I'm excited to get back into our TKB series of passing out your pre game scouting reports. I had the chance to watch Kenny Atkinson's Nets debut in Brooklyn the other night against the Reggie Jackson-less Detroit Pistons. The Nets won the game behind a very balanced attack led by Jeremy Lin's 21 points (5-8 from three) and the 22 combined points from Luis Scola and Joe Harris. As a team the Nets were a combined 14-34 from deep, something the Knicks should be used to after watching Houston make 20 threes in their 130-103 loss to the Rockets.
Here is your Knicks/Nets scouting report:
Brook Lopez has the green light to shoot threes: Seriously. And he's trying to incorporate an "attack the closeout" element. The Knicks should do well to let him shoot from 3 any chance he gets. No need to fall for shot fakes.
Get out in transition: The Nets want to play faster, and while Lin isn't lightning fast anymore, he's still savvy enough to get quick, early shots in the possession. That should help the Knicks, who also want to play at a faster pace, especially with the slow-footed Greivis Vasquez managing the reserve minutes at point guard.
More Melo/KP Pindowns: Assuming Rose doesn't play, the Knicks will lean on Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis to work together mid range and beyond. The Nets started a frontline of Lopez, Trevor Booker and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, which gives them a strength advantage, especially if Kyle O'Quinn again starts at the five. The Knicks will need Anthony to establish himself early on the block on Jefferson and play a two-man, inside out game with Porzingis and balancing the floor with shooters (0:56-1:12 in video above).
Offensive Rebounding: The Nets were soft on the glass against Andre Drummond (11 offensive rebounds) and gave up 17 offensive rebounds total to a team that missed 50 total field goal attempts meaning they gave up an offensive rebound on 22% of missed shots. The Knicks were not active chasing missed shots (10 offensive rebounds) in their loss in Houston.