For the final time this season, the Knicks and Nets will square off in a blockbuster clash, this time on Martin Luther King Day. While New York have won the previous two encounters, Brooklyn have been playing effective basketball as of late. With the Nets closing in on top spot in the Atlantic Division, the result of this matchup could be significant down the road.
Playing their first game since returning from London a few days ago, the Knicks will try to record their third consecutive win when they step back onto Madison Square Garden. The Nets have won eight out of their last nine games and a statement win on Monday afternoon in enemy territory would be impressive to say the least.
Key player for the Knicks
Carmelo Anthony’s going to get his usual 25 points, but the real difference in this game will be center Tyson Chandler. Defending Brook Lopez is Chandler’s main assignment, though he’ll also be required on the offensive end, creating second shot opportunities as he’s done all season.
Key player for the Nets
After a disappointing first two months of the season, Deron Williams has improved his play under interim coach P.J. Carlesimo. With Raymond Felton out until late in the week, Williams needs to take advantage of the matchup with Kidd and lead the Nets to a important win.
Brooklyn will continue their recent good form and get a victory in the Big Apple. Expect Williams to play a prominent role and notch up a double-double. Also watch for Reggie Evans to provide crucial minutes off the bench and give the Nets an advantage in the rebounding column.