Here are a few things to keep an eye on during tonight's Knicks-Nets game.
Who runs NYC? Who cares? This game was supposed to be a referendum on which team is the best in New York City. Instead, it's a battle for fourth place in the Atlantic Division.
The Knicks are 3-13 and riding a nine-game losing streak. There has been speculation that coach Mike Woodson could lose his job if the Knicks lose to the Nets.
The Nets are 5-13 and dealing with plenty of disasters of their own. Jason Kidd recently demoted his top assistant, Lawrence Frank, because the two reportedly had philosophical differences.
So, no, this is not the scenario both teams hoped for when the schedules were released over the summer. And it's not the game both teams' owners had hoped for.
Knicks owner James Dolan is shelling out $89 million in payroll and luxury taxes for Carmelo Anthony & Co. Mikhail Prokhorov, the Nets owner, is spending upward of $102 million on his roster. And that's before luxury taxes.
What happened to the 3s? The Knicks' offense relied heavily on 3-point shots last season. They set NBA single-season records for makes and attempts.
This season, they haven't found the same success from behind the arc.
They shot 37.6 percent from 3 last season but are hitting just 32.2 percent of their 3s in 2013-14. That's the third-worst shooting percentage in the league.
Can J.R. bounce back? Knicks Sixth Man Award-winner J.R. Smith sat out of practice for the past two days to rest his surgically repaired knee but will suit up on Thursday.
The Knicks can only hope the rest is beneficial for Smith.
The 28-year-old shooting guard is hitting just 33.1 percent of his field goal attempts and 29.6 percent from beyond the arc. Woodson has said Smith's knee is bothering him. The coach may choose to limit Smith's minutes against Brooklyn.
He has been playing an average of 31.7 minutes per night.
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