As I wrote earlier today, the Brooklyn Nets-New York Knicks rivalry officially starts today. But that doesn’t mean the trash talking hasn’t already started as the Nets’ shooting guard Joe Johnson has declared that they are better than the Knicks.
“Yeah. It’s just what I feel,” Johnson told Mike Mazzeo of ESPN NewYork.com. “I’m not gonna expand on it, but that’s just the way I feel.”
That is the opposite of what every Knicks fan has been saying despite the fact that the Knicks haven’t come close to winning anything since 1994 and over the past 10 years have a worse record than the Nets, fewer winning seasons, and fewer division and conference titles.
But Joe Johnson hasn’t beaten the Knicks once as a Brooklyn Net either since the teams haven’t faced each other since the move. So it’s all talk that JJ is going to have to back up.
Johnson has at least put himself in a good position to walk the walk. After a slow start, he has shot 58.1 percent (18-for-31) and been one of the main contributors in back to back wins.
He’s going to have to keep it up too as Brook Lopez will have his work cut out for him against Tyson Chandler and Deron Williams has been battling various minor injuries that have left him shooting just 32.9 percent over his last six games. The Nets are also coming off a game where they were very impressive early and late when Johnson was hitting his shots, but struggled to find any consistent offense at all when he wasn’t.
The Nets also haven’t passed a major test yet this season. They lost to both the Heat and the Lakers and only beat the Celtics when they were playing without star point guard Rajon Rondo. Their most impressive win was just last Friday against the Clippers though and they are riding a two game winning streak.
Tonight is a big test for the Nets and if Joe Johnson really believes that they are better than the Knicks, well, then he’s just going to have to prove it.