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Clash of the Boroughs: Part II - Brooklyn Nets vs. Manhattan Knicks

J-Kidd plays in Brooklyn for the first time. Will Brook Lopez be on the floor too?

Bruce Bennett

It's too early to be about anything other than bragging rights. So far, the Knicks have the better record, by 3.5 games. The Nets have the upper hand in the series, winning the inaugural contest at Barclays Center November 26 in an overtime thriller that had fans chanting, "Brook-Lyn" all the way down from the upper deck into the depths of the subway.

There's no denying the Knicks have played better lately but the Nets may have Brook Lopez Tuesday night for the first time in five games. The most important moment for Nets fans Tuesday may be when Lopez wakes up and takes his first step. How's it feel?

The Nets also may continue their experimenting, moving Gerald Wallace from one forward post to the other and (presumably) opening up minutes for MarShon Brooks. Brooks was Wallace's helpmate in the Nets' ultimately unsuccessful comeback vs. the Bucks, scoring 14 points in 21 minutes. It was the most minutes he had played since the second game of the season when he also played 21 minutes. His 14 points tied his season high. (Interesting to note that Keith Bogans, who has taken a lot of Brooks' minutes, registered a DNP-CD Sunday.) Also, if Lopez is back, the second unit will get another boost with the return of Andray Blatche to the Bench Mobb.

On the Knicks' side, the big difference between December and November will be the availability of Jason Kidd, who didn't play vs. the Nets due to back spasms. He's healthy now. So is Carmelo Anthony (cut finger) who played on Sunday after missing two games vs. the Heat and Bulls, one win, one loss.

Avery Johnson said the big reasons the Knicks are what they are (a contender, according to most) are their three point shooting, Anthony and Raymond Felton. Odd he didn't mention their defense.