The Knicks and Nets will look to renew their local rivalry tonight as the Nets visit the Knicks at MSG. Not only are both teams visibly improved on the court this season, but the stakes are higher than ever as the two teams continue trade jabs at each other through various ads, with the Nets looking to bite off a piece of the hometown fan-pie when they move to Brooklyn in 2012.
A pair of former Stanford teammates will find themselves on opposite sides of the court as well tonight, thus beginning a new rivalry. They are, subsequently, Knicks Journal’s “Players to Watch” in tonight’s game.
Landry Fields, Knicks– Everyone around the NBA knew going into the season the type of value the likes of Amare Stoudemire, Danilo Gallinari, and Raymond Felton would have on the Knicks this season. True Knicks’ fans, however, are quickly learning the value of Landry Fields.
While the other players may be the more starring attractions, it is Fields who has become the team’s “X Factor” almost overnight. Though he has been able to fill out a well distributed stat-sheet the last several games, his presence can be felt regardless. Look for his leaping rebounding ability to be a major factor tonight.
Brook Lopez, Nets– Unlike his former Stanford teammate, Fields, Brook Lopez is the starring attraction for the up and coming Nets. Often recognized as the steal of his draft class, Lopez is able to use his 7’0 to shoot over his defenders with ease. Tied for the team’s scoring lead with 18.2 points per game, look for Lopez to be featured tonight against the Knicks’ weaker defensive big men.
Lopez, himself, is also a more than accurate defender, but not as dominant of a rebounder. Luckily for him, many of the Knicks’ big men are equally as weak on the boards.
Will Fields out-rebound Lopez tonight? Will the Knicks come out on top vs. the rival Nets? Tune in to MSG tonight to find out.