Ever since the Nets arrived in Brooklyn in 2012 there has been a long-standing battle for who is really “New York’s Team.”
Although it has been minimal the Nets have enjoyed some playoff success while the Knicks have not made it to the postseason since 2013. This year both the Nets and the Knicks are playing good basketball and could meet in the playoffs.
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Theo Pinson Takes Shot at Brooklyn Nets
Monday, the Nets, and the Knicks will face off in the ‘Battle for New York’ for the second time this season. After dropping the first game to the Nets in January, the Knicks will be looking for revenge to even the season series.
One former Net turned Knick is adding fuel to an already volatile fire.
Thursday was the second anniversary of the iconic video that features the pre-Durant era Brooklyn Nets. The video speaks for itself:
This is the original tho pic.twitter.com/GjDqSvj24T
— D (@hokkaidoh_) March 11, 2021
As you can see the energy of that Nets team was contagious.
While that Nets team is now a distant memory, current Knick and former Net player Theo Pinson sent a tweet suggesting that their energy lives on, it just resides in a different borough.
“That energy and vibe is right across the bridge!” Pinson tweeted.
That energy and vibe is right across the bridge!🤷🏿♂️ https://t.co/MxEObAWv3U
— Theo pinson (@tpinsonn) March 11, 2021
Pinson was a member of that Nets’ squad as he started his NBA career in Brooklyn in 2018 before signing with the New York Knicks in 2020.
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Nets & Knicks Rivalry Is Renewed
The first time the Nets played the Knicks this season was the same day that James Harden’s trade to the Brooklyn Nets was announced. Needless to say, their roster was depleted that night. The Nets still beat the Knicks 116-109.
The teams that will be taking the floor at the Barclays Center on Monday are completely different than the teams that met on January 13. The Knicks have put the pieces together and are in 7th place in the Eastern Conference.
Knicks’ All-Star Julius Randle has put together a spectacular season and is looking like a good candidate to make an All-NBA team this season. On the year, Randle is averaging 22.9 points, 11.0 rebounds, and 5.7 assists per game.
While the Nets will still be without Kevin Durant and Blake Griffin on Monday, both Kyrie Irving and Harden have looked like strong Most Valuable Player candidates. The Nets have won 11 of their last 12 games behind the All-Star duo. Brooklyn is right on the heels of the Philadelphia 76ers to overtake the top spot in the Eastern Conference.
Harden Is Happy To Be Playing in Front of Fans Again
Although Harden has only been a Net for about two months, he already realizes how special this rivalry with the Knicks is now that both teams are playoff contenders. Especially for the fans who are allowed in the building.
“We’re playing well, the Knicks are playing well, so that gives them [the fans] obviously more of a reason to come,” Harden said via CBS Sports.
“But just the excitement and fans wanting to get into the arena to see some basketball; see their favorite player play is another reason,” Harden said.
If the season ended today, the Nets and Knicks would meet in the first round of the playoffs as the number two and number seven seeds, respectively. Monday could indeed be a potential playoff preview.