New York City — home to two of the worst teams in the NBA — struck a blow for Eastern Conference basketball by beating two of best teams in the West on the same night. It was borderline scary, considering how good the Spurs and Thunder are this year, and how much the opposite of good the Knicks and Nets have been.
First up, watch Joe Johnson do this crazy thing Joe Johnson has become exceptionally good at: win the game on a ridiculous shot. He had seven points going into the final possession (via the NBA):
This capped a 16-point comeback for the 11-21 Nets, who somehow shut down the 27-5 Thunder in the fourth quarter. It’s impossible to say exactly how this happened besides, wow, the Nets looked like they wanted this one for once.
Meanwhile, over in San Antonio, the even-more-unfortunate-disaster that is the Knicks managed to stave off the Spurs (25-8) for a 105-101 win. The catalyst for New York (10-21) was Iman Shumpert, who scored 27 points (tied with Carmelo Anthony for the game-high, back from an ankle injury) and had two clutch baskets in crunch time to seal it (via GIFD Sports):
The Knicks held off the Spurs on the next possession, and Anthony sealed the win with a couple of free throws. This win was equally as confusing.
The odds of both of these wins happening within hours of each other, when both teams were on the road, has to be close to zero. Based on what happened here, it’s entirely possible that the apocalypse occurred when the ball dropped on New Year’s Eve and we’re living in an alternate universe where the Eastern Conference is good now.