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With tough schedule behind them, Nets take on Knicks

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Looking forward to the Knicks ... always

USA TODAY Sports

There's been a lot of propaganda out there trying to dismiss the Nets winning streak and the P.J. Carlesimo Good Times Tour as a function of a weak schedule, the implication being that their rivals Monday afternoon have faced the tougher opponents.

The reverse is true. Here's a look at the strength of schedule last ten days: Brooklyn faced opponents with a winning percentage of .509, New York's? .475. And for the year, notes a league source, the numbers are similar: Brooklyn .502; New York .487. In fact, the Nets are second to the Heat for the toughest schedule after 40 games. With the season half over after the Knicks game, that means, of course, that the Nets schedule will get, on average, easier.

The Nets and Knicks won't play each other again this season but that doesn't mean they'll be watching the standings since for the first time in like forever they're realistic rivals for the Atlantic Division crown, with the Celtics playing mediocre ball, the Sixers never recovered from the loss of Andrew Bynum and the Raptors starting too late.