Nets, Knicks go at in a battle for Manhattan: Gameday

Brooklyn Nets
Cam Thomas celebrates a three point shot against the New York Knicks with guard Seth Curry during the fourth quarter at Madison Square Garden.
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Brooklyn Nets (40-38) vs. New York Knicks (35-44)
Wednesday, April 6 @ Madison Square Garden

How to Watch/Listen:

7:30 p.m. ET on YES Network, ESPN and WFAN 101.9 FM / 660 AM.

Knicks vs. Nets Odds, Lines, More

  • Spread: Nets -5
  • Nets Moneyline: -208
  • Knickss Moneyline: +175
  • O/U: 229.5
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A meaningful game between the Nets and Knicks, it doesn’t get much better than that for New York basketball fans. While the game means more for Brooklyn than the occupants of Madison Square Garden on Wednesday night, both teams will not have a hard time getting up for this one.

The Nets have managed to put themselves back into the driver’s seat a bit with Tuesday’s win over the Houston Rockets, along with losses by Charlotte, Atlanta and Cleveland. They now hold the eighth seed in the East and could climb to seventh if they win out their final three games, which would mean they’d only have to win one game to advance to the first round of the playoffs and they’d get to host at Barclays Center in the play-in round.

Wednesday will also mark the first time that Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving will play as teammates on the floor at MSG. That alone is sure to rile up the Garden crowd.

“You know how that series goes between us and the Knicks and its been that way since I been a fan of the Nets since I was a kid,” Irving said Tuesday night. “It’s going to be action-packed. … It’ll be an exciting environment where you know what to expect. It’s the mecca, so what better way to close out the final few games than playing in one of the most historic arenas in the world.

“That aside we just have to bring it and looking forward to it.”

Brooklyn’s lineup is expected to look the same as it did on Tuesday night, though one change could come. The Nets will be without Goran Dragic, who is still in Atlanta in Health and Safety protocol, but Seth Curry will be back in the lineup after missing the win over Houston.

Curry has been dealing with soreness in his left ankle. Nets head coach Steve Nash told reporters that he had hoped to have the sharpshooter back for Wednesday’s game on Broadway and said that resting Curry doesn’t guarantee his ankle will feel better.

The Nets will be dealing with a Knicks squad that is very motivated to play spoiler against their crosstown rival and get some revenge after their previous matchup in February. The Knicks suffered one of their biggest collapses in franchise history in that loss to the Nets.

“We got to win (against the Nets),” Obi Toppin said. “We lost so many close games against them. We just got to get a win against them. We got to come out with a lot of energy. We’re in our home in the Garden. So we got to come out with this win.”

The Nets have won all three previous meetings with the Knicks this season, and the added implications are sure to grow the rivalry.

“It’s going to be big,” Bruce Brown said. “It’s always a close game when we play them. So hopefully we can blow them out,” Bruce Brown said. “It’s gonna be, what, the first game we play both Ky and KD. I know they’re gonna be super excited. Energy is gonna be there, the juice is going to be there, so we just got to go out there execute and win the game.”

Nets Playoff Push:

The Nets moved into the eighth seed with their win on Tuesday night and could move as high as the seventh seed if they can win out the rest of the year. Brooklyn is 1.5 games behind the Cleveland Cavalier for seventh in the East and they’re a game ahead of the Charlotte Hornets.

Injury Report

Nets: James Johnson (non-Covid illness) is questionable. Goran Dragić (health and safety protocols), Joe
Harris (left ankle surgery) and Ben Simmons (return to competition reconditioning/back soreness) are out.

Knicks: Quentin Grimes (right knee soreness) and Miles McBride (right knee soreness) are questionable. Nerlens Noel (left foot soreness), Julius Randle (right quadricep tendon soreness), Cam Reddish (right shoulder AC injury) and Derrick Rose (right ankle surgery) are out.