Originally written on Fox Sports  |  Last updated 1/21/13
For the first two months of the NBA season, the long awaited, supposedly bitter rivalry between the New York Knicks and their crosstown foes in Brooklyn wasn't playing out like much of a rivalry at all. The Knicks were for the most part thriving while the Nets were unresponsive and faltering -- to the point firing their coach became necessary. And, with 6-1/2 games already separating them after Brooklyn's loss in Milwaukee on Dec. 26, the final game of Avery Johnson's tenure as coach, all the hype promoting this can't-miss "Battle for New York" felt like much ado about nothing. This town only had one true title contender, and Brooklyn wasn't it. But after an 88-85 win at Madison Square Garden on Monday afternoon, the Nets (25-16) suddenly find themselves within a single game of the Knicks (25-14) in the Atlantic Division standings, and just 2-1/2 games behind the Eastern Conference-leading Miami Heat. And the memory of that punchline of a team that lost 10 of 13 after an 11-4 star...
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