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Struggling Nets meet struggling Knicks

"You, you, you and your whole crew"
"You, you, you and your whole crew"
Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to December. After one month, the Brooklyn Nets find themselves with a 6-9 record after they got smoked by the Chicago Bulls on Sunday afternoon. November was a pretty poor month for the Nets, and with the schedule toughening up, they need to get things in order quickly. They were able to dig themselves out of a hole last season, but you don't want to put yourself behind the eight ball.

Waiting for the Nets will be the New York Knicks. The Knicks have struggled in the early portion of the season and lost their most recent game on Sunday night to the Miami Heat. Their losing streak is at four games. Most estimates had this being a transition year for the Knicks, and they're right on schedule so far.

Where to follow the game

New York, New York games mean double coverage locally. On the television side of things, you can watch on either the YES Network or MSG. If you're following on the radio, tune in to either WFAN 101.9 FM or 98.7 ESPN Radio (Still miss you KISS FM). Tip off is a bit after 7:30 PM.


Markel Brown has had a hip pointer.

For the Knicks, Carmelo Anthony had been dealing with back spasms but returned on Sunday evening. Andrea Bargnani still hasn't returned from his litany of injuries.

The game

The Nets won the first meeting back on November seventh.

I'm sure Deron Williams will look to bounce back after a terrible game on Sunday. He wasn't able to take advantage of the matchup at point guard and played 34 ineffective minutes. He had his best game of the season against the Knicks the first time around and should be able to repeat that this time around. Iman Shumpert figures to spend much of the time guarding Joe Johnson, so Williams should look to be assertive early against Jose Calderon and Shane Larkin.

Brook Lopez was unable to do anything against Pau Gasol on Sunday. Gasol had one of his best games in years and helped put Brook into foul trouble. He's had some good moments here and there, but we can classify the first month of Lopez's return as a disappointment. Samuel Dalembert will be the one guarding Lopez.

Having Melo back will do wonders for the Knicks offense. Anthony only shot 11-26 against the Heat on Sunday night, but did manage to get to the free throw line ten times. He's still one of the league's most dynamic scorers, and that will play a part in this contest. The Knicks have struggled in adapting to the triangle, but they have been getting better looks from the field over the past week.

As for all the talk about trades, Deron Williams thinks things will right themselves soon...

Player to watch: Amar'e Stoudemire

The Knicks don't have a minutes restriction on him anymore, and Amar'e has been playing well as a result. The big guy is averaging about 13 points and eight rebounds in only 24 minutes a night. What got the Nets in trouble (among other things) was the foul trouble of Lopez. Stoudemire doesn't get there with the frequency as he once did when in Phoenix, but still gets to the free throw line at a fairly decent rate. He's only made six of these shots so far this year, but Amar'e can stretch out and hit jumpers from the high post.

Amar'e will be coming off the bench for the Knicks, which means he'll be seeing a lot of Mirza Teletovic. Mirza had been playing well, but is in a slump right now. He's missed nine of his last ten three point attempts. When he's playing well, he can stretch the floor and that makes life easier for Lopez in the low post.

From the Vault

Christmas is right around the corner and I've been on a Scottie Pippen kick recently. You put them together and we're heading back to 1994.

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