Knicks @ Nets - Barclays Center
When: Monday | 7:00 PM
Where to Watch: TNT | Postgame on MSG NETWORKS
Where to Listen: ESPN 98.7 FM
New York: Rasheed Wallace was back in the lineup on Sunday after he was sidelined with a sore foot on Friday night. Marcus Camby also received significant playing time in the Knicks 121-100 bounce back victory against the Pistons. Head coach Mike Woodson said he wanted to see a bigger lineup, especially after New York surrendered 131 points in a loss to the Rockets. The move paid off and the Knicks snapped a two-game slide to improve to 9-3 on the season and a perfect 5-0 at Madison Square Garden.
Brooklyn: Entering a new era, the Nets needed two things to occur this offseason: Sign Deron Williams and make a splash in free agency. Brooklyn was unable to complete a trade for Dwight Howard but the franchise acquired Joe Johnson to pair with Williams, forming an All-Star backcourt. With Brook Lopez, Kris Humphries, and Gerald Wallace returning, the Nets all of the sudden became a playoff caliber team. Brooklyn has won seven of its last nine games, including back-to-back wins over the Clippers and Blazers prior to the matchup against the Knicks on Monday night. At 8-4, the Nets have already faced the Heat, Celtics, Lakers, and Clippers with Boston, Miami, and Oklahoma City on the schedule this upcoming week.
Last Time Out
New York: Carmelo Anthony scored 21 of his 29 points in the first half to lift the Knicks to a 121-100 win on Sunday afternoon.
Brooklyn: Johnson scored 21 and Williams dished out 12 assists in a 98-85 victory over Portland on Sunday.
The Numbers Game
The Knicks are 7-2 this season when they score 100 or more points.
Match-up to Watch
Raymond Felton vs. Deron Williams
Williams is one of the elite point guards in the league and the Nets rely on his ability to score, distribute the rock, and lead in the locker room. He can hit perimeter jumpers all over the floor, penetrate the defense behind a powerful first dribble, and fill the highlight reel with spectacular passes. Felton went toe-to-toe with Williams during a preseason tilt but this will be a more difficult challenge in the first Brooklyn-New York meeting of the season. The Knicks point man deserves a ton of credit as well, considering he is New York’s second leading scorer. Next to Jason Kidd in the starting lineup, Felton is averaging 7.0 assists per game this season.
What to Look For
The highly anticipated matchup between New York and Brooklyn was delayed on opening night due to the obvious issues surrounding Hurricane Sandy. Better late than never is the thought process as the Knicks enter an interesting atmosphere. Are they villains or heroes? Regardless of the potential rivalry that could take place in the future; these teams are battling for a top spot in the Eastern Conference and an early win in the division. New York will need to limit the Nets potent backcourt and watch the points in the paint and rebounding numbers from a squad that features a pretty strong frontline. The defensive play of Rasheed Wallace, Marcus Camby, and Tyson Chandler will be essential performers for the Knicks to protect the rim. Brooklyn is a top defensive team as well this year, ranking No. 2 overall in the NBA by only allowing 92 points per game.