james harden
via Brooklyn Nets

James Harden posted an altered screenshot of a New Yorker cover that features the Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks.

There’s one thing that no one in the world can dispute: New York basketball is on fire. The success of the Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks is taking the city by storm and people are taking notice.

The New Yorker’s cover this weekend features Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden in the foreground while Julius Randle and RJ Barrett are in the background.

This is an accurate representation from a national perspective. The Nets are title contenders with three superstars leading the way. The Knicks, on the other hand, are the upstart squad that turned itself into the best story of the NBA season.

However, from a local perspective, the Knicks are the main attraction. Even when the Knicks are bad and the Nets are good, New York cares more about the orange and blue. Julius Randle said as much recently.

But James Harden is firing back with some shade of his own. He posted the New Yorker cover to his Twitter but cropped out Randle and Barrett from the screenshot. There’s nothing like a little New York City rivalry to get the blood pumping.

Playoff Matchup?

Prior to the season, no one expected the Knicks to make a run at a playoff spot, but here we are. New York is in fourth place in the Eastern Conference with a good chance at staying in that 4 vs. 5 matchup. Meanwhile, the Nets are one game back of the Philadelphia 76ers for first.

The potential for a Knicks-Nets playoff series is upon us. If the Nets can jump the Sixers, that would set up a potential meeting in the Eastern Conference Semifinals — assuming both teams take care of business in the first round.

And we honestly can’t rule out the possibility of these two teams facing off in the Eastern Conference Finals. The Nets don’t seem to have much motivation to go for the No. 1 seed and although the Knicks would be big underdogs in a series against Philly, crazier things have happened, right?

The last time these two teams met was in 2004 when Jason Kidd’s Nets swept Stephon Marbury’s Knicks in four games.

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