The New York Knicks travel across town to face the Brooklyn Nets tonight at 7:30PM EST.
The Knicks are coming off a dominant win against the Minnesota Timberwolves where they led by as many as 27 points. They currently sit at 5-5 on the year but have only beat teams with losing records. Now on the brightside, they are beating the teams that they have to beat. It would have been a bigger issue if they were losing to some of those teams as well, but they struggle against teams with a better record. It is clear that the Knicks definitely have work to do especially defensively. They allow 115 points per game which is something unusual with a coach like Tom Thibodeau.
The Nets on the other hand will be without Kyrie Irving as he continues his suspension. They are coming off three straight games on the road only to come back around after their game against the Knicks to go on a four game road trip. In an eight game span, this is their only home game. At home, the Nets sit at 2-4 which is more of the same Nets team that we saw at home last season which fell a game below .500.
How The Knicks Can Win:
For the Knicks to win, they have to control the Nets on defense. It shows how much they miss Mitchell Robinson in the lineup as they rank in the bottom five for defensive rebounding percentage. If they can step it up in the rebounding category to replace the dominant impact Robinson has on the team then they should win. They also cannot let up in the second half. The Knicks lead the league in first half scoring with 62.9 points but in the second half, they rank 29th in the league with just 50.5 points. The issue is clearly there and if the Knicks don’t fix this issue quickly, they will not make the postseason.
How The Nets Can Win:
For The Nets To Win, Simmons needs to take more shots and elevate his scoring to replace Irving. The Nets have struggled on offense so they need the Knicks to continue to struggle on defense. The good thing for the Nets is they own the matchup against the Knicks winning their last seven meetings spanning the last two seasons.
Brooklyn Nets 115, New York Knicks 104
Brooklyn extends their win streak against the Knicks to eight straight games.