The NBA is getting ready to conclude the first week of the 2016-17 regular season, so every team in the league has had the chance to play at least one meaningful game. The New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets had mixed results in the preseason, and both teams have already lost the first game of the season. Both teams are working new systems with new coaches and, while neither team is expected to compete for the Eastern Conference title this year, the Knicks and Nets both want to show some improvement after abysmal performances last year.
Knicks and Nets Weekly Recap
The New York Knicks got their season started on Tuesday, October 25, with a road game against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Starting the season with a game against the defending champions is never easy, especially for a team with so many new players in the starting lineup. While the Knicks got a solid game from Carmelo Anthony and Derrick Rose, the team’s lack of depth was on display throughout the game. The Knicks were simply outclassed for 48 minutes in the 29 point loss.
The addition of Joakim Noah and Derrick Rose should make the Knicks a much improved team from last year. While the team has improved, it would still be a big achievement to win 41 games this season. Thanks to the strength of the Eastern Conference, that will probably be not enough wins to make the playoffs this year. The New York Knicks franchise is slowly rebuilding, but it will probably be another year or two before this team is able to return to the playoffs again.
The Brooklyn Nets played their first game of the season on Wednesday, October 26, when they went on the road to face the Boston Celtics. If there is one team that can dethrone the Cavaliers at the top of the Eastern Conference this year, then it will probably be the Boston Celtics. The Brooklyn Nets are widely considered to be one of the worst teams in the league, so they were in for a very tough game to start their season. While the Nets left Boston with a loss, the team still has to be very encouraged by the results.
The Nets did not see a great performance from Brook Lopez or Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, but they were still able to keep the game very close. Solid performances from bench players Justin Hamilton, Joe Harris, and Sean Kilpatrick helped the Nets only lose by five points to one of the best teams in the NBA. Despite the encouraging results in the first game, the Nets have virtually no chance to play in the postseason. A 30-win season would be a huge achievement after only winning 21 games last year. Based on the performance Wednesday, a 30-win season seems a lot more plausible than it did in the preseason.
NEW YORK, NY – DECEMBER 29: Brook Lopez #11 of Brooklyn Nets during a basketball game between Brooklyn Nets and Sacramento Kings at the Barclays Center on December 29, 2014 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Cem Ozdel/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)