an NBA roster and receives this much media attention is a proper snowglobe for the Knicks existence. Except when you shake this one there is no snow, it just breaks and you have to buy three times the price and first-round snowglobe pick for an aging snowglobe.
The Knicks hold a EFG% (Effective Field Goal Percentage which accounts for 3-pointers being 1.5 times more valuable) of 47.4% . The Miami Heat lead the league at 58.4%. The Knicks finished seventh in the league last year at 51.5%.
One Up- The Nets have an even worse EFG% of 46.3%. Only the Kings, Raptors, Cavs, Jazz and Bobcats are worse. A group better known as the NBA lottery.
Deron Williams has played just eight games this season at around 25 minutes per due to a sprained ankle. The Nets wanted Williams to make the leap to elite point guard status and probably not a slightly less explosive Shaun Livingston.
One Up- JR Smith missed the first five games due to a marijuana suspension, got in a Twitter battle with Brandon Jennings and has started the season 8-of-43 at Madison Square Garden. Other than that JR has been fantastic.
The Nets boast a couple possible signature losses. The most recent is the 10-point home loss to the Trailblazers but 21-point losses to the Magic and the Kings both definitely deserve consideration. A win over the Heat helps cancel some of this negative energy out as well but that can only carry them so far.
One Up- Choosing a signature Knicks loss is like eating at Applebee’s, plenty of good options. The five-point loss to the Bobcats sparked the team meeting, but a 31-point loss (and it wasn’t that close) to the Spurs the following weekend. This is without even mentioning the most recent 20-point home loss to the Atlanta Hawks. It’s generally never a good sign when signature losses become your thing.
Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov recently joked that if the team fails to win a championship by 2015 he will get married. He’s since claimed he wasn’t serious, but I would never want to be the reason that deprives this man of supermodels and mini giraffes.
One Up- James Dolan has been the most incompetent legacy owner since Tommy Callahan’s kid. At least Chris Farley was able to sell some brake pads while all Dolan has done this season is demote the Knicks City Dancers, set expectations for a championship and guarantee an early season win over the Atlanta Hawks at his own rock concert. You can give me a crappy basketball product, but sir, do not take away my scantily clad dancers.
When it comes to being spectacularly bad, the Knicks still own New York.