Here’s why Knicks winning streak is actually good for the Brooklyn Nets

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 05: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 05: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

The Brooklyn Nets are bracing for a very rough stretch after James Harden was lost for a long chunk of time due to his hamstring injury, while the crosstown New York Knicks are absolutely rolling, winning eight straight games and taking possession of the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference.

While Brooklyn has handled the Knicks when the two have matched up, Tom Thibodeau has New York playing some inspired basketball.

Not only is Julius Randle an MIP candidate and Immanuel Quickley one of the best rookies in this draft, but the Knicks have one of the best defenses in the entire game.

The Knicks could’ve given the Nets one of the most entertaining first-round playoff series possible. Back when they were hovering around the fringes of the postseason, it seemed they would potentially match up with a Nets group that is one-half game out of first place in the East.

It might be for the best for Brooklyn that the Knicks got hot all of a sudden, as they could’ve genuinely given the Nets fits in the postseason.

While it can’t be ruled out, this winning streak has actually minimized the possibility that the Knicks and Nets face off in the playoffs, which could be beneficial to their chances of competing for a championship.

The Knicks match up well with the Brooklyn Nets.

The Nets are not only are missing a good chunk of their backcourt depth, but also LaMarcus Aldridge, who looked like the answer to all of Brooklyn’s prayers on the interior, retired due to an issue with his irregular heartbeat. Brooklyn is back to square one with regard to defending on the interior, and the Knicks will take advantage if given the opportunity.

The Knicks would not only throw Randle at the Nets until they surrendered, but the presence of Nerlens Noel and Mitchell Robinson, when healthy, makes New York one of the best rim protecting teams in the league. Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant cutting to the basket for easy layups could be taken away if the Knicks return to full strength.

If the Knicks dispatch the No. 5 seed, likely the Atlanta Hawks, their next matchup will in all likelihood be against the 76ers, who should have no trouble using Joel Embiid to beat them down. Facing Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks isn’t much better for Brooklyn, but that Knicks defense is as legit as they come.

The Nets would likely still come out on top against the Knicks, as their offensive weaponry is too great, but the Knicks would make every game a physical dogfight, and that could come back to bite the Nets in the later rounds.