The Wizards went 12:09 without a field goal against the Knicks Friday night. Twelve minutes. Tuhwellve-oh-nine.
That’s just sad. Sad, sad, sad, sad, sad. But Knicks fans didn’t find it sad. They found it funny. And chant-worthy. From FoxSports.com:
At one point toward the end of the run, with the Wizards still stuck on 47 points, the Garden crowd even started chanting Washington’s point total.
“I was looking for a jersey,” Novak said. “Who’s No. 47?”
Novak said it with a laugh. But the Knicks’ new defensive approach is no joke.
via Knicks win laugher; their D is no joke| FoxSports.com
Around the eight minute mark, if you’re Wizards coach Randy Wittman, aren’t you tempted to instruct your players to cherry pick just to get that monkey off the back? Because that’s a long time without a field goal. I’ve done my taxes in the amount of time it took Washington to manufacture a field goal. Yikes.
Lost in the talk about Mike Woodson and Mike D’Antoni and Carmelo Anthony and hero ball and Amar’e Stoudemire and Jeremy Lin and everything else is that the Knicks play the type of defense you want if you’re going into the playoffs. Tough, physical, constantly contesting and constantly swiping at the ball. Attacking the dribble is an underrated element of so many defenses that are predicated on position management and shot manipulation. Yes, the Knicks force you into poor shot selection, but they also constantly try an disrupt the dribble, pry the ball free, stop movement of any kind and send the ball splattering in the opposite direction.
The Knicks won’t force their opponent to miss an entire quarter’s worth of time without a field goal in the playoffs, but the model is sound. And there’s a good chance that after a rough year, the Madison Square Garden crowd will have something to chant about.
I love the drive by dunk challenge (if you prefer, the #drivebydunkchallenge), it would be the best thing on NBA Twitter this summer, if it wasn’t for Kyrie Irving.
But the best one yet comes from Boston’s Jaylen Brown.
He steals the ball, and the best part is the guy who comes over like he’s going to stop Brown from throwing it down.
The Nets went 20-62 then traded their best player (Brook Lopez) for a worse player (D'Angelo Russell). Brooklyn’s biggest free-agent signing this summer (Otto Porter) plays for the Wizards. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Caris LeVert are nice developmental pieces but hardly seem on the verge of breakthroughs.
Still, Nets guard Jeremy Lin expects big things next season.
He set expectations in an Instagram Live video (hat tip: AJ Neuharth-Keusch of USA Today):
We’re making the playoffs. I don’t care what anybody else says.
The Nets are on the right track given their asset constraints. Though worse than Lopez now, Russell – eight years younger and on a low-paying rookie-scale deal – is more valuable. Brooklyn made the favorable swap by absorbing Timofey Mozgov‘s awful contract, a wise use of assets considering the difficulty of attracting free agents. An aggressive offer sheet for Porter was a reasonable swing in that situation, as well.
But that’s all helpful in the long run. In the short term, the Nets are almost certainly stuck as lousy. Maybe they can sneak into the playoffs in a weak Eastern Conference, but even that is a huge longshot.
Not that Lin cares what I say.
When you think of Summer League basketball, sharp defensive rotations is not the first thing that comes to mind. Defense, in general, tends to be an after thought.
But there were some great blocks.
Here are the top 10 blocks from the Las Vegas Summer League. Enjoy the flashes of defense from Vegas.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) The Memphis Grizzlies have signed former Oregon forward Dillon Brooks, a second-round pick in last month’s NBA draft.
Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:
Brooks was selected by the Houston Rockets with the 45th overall pick. The Grizzlies acquired him in exchange for a future second-round pick.
Brooks, 21, averaged 16.1 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.7 assists as a junior at Oregon last season. He was named the Pac-12 player of the year and helped Oregon earn its first Final Four berth since 1939.