The second leg of the crosstown rivalry between the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets will be played Tuesday nights, pitting two teams that have headed in different directions since Brooklyn's 96-89 overtime victory earlier this season.
For Brooklyn, that win was part of a five-game win streak, led by 22-point, 11-rebound effort by Brook Lopez. But he won't be there to face off against Tyson Chandler, as he'll miss his sixth straight game with a sprain in his right foot. Unsurprisingly, the team has lost four straight without their leading scorer. Andray Blatche has actually been decent putting points on the scoreboard in Lopez' absence, but he isn't the player Lopez is.
The killer for New York in the first game was poor shooting, as despite 35 points from Carmelo Anthony and a 12-for-13, 28-point night for Tyson Chandler, the team missed 15 of 21 threes and shot only 39 percent from the floor. That will happen sometimes, but not often: New York is second in the league with 110.2 points per 100 possessions, behind only the Oklahoma City Thunder. Against the Nets, the team's ball movement disappeared at times with Raymond Felton taking 19 shots, hitting only three, but since the return of Jason Kidd from a back injury, the passing has been fluid and the shots have been falling. New York's only loss in the seven games since playing Brooklyn came without Anthony on the road against the Chicago Bulls, with a blowout win over the defending champion Miami Heat since.
The game is at 7 p.m. on ESPN in Brooklyn, although the Barclays Center didn't exactly provide a homecourt advantage in the first game as the crowd was fairly split between Knicks and Nets fans.