Brooklyn’s 96–89 triumph in the first installment of the battle of the boroughs showed a lot to like on the Nets lineup — save for the fact that shooter Joe Johnson still can’t remember how to shoot.
But thankfully one man has selflessly took on the burden of Johnson’s struggles: Jerry Stackhouse.
In 22 minutes against the Knicks, the clearly not yet washed veteran dropped 14 points, hitting four out of five threes. As remarkable as this is, maybe the 38-year-old Stackhouse’s biggest accomplishment of the night was simply showing up, considering the Knicks announced Jason Kidd, 39, did not “make the trip” to the Barclays Center because of back spasms that prevented him from riding the 2 train.
Stackhouse’s excellent play shouldn’t come as a surprise to Brooklyn loyalists. His plus-minus rating, which calculates a team’s net points when a specific player is on the floor, dwarfs anyone else on the squad. As of Nov. 28, Stackhouse was plus-66, 24 points above Johnson, the next-closest player.
But his playing time, especially in a game as hyped as the Knicks showdown, was surprising. Those 22 minutes were the most he’s logged in a game all season. Even if that’s the most the old man can give, Nets fans will gladly take it.
Matt Spolar is a nearly 6-foot-1 journalist with a middling high school basketball career who is sure the Nets win thanks to team’s top-tier guards.