The opening night game between the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets was postponed due to hurricane Sandy to tonight. It may have made this game even bigger then what it was going to be opening night. Both teams are playing great early on during this season. The Nets have picked up their defensive intensity and the Knicks have been shooting lights out from 3.
The way the two teams play would surprise many. The younger team with the dynamic back court plays the slowed down beat up their opponent type of game. The older team plays the more wide open type of system with a lot of 3's. It seems that should be reversed but so far during this young season the Knicks have been the run and gun type of team. The pace with what the Knicks play is not as fast as it was under D'antoni and they do work the shot clock but the Knicks right now would rather shoot the open three then take the ball to the basket.
The Nets rely a lot on post ups and isolations rather then getting out and running. The Nets will run however when they get the opportunity as Deron Williams likes to push the ball but when in the half court look for a lot of post ups and pick and rolls. Lopez has played very well on the offensive side of the ball. With Kris Humphries and Reggie Evans on the Nets rebounding has not been as big of an issue with Lopez because he has other players on the team to help him out.
There are a couple of storylines going into tonights game. Of course it is the battle for first place as the Knicks are 9-3 and the Nets are 8-4. There is the battle of the "Superstars' as the Nets have Joe Johnson and Deron Williams and the Knicks have Carmelo Anthony. The biggest storyline however has to be the fans that will be at the game tonight. It has been talked about a lot that when the Knicks used to play the Nets at prudential it was considered a Knicks home game. Tonight will be interesting to see if the Brooklyn crowd will stick with their hometown team or will Knicks fans be able to invade that arena.
This is a big game for both teams but this is an even bigger game for the Knicks in a couple of aspects. First the Knicks do not want allow the Nets to win the first battle in this budding rivalry. The Knicks want to come out and prove to all of New York that they are still the only team in New York. Second will the Knicks be able to get back to playing tough defense and be able to match up with the size of Brooklyn. The Knicks have an undersized lineup and have been getting killed in the paint recently. The key tonight will be the rebounding and the interior defense. If the Knicks want to win tonights game they have to get back to tough defense and protect the basketball.
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