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Emotional games highlight next week for Nets

Maddie Meyer

Back from their European tour --and a good win over the Hawks-- the Nets will be facing a lot of emotion this week when they take on the Knicks Monday at the Garden and the Celtics on Sunday in Boston.

Monday afternoon, the Nets will face a reeling Knick club who have lost three straight and will be without the services of big men Amare Stoudemire and Kenyon Martin, both down with sprained ankles. Their starting backcourt produced five points Friday vs. the Clippers. The Nets hope to reverse what was their worst loss of the season, a 113-83 shellacking in Brooklyn back in December.  And Deron Williams could make his return.

Then, on Sunday, it's the dramatic return of Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to TD Garden. Garnett and Pierce have seemed to revive after Jason Kidd re-jiggered the line-up following Brook Lopez's injury. The Celtics have their own woes. They've lost 10 of their last 11 and any hopes of the playoffs are fading fast for the green men.

In between, the Nets will face Orlando, who started the Nets decline back in November, and Dallas, who's fighting for a playoff spot in the West. Both are at Barclays. The Nets are currently hold the eighth seed in the East, three and a half out of fourth, following their 6-1 start in 2014.

One big difference between now and 2013 is the return of a healthy Andrei Kirilenko. They're 6-2 since he's be reinserted into the mix, Rod Boone points out, 8-4 overall.