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Knicks-Nets Preview 2009-11-20 News New Jersey Nets

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News » Knicks-Nets Preview 2009-11-20

Knicks-Nets Preview 2009-11-20

Knicks-Nets Preview 2009-11-20The New York Knicks decided it was against their best interest to sign Allen Iverson, figuring they didn't want to hinder their rebuilding effort by giving minutes to a player who wasn't considered a building block.

The New Jersey Nets are hoping the return of perhaps their most integral element will speed up their own overhaul - or at least produce a win.

The desperate Nets will have All-Star guard Devin Harris available for the first time in three weeks Saturday afternoon in East Rutherford as they look to avoid an 0-13 start against the Knicks.

New York (2-9) and New Jersey have been mentioned as potential destinations for this summer's upcoming crop of big-name free agents, but nothing the teams have shown on the court has served as an enticing recruiting pitch.

The Knicks' 1-9 start was their worst through 10 games in franchise history, but they snapped a six-game slide Wednesday, using 48 combined points from Larry Hughes and Al Harrington off the bench to beat Indiana 110-103.

As rumors of adding Iverson, who was waived by Memphis on Tuesday after playing just three games, swirled in the locker room after the win, Harrington spoke up in favor of signing Iverson, saying "he can only do positive things."

On Friday, though, the Knicks passed on Iverson, choosing to let coach Mike D'Antoni continue to integrate four first- or second-year players into his system.

"We feel like that could hurt our development in the future, so we want to go the way we're going," general manager Donnie Walsh said. "There will be other things we can do during the year that will be more in line with what our philosophy has been entering into this."

The Nets (0-12) clinched their own worst start in franchise history with their sixth loss, but have since added six more. Coach Lawrence Frank's team led by seven at halftime in Milwaukee on Wednesday, but fell apart in the third quarter en route to a 99-85 loss, its first 12-game skid since dropping 14 in a row in 1990.

The NBA record is 17 straight losses to start a season, shared by the 1988-89 expansion Miami Heat and the Los Angeles Clippers in the lockout-shortened 1999 season.

"I don't even focus on 0-17," said Frank, the longest-tenured coach in the Eastern Conference. "Obviously, it's very disappointing to be where we're at. Right need what we need to do is have a day of practice and get ready for the game against New York."

The Nets at least have reason to hope they can turn it around. Harris, who averaged 21.3 points and 6.9 assists and was named to the All-Star team last season, is expected to come off the bench Saturday, which would be his first game since injuring his groin Oct. 30.

Harris certainly looked like an All-Star against the Knicks last season. He averaged 33.5 points and 8.5 assists in two games versus New York before missing the final two meetings with a strained left shoulder.

The road team won all four games in 2008-09, and Harrington had 39 points in a 121-109 win in New Jersey on Dec. 10.

The Nets' chances of picking up their first win may depend on the performance of Brook Lopez against New York's David Lee. Lopez averaged 19.5 points in New Jersey's two wins over the Knicks last season, and 7.0 in the two losses.

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Added: November 20, 2009


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