The state of New York is very familiar to cross town rivalries. The Giants versus the Jets and Yankees versus the Mets have created many special moments and debates for fans. Yet, for the first time the NBA can boast of such a rivalry on their courts as the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets have created a matchup that is sure to keep fans attention for a long time. After watching the first “Battle of the Boroughs” as it has been dubbed; we can all only hope they will be as good as this game.
The Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York was packed for what would be the first meeting between the Brooklyn Nets and the New York Knicks. However, this would not be a matchup between two teams that have struggled to stay above .500 many of the seasons in recent memory. Instead, these two organizations are sitting in the second and third spots in the Eastern Conference and chasing down the Miami Heat. While the 2012-2013 season is still very young, this does not stop New York fans from hoping that they will have a sports team to cheer come summer time. The Nets were able to walk away with a 96-89 overtime victory.
Both organizations did not disappoint in any fashion in this marquee Monday night matchup. The Nets used a collective team effort behind Deron Williams, Brook Lopez and Gerald Wallace; however it was 38-year old Jerry Stackhouse who became the hero of the evening. His 14 points in 22 minutes off of the bench proved to be one of the driving factors to help the Nets improve to 7-1 at home this season. Reggie Evans and Keith Bogans contributed as well, although not in the scoring category. Evans pulled down a game leading 14 rebounds while Bogans defensive abilities on Carmelo Anthony late in game stifled him just enough to keep the Knicks at bay.
Anthony’s 35 points on 11-25 shooting with 13 rebounds led the way for the Knicks, but his struggles late in the game gave the Nets added space when they needed it most. Tyson Chandler ended the evening with a career high of 28 points and 10 rebounds. The rest of the group was unable to keep up as no other player joined them in double digit figures. Missing Jason Kidd was apparent as back spasms kept him off the court against his former team and forced Raymond Felton to stay on the court even though he struggled from start to finish, going 3-19 with just eight points and five turnovers.
With the win, the Nets improved to 9-4 while dropping the Knicks to the same record. Both organizations are now one game behind the Heat for the lead in the Eastern Conference. It’s too early in the season to make much of these rankings, but with the way the Nets played team basketball from start to finish and the Knicks hung on while enduring roster struggles; this gives fans of both organizations much to look forward to for the coming year.