After getting blown out in Brooklyn the last time these teams met, the Nets returned the favor today, crushing the Knicks 103-80 at Madison Square Garden on Monday afternoon. The Nets jumped out to an 11-point first quarter lead and never looked back, leading by over 20 for most of the fourth quarter. Joe Johnson led the team with 25 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists. Andray Blatche had 19 points and 12 rebounds off the bench. Carmelo Anthony scored 26 for Manhattan.
The Nets got off to a hot start thanks to Joe Johnson, who was knocking down open shots in the first quarter. At the half, Joe already had 20 points and the Nets led by 14. In the third quarter, the Knicks started a bit of a comeback, but Andray Blatche came in to thwart any Knicks rally. In the fourth quarter, it was all Blatche, dominating on both ends of the floor.
This is exactly the kind of game the Nets wanted to play against a bad team. Although they missed some open shots, their defense was excellent the entire game, which prevented the Knicks getting back into the game. This game also marked the return of Deron Williams, who came in off the bench. He didn’t do much until the fourth quarter, but the Nets didn’t need him.
Towards the end of this game, we could hear “BRRROOOOKLYN” chants coming from the crowd. That is pretty awesome, seeing that this game was in Madison Square Garden. Keep it up, Nets fans.
Player grades and notes:
Kevin Garnett: B+
KG did his job today. He defended Tyson Chandler very well, helped on defense, rebounded, and made his open jump shots. If Kevin Garnett can just do this every night, the Nets are going to win a lot of games in the eastern conference.
Alan Anderson: B
Tried his hardest guarded Carmelo Anthony despite being undersized. Carmelo finished with 26 points and 12 rebounds and got fouled a whole lot of times, so he definitely struggled to some extent. Offensively, Anderson had a lot of open shots and made enough of them. The Knicks briefly cut Brooklyn’s lead to single digits early in the third quarter and Anderson hit a couple of shots to put Brooklyn’s lead back to 12.
Joe Johnson: A
Joe had an excellent game today. He finished with 25 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists, but didn’t even need to play in the fourth quarter because the Nets were up by so much. He had 20 points in the first half. Against a team who doesn’t play much defense, if Joe can just hit half of his open shots, he will easily score 20 points, and that is what happened today. Even with the scoring numbers, his passing was also very good and didn’t force a single bad shot.
Andray Blatche: A+
Blatche really took this game over in the fourth quarter and made sure the Knicks would not come back. He finished the game with 19 points and 12 rebounds on 9-12 shooting. He even hit a 3. In the fourth quarter, he was just playing with the Knicks and taking any jump shot he wanted, and he actually made most of them. Defensively, he was also very, very good. He had a pair of steals and also forced the Knicks into a couple of other turnovers. He didn’t give up easy rebounds to Tyson Chandler.
Deron Williams: B
This was Deron’s first game back from his ankle injections. He got off to a nice start in the first quarter, knocking down a floater in his first possession of the game coming off the bench. He was quiet until the fourth quarter, where he hit a 3 and another basket as well. Luckily, the Nets did not need Deron much today, but they will soon. Hopefully he feels good enough to be in the starting lineup in the Nets’ next game. This was an important game for Deron to shake off some rust.
The Nets will have a quick turnaround and be back at home tomorrow night to host the struggling Orlando Magic. FRWD will have full coverage of the game.