Considered to be an emerging rivalry, the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets have quickly turned into two of the most disappointing teams in the NBA, both in terms of wins and success against the spread.
Brooklyn’s blowout loss at home to Denver Tuesday pushed the two franchises’ combined ATS record to a poor 10-14. Both are missing key starters and on and off-court drama is giving the New York media plenty of fodder to make things worse.
Before these two battle for Big Apple bragging rights Thursday night, we ask which team is the worst bet in New York: Knicks or Nets?
Bad at the Barclays, Mayhem at MSG
Brooklyn's new digs in the Barclays Center have proven no refuge for the Nets. They are a matching 2-5 in the win column and ATS. With the team falling further and further behind the pack, that home-court advantage the team was expecting with a rebrand may fade with a lack of excitement in the building.
The Knicks are even more pathetic at home, going 0-8 ATS. With the Knicks 4-4 away from Madison Square Garden, they’re at least treading water on the road. But both of these teams’ home records are head scratching.
Brooklyn faces a more uphill climb than the Knicks, based on their coaching situation. Head coach Jason Kidd has never coached and is just one year removed from playing point guard for the Knicks. He recently reduced former head coach Lawrence Frank's role after the two reportedly got into an argument.
While New York isn't short of its own drama with Carmelo Anthony spouting off in head coach Mike Woodson's huddle, they at least have the advantage of having a unit that has turned it around before.
Both teams have lost their cornerstones to injury, with the Nets losing Deron Williams and Paul Pierce and the Knicks missing center Tyson Chandler.
While the Nets can use guys like Joe Johnson to bring up the ball, their lack of a primary playmaker on offense has them struggling, which is why they’re 3-6 ATS without Williams this season.
Meanwhile the Knicks are a much worse 3-9 ATS without Chandler, who has an history of being unhealthy. If he doesn't return to full strength at some point, New York’s season could get even uglier.
Both N.Y. teams desperately need a season-defining win Thursday night to turn things around.
After a blowout loss at home, the Nets could turn it around in the first meeting between the two teams this season. Recent wins over the Grizzlies and the Raptors show that Brooklyn has what it takes while the Knicks have covered just once during a nine-game losing skid.
At the moment, if you’re going to pick your poison, the Nets seem to have more value.