5 Observations On Brooklyn 116 Knicks 109 on 1/13/2021

In a game played just after the Nets traded for James Harden, Brooklyn easily beat the Knicks — without Harden, without Kyrie Irving, and without the players they had just traded away. The Knicks didn’t give up, but it was not a great evening to be a Knick fan.


1. Nets Have Durant; Knicks Don’t

The Nets have Kevin Durant and the Knicks don’t. That in a nutshell was why the Nets won this game — although — the other Nets were pretty good too. Those Nets didn’t include James Harden — who the Nets just traded for before the game, nor the players they gave up for Harden — Jarrett Allen and Taurean Prince — nor did the Nets have Kyrie Irving, who is sitting out because he didn’t feel like playing basketball anymore (and also was caught at a family celebration without wearing a mask so was put on a week-long covid restriction).

But the Nets ran out to a big 20-point lead and made the Knicks looked inferior.

Durant looks as good as new, back from the Achilles surgery that kept him out the last 1.5 years. He is simply one of the greatest players to ever live — dominating inside or outside with his very athletic 7’1″ frame — he is listed as 6’10 but there is no way.

He was 10-18 (3-5 from 3) for 26 points, 6 assists in 30 minutes — his mere presence seemed to make the other Nets confident and better.

2. Not-Ready-for-Prime-Time Nets Are Shooters

The Nets have shooters — of the other Nets starters, Joe Harris was 6-13 (3-8 from 3) for 15 pts; Jeff Green was 4-6 (3-4 from 3) for 11 pts; Bruce Brown was 6-13 (0-2 from 30 for 15 points (and 14 rebounds from the 2-guard position).

Off the bench came Reggie Perry (5-7, 1-2 from 3 for 11 pts), Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot (5-13, 2-8 from 3 for 13 pts), and Landry Shamet (3-9, 3-7 from 3, 4-5 free throws for 13 pts).

With the Knicks focused on Durant, the no-name Nets lit it up.

3. Nets Look Well Coached with Nash

Not only do the Nets have shooters but they seem very well coached, by rookie coach Steve Nash. They move the ball well on offense — resemble the way Nash played.

Rumors have it that Kyrie Irving did not want Nash as coach and is further upset he was not consulted at the coach hiring. And reasonable that he might feel that way — the Nets gambling on a rookie coach, as good as Nash was as a player. But Nash has the Nets humming on offense — at least in this game.

4. Good News: the Knicks Didn’t Give Up

Good news was that the Knicks didn’t give up — they came back late in the 4th, forcing the Nets to put their starters back in the game.

Julius Randle played well — 13-25 for 30 pts, 7 rebounds, 5 assists. Kevin Knox lit it up again — 5-6 shooting (2-3 from 3) for 13 points off the bench. Mitchell Robinson again stayed out of foul trouble — 2 fouls in 33 minutes, 5-9 shooting for 10 pts, 12 rebounds, and 2 blocks.

5. Barrett & Quickley Break Out of Slumps

And more good news: both RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley broke out of their shooting slumps. Barrett was 7-15 (1-4 from 3, 5-6 in free throws), 5 rebounds, 3 assists for 20 pts — a very solid game.

And Quickley was 7-15 (3-6 from 3) for 19 pts in 22 minutes — he and Knox (and Randle, Mitch, and RJ) were big reasons for the 4th quarter comeback.

The Boxscore


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