Extra Pass: Clash of New York rivals

Published February 13, 2023, 2:00 PMJon Carlos Rodriguez

It’s the battle of New York teams tomorrow at 8:30 AM on NBA League Pass.

What’s up with the Brooklyn Nets?

The Brooklyn Nets were one team at the start of the season, now they’re another team entirely. The team blew it up at the trade deadline, which is crazy to think considering they’re a team right in the hunt for the championship. Gone are Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, who were both open about their desire to leave Brooklyn. That it happened mid-season while the team was actually winning is a surprise.

All isn’t lost, however. With a 33-23 win-loss record, the Nets are definitely in a good position to make a run in the playoffs, with their young talent looking to prove their value in two of the biggest trade deadline moves in league history. Mikal Bridges looked comfortable playing in his new role in Brooklyn, leading the team with 23 points in a close loss to the Philadelphia 76ers. As soon as Bridges, comebacking Net Spencer Dinwiddie, and Cameron Johnson find the chemistry that the former Big 3 couldn’t seem to find, then Brooklyn–despite having traces of a rebuild–remains to be one of the teams to beat in the East.  

What’s up with the New York Knicks?

The New York Knicks are in a different wave right now. While the other New York team went from a win-now team to an instant rebuild, the Knicks added a piece that could prove to be a game-changer. Josh Hart was plucked from the Portland Trail Blazers and immediately chipped in as a bench performer. He looked to be the right piece missing in the Knicks’ quest for a deep playoff run this season.

Hart is the type of player that the Knicks’ bench needs–one who can play elite defense and play within Tom Thibodeau’s system. It definitely helps that he has a good relationship with Jalen Brunson, who at this point is the one dictating where the Knicks’ season will end up. The team did give up a bunch of picks to get Hart, but that’s something future Knicks will have to worry about. For now, adding Hart to the already gelling Knicks core of Brunson, RJ Barrett, and Julius Randle has all the signs of a great move.

Storyline to watch out for

The Nets are 1-1 since the start of the KD-Kyrie-less era, which really doesn’t say much about the trajectory of how things will unfold for them. The Knicks, meanwhile, will continue to ride the Brunson wave and see how far it takes them. 

As far as the storyline goes, the Brunson versus Dinwiddie matchup will be interesting because they’re both point guards who played alongside Luka Doncic in their stint in Dallas. Now, they both have the keys to run the offense of two of the most highly-scrutinized teams in the league.


The Knicks are in a better position to win this game just because the Nets are still adjusting to each other’s respective games. If Hart’s debut is no fluke, the Nets will have their hands full matching up against a New York team that looks to be slowly figuring things out.

Where to watch

The battle of New York teams airs tomorrow live at 8:30 AM on NBA League Pass.