New York Knicks vs. Brooklyn Nets

Daniel Collins

Written by: Daniel Collins

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The Knicks and Nets have always been bitter rivals, but that rivalry has heated up since the Nets were moved to Brooklyn. Now the two teams are battling to be the top team in New York City, and that has become quite the battle in recent years. The Knicks will always be the most popular team in New York, but the Nets are starting to build their own massive following as well. The Knicks and Nets rivalry is commonly known as the “Battle of the Boroughs,” and they have had some interesting postseason series against each other. This rivalry doesn’t get as much attention as some of the other rivalries in the NBA, but fans of each team will tell you that it is becoming one of the best. The Nets have wanted to be like the New York Knicks for much of their existence, but in 2019 it is the Brooklyn Nets who have the much better team. Odds are that the Knicks will regroup and find a way to take back control of their rivalry.

History of Knicks vs. Nets Rivalry

The first meeting between the Knicks and Nets took place on November 30, 1976, and the Nets came away with a 104-103 victory. The two New York teams have met a grand total of 196 times in the history of this rivalry, and it is split right down the middle. The Knicks and Nets have each won 98 times overall. What is even more remarkable is that the all-time series is split 93-93 in regular season games and split 5-5 in postseason games. There has not been much separation between the Nets and Knicks throughout the years, and that looks to be the case moving forward. When the Nets were moved to Brooklyn in 2012, the rivalry ratcheted up a notch with both teams being located in the same city. Not only has this rivalry been intense on the court, but Knicks owner James Dolan and Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov have been known to mix it up in the media as well. There is no love lost between the Knicks and Nets.

The New York Knicks were established in 1946 and are one of only two original NBA franchises that still plays their home games in the same city. They compete in the Atlantic Division in the Eastern Conference, and they play their home games in the legendary Madison Square Garden. Under head coach Red Holzman, the Knicks won NBA Championships in 1970 and 1973. The team struggled for almost a decade after that last championship, but the Knicks returned to glory when Patrick Ewing was drafted by the franchise. The Knicks were a perennial playoff contender in the 1990’s, but they often ran into Michael Jordan and the great Bulls teams. New York has just one division title since 1994 with the 2013 team that was led by Carmelo Anthony. The Knicks appear to be in a rebuilding phase again this season, and they are trying to play their way into the number 1 draft pick.

The Nets franchise got their start in 1967 when the New Jersey Americans joined the American Basketball Association. They were renamed the New York Nets the following season and remained in the ABA until 1976. The New Jersey Nets moved to the NBA at the start of the 1977 season, and played under that name through 2012. After an ownership change, the team was moved to Brooklyn in 2012 which created an intra-city rivalry with the Knicks. The Nets won back-to-back Eastern Conference titles in 2002 and 2003, but they failed to bring home an NBA Championship. Since moving to Brooklyn, the team has gone through some rough years, but it appears that they are well on their way to competing in the Eastern Conference again.

Head to Head Comparison of Knicks and Nets

There really isn’t any comparison between the Knicks and Nets when it comes to winning championships. The Knicks don’t exactly have one of the most storied franchises in league history, but they have won two NBA Championships. The Nets have yet to beat the odds and find a way to win an NBA title, but they do have two ABA Championships. New York has eight conference championships, while the Nets have won the Eastern Conference just twice in franchise history. The Nets have won as many division titles (5) as their New York rivals, with four of them being won from 2002-2006. New York has had 21 former players be enshrined in the Naismith Hall of Fame, while the Nets have had just 11.

Glance at Last 20 Games Between Knicks and Nets

The New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets have met 20 times since the start of the 2014-15 NBA season. While looking at past games doesn’t always help us make accurate predictions for the future, it can give us some trends for how this rivalry has gone. The Brooklyn Nets hold a slim 11-9 lead over the Knicks since the start of the 2014-15 season, with four of those meetings coming this season. Each team was able to win four straight games over their rival at some point during that span. Both the Nets and Knicks have been dominant at home, with the Nets going 7-4 in games played in Brooklyn, while the Knicks have posted a 5-4 record at historic Madison Square Garden. The home team hasn’t always been the winner in this rivalry, but the right pick has traditionally been the home team.

Detailed Series Splits For Knicks-Nets Rivalry

Taking a closer look at these last 20 games can usually help us find some betting trends to make a prediction for the upcoming games. In the case of the Nets and Knicks rivalry, it is hard to really find trends that can help us. The odds for over/under is one of the first things to look at, but there isn’t a glaring trend to identify. The Nets and Knicks have combined to go “under” the point total 11 times, while going over the other nine. Taking a look at the point spread is another way to make a pick for games in this rivalry. New York has been the favorite for 11 of these games, with the Nets have been favored nine times. The Knicks managed to go 7-4 against the spread as the favorite, while the Nets went just 4-5 trying to cover the spread when they were favorite. The Knicks were the right team to pick in 12 of these games, but the rivalry has been very close in the last five years.