Saturday, December 24, 2022

Knicks’ RJ Barrett subsides ahead of key matchup against Nets’ Kevin Durant

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The New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets face off on November 9 in what will be the city rivals’ first meeting of the year.

Even though we’re just getting into the season, the nets are going through a lot. The team has fired head coach Steve Nash, suspended Kyrie Irving and got off to a slow start. At the time of the shot, the Nets were sitting 2-5 with no hope in sight.

The Knicks are about where they were expected to be at 5-5 and this game against the Nets will be a good benchmark. The addition of Jalen Brunson clearly made the Knicks better, but that didn’t show up in the win column the way some fans might have hoped.

Ahead of the game against the Nets, star forward RJ Barrett shed some light on the upcoming clash, warning fans they “will still be a problem”.

The Nets may look like a mess with a rusty and injured Ben Simmons, without Irving and a caretaker manager, but they’re still a talented team.

Barrett has already spoken out about Nash’s firing and is trying not to focus too much on the drama surrounding the Knicks’ rival.

“I’m really just focused on us,” he said via the New York Post. “Whatever happened over there, those are their problems,” Barrett said. “We’re good over here trying to figure it out.”

There probably aren’t many teams in the league who would have liked to be in the Nets’ situation and that could lead to players and coaches saying they’re trying to stay out of it all.

That being said, Barrett cites Kevin Durant as a reason the team is still dangerous, and he has a point there.

“They still have Kevin Durant, so they’re a problem,” Barrett said. “We need to come in locked up and just come in ready.”

Durant was solid early in the year, and so was Irving, but it hasn’t translated into much success for the Nets. Knicks fans will hope it stays that way.

The Knicks thought they were going into the new season perfectly healthy, but things quickly got out of hand for them. While Derrick Rose is back, the team have now lost Mitchell Robinson to injury.

His knee injury is unlikely to keep him out for long, but it means the Knicks will have to give Jericho Sims more minutes than originally expected. Luckily for them, the nets aren’t exactly deep in mid-position, so maybe they can survive Robinson’s absence for a game there.

Durant will be difficult to stop as Quentin Grimes is still returning to full health and he is questionable for the matchup. When he’s playing, he’s got his hands full when tasked with defending Durant.

On the other hand, the Nets need to figure out how to put the brakes on the new Look Knicks led by Brunson.

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