The New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets seem to have turned the jets on at the same time. That was just on time for the new year, 2014. Maybe it’s a bit of a coincidence. Then again, maybe it isn’t. This just makes a great New York storyline for the NBA.
The Knicks and Nets are a combined 8-1 in the new year. Why have both squads started winning games at the same time? Even through sporadic health problems of Deron Williams and Tyson Chandler, the Nets and Knicks have found a way to make it happen.
For these two teams, it isn’t always about the talent being put out on the court. It sometimes seems to be more of a mental hump they have to get over. No matter how much talent Brooklyn may have, the team has to figure it all out.
There were loads of drama surrounding new coach Jason Kidd. Although he was known as a “player-coach,” directly becoming a head coach wasn’t too easy for him. 2014 may have marked a time where Kidd has figured out a better approach to coaching this highly regarded Brooklyn squad.
In their first 30 games or so, the Knicks started out just about opposite from last season. Sixth Man of the Year J.R. Smith has come back to life, the Knicks were back to playing mediocre defense at best, and the roster just didn’t seem as deep.
An 82-game season is a long time. At some point, reality is going to start to kick in. Let’s not forget how miserably weak the Eastern Conference is. Although the Knicks and Nets are both just creeping up on a playoff seed, I expect both to safely make it in the playoffs.
A superstar with as big a name and reputation as Carmelo Anthony should find much more success in this situation. We saw a new side of Carmelo Anthony in the 2012-13 season. He seemed to be a better leader and team player. He didn’t get down on his team through the rough times. He was willing to compete with any other talent in the NBA.
Deron Williams is the number one guy in Brooklyn. Although he’s had a rough past couple years, I don’t doubt he could be playing a big part of this sudden turnaround. When recently asked about the Nets struggles and if he felt they needed to make moves, Williams responded perfectly. He stated the team would have to find a way through the adversity and turn it around.
I refer to the season as a “roller coaster” because every team has its ups and down, especially these two New York squads. When the two teams start rolling back down, I expect the vehicle to make a quicker recovery and head back up. Both, the Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks, are capable of a lot. I expect that to continue showing in the new year.