NJ/BROOKLYN NETS: In the Midst of LINsanity, the Knicks' Crowd Was Frantic at the Garden Last Night. Deron Williams Silenced Them All.
Beating the Knicks last night was probably the most fun I watched Deron Williams have since becoming a Net. The assumed to be despondent point guard wasn't exactly Michael Jordan dropping fifty. But it was still one of those singularly special games; like Reggie Miller had a few times; that every once in a while gets applauded in the Garden or at least admired with great respect. Deron Williams had one of those games last night and in the process left the Knicks, and especially the Garden crowd, humbled. Thirty eight points isn't the stuff of legends. But burying eight three-pointers is the stuff home town headlines are made of.
The Nets haven't moved yet. So the fact the Knicks' angle of last night's loss to New Jersey dominated the tabloids today is wholly expected. But I ask you, once the move to Brooklyn is made and the Nets become a member of NYC's home teams, what kind of treatment will the papers give the newer kid on the block?
The Mets, Yankees, Giants, and Jets don't have such issues. But the Rangers do. The storied New York Rangers Hockey Club, who are in first place of the Eastern Conference and who share the same arena as the Knicks, can't get a back page, ever. So, last night's game just got me to thinking -should Deron Williams have that kind of night as a Brooklyn Net.., A) - Would Deron get splatted all over the back page like a hero? Or, B) - Will the spin be centered around the elder city team falling to it's younger Johnny-come-lately?
And what of being seemingly despondent over his situation with the Nets? Well, the key word is, seemingly. No one knows what he really feels. That's why assumptions about his eventual departure from the team are easy to make. Me? Outwardly, he's saying the right things and leaving the door open like a good responsible person would. Upon leaving Utah, he came to the Nets with some nagging rumors concerning his attitude and some nonsense about getting a coach fired. If there was ever a situation begging for Deron Williams to act-out, wouldn't it be this one? Call me an optimist, or a fool. But he's been a stellar player and team mate, playing in a not so stellar situation. I'll still take my chances and hope for the best, meaning he stays. And in beating the Knicks last night, the Nets now have ten wins; only five less than the Celtics who currently own the eighth spot in the Eastern standings.
All it takes is for the "secret agreement" to come to fruition, and Dwight Howard signs with the Nets in the off-season. Or, with Brook Lopez back on the court, perhaps a trade with the Magic can be revisited. The secret agreement has nothing to do with the Hotel/Motel/Holiday Inn summit Howard and Mikhail Prokhorov held prior to the season's start. I merely speak to the rumor Deron Williams and Dwight Howard want to play together in Brooklyn.
Dwight Howard hasn't felt what Deron Williams felt last night. After a game like Thursday's, it's probably safe to say Deron has now gotten a really good taste of the kind of electricity this town can generate. He seemed to relish in the moment. And I think he liked it...ALOT. I think he liked beating the other team in the area. For the moment, this still is, what it's been - a NJ/NY rivalry. But being able to do that to the Knicks wearing a Brooklyn jersey I believe speaks very loudly in the skull of Deron Williams.
Players say all they care about is being in a position to win. I'm going to tell you something, outside of getting drafted by their team, deciding what kind of fans they want to play half their games in front of, and where they'd like to live, play into their decisions as well.
The Nets play the Orlando Magic Wednesday night. In a perfect world and over a good steak dinner, maybe all it takes is for Deron Williams to start telling Dwight Howard about the great night he had lighting up the Knicks in the Garden and how the place was frantic and silenced at the same time. Then all it takes is for them to start looking up at the sky, satisfied with a good meal, and wondering what the two of them can achieve together in Brooklyn.
The NBA is like that. References on demand.