Here are some notes from the Brooklyn Nets’ 96-89 victory over the Manhattan Knicks at the Barclays Center last night.
“I think it’s been matchups, and part of it has been sometimes when we’re a little bit smaller recently in the backcourt we’ve had trouble rebounding the ball,” Johnson told Tim Bontemps of the NY Post. “It has forced Deron to really exhaust a lot of energy defensively battling some bigger guys.
“Statistically, it hasn’t really worked the way we wanted it to. So now that we have [Keith Bogans] healthy, [Jerry Stackhouse], Gerald Wallace being back, it seems to help us when we’re bigger at [shooting guard], both statistically and from a defensive standpoint.”
“We’re not saying that tonight we won’t use it if there’s a certain situation that we like it against,” he said. “But I think [going away from it] is a combination of things.”
– Mikhail Prokhorov planned on attending opening night, but because the game was rescheduled he did not make last night’s match. Jay-Z and his wife Beyonce were in attendance though, sitting court side.
– Gerald Wallace played a great game against the Knicks, easily his best game of the season. Afterward he explained that because of his sprained ankle it was like he lost the preseason.
“I thought I had a great training camp, and then I had a setback with the ankle injury that put me back for two and half weeks,” Wallace told George Willis of the Post. “I kind of lost my legs, my wind and my whole rhythm going into the season. I’ve been struggling trying to get that back.”
– There was a lot of focus on Brook Lopez last night and how he would handle Tyson Chandler. He did a great job, even if Chandler had an impressive night as well, scoring 22 points with 11 rebounds and five blocks.
“This was a great benchmark for us,” Lopez told Howie Kussoy of the Post. “We knew going in they were one of the best teams in the league, and we wanted to come out and show something tonight. We’re continuing to improve every game. It’s scary how good we can be.”
– Carmelo Anthony actually had a shot to win the game for the Knicks with less than 10 seconds to go. Can’t blame him for missing the shot because it was a good opportunity.
“That’s the look I wanted,” Anthony told Bontemps. “I’ll take that shot all day. Perfect look at it. I missed it. But that’s the look I wanted.”
– The last word will go to Joe Johnson, who declared Brooklyn the better team before the game and then failed to back up his words. He still thinks the Nets are the better team though.
“I’m just glad we got the win,” Johnson said. “This is what the fans live for … everybody wanted to see this game, Nets versus Knicks.
“With so much hype around it, we just came out and showed we were the better team tonight.”