“It’s been a long, a long time coming, but I know change gonna come,” croons Sam Cooke in one of the best soul songs of all time. Last night, the new-look Brooklyn Nets showed the New York Knicks what change looks like.
In a playoff-like atmosphere not previously seen even when the Nets were actually in the playoffs, the Nets outlasted the New York Knicks in overtime 96-89 to take a 1-0 lead in the Battle of the Boroughs. After years of playing second fiddle to the big brother Knicks in the tri-state area, the Nets even managed to draw more Nets fans than Knicks fans to the $1 billion Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Long accustomed to seeing a sea of orange and blue in the stands, it looks like the Nets better get used to seeing black and white in the stands.
Of course, everyone loves a winner, so the Nets have to keep it up. So far they’ve been better than advertised, tied with the Knicks for the Atlantic Division lead in the Eastern Conference with a 9-4 record and behind the Miami Heat by one game for the best record in the East.
Brook Lopez has returned from injury to reestablish himself as the best center in the Eastern Conference; his 22 points and 11 rebounds against the Knicks were crucial. Deron Williams dominated the Knicks point guards with 16 points and 14 assists and continued to show that he’s among the best point guards in the East. Carmelo Anthony’s 35 points and 13 rebounds weren’t enough to overcome Brooklyn’s balanced attack.
The Nets Knicks matchup was the first between Brooklyn and New York teams since the Brooklyn Dodgers played the New York Giants on September 8, 1957. “It’s been a long, a long time coming…”
I’m probably not on the nice list, but just in case I want to ask for one small thing for Christmas. Can I have a Brooklyn Nets vs. New York Knicks playoff series? Preferably in the second round so it can go seven games? Oh, and a new Nintendo Wii U. And I promise I’ll be much more well behaved next year. Thanks.