After the Brooklyn Nets re-tooled this offseason, adding Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Jason Terry, Andrei Kirilenko, Alan Anderson, Shaun Livingston, and Mason Plumlee, they were expected not just to compete for a championship, but to take over New York City after splitting the season series with the New York Knicks, finishing with a worse record, and equalling them in playoff success last season.
We’re a full month into the season, which isn’t an insignificant amount of time. So after all the offseason hoopla: who runs New York?
The answer may surprise you: it’s the Indiana Pacers.
Through the first month, the Nets only have two wins in six tries in the actual city of New York, defeating the defending champion Miami Heat 101-100 in their home opener and the Utah Jazz, the team with the NBA’s worst record, on November 5th. The Knicks only have one win in seven tries — a 90-83 win over the Milwaukee Bucks, the Eastern Conference cellar dwellers, in their season opener.
Meanwhile, the Indiana Pacers have as many wins as the Nets and more wins than the Knicks in New York City this season.
Last year’s Nets PR account might note that the Indiana Pacers are undefeated in New York. The Pacers beat the Nets 96-91 at Barclays Center on November 9th and then the Knicks 103-96 in overtime 11 days later at Madison Square Garden.
The Pacers may not be done, either. They play the Nets in Brooklyn again on December 23rd, before traveling to the Garden to face the Knicks on March 19th.
The Pacers have opened the season with a 15-1 record and have the league’s best defense, so it’s not an incredible surprise that they’ve done well in the city. While the Nets and Knicks have to get a win in New York soon (no, really — they play each other on Thursday) let’s take a moment and all praise our Hoosier overlords.
(h/t to our research assistant Daniel Soriano.)