While most people are struggling to keep up with their resolutions, there’s no doubt that the first eight days of January have been good to the Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks — despite nagging injuries to Deron Williams, Raymond Felton, Tyson Chandler and Brook Lopez’s season-ender.
For some it’s like a mystery to see both teams start to turn things around for the New Year. For others, it’s a shock because of the teams that they have taken out.
The 4-0 Nets have crept into the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference by knocking off the Western Conference’s No. 2 team — Oklahoma City Thunder — at the buzzer and ending the nine-game win-streak of the Golden State Warriors. But the team from the other side of the water took their orange and blue to Texas and went 2-1.
After knocking off the west’s best — San Antonio Spurs — they began to gain traction and would’ve probably won four in a row if it weren’t for the boneheaded plays of J.R. Smith and Beno Udrih.
So is it a coincidence that both teams are getting it together just in time for the Miami Heat‘s visit?
“Recently, they’ve been playing better basketball,” center Chris Bosh said. “We kind of figured that was going to happen before we go in there…” (South Florida Sun-Sentinel)
“When the Heat comes to town, records are out the window,” guard Dwyane Wade said. “I don’t care if a team has lost six in a row, we’re going to get their best.” (South Florida Sun-Sentinel)
The truth is, Wade and Bosh couldn’t be speaking anything closer to the truth. The Heat, Knicks and Nets could all be at the top of the mountain or the worst three teams in the league and each game would still be an individual NBA championship.
Now Brooklyn is new to the rivalry, but the acquisitions of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry kind of thrust them into the old Boston Celtics’ role. And we all know that the Knicks-Heat hatred dates way back to the brawls that started after Pat Riley’s near 20-year departure to South Beach.
Regardless of when the disgust was inherited, Miami versus New York City will always be must-see TV.