Submitted by Jim Hurley on Monday, November 25, 2013 at 7:00 PM
We have a brief moment to talk basketball before the Thanksgiving Week Football Feast really gets rolling in a couple of days. That makes it the perfect time to review the shocking developments involving the New York area teams in the NBA.
Both the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets have been horrible!
This is a huge surprise. Both were expected to contend for top four spots in the Eastern playoff brackets, even if they weren’t quite up to the standard that was likely to be set by the Miami Heat and the Indiana Pacers. And, it was going to be EASY to compile impressive won-lost records because the conference as a whole was likely to be awful. Many Eastern teams were supposedly going to be in the tank. Others were going to be bad even if they weren’t technically losing on purpose. The Knicks and Nets could coast to 50 wins as they geared up for the playoffs.
*New York was 3-9 entering their very late Monday Night tipoff out West in Portland. The team ranked #23 in offensive points per possession even though this was supposed to be a juggernaut featuring a variety of scoring weapons. They were a shooting team who acquired more shooters in the offseason! On defense, where lack of intensity has always been an issue, the team ranked #26 in points allowed per possession. And, losing Tyson Chandler to injury took away what limited inside presence they had in the first place.
*Brooklyn takes a 3-10 record into Tuesday Night’s game in Toronto. They rank #24 on offensive efficiency despite spending a lot of money in the offseason. They were going to be slow with a veteran team, but points-per-possession efficiency was still supposed to be pretty good because veterans know how to work for good shots. And…oh by the way…new head coach Jason Kidd was great at running offenses that got good shots when he was a player! The defense is a pathetic #29 on a points-per-possession allowed basis.
We need to mention again that this is happening in the EAST, where only THREE out of 15 teams had winning records through this past weekend!
The legal betting markets have been very slow to adjust. Vegas pointspreads finally started reflecting these twin demises in recent days. But, line adjustments weren’t nearly enough.
Brooklyn (+9) lost at Minnesota 111-91 Friday Night
New York (+1.5) lost at Washington 98-89 Saturday Night
Brooklyn (-2) lost to Detroit 109-97 Sunday afternoon
Oddsmakers missed the mark by 21, 7.5, and 14 points even though the collapse of the New York teams has now been well-documented by the media and understood by bettors. For the year, the two teams were a combined 7-18 ATS entering that late Knicks game in Portland.
Are these problems likely to continue?
On the one hand, you have to assume that veteran teams will eventually kick things up a notch. It’s one thing to coast…it’s another to never start your engines. At the very least, New York will fire head coach Mike Woodson and start over with somebody knew. That’s likely to at least move things back to mediocrity. Brooklyn may have trouble firing Jason Kidd because he just started. But, they may have to pull the trigger because he consistently looks lost on the sideline. Players don’t respond to that!
The negatives aren’t just going to disappear though.
*New York doesn’t have many defenders
*New York has too many shooters wanting their turn with the one ball
*Carmelo Anthony tends to make his teammates worse, not better
*New York has tuned out their head coach, probably permanently
*Brooklyn is very slow, making it hard for “energy” to manifest itself
*Brooklyn is very old, making a long grind even more difficult
*Many of Brooklyn’s opponents are much younger and faster, and out to prove themselves
Even skeptics of these two teams…those who think the owners are over-spenders who don’t know how to win…weren’t expecting things to be this bad out of the gate. Sure…the Knicks and Nets would be overrated. But, LAUGHINGSTOCKS?!
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More sports coverage here in the NOTEBOOK Wednesday…followed by big game football previews through the week.
Thanksgiving: Pittsburgh at Baltimore on NBC
Friday: early look at Alabama/Auburn in Saturday’s Iron Bowl on CBS
Saturday: Texas A&M/Missouri in a huge game for the Tigers on ABC
Sunday: NY Giants at Washington on NBC
Monday: New Orleans at Seattle in a possible NFC Championship Preview on ESPN
Start filling your CORNUCOPIA with CASH. JIM HURLEY’S ANNUAL TURKEY SHOOT is now just hours away!