Knicks embrace rematch with potentially full-strength Nets: 'We've got a Big 5 -- we've got a Big 15'

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Garrett Stepien
·2 min read
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Julius Randle Kevin Durant Jeff Green
Julius Randle Kevin Durant Jeff Green

The Knicks are riding high off coming off Saturday's 125-81 win over the Detroit Pistons, the most lopsided win in franchise history since 1996.

But they don't have too much time to celebrate the big win, as they have a pivotal crosstown matchup with the Nets in Brooklyn on Monday night.

The Nets, currently holding a 34-15 record, are tied for the top spot in the Eastern Conference. And with James Harden potentially returning from a hamstring injury and there being an "outside chance" that Kevin Durant does as well, the Nets could be at full strength for the first time since adding Blake Griffin and LaMarcus Aldridge.

Just don't expect the Knicks to be intimidated.

"The same thing that we think about with every opponent," Tom Thibodeau said. "We know how talented they are. We're going to have to be ready. Even if one is out, they still have a ton of talent. They've added more talent to their team. But we know if we defend and we rebound and keep our turnovers down, we're more than capable. So we've got to study, prepare and be ready to go when that ball goes up."

Reggie Bullock, who set a season high with 22 points on Saturday against Detroit, believes in the Knicks' depth, no matter who the opponent is on any given night.

"We've got a Big 5 -- we've got a Big 15," Bullock said. "So we're not really concerned about their Big 3. We know what type of basketball we will be able to come into the game and play. We're focused on our team, the game plan that coach draws up. Other than that, that's all we're focused on -- the Knicks."

Julius Randle, fresh off his 29-point performance against Detroit, echoed Bullock's sentiment, saying the Knicks are more focused on their own play than worrying about Brooklyn's star-studded roster.

"We're not worried about them," Randle said. "We're worried about us. We feel like we come out, we've got a whole team of guys and we try to play the right way, we play hard, we play with energy and we feel like if we do that, we've got a great chance to win against anybody. So, like I said, it's not about them. It's not about who they have or who they don't have. We're worried about us and what we've got to do to go out there and compete at a high level on a night-to-night basis."