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Nets come home to play the Knicks on Biggie night

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Boston Celtics v New York Knicks Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

It’s good to be home. The Brooklyn Nets closed out their annual road trip in Dallas on Friday night. They put up a good fight, but fell short by nine points. With the circus and ACC Tournament done, the Nets will be in town for the next two weeks

The opponent tonight will be the New York Knicks. It’s been a fairly disappointing season for the Knicks as they find themselves on the outside looking in of the playoff picture. This is the second night of a back-to-back for New York. They got smoked by the Pistons last night.

Where to follow the game

Double coverage tonight. YES Network and MSG on the TV side with WFAN 101.9 FM and ESPN 98.7 FM on the radio. Tip off after 6 PM.

Injuries

Joe Harris will be out again with both a bad left shoulder and a concusion. No date for his return. Brook Lopez is probable.

Joakim Noah is hoping to return to action next month.

The game

The Knicks won the first game in November and the second one in February.

Tonight is Biggie Night at Barclays as the team will be honoring and celebrating the late Notorious B.I.G. It should make for a fun night for the fans at the arena.

It’s never a good sign when your boss starts to come around more often. Phil Jackson has been meeting with players and teaching them the intricacies of the triangle offense. It seems helpful, but Phil really should get out of the way and let Jeff Hornacek coach the team in the way he sees fit.

Carmelo Anthony will be the focal point of the Knick offense. I noticed something pretty interesting. His free throw attempts per game have declined each of the past three seasons and has the lowest free throw rate of his career this year. While his three point rate is at a career high, it's still shocking to see how rarely (relatively speaking) he gets to the line considering how much punishment he absorbs each game.

Caris Levert will be assigned to Melo tonight. Levert has done well as a starter and defending Melo will be a great test for the rookie. Melo had a terrible game (and was benched for the entire fourth quarter) the last time he saw Brooklyn, so look for him to make amends quickly.

Melo hasn’t scored 20 points in a game since February 27, five games. That’s his long streak of sub-20 games since March 2012.

Jeremy Lin's minutes and responsibilities have steadily increased each game he's been back. Having him back opens things up for the Nets offense and with Lopez not at full strength, Lin's ability to create offense will become even more important. Derrick Rose will be on the other side. Oddly enough, D-Rose has been having his best season since the lockout shortened year of 2012. However, that doesn't necessarily mean he's been good. The Knicks have between now and July to figure out if they want to keep Rose around going forward.

Player to watch: Kristaps Porzingis

The future of the Knicks is in his hands. Porzingis has followed up a great rookie seasin with a solid sophomore campaign and projects to be one of the beat big men in the league going forward. He has range stretching out to the three point line and can score in the low post. Eventually, the Knicks will move him to Center full time, but that day hasn't come yet.

It looks like Rondae Hollis Jefferson will be assigned to KP. RHJ will be able to chase the seven footer off the three point line, but will be outmatched when on the inside. Quincy Acy and Trevor Booker will get turns guarding Porzingis so the Nets will be able to switch things up as the game progresses.

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