New York Knicks loss sets up big game Sunday night for Brooklyn Nets

USA TODAY Sports

Can Nets make good on a unique opportunity Sunday?

On December 19, the Knicks blew out the Nets at Madison Square Garden. It was devastating. The win left the Nets with a 13-12 record and the Knicks with a 19-6 record ... and a six-game lead over Brooklyn. It was the high point for the Knicks and low point for the Nets. New York was never better, Brooklyn never worse. Avery Johnson was fired a week later.

Since then, the Knicks have gone 19-20, dropping below .500 over that stretch with their fourth straight loss Sunday. The Nets have been 25-15, and with a win Sunday over the Hawks, the Nets would move into a virtual tie for first in the Division, erasing a six game lead.

Pressure?

Prior to Sunday's tip-off against the Atlanta Hawks, coach P.J. Carlesimo shrugged off the notion that the Nets can essentially tie the Knicks for first place with a win over Atlanta.

He said, "I don't care what the numbers say, it is basically meaningless," noting that the Knicks have played fewer games than the Nets. The Knicks would still have a slight lead, percentage-wise, .594 to .591, with a Nets win.

Nets CEO Brett Yormark is a little more excited about the Nets' chance to tie the Knicks for the Atlantic Division lead, however.

Well, someone has to be excited about it, no?

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