New York, New York: Knicks, Nets meet Monday

BRIAN MAHONEY
Associated Press
View photos
Brooklyn Nets' Deron Williams, center passes the ball in front of Portland Trail Blazers' Ronnie Price, right, in the third quarter of an NBA basketball game at the Barclays Center, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2012, in New York. The Nets won 98-85. (AP Photo/Henny Ray Abrams)

NEW YORK (AP) — From Madison Square Garden to the Garden State, the Knicks cast a shadow the Nets could never escape.

The Knicks were considered first rate and the Nets second class, even in years when the better team was in New Jersey. The Nets would watch fans in orange and blue take over their home games, believing all along things would be different when they finally got their shot at the Knicks in Brooklyn.

Well, here it comes.

The city rivals play the makeup of their postponed season opener on Monday, a matchup the Knicks insist is just another game but one that's probably much bigger to the Nets.

The game is in some ways more intriguing now with both teams off to strong starts, the Knicks (9-3) leading the Atlantic Division by one game over the Nets (8-4).