Expected to finish near the top of the tree in the NBA Eastern Conference standings, both Gotham squads have been nearly gobbled up to their core so far this season.
The NBA Nets and Knicks are simply rotten in the Big Apple.
Featuring some of the highest paid talent in the league, the Knicks and Nets have struggled mightily in their less than fruitful seasons. At 5 -12 the Nets are two games ahead of the cellar dwelling Knicks in the NBA’s door mat Atlantic Division. Battered and bruised, both teams unexpectedly find themselves as discarded fruit wasting away at the bottom of a division they each believed they would win.
Injuries have primarily taken the biggest bites out of both Big Apple teams’ hopes for robust regular season records and long runs into the NBA Playoffs.
The Knicks have been hampered by the physical challenges of three of their best players – Tyson Chandler, Amar’e Stoudemire and Raymond Felton.
And, the Nets have also suffered from the limited playing time of stars Deron Williams, Andrei Kirilenko and Brook Lopez.
If the injury bug isn’t enough, it appears as if Father Time will have its way, especially in Brooklyn, as the season progresses. The once very fruitful play of aging stars Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce appears to have already ripened during their successful careers in Boston.
And, basketball prognosticators predict any guarantee for success this year won’t be as easy to pick as low hanging fruit.
Embattled Nets coach Jason Kidd will need to tally more minutes for his key older players (Garnett and Pierce) as well as former Mav and Celtic star Jason Terry in order to stymie the team’s early season slide. Kidd’s decision will only prove to be counter-productive should the Nets make the playoffs. They’ll be burdened with weary legged older players if they succeed at an improbable turnaround to a disastrous season.
On the other side of the East River, Knicks coach Mike Woodson has surprisingly found his once high-flying Knicks in free fall. Carmelo Anthony is logging far too many minutes and is becoming more disgruntled in New York in the shadow of his forthcoming free agency. Metta World Peace and J.R. Smith are surprisingly good, but understandably not great. Tim Hardaway, Jr. and Iman Shumpert show some promise, but can’t carry a team. And, heralded free agent signee Andrea Bargnani, a defensive and rebounding liability, sadly shows no promise at all for this reeling team.
When training camps began this past summer, bountiful NBA harvests for both Big Apple squads appeared to be easy pickings.
However, early season struggles have yielded much different results. It’s prompted most NBA fans and critics to remark that the Big Apple’s two NBA teams are pretty rotten indeed.
MIKE – aka Mike Raffone – the ultimate talking head on sports!