The New York Knicks will take on the Brooklyn Nets in an enticing 2020-21 NBA matchup at the Barclays Center on Monday. The Knicks will look to avoid a clean sweep against their cross-town rivals this season.
The New York Knicks returned to winning ways in a 128-81 rout of Detroit Pistons. The Brooklyn Nets, meanwhile, saw their four-game winning run snapped in a 107-115 defeat against the Chicago Bulls.
Fixture: New York Knicks vs Brooklyn Nets | NBA Season 2020-21.
Date & Time: Monday, April 5, 2021; 7:00 PM ET (Tuesday, April 6th, 4:30 AM IST).
Venue: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY.
New York Knicks Preview
The New York Knicks have been quite inconsistent post the All-Star break, registering six wins and seven losses.
While their defense has been solid as ever, it's their offense that hasn't clicked as well as they would have wanted it to. Moreover, the New York Knicks, who are seventh in the East, have also had to grapple with multiple injury problems.
However, the recent blowout win over the Detroit Pistons would have given Tom Thibodeau's men a much-needed confidence boost ahead of a tough matchup against the Brooklyn Nets.
Julius Randle scored 29 points in that game, while five other players scored in double digits, helping the New York Knicks score more than 120 points for the first time in five games.
Key Player - Julius Randle
Julius Randle has exceeded expectations this season and has been the best player on the New York Knicks roster. He is leading the race to land the NBA's Most Improved Player of the Year award, as he is averaging career-best tallies in points (22.9), assists (5.8) and rebounds (10.7) this season.
In the last meeting between the New York Knicks and the Brooklyn Nets, Randle almost led his side to a win, scoring 33 points, providing six assists and claiming 13 rebounds. However, a controversial call in the dying moments saw the New York Knicks come up short.
Randle will be eager to go the extra mile this time, and his performance could be key in the outcome of this game.
Point Guard - Eflrid Payton l Shooting Guard - RJ Barrett l Small Forward - Reggie Bullock l Power Forward - Julius Randle l Center - Nerlens Noel.
The Brooklyn Nets have been formidable post the All-Star break, winning ten of their 13. They have also managed to acquire the likes of LaMarcus Aldridge during this period, which has further strengthened their squad as they look to go all the way this season.
The Nets will look to put their shock defeat against the struggling Bulls behind them and return to winning ways in this game.
Durant hasn't featured for the Brooklyn Nets since 13th February, as he is dealing with a hamstring injury, while Harden has missed the last two games because of a similar issue.
Key Payer - Kyrie Irving
Kyrie Irving has been in scintillating form post-the All-Star break for the Brooklyn Nets. He is averaging 28.9 points, 6.7 assists and 5.9 rebounds per contest in the nine games he has played during this period.
With little clarity on the availability of Kevin Durant and James Harden, the onus will once again be on Kyrie Irving to lead the team to a third consecutive win against the New York Knicks this season.
Point Guard - James Harden l Shooting Guard - Kyrie Irving l Small Forward - Joe Harris l Power Forward - Blake Griffin l Center - LaMarcus Aldridge.
Knicks vs Nets Match Prediction
Despite suffering a defeat in their last game and their injury woes, the Brooklyn Nets will be heading into this matchup as the favorites.
Even if only one of Harden or Durant returns, the New York Knicks could find it tough to get going. However, the New York Knicks defense is pretty solid, which should be something the Brooklyn Nets will have to be mindful of.
If the last encounter between the two teams is anything to go by, this game could also be an enticing affair.
Where to watch Knicks vs Nets?
The game between the New York Knicks and the Brooklyn Nets will be televised nationally on NBA TV. Local coverage will be available on YES2 and MSG. The match can also be streamed live with an NBA League Pass.