If all of you are dying to know, my 21st birthday falls on this Thursday, December 5th. In September, I thought, “Oh, wow, perfect, my Knicks are playing the Nets that day, what a perfect gift.” As I looked up the prices on Stubhub, prices for tickets in the upper level were over $200 a seat. Not very college student friendly.
As I look up the prices now as I write this, those same $200 tickets are going for a cool $72. It’s still New York Knicks vs. Brooklyn Nets in a beautiful arena, so why the price drop? If you have been living under a rock for the last month and a half, you know that both the Knicks and Nets aren’t very good. In fact, they are playing some pretty terrible basketball and don’t deserve my money. So who is in worse shape? Let’s get into it.
Nov 30, 2013; Memphis, TN, USA; Brooklyn Nets head coach Jason Kidd during the game against the Memphis Grizzlies at FedExForum. Brooklyn defeated Memphis 97-88. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports
I’ll start with the Brooklyn Nets. Just add the Nets to the list of “super teams” who have came out of the gate and fallen right on their face. With the foundation of Deron Williams, Brook Lopez, and Joe Johnson, everyone thought that adding Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett would be a no-brainer. Things can’t get much worse for Jason Kidd’s Nets, who have a record of 5-12.
One thing that the Nets have no control over is their age. This team would have been truly championship level 2-3 years ago, but Garnett and Pierce are skeletons of what they used to be. They are also injured and haven’t had a chance to have games and weeks to get the chemistry down pat. If the players never play together, they are old, and their coach isn’t capable of being a win-now coach, what, exactly, is the upside?
As for the Knicks, they just aren’t playing good basketball at all. A glaring reason is the injury to Tyson Chandler. For those who say Chandler is an overrated defender, his absence in the Knicks lineup is pretty obvious to their losing streak. Chandler isn’t a great offensive big man; I say this because you can’t dump it off to him in the post and expect anything out of it. Where the Knicks miss Tyson on offense is his impact as a screener, a roller, and a finisher above the rim, not to mention his put-back dunks, offensive tip-outs, and knowledge of where to be on the court in Woodson’s offense.
The Knicks don’t have many sidelined, injured players besides Chandler, but they aren’t the picture of health either. Carmelo Anthony is doing all he can do to help this team win, but high minutes are becoming a burden for him. J.R. Smith — who is still returning from knee surgery and suspension — has been inconsistent, as always, along with Raymond Felton who missed time with a hamstring injury. Big things can’t be expected out of Amar’e Stoudemire at this point. Woodson’s job is going to be called for if the Knicks don’t start winning, and could get even hotter if they lose in Brooklyn Thursday.
I believe the Knicks have a little more to look forward to this season, but that isn’t saying much. Anthony can score 40 on any given night, a weapon the Nets simply don’t have. Chandler will be back before Deron Williams and Paul Pierce, which will hopefully help the Knicks get back in form. Both Kidd and Woodson are on the hot seat and both fan bases will want a new coach if they lose to their rival this week.
So to come full circle, I will not be spending my money and celebrating my birthday at the Barclay’s Center. I’m not paying to see an injured Nets team and an underachieving Knicks squad. For the sake of New York basketball, we all hope both teams turn it around ASAP.