New York Knicks: One key advantage against each top seed in the East

Julius Randle, NY Knicks (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Julius Randle, NY Knicks (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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James Harden, Knicks. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) /

Knicks Advantage vs Nets: The Ability to Play Defense

This advantage is admittedly a bit tongue and cheek. But there is also real logic here. The Nets are the most intriguing postseason team in the NBA. They currently rank second in the NBA with a blistering average of 119 points per game.

Incredibly, this total has come with at least one of the team’s big three (Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving) missing large chunks of the season due to injuries. When they are firing on all cylinders, they legitimately have the potential to be the most dangerous offense in league history.

However, it also seems clear that Brooklyn is home to one of the most porous defenses in recent memory. They enter the final stretch of the regular season, the franchise is hemorrhaging 112.3 points per contest. Shockingly, this is an improvement on their numbers during the first half of the season. This is where the Knicks’ biggest advantage lies.

While Brooklyn should be expected to win any series matchup (and probably handily), the Knicks will force the Nets to work for every basket. New York has maintained the most efficient defense in the league for the vast majority of the season (currently averaging 104.3). Head Coach Tom Thibodeau has placed his defensive expertise on full display.

If any team has a legitimate chance to contain Brooklyn’s firepower, the Knicks and the 76ers are the top options in the Eastern Conference. The only major question is whether the Knicks can produce enough offense to bridge the gap.