Tomorrow night at 7:30, the Nets will host their cross-river rival, the New York Knicks. The Nets can help themselves in a huge way by winning tomorrow.
The Nets vs. Knicks meeting tomorrow will be the second to last game of professional basketball that New Jersey will ever host. It is also the last Nets game that will attract a large audience. Some people will remember the New Jersey Nets just by the game they play tomorrow. Baseball legend Jim Thome once said, “my dad told me when I went into high school, ‘It’s not what you do when you walk in the door that matters. It’s what you do when you walk out.’ That’s when you’ve made a lasting impression.” Thome’s dad told his son that in the long run, his high school friends will only remember him for how he leaves high school. This statement (from Google) certainly does not apply to everything, but I think it may apply to the Nets. A win tomorrow night will give many a lasting impression that the New Jersey Nets are a force to be reckoned with. Another loss, and even more people will remember New Jersey as the laughingstock of the NBA.
Throughout their 35 year history, the Nets have been overshadowed by the Knicks. Case in point, the Nets Facebook page has only 205,575 likes while the Knicks’ Facebook page has 2,424,811 likes. Wow. However, there is an advantage to having so few followers: some people really do not know how bad the Nets have been for the past few seasons. Not everyone remembers the Nets’ 12-70 season. When the Nets are under the spotlight tomorrow, they can leave a lasting impression on some that New Jersey’s team is legitimate.
Even though the big game is tomorrow, we already know that the Nets will be terribly shorthanded. Deron Williams (sore calf) has been ruled out to return from injury. Ouch. Gerald Wallace (sore hamstring) is questionable to return from injury and Shelden Williams is also listed as questionable. The Knicks will not have their A team either. Amar’e Stoudemire (bulging disk) will not play. Also, the Knicks are playing in an emotional game versus the Boston Celtics tonight and should be tired when they play the Nets tomorrow.
It is disappointing that the Nets will not be able to match the Knicks in talent tomorrow. It is also disappointing that the Nets have played terribly at home this season. Yet, the Nets are good enough to win tomorrow. They have shocked the Bulls, Clippers, 76ers, Pacers, and Mavericks this season. More importantly, they defeated the Knicks when New York was playing at their highest level this season Back then, Jeremy Lin was carrying the Knicks to wins night in and night out. However, at that time the Nets had a healthy and motivated all-star, Deron Williams, and tomorrow they will not. We’ll talk more about that Nets victory in our game preview tomorrow.
In sum, the Nets must pull off the upset win tomorrow.