Last year, the teams played to a draw but we all knew that the New York Knicks still were the team in the city. This was the year the Brooklyn Nets were going to take over and stake claim to the greatest city in the world.
It’s amazing what happens when you begin to take names off paper and put them together in a gym and watch the outcome unfold. For the Knicks, they were supposed to build off that tremendous year last year and challenge the Miami Heat for the crown. The Nets, with their All-Star lineup and famous first year head coach, were supposed to be setting up a championship parade route through Brooklyn. I guess that’s why they play the game, right?
Nothing has gone right for either team so far; they are a combined 8-26 but neither team is more than three games out of first place in the Atlantic Division. That is the only glimmer of hope both teams can look towards. While they are playing badly, the Philadelphia 76ers, Toronto Raptors and Boston Celtics have also played poorly, leaving the door open for a miraculous run by one or both New York teams.
Trying to figure out which teams need the win the most is like asking a parent which kid is their favorite. They both need the win badly, not just for the players’ mindset but each coach needs it for the job security and the fan base wants bragging rights until they meet again. As a fan and sports writer for both teams, I have no clue who to root for; I am torn. But what I do know is that this is a heated rivalry and both teams will try to bring their A games to show the other one up.
The Knicks are in the midst of a nine-game losing streak and the Nets are going thru the motions still trying to figure who they are. The Knicks can’t seem to play any defense since Tyson Chandler went down with an injury. They have no problem scoring the ball with Carmelo Anthony playing out of his mind right now and Andrea Bargnani putting up solid numbers from the post. Minus Chandler, the Knicks are a pretty healthy team, the Nets on the other hand are a walking nursing home. Deron Williams is still out, Jason Terry is out, Andrei Kirilenko and now Paul Pierce is out.
The game is still going to be a big draw because everything in New York is huge. The winner will come out with bragging rights and a losing record while the loser will put their heads down in shame and wonder how they just lost to one of the worst teams in the NBA.