Nets’ interim coach coach Tony Brown said his team’s 110-104 win over the New York Knicks on Wednesday night was the kind of game that could help galvanize the fan base. Despite ending a ten-game losing streak at home, Brooklyn’s fans seemed to be lost in among a sea of blue-and-orange at Barclays Center. Couple that with the road team wearing their home colors, and it certainly felt like a game at Madison Square Garden, but Brown was hearing none of that post-game after earning his first win since taking over from the fired Lionel Hollins last Sunday.
“Games like this, it’s going to help turn our fan base around,” Brown said. “If we continue to play in this kind of fashion, we’ll fill the seats — but we’ve got to show them first. It’ll take time, but tonight was a good start.”
The Nets played with passion – a trait that has been absent for the better part of their season – and the Knicks were playing on the second-night of a back-to-back and looked fatigued playing without an injured Carmelo Anthony.
The Nets were led by Brook Lopez who had 20 points and 8 rebounds, and Thaddeus Young who finished with 19 and 11.
“The environment was so much fun out there,” Lopez said. “It was just live and if we could get something like that each and every night and we earn that respect and we get people coming to the game, it’s something great to feed off of.”
The Nets are currently second-last in the NBA in scoring and Lopez added he was enthused by the new faster pace style employed by Brown, which saw the team score 110 points for the first time since December. 28.
“We changed our pace up a bit. We wanted to play to our strengths,’’ said Lopez. “We want to give our players options to get to their games in our system. In our scheme it’s a lot more loose out there.’’
Another Net player who benefited from the uptempo style of game employed by Brown was former Knick, Shane Larkin, the man who New York president Phil Jackson referred to as having “small hands.” Larkin’s small hands were big enough to score 17 points and dish out 5 assists.
“Tony brought us in before the game and told us he didn’t want to call out many plays. He wanted us to play out of sets,’’ said Larkin. “So its not like we’re coming down calling 23-Rip or this or that. We’re just coming down playing.
“If I make a pass, the team reads off what I do, if I dribble a big, he goes down and the other big comes out. It’s just all reads, whereas when coach [Lionel] Hollins was here it was more of a set play type of offense. He just loosened it up, letting us go out there and play for each other, try and make plays for each other. It worked so hopefully can keep it going.’’
The Nets, who moved to 11-28 on the season, shot 52.3 percent from the field and also a season-best 52.9 percent from three-point land, but despite those impressive statistics, the crowd was still skewed heavily in favor of the Knicks.
“Let’s be honest, there’s a lot of Knick fever in New York right now,” coach Brown said. “I understand it. They’re playing great. But we are trying to get that same fever in our building.”
Feature Image credit: Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty Images