It is fight for New York Vol. III, between the Knicks and the Nets. The two franchises from the Big Apple clash for the third time this season, with the previous two ending up in the Nets’ favor. However, it is interesting to see Brooklyn coming into tonight’s even following a loss, while on the other side, their rivals won the latest clash. The importance of this match is high, and both teams need to win it. Nets to stay in the race for the top spot in the Eastern Conference, while Knicks need to win to keep themselves in the playoff zone.
New York Knicks (25-25, +190) had three losses in a row before defeating the Detroit Pistons on the road, 125-81. It was one of the best offensive performances for Tom Thibodeau’s team since the year has started, and once again, Julius Randle was in the center of the action.
The big man scored 29 points with eight rebounds and five threes, all that in 30 minutes of play. His Knicks demolished the rivals 41-15 in the opening period, setting up the tone and keeping everything routine after that. There was no way for the Pistons to break free from the Knicks’ grip, let alone make some sort of a comeback.
Reggie Bulock dropped 22 points, had five boards and six threes in 10 attempts, shooting 8-for-12 from the field overall. What is a positive situation is that the Knicks have the majority of their players healthy and available, which wasn’t the case in previous weeks. Mitchell Robinson is the only big-name absentee right now.
Brooklyn Nets (34-16, -205 lost to the Chicago Bulls 115-107, ending a four-game winning streak. This time they didn’t have the offensive performance as against the Hornets, and the lack of two offensive weapons, such as James Harden and Kevin Durant, was visible.
The Nets made just 11 threes in 28 attempts, and were at the free-throw line only seven times, which is a bit unbelievable, wouldn’t you agree? Also, the Nets were outrebounded, 40-35, and all this resulted in an unexpected loss.
Kyrie Irving had the team-high 24 points with 15 assists, but even though he shared the ball and set up easy buckets, apart from Jeff Green, he didn’t have some notable support. Green had 21 points in 25 minutes, with the next best thing being Landry Shamet with 13 buckets. Aldridge and Joe Harris had 11, Griffin and Brown 10.
Head to Head Games
Nets won the previous two battles. The first one was in January, 116-109, while the other in mid-January, 117-112. That one saw Harden dropping a triple-double with 40 points, 15 assists, and 10 boards.
Harden won’t play this game as well, according to the sources from within the team. The Nets are the favorites, and they should bounce back from last night’s loss. However, if you find this being too risky, go with under number of points, with the current line set at 218.5 points. The Knicks play tough basketball, while on the other side, the Nets have slight problems in offense without Harden and Durant. Also, with Aldridge and Griffin, their pace on the floor is going to be slower as well.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.