As the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets get set to tangle on Thursday night in Brooklyn for Big Apple bragging rights, perhaps they should name this game the “Rotten Apple,” as both teams are stinking up New York.
The Knicks, as well documented here, have struggled mightily all season and with in-team fighting and clashes with the coaching staff starting to boil over, the Knicks record sits at pathetic 3-13.
Everything that can go wrong has gone wrong for the Knicks, as they are battling injuries (Tyson Chandler) and each other. Team morale is at an all-time low with a lot of finger pointing taking place.
The Nets have not exactly been a model of excellence either, far from it. The dysfunctional Nets (5-13) with a skipper in Jason Kidd—who is looking every bit the part of a rookie coach—are in way over their head with this supposed “super” team. The additions of Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett have caused more problems than solving any.
With Nets’ point guard Deron Williams hobbled (and doubtful for tonight’s game) and the new additions not meshing well together, they too, have not lived up their lofty preseason standards.
When you think about it, the whole Eastern Conference has been an abomination, as only two teams (Indiana and Miami) have winning records. That being said, no team in this conference is truly out of it.
As for the Atlantic Division, the Boston Celtics at 8-12 are your division leaders. That makes the Knicks only three games back with the Nets two games back.
So, while the game has lost of lot of its luster after all the hype surrounding the game intensified over the summer (remember all the trash talking?), the game does carry some meaning. Whoever gets this win will get some nice momentum—especially in the division.
Expect tensions to rise and tempers to flare in this one. Both teams will look at this game as a statement game. As the proverbial saying goes, when it comes to rivalries, you can throw out the records.
Neither team will want to lose this game and have to answer any more questions than they have to (heads may roll in some cases). So while the play on the court between these two teams has been awful, there is a chance this could be an intense affair as well as a turning point for one of these franchises.
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