Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Knicks vs. Nets: Battle of the Boroughs - II

From the desks of:

Mikhail Prokhorov slams on the brakes;
Major roadwork ahead.

New York Knicks
Brooklyn Nets
Barclays Center

BROOKLYN NETS: Borough's notorious apathy settling in; seats are emptying, and Mikhail Prokhorov knows it.

Carmelo Anthony rolled his ankle during Tuesday night's Knicks victory over the Celtics.  His availability for Wednesday's contest in Brooklyn will likely be a game time decision.

Shame too ... fans in Brooklyn needed something for their money.

Count it!  ...and the foul!

Truth of the matter is that necessity is the mother of all invention.

Sweeping changes are indeed underway at Barclays Center.  Brooklyn's dismal 10-28 record this season alone justified owner Mikhail Prokhorov's decision to rethink his strategy for success.

At the Nets recent presser, Mr. Prokhorov reasoned that by initiating changes now, he avoids having to rush through the replacement process ahead, and that this time, a well conceived plan focused on mid-level to long term success is now in order.

Behind the scenes, Mr. Prokhorov revealed the NBA stated their desire to have the Nets and Barclays Center consolidated under single ownership (versus the off-setting holdings shared between Mikhail Prokhorov and Bruce Ratner).

That was the out Bruce Ratner wanted all along.  Hence, Mr. Prokhorov recently became full (100%) owner of both the Nets and Barclays Center.  Prokhorov said the deal was good for him, while Forest City is gladly out of the loop.

As sole owner, Mikhail Prokhorov reminded all he is indeed a businessman, and that if interested parties feel inclined to make a bid (for the team and arena) he will indeed listen, but then quickly assured the room he has no inclinations to sell.  In simple but very effective terms, he expressed an even greater determination to get this process done right, and resolved to delivering Brooklyn a championship caliber club.

To that end, he said, "I'm all in."

Now that all his rubles are in one basket, he better be.

As expected the Nets ranked dead last in attendance during their last season in New Jersey.

During their inaugural season in Brooklyn, the Nets ranked 16th in the league.  In year two, they slipped to 17th in the league.  Last season, Nets attendance dropped to 20th in the league.  In each of their first three seasons in Brooklyn, however, Nets average attendance remained above 17,000 per game.

This season, the Brooklyn Nets are one of four NBA teams averaging less that 15,000 fans per game, ranking 28th in a circuit of 30 teams.

That's bad business, and no one knows it better than Mikhail Prokhorov.

His team enters Wednesday's game losers of 5 straight.  On Monday, they dropped their 10th straight game at Barclays Center, this time against the San Antonio Spurs.

NEW YORK KNICKS: Melo's team oriented play endures an untimely twist of fate.

The Knicks defeated the Boston Celtics 120-114 at the Garden Tuesday night.  They are winners of 5 of their last 6 games, and enter Barclays Center this evening at par with a 20-20 record.

Kristaps Porzingis led all Knicks Tuesday with 26 points, as Carmelo Anthony set out the 2nd half.   Arron Afflalo picked up the slack scoring 20 of his 24 points in the 2nd half.

During much of the early going, Kristaps Porzingis' polished play, and Arron Afflalo's impact were frequently leading stories.  That's why Carmelo Anthony couldn't have rolled his ankle at a worse time.  His fine team play this season was finally getting the recognition it rightly deserves.

If you're talking about the 2015-2016 season, you're definitely talking about a different, more cooperative Melo, even wiser Melo.

The results on the floor speak for themselves.

Wednesday Final
NETS       110

A Victory Grows in Brooklyn:

Despite 31 points from Derrick Williams, the visiting Knicks failed to break through the .500 mark.   The Knicks were playing on the back end of consecutive nights, and without Carmelo Anthony whom twisted his ankle Tuesday against the Celtics.

Kristaps Porzingas struggled, shooting only  5 of 17 from the field, but still posted a double-double with 12 points and 10 boards.

By the 4th quarter, the Knicks were clearly spent, as the Nets coasted to 36 points in the final quarter, en route to a 110-104 victory.

Brook Lopez led the Nets with 20 points, while Thaddeus Young went double-double, with 19 points and 11 rebounds.

The victory snapped the Nets 5-game losing streak, and more importantly, their 10-game losing streak at Barclays Center.

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