From the desks of:
DUTCH PANTS CAN'T JUMP and THE HOOPS OF FLATBUSH
Knicks rookie backs up his words.
Add trash talkin' New Yorker to his resume...
As a lead-in to the season's first East River showdown, the freshly minted Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month said Europeans know the Knicks well, but the Nets, not so much.
Kristaps Porzingis then backed up his riff in so far as Knicks fans being better than Nets fans with 19 points and 10 rebounds during Friday night's 108-91 lopsided victory over Brooklyn at Madison Square Garden.
Indeed, twenty games into the Knicks season Porzingis has turned boos into cheers, and is easily the lead story in town.
His selection was met with resounding disapproval by fans at the 2015 draft, but a quarter of the way through his first season as a pro, he has won fans over with 13.8 points and 9.3 rebounds per game - but doing so with smoothness and skill.
Most importantly, Porzingas has Carmelo Anthony believing he's here to help expedite the rebuilding process, and elevate Melo's game - not hinder it.
Proof lies in the numbers. The Knicks improved to 10-10 with Friday's victory. This time last season, they were a mere 4-16, en route to a 17-65 regular season.
This time, they really, really mean it..
The Brooklyn Nets have become notoriously poor starters (among other things...).
The Nets were 11-9 after the first twenty games during their inaugural season, and were playing .500 ball in late December when they decided to fire coach Avery Johnson. Under P.J. Carlisimo, the Nets posted a 35-19 record the rest of the way.
The Nets started 6-14 in the 2013-14 season, and posted an 8-12 record after twenty games last season. Each time, they rebounded well enough in order make the playoffs.
This season, the Nets are 5-14 to date and appear really, really, determined to keep a steady course.
Friday night, the Nets had 15 assists for the entire game. The Knicks Jose Calderon led all players with 10 assists by himself. Joe Johnson led the Nets with four assists, and got ejected for a flagrant elbow foul late in the game.