Despite playing in front of their home crowd out at Barclays Center, from being in attendance to simply watching it on television, the atmosphere seemed to be more reminiscent of a game being played at Madison Square Garden, for at least half of those in attendance were repping the orange and blue.
Unfortunately, this observation wasn't just something spectators seemed to feel, as Nets star Mikal Bridges somberly addressed the environment present on their home turf, stating that he felt as though he was playing the game somewhere on the road.
Mikal Bridges addresses crowd at Nets v Knicks "Rivals Week" matchup
"I feel like every person in here [feels] it's not fun when you feel like you're at an away game at home. That's for probably any person sitting here. Any person alive."- Mikal Bridges
Despite setting a new career-high in three-pointers made (seven) and leading the night in points with 36 on a stellar 53.8 percent shooting from deep and the field as a whole, Bridges' efforts weren't enough to make the Nets fans in attendance out-duel the Knicks' faithful's cheers.
On top of this, the stud forward would acknowledge that Brooklyn had a legitimate chance to win the game, as they held an 85-76 leads heading into the fourth period. Unfortunately, as has been the case so often since the calendar page turned to 2024, they were outscored in the final quarter (18-32) and, ultimately, lost in the closing minutes by five.
When talking about what needs to change, Bridges acknowledged that it's a mental thing, and noted that the consistent losing is taking its toll on the overall psyche of the team.
"Just have to handle adversity a little bit better. We had it earlier in the year. It's tough when you keep losing at the end, it pushes your confidence down."- Mikal Bridges
With this gut-punch loss, the Nets now fall to 17-26 on the year and are 2-11 over their last 13.