There’s a strange basketball feeling in this city — hope


Attempt youth and improvement.

It’s so loopy, it simply may work.

And that’s what each the Knicks and the Nets are discovering this season. So are their followers, who entered with low-ceiling expectations and should be inspired — in addition to very entertained — that the fast fixes are lifeless.

When the 2 groups met Thursday at Barclays Middle, there have been 20 — rely ’em, 20 — gamers age 25 or youthful on the dual 17-man rosters for each groups. That included a pair of two-method gamers for every, 4 guys the typical fan couldn’t select of a lineup of 1.

Neither group is threatening the Warriors for NBA supremacy, however there was extra pleasure this season for the 2 native groups than in a really very long time. The Nets, devoid of draft picks — we’ll get to that in a bit — needed to be artistic securing expertise. Basic supervisor Sean Marks made excessive-danger, excessive-reward gambles — like dealing Thaddeus Younger for a rehabbing Caris LeVert. Most have paid off.

The newest transfer is buying and selling for Jahlil Okafor and Nik Stauskas. Okafor was the No. three decide in 2015 — simply earlier than Kristaps Porzingis and simply after D’Angelo Russell, whom the Nets acquired (together with Timofey Mozgov’s contract) for Brook Lopez.

Now the secret is to develop.

“No. 1 precedence,” stated Nets coach Kenny Atkinson, one of many very best at creating and educating — and he described what will get scrutinized.

“The analytics we take a look at clearly. We have now a reasonably all-consuming plan for these guys,” Atkinson stated. “The efficiency half is large. … the psychological half, the maturity. Like Spencer [Dinwiddie] final yr was having issues typically bringing the ball up the courtroom. It was confidence, not talent. And the final half, we work with these guys individually.”

Allow them to develop. That was the identical philosophy proclaimed by Knicks president Steve Mills and GM Scott Perry earlier than they traded Carmelo Anthony and after they despatched letters to ticket holders praising the youth.

“We have been making an attempt to … show to our followers what the lengthy-time period plan for the Knicks goes to be,” Mills stated on the time. “That’s why we targeted on the younger gamers as a result of that’s what our future is.”

So as an alternative of Stephon Marbury and Paul Pierce, there are Frank Ntilikina and LeVert. Within the position of Anthony and Deron Williams are Porzingis and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson. The lists go on.

The Knicks have Ntilikina (19), Porzingis (22), Tim Hardaway Jr. (25), Enes Kanter (25), Ron Baker (24), Willy…



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