Cue the lights.
When the Brooklyn Nets make their way across the Hudson to take on the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday night, much more will be on the line for both teams than just the current set of New York City bragging rights.
For the Nets, this meeting will present an opportunity to send a much bigger message to the blue and orange than any of their previous victories over the Knicks.
Because this time around, Brooklyn will have a chance to add more water to the sinking boat that is New York’s playoff hopes.
With the Nets aiming for home court advantage in the first round of the postseason and the Knicks just hoping to sneak in at this point, the Nets have clearly established themselves as the ruling team in the city for this season. Lessening the chances of the Knicks getting into the playoffs with a victory would be the ultimate regular season wake-up call the Nets could possibly provide.
Of course, it won’t come at a small price. Salary cap issues will limit the moves New York is capable of in the offseason, but expect new president of basketball operations Phil Jackson to put even greater effort into somehow improving his team over the summer if the Nets win the season series, finish as one of the tops seeds in the East and defeat the Knicks when they could no longer afford any additional losses.
Regardless, the Nets would love to put another nail in the coffin that is the Knicks’ 2013-14 season.