The New York Knicks proved once again on Tuesday night that their so-called "rivalry" with the Brooklyn Nets is nothing more than geographical. Despite being entangled in a thriller at Barclays Center on Tuesday night, Knicks fans overwhelmed the Nets faithful in their own building.
Jalen Brunson was showered with MVP chants that can be heard clear as day on TNT's broadcast, while Julius Randle's dunk to give the Knicks a 103-101 lead in the final minute led to a reaction that could've tricked folks into thinking the game was being played at Madison Square Garden.
Knicks fans invading Barclays Center is nothing new, but the sheer lack of presence from Nets fans led to a blunt reaction from Mikal Bridges that sent NBA Twitter ablaze with the trade deadline on the horizon.
Bridges sounded defeated speaking to reporters postgame and Josh Hart wasted no time recruiting his former Villanova teammate.
Josh Hart recruits Mikal Bridges to Knicks after New York's win vs Nets
“I feel like any person in here, it's not fun when you feel like you're at an away game at home,” Bridges said. “That's for probably any person sitting here, any person alive."
It's easy to understand Bridges' frustration. Not only do the Nets have one of the worst home-court advantages in the NBA, but the team is tailspinning. Brooklyn has lost 16 of its last 20 games and have blown countless double-digit and fourth quarter leads during that span.
On Tuesday, the Knicks took their first lead in the fourth quarter and outscored the Nets 32-18 in the final frame to complete the comeback. Bridges did everything in his power to win the game for Brooklyn, as he drilled a career-high seven threes en route to scoring 36 points.
Despite that, the Nets are expected to be "buyers" before the deadline, per ESPN's Brian Windhorst. They're only a half-game out of a play-in spot, but they're nine games under .500 and are seemingly years away from contending in the loaded East.
The Knicks have been linked with a plethora of names leading up to the Feb. 9 trade deadline, including Bruce Brown, Jordan Clarkson and Malcolm Brogdon, though the latest buzz suggests a Brogdon trade is a long shot.
Prying Bridges from Brooklyn will be easier said than done. Sean Marks is a stingy negotiator, but it might be out of the general manager's hands if the team doesn't turn it around. We can't speak on Bridges' commitment to the Nets, but his postgame body language didn't scream of a player who's thrilled with their current situation.
His style of play fits Tom Thibodeau's coaching style like a glove and he's the last missing piece of the Villanova puzzle.
Leon Rose might want to follow Hart's lead.