The Knicks and Nets have split their two matchups so far this season. amNewYork takes a look at two bench players from each team who can be difference-makers at the Garden tonight.
As bad as he has been this season, Shumpert played very well in the Knicks’ win over the Nets on Dec. 5, scoring 17 points and hitting five 3-pointers. In their loss to Brooklyn on Jan. 20, Shump was 2-of-8 for just 5 points. If he contributes tonight, he will give the Knicks a boost that might put them over the top.
Tim Hardaway Jr.
Hardaway has averaged 11.5 points per game in the two meetings with Brooklyn this season. The rookie has surpassed everyone’s expectations and has been a solid contributor off the bench. Although he is a bit of a streaky shooter, he can light up the scoreboard when he is on, as evidenced by his stretch from March 10-15 where he scored 20 or more points in three straight games — all wins.
For the duration of his career, Blatche has been known for being erratic. In Brooklyn’s victory over the Knicks on Jan. 20, Blatche had 19 points and 12 rebounds on an efficient 9-12 shooting, good for his fourth double-double of the season at the time. He was a non-factor in their other meeting, scoring just two points in 13 minutes.
Thornton has become a big part of the Nets’ bench since he was acquired from the Kings on Feb. 19. Although he has yet to face the Knicks as a Net, he only scored three points in his lone matchup while with Sacramento. Thornton has been shooting 3s at a high rate (.382) since his relocation and could catch fire tonight.