The New York Knicks will look to win their seventh consecutive game when they take on their crosstown rival, the Brooklyn Nets, on Wednesday at Madison Square Garden.
This will be the second time that the Knicks will be playing Brooklyn since trading away Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. In the first such meeting, the Knicks won 124-106 at MSG on Feb. 13.
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The Knicks will look to create more separation in the standings
The Knicks jumped the Nets for the Eastern Conference’s fifth seed after New York secured a very impressive win over the Boston Celtics Monday night.
New York is currently up a full game on Brooklyn after the Nets suffered a bad loss at the hands of the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday, which sets them up for a real chance to create more separation and go up multiple games in the standings as the season dwindles down.
The new-look Nets are still adjusting to life without their two superstars. They have lost three straight coming out of the All-Star break and have lost seven of their last 10 games overall.
Despite their recent struggles, the Nets still have a very good defensive lineup that the Knicks will certainly need to attack. Jalen Brunson attacked the double teams and hard close outs very well in the win against Boston, so having him control the pace of the offense would likely dictate how this game will play out offensively for the Knicks.
Julius Randle has been on an absolute heater this season, and he continued that by scoring a solid 23 points in the victory against Boston on Monday. Another big game for him could be in order if Brunson draws the necessary attention to get Randle those good looks.
Defensively, the Knicks will look to contain Brooklyn’s volume scorers, such as Spencer Dinwiddie and Mikal Bridges. Dinwiddie scored 28 points in the last meeting between these two teams, and Bridges scored 31 in their loss to Milwaukee on Tuesday.
Both of them can get hot at any point throughout the game, so preventing that from happening will be the catalyst if the Knicks expect to win Wednesday’s match. Immanuel Quickley and Josh Hart could see additional minutes to matchup well defensively with Brooklyn’s lengthy and athletic squad.
Looking at injuries, no Knicks are on the injury report. For the Nets, Ben Simmons (knee) is out, Edmond Sumner (personal) is questionable, and Yuta Watanabe (back) is also questionable.
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