“No, I don’t think there’s any heat behind it,” Kidd said a day before the East River rivals meet at Barclays Center. “I think it’s just two teams trying to find a way to win.”
The Nets (5-13) come into the game having lost 11 of their past 14 games, while the Knicks (3-13) have dropped nine in a row. That prompted Kidd to say “both teams stink” following the Nets' blowout loss to Denver on Tuesday night.
On Wednesday, Carmelo Anthony referred to the Knicks as a “laughingstock.”
“I think both teams feel that we should be better with our record, but unfortunately we're not, and both teams are looking for a win tomorrow, so that's as easy as it gets,” Kidd said.
Most of the heat escaped this game due to injuries. Paul Pierce and Jason Terry have both been on record as saying they “hate” the Knicks, dating back to their days with the Boston Celtics. Pierce also said, “It’s time for the Nets to start running this city.”
But both players are out due to injury. So much for that epic Pierce-J.R. Smith showdown everyone was hoping for.
“For me, it’s personal from my battles with the Knicks over the years,” Terry said. “And so I don’t know from a Nets-Knicks standpoint. I haven’t been here; this will be my first experience, and unfortunately I’ll be watching and not in the fight, but I can only imagine the magnitude of this game tomorrow. Both teams are struggling; it’s a dire situation, so that's when you tend to see the best come out.”
Point guard Deron Williams (ankle) is doubtful.
“There is no plan for Deron [except] for him to continue to work out and see how he feels,” Kidd said when asked if Williams would participate in the Nets' shootaround.
It isn’t exactly the way these teams planned it, but it’s still an opportunity for one to get a win and feel good about itself -- if just for a little while.
As for the loser? Well, as we’ve said before, you don’t want to lose this game.
“Well, we gotta come out and protect home,” Kidd said. “Watching the film today with the guys -- today was more of a mental day. Guys got their work in early, and then we just looked at the first quarter [of the loss to Denver] and the things that we could get better at. And then we’ll prepare for New York tomorrow.”