The NBA preseason usually serves as a banal display of half-hearted basketball. As the players work to get in shape, playing in locales such as Kansas City and Anaheim, fans hope that their favorite stars don’t decide to take the night off. Last night’s exhibition game, contested between the neighboring New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets, certainly didn’t fit the usual preseason fare. With the rabid throng of support filling the Nassau Coliseum, the budding inter-city rivalry got off to a great start.
Early in the afternoon of October 24, 2012, the New York Islanders announced that they were leaving the antiquated confines of the Nassau Coliseum, heading to the newly opened Barclays Center in downtown Brooklyn, starting in 2015-16. This announcement came in conjunction with the Brooklyn Nets paying a visit to Long Island, to be the “home” team against the “visiting” New York Knicks. From the outset, it was obvious that the crowd supported the Knicks thoroughly. Fans cheered as Knick guard, Pablo Prigoni dazzled with sensational assists. Adoration showered forward Steve Novak, when the New York shooting specialist sprinkled three pointers from deep.
Brooklyn was led by all star guard Deron Williams, and his 22 points. The Knicks featured a balanced attack, with five teammates netting double digit points. A recurring theme of Brooklyn’s preseason, has been their inability to pass efficiently. Last night, proving no exception, saw the Nets mete out a whopping eight assists, bringing their preseason average to 16.7. New York, on the other hand dished out 26 assists, led by reserve guard, and 35 year old “rookie”, Pablo Prigoni. The Nets outrebounded their opponents 47-37, with backup forward Andray Blatche gathering 10 boards on the glass. Blatche has been a case study thus far, since he is a low risk investment by the Nets. Brooklyn’s gamble has shown positive early returns, as the erstwhile Blatche has contributed11.7 ppg, and 7.5 rpg off the bench. Another discovery for Brooklyn, has been rookie guard Tyshawn Taylor. Taylor chipped in 10 points in the narrow defeat, and has seemingly earned a spot in the Nets rotation. Taylor has posted 8 ppg, on 50% from the field.
With a pro Knick contingent of 15,957 on the edge of their seats in the fourth quarter, the game took on a playoff vibe. Brooklyn and New York both gave their reserves one last chance to impress, since this was the last preseason tilt. The reserves made errors, but thrilled the crowd nonetheless, as the game went into overtime. Down the stretch, The orange and blue clad visiting Knicks provided the heartbroken Nassau County fans a joyous evening. If the regular season is anything like last night’s game, a rivalry will definitely be in full bloom. Fortunately, we don’t have to wait long, as the Knicks and Nets open against each other on November 1.
About the Author
Written by Leon Priester
I am a LIFETIME Laker fan. From the playing days of Mitch Kupchak, to Mitch Kupchak presiding over the most recent dynasty. I bleed purple and gold. You can follow me on Twitter, the address is @lakerlover99