As a lifelong Knicks fan, I get very excited about games like these. See, it’s been a while since The Knicks have had a good closely matched opponent to spark up a rivalry. That is exactly what the Brooklyn Nets are, a tough match-up for the New York Knicks. Let me see if I can pull out a useful boxing analogy from somewhere here. See, it’s like those Pacquiao/Marquez fights(I think there’s been 14 of them now?). This Knicks/Nets match-up is like two prize fighters whose styles counter each other perfectly. Now that game number 4 between these cross town foes is in the books, the season series is tied at 2 a piece. Now let me just interject in the middle of my own objective recap by stating that The Knicks will be the fighter still standing when it’s all said and done. Hint hint; that means that the Knicks will be Juan Manuel Marquez. Did you see that knockout?!?!?! I think Manny Pacquiao still has a fear of going to sleep because he’s afraid he’ll relive that punch over and over and over again in his dreams. By the way, who is this guy sitting next to Wally Szczerbiak on the Knicks post-game show? And how can he sit there with a straight face and say that this isn’t a rivalry? He’s trying to tell us that because this game was a low scoring “”snoozefest” that the Knicks didn’t want to win and this game didn’t carry the playoff atmosphere it should have. Even Al Trautwig started looking at this guy like he had four heads. The Knicks versus the Nets is a rivalry, and it is here to stay. With that being said let’s talk about the game. The Nets did their best not to win this game, but the Knicks just couldn’t capitalize on their mistakes. The Nets played sloppy basketball, and the Knicks won the turnover battle 19 to 5. However, the Nets had a game plan and they followed it. They knew that Carmelo was going to get his points no matter what they did, so they were physical with him and made him work for his 29 points. Carmelo’s 29 points came on 11 of 29 shooting while expending a ton of energy on the offensive end. The grueling 45 minutes he played left his legs just a little bit too tired to rise up for a baseline jumper with seconds remaining; one he’s made a million times in his life. What we can take away from this game as a positive is the chemistry Stat and Melo showed in the 2nd half. Which begs the question, why wasn’t Stat on the court down the stretch? What I saw in the 2nd half was when Melo and Mini Melo(J.R. Smith) penetrated into the lane, Stat found himself wide open under the hoop. So I say lets build on that. And while Stat should help the Knicks improve with his high pick and roll skills and dunking abilities, the key to our success is Stat digging in, rebounding, and PLAYING DEFENSE!! It may not be the brand of basketball most fans want to watch, especially with an offensive talent on the floor like Melo, but it will be the key to the Knicks success come playoff time. DEFENSE!! It may be a little cliche, but defense certainly wins championships. That’s why I believe that if Amare gives his all to the team concept, Kidd continues to be an ageless wonder, and the rest of the squad can stay healthy; the Knicks will be true contenders.