Moke Hamilton, SNYNets.com
NEW YORK — Heading into the 2012-13 NBA season, all eyes were on the Brooklyn Nets and the question as to whether or not they would immediately have a "rivalry" with the New York Knicks.
To this point, most players on each side claimed that games against one another were just "another game" on the schedule, but during and after the first meeting between these two teams—an overtime battle that saw the Nets walk away with a 96-89 victory—it was obvious that there was a lot more going on than we thought.
Finally, after Carmelo Anthony scored 45 points in the Knicks 100-97 victory at Barclays Center on Dec. 11, he was very candid about the Nets and about whether or not he thinks that the Nets and Knicks are rivals.
"It is a rivalry and it's great for New York to have that in Brooklyn and Manhattan," Anthony said after the Knicks defeated the Nets at Barclays Center. "After that first game, we might as well accept that. It is what it is, they're in our division, we see them four times a year."
Before Tuesday night, Raymond Felton was the only Knick to use the "R" word on the record in reference to the Nets. But Anthony seems to have realized after two regular season games at Barclays that these games are more meaningful than games against the likes of the Toronto Raptors and Cleveland Cavaliers.
"When we come here, it's a battle, when [the Nets] go [to Madison Square Garden], it'll be a battle. We accept that," Anthony said.
Coming into Tuesday night's second battle at Barclays, the Knicks and Nets seemed to be going in opposite directions. Coming in, the Knicks won six of its past seven games after losing to the Nets back on Nov. 26, while the Nets came in having lost four games in a row after missing Brook Lopez.
"It feels great to win back over here in Brooklyn, I can't lie," Anthony said."...On the road, tough atmosphere, Jason Kidd came up big for us."
After the Knicks win, the team improves to 16-5 on the season and will welcome the Los Angeles Lakers to Madison Square Garden on Thursday night, while the Nets fall to 11-9 and travel to Toronto to play the Raptors on the second night of a back-to-back.
For the Nets, Brook Lopez has been ruled out and the team is hoping he may be able to return on Friday when the team plays host to the Detroit Pistons. The Nets are now 1-5 without Lopez and have lost five games in a row.