From the desks of:
DUTCH PANTS CAN'T JUMP & THE HOOPS OF FLATBUSH
EAST RIVER SHOWDOWN - III
Series Tied 1-1
I - NYK 113; BKN 83
II - BKN 103; NYK 80
NEW YORK KNICKS
Madison Square Garden
BROOKLYN NETS: Only The Chicago Bulls Stand Between Flatbush And Their Fans.
The Brooklyn Nets clinched their second straight playoff appearance Tuesday evening with their 14th straight victory at Barclays Center, this time over a good Houston Rockets club. They remain 1.5 games behind the #4 Chicago Bulls in the Eastern Conference standings, and gaining the benefit of home court advantage.
The Nets (40-33) are also only a mere 1.5 games behind the first place Toronto Raptors in the Atlantic Division, with nine games remaining in their regular season. Brooklyn can leapfrog into the 3rd seed should they overtake the Raptors.
The Nets went the entire month of March without the services of Kevin Garnett, and still managed to post an 12-4 record. The team's effort also earned Jason Kidd his second Coach of the Month award this season. The team hopes to finally have KG back on the floor this weekend. Andrei Kirilenko's status is still questionable.
The Nets downed the Houston Rockets in a convincing 105-96 manner - an exclamation point if you will, punctuating their recent play. Joe Johnson led all scorers with 32 points. Six Nets scored in double digits.
NEW YORK KNICKS: With Phil Jackson Watching, Current Playoff Push Is Testing Team's Mettle.
With a 32-43 record, the New York Knicks are still on the outside of the playoff picture looking in, but are hot on the #8 Atlanta Hawks tails. The Jekyll and Hyde Knicks were just 2-11 in February, in which they endured a 7 game losing streak, and at one point, lost 10 of 11 games. They seemingly turned things around in March, with an 11-5 record, and at one point, won eight in a row. Their recent surge has pulled them within one game of the Eastern Conference's 8th seed. The Knicks have seven games remaining on their schedule.
Phil Jackson will not be duped by fool's gold. I think whether the Knicks make the playoffs or not, the new Knicks president already has a fixed vision regarding his team's future, and it most likely does not include coach Mike Woodson. Phil Jackson will no doubt want to bring in his own people who understand his methods, and can translate his dictates onto the floor. And, although the players are making a spirited attempt to make the playoffs, this is really just a glorified try-out.
The Knicks are coming off a 92-83 victory over the Utah Jazz. Carmelo Anthony led all scorers with 34 points.