It was a little over two weeks ago, when the Nets we’re on the Garden floor taking on the slumping, underachieving Knicks. The Nets we’re playing well and maintaining a 21-16 lead. When the course of NBA history changed at the 3:43 mark of the 1st quarter. Jeremy Lin entered into the game for the first time and the “Legend” of Lin was born.
Now, 16 days later the “Linsanity!” craze has grown worldwide and is still going strong as the Knicks have won their last 8 of 9 games. While the Nets have only won once in their last 9 games. The (9-24) Nets return to the scene of the crime tonight. When they face a red-hot Knicks team, who may get Carmelo Anthony back in the starting lineup for the 1st time in this recent winning stretch. New additions J.R Smith and Baron Davis will give the Knicks a deeper bench for coach D’Antoni to rely on against their cross-river rivals.
The Nets will have Brook Lopez back in the lineup, he is playing in only his 2nd game of the season. Tonight, the Nets can get a little payback against the Knicks. If the Nets want to reach their 10th win of the season, here are three things that I believe they have to do to pull off the victory.
3. Force Lin into a lot of turnovers - I know this may sound a bit crazy, but I believe that the Nets can get opportunities for easy buckets. If they can get “Super Lin-tendo” to make mistakes by forcing the action against him on the defensive end of the court.
2. Gimme Three, please! – The Nets are currently 2nd in the NBA in three point attempts and makes. The Nets are shooting 35% from behind the arc. The three ball is a great equalizer for the team from Jersey, they have to connect on several of their attempts in order to keep the pressure on the Knicks.
1. Put Brook Lopez to Work – Even though, the Knicks have Tyson Chandler in the middle, it’s still important for the Nets to utilize Lopez’s ability to score and draw double teams in the paint. This extra attention will open up shooting lanes for Williams, Morrow and Brooks. Therefore, making it a bit easier for the Nets to put points on the board.
Many times in life, we don’t get a chance to redeem ourselves from a poor performance, but for the Nets here is their opportunity to put the “Legend” of Lin to rest, even if it’s just for one night.
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Written by Mark Cook