For the first time since 2012-13, both the Knicks and Nets are relevant in the same year. As the teams get together for a meeting on Monday, it’s pretty exciting that fans can watch this one in person. The “battle” for New York will rage on, with one team being at the top of the East and the other being a pleasant surprise and hovering around .500.
Reggie Bullock has not had a great year for the Knicks. He’s had some good games but a lot of quiet performances in which he wasn’t on the floor at the end. He said that he wasn’t worried about the Nets Big 3 because the Knicks “have a big 5”. While you can laud him for having confidence in his guys, that is one of the most absurd, laughable comments that has ever been uttered. KD-Harden-Kyrie Irving vs… Julius Randle, RJ Barrett, and three other guys? Come on.
Kevin Durant has been very limited for the Nets over the last few months. He got off to a hot start in the year, but his body started to quit on him. He missed a week in health and safety protocol on two occasions. And then there was this hamstring injury. It’ll be fun to watch him again.
Betting Odds & Lines
As expected, the Brooklyn Nets are favored, the spread BK -5.5. The BK moneyline is -215, while the Knicks is +170.
Knicks Seek Huge NY Victory
Whenever the Nets and Knicks get together, it’s a big deal. The rivalry has been forced, no doubt about that, but right now, both teams relevant; this could be fun. New York has been riding Julius Randle this year, as he looks like one of the most improved players in the entire league. From a guy who was expected to be included in trade calls to a bonafied All Star.
Randle has put up massive numbers constantly and is playing close to 38-39 minutes a night. He has second-year man RJ Barrett as his sidekick, with rookie Immanuel Quickley providing some spark off the bench along with veteran Alec Burks.
The Knicks also have Derrick Rose, who could go off any night off that bench.
Nets Seeking Win No. 35
James Harden has been having an incredible season for the Nets. Unfortunately for them, he will not be playing in this game, though. He has put up triple-doubles almost nightly, filling up the stat sheet as he has etched his name into the MVP conversations. Kyrie Irving has gone in and out of the lineup all year, but when he plays, he’s terrific.
Kyrie dropped 15 assists on Sunday in a loss to Chicago. When Kyrie is the lone star, the team is as fragile as they will get. Harden and Irving together are tough to beat, so how great will they be when the three of them share the floor together? Nearly unstoppable.
LaMarcus Aldridge blocked three shots against Chicago, his defense a big part of BK’s comeback effort. He and Blake Griffin are both finding their footing pretty quickly in Brooklyn.
Nets Win at Home
A lot of things will happen in the NBA on Monday. Brooklyn losing to the Knicks is certainly not going to be one of them.
FREE PLAY: BK -5.5
MONEYLINE: BK -215
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