If the two preseason games between the Knicks and Nets are any indication, although the NBA regular season starts on Christmas, basketball fans should prepare for some more preseason-level basketball. The Knicks won another sloppy preseason tilt against the Nets on Wednesday, 88-82, in New York's first game at the newly renovated Madison Square Garden. Carmelo Anthony led the way with 21 points and added eight rebounds and three assists, while Deron Williams paced the Nets with 21 points of his own. Tyson Chandler, in his first home game as a Knick, scored eight points, grabbed 12 rebounds and added two blocked shots.
Both teams struggled shooting, which is to be expected in any preseason affair. The Knicks shot just 33 percent overall, including making just eight of 30 three-point attempts. The Nets shot better at 40 percent, but turned the ball over 21 times. Certainly both the Knicks and Nets would have liked to have been a lot sharper with the regular season just days away.
Almost as important and gaining team chemistry and getting into a rhythm during any preseason is staying healthy. Knicks guard Mike Bibby left the game with back spasms, so his status for the Knicks' opener on Christmas Day against the Boston Celtics will be something to keep an eye on.
This was the first game back on the Nets for Kris Humphries, the solid NBA player who is now famous because of his failed marriage to reality TV star Kim Kardashian. Humphries was recently voted the most hated player in the NBA in a Forbes Magazine survey, and tonight was a preview of what he'll experience throughout the season in opposing arenas. The Garden crowd booed Humphries every time he touched the ball in his limited minutes, and chanted "We Want Humphries!" while he was on the bench.
Antics aside, the Knicks and Nets both have a lot of work to do to get ready for regular season-level basketball. If Wednesday's ugly game was any indication, it will be a bit of while before these teams resemble what they will at the end of the season.