Game 1 did not go quite as well as I’m sure the majority of us had hoped it would. That last play when Caris Levert fell down before he could get a final shot off, ugh. Heartbreaking. And memory triggering to be honest. Flashes of late game disappointment from last season came flooding back. It’s time to move on though. If we dwell on all of this seasons shortcomings we’re not going to give ourselves enough time to have fun. And this next one should be fun!
The Nets in fact are planning a big event around Opening Night at Barclays.
All fans are invited to arrive early for a special pregame celebration on Barclays Center’s Resorts World Casino NYC Plaza, beginning at 4:30 p.m. Nets Legends Buck Williams, Derrick Coleman, Kenny Anderson and Kerry Kittles will be present to interact with fans. The event will also feature music provided by DJ M Ortiz, performances by Team Hype, the Brooklyn Nets Beats drumline, a mini basketball court and swag giveaway contests from the Brooklyn Nets Basketball Academy. The celebration will be hosted by Handsome Horse with an appearance from Nets in-arena host, Ally Love.
The Nets will also will entertain you outside the lines…
During halftime of the game, Brooklyn-native rapper and recording artist Joey Bada$$ will take part in a musical performance alongside Max Schneider (MAX).
And throughout the night…
The Empire State Building will also celebrate the Brooklyn Nets’ 2018 home opener by illuminating its world-famous tower lights in black and white on Friday night.
Arena doors will open for the game at 6 p.m., and fans are encouraged to take their seats by 7:15 p.m. for the opening ceremony, which includes a national anthem performance by Roc Nation artist and Brooklyn-native, Tiffany Obi. Each guest will receive a complimentary commemorative poster upon arrival.
Then, they will play.
The Knicks and the Nets split two preseason games, each time winning on each others home court. There was a lot to like about how the Nets played in Detroit on Wednesday, and they’ll try to carry some of those positive aspects into Friday’s game so we’re not looking at an ugly 0-2 heading into Indiana for Game 3.
Where To Follow The Game
YES will be on this one at 7:30 p.m, WFAN as well. MSG will also broadcast the game, if you’re so inclined.
The Nets are really feeling the injury bug right now. Rondae-Hollis Jefferson (adductor strain), Allen Crabbe (ankle), Shabazz Napier (hamstring), Demarre Carroll (ankle), and Alan WIlliams (ankle) all missed the opener.
Crabbe is listed as Probable and RHJ is Questionable for the Knicks game. Hollis-Jefferson is healthy but he is a new father (a boy) and so it’s uncertain if he’s be handing out cigars in the Nets locker room or be with his son.
Carroll, who had surgery on his right ankle recently, is going to be out for a while. You gotta think that extra firepower might’ve helped the Nets get those last few points they needed to beat the Pistons, and once some of these guys start coming back we’ll get a better feel for this team as a whole.
For the Knicks, Courtney Lee (neck) missed the season opener amidst rumors the Knicks are trying to trade him. We’ll see if he makes his season debut. Kristaps Porzingis is also still out recovering from an ACL injury. As annoying as he is when he’s dominating, New York basketball is more fun when he’s on the court.
They won but the Knicks gave up 107 points to arguably the worst team in the league in their season opener. Granted, they scored 126 which was good enough for the win (I’m a math genius, I know) but I had to throw a little shade in there. It’s in my nature. The Knicks should be fairly porous on defense this season, especially without Porzingis holding down the paint. Frank Ntilikina is probably their best one-on-one defender, but David Fizdale had him playing the 3 against the Hawks where he’s a little overmatched against some of the bigger wings and forwards in the league, especially if he gets switched onto a 4. Look for Kenny Atlkinson to try to take advantage of that mismatch.
The Nets looked pretty good in their opener despite some key shortcomings. Andre Drummond put up a very Andre-Drummond-Against-The-Nets line of 24 and 20. The Nets only lost the rebound battle by 3 boards, but they only grabbed five offensive rebounds to Detroit’s 14. If we can just imagine a world where DeMarre Carroll and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson are healthy and playing and Drummond is able to grab just 13 or so rebounds.
Making up for those last three points to nab the win might not have been such a difficult task, is what I’m saying. Otherwise, Caris Levert and Jarrett Allen looked like, well, great. Allen put up 17 and 10 with four blocks and knocked down two three’s while Levert put up 27, four and four with a steal and a block while hitting 7-of-8 free throws. The kids looked fantastic. Allen truly has a chance to become one of the most exciting big men in the league. The question is whether he can put up big numbers against the Knicks frontcourt of Enes Kanter, Lance Thomas, and Noah Vonleh.
As for the Knicks, Atkinson told Mike Francesa that he was surprised at one aspect of the Nets offensive game but was quite familiar with another.
“I was shocked at the pace they play at … I felt like they ran the Hawks out of the gym. Listen, when Hardaway, I know Timmy having been with him in Atlanta, when he’s on a stretch, and he gets in these stretches of games where he’s lighting it up. That’s an x-factor for us. If we don’t control that, we’re going to be in for a long night.”
Player To Watch
Mario Hezonja is one of those guys who either has it or doesn’t on any given night. His ceiling is high and his basement is oh so low. Over the summer I thought I wanted the Nets to take a flyer on him just to see what Atkinson could do with that raw talent, but I watched a decent amount of his minutes in preseason and the dude just straight up misses layups. That being said, when he has it working he’s explosive and exciting and has a fun “F*** You” attitude. He put up 15 points in 19 minutes against the Hawks.
From The Vault
Nets. Knicks. Whoever you root for, you know that New York pizza reigns supreme. We should all appreciate one of the world’s great culinary masterpieces. Enjoy. (I picked a Brooklyn pizza joint, don’t worry).
For a different take, head on over to our sister sign, Posting and Toasting.