Brooklyn Nets vs. New York Knick Pre-Game Report 11/8/16

Oct 8, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez (11) defends New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Oct 8, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez (11) defends New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

On Wednesday, the Brooklyn Nets will travel across town to Madison Square Garden to face off against the New York Knicks in the first “Battle of the Burroughs” of the season.

Both the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets come into this game with similar records, as the Nets have a 3-4 record, while the Knicks have a 2-4 record.

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The Nets have beaten three solid teams in the Indiana Pacers, Minnesota Timberwolves, and Detroit Pistons, but have fallen victim to close losses otherwise. Out of the Nets four losses, three were by five points or less.

The Knicks, on the other hand, haven’t been as close. They have beaten the Memphis Grizzlies and the Chicago Bulls, but three of their four losses were by 13 points or more.

The battle between the two divisional rivals will be the first of this season, and will come after two previous matchups in the preseason. In those preseason bouts, the Knicks came out victorious both times, winning by a combined 23 points.

The second game though, was much closer, as the Nets had an opportunity to tie the game with 30 seconds to play, but turned the ball over on that possession.

Nov 8, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez (11) reacts after hitting a three point shot against the Minnesota Timberwolves during the first quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Keys to the Game

A group effort

Jeremy Lin’s injury is devastating to the Nets, as they’re losing the focal part of their team. Due to his loss, that means that the team as a whole needs to step up.

More specifically, the Nets need a team effort like they had on Friday night against the Charlotte Hornets (the Nets’ first game without Lin). It was a solid scoring effort from Brook Lopez, Bojan Bogdanovic, and Sean Kilpatrick, who all stepped up in Lin’s place. The trio ended up combining for 51 of the team’s 95 points, while five Nets scored in double digits.

Despite the tight loss, there were surely morale victories to take from it, as the Hornets are one of the hottest teams in the NBA at 5-1.

The Nets need this kind of effort tonight.

Efficient shooting

Another one of the Nets’ biggest struggles right now is their shooting efficiency.

Before last night’s game, the Nets were shooting 43.1 percent from the field, which is 7th worst in the NBA. Further, they were shooting 30.7 percent from behind the three-point line, which is 6th worst in the NBA.

On the flip side, the Knicks’ defense has allowed their opponents to shoot 46.4 percent from the field (4th worst in the NBA) and 37.9 percent from three-point range (3rd worst in the NBA).

This is a matchup that the Nets need to take advantage of. If the Knicks give as much space to the Nets as they seem to be giving to other teams, the Nets will have to knock down the shots to pull out the win.

Players to Watch

Nets: Brook Lopez (C) – 19.4 points per game, 5.2 rebounds per game in first six games

Knicks: Carmelo Anthony (SF) – 22.8 points per game on 46.7 percent shooting this season

Oct 8, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (24) drives to the basket past New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Projected Starters

Nets:

Knicks:

Injury Report

Nets:

Knicks:

Key Matchup:

Carmelo Anthony vs. whoever is guarding him

Carmelo Anthony is one of the most prolific scorers in the NBA, and containing him will be important to the Nets’ success. The Nets have been shaky on defense thus far this season, and limiting Anthony will be a huge boost for them. If Anthony goes off, though, the Nets could be in trouble.

 Other Notes

  • The Nets and Knicks split the season series last year, 2-2.
  • The game will be broadcasted nationally on ESPN at 7 P.M. EST. Join the conversation by tweeting @NetsBlogFS .

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