Brooklyn was the opposite of NYK
No one in Brooklyn was talking about max players. Atkinson and GM Sean Marks were building a playoff team for the long haul. The only one I knew was D’Angelo Russell, (the little troublemaker from L.A.). By the end of the season that little trouble maker was an All-Star and little known guys were now averaging 20 points a game. The Nets were fueled by young players such as Jarrett Allen (20); Spencer Dinwiddie (25); Caris LeVert (24); Allen Crabbe (26); Joe Harris (27) and Russell who was only 22.
There were some vets, Jared Dudley, DeMarre Carroll, and Kenneth Faried who helped to take this team to the playoffs. The team played hard in the first round against a better rebuilt Philadelphia 76ers team but fell in five games.
Wasted 2019-20 for both
The New York Knicks have wasted another season. They are no further along than they were in 2014 when everything went awry. Had not the season been suspended due to the tragic COVID-19 outbreak there were no playoffs in their future.
Meanwhile, over the summer Kyrie Irving wanted to be a Brooklyn Net and was bringing his friends Kevin Durant and DeAndre Jordan with him. Irving and DJ were to hold things down until Durant could recover from his Achilles injury. The vets who helped lead Brooklyn last year were all gone.
The Nets were once again playoff-bound. Atkinson had Brooklyn in the Eastern Conference’s seven seed, despite the “glaring” missing pieces Irving said were needed; and him not playing for the rest of the season with a shoulder injury, (he played 20 games all season). Then the unthinkable.
But the Nets fired their coach, the man that got them where they are. The same coach who runs a “culture” liked by none other than Kevin Durant. Parting ways with Atkinson just a few games before the break, made their season a bigger waste than the Knicks.