Despite the fact that the Lakers and Knicks had clashed multiple times in the previous century, they no longer maintain the once storied rivalry. The Knicks are generally placed in the bottom half of the Eastern Conference, and they do not share a strife with any NBA team. In previous seasons, the only reason why the Lakers vs. Knicks games were on national television were because the league’s best team traveled to the Mecca of Basketball. The match-ups weren’t necessarily amazing, it was just fun to watch Kobe & Company perform under the lights of New York City. For example, Kobe Bryant once scored 61 point at MSG in 2008, and the Lakers generally perform well when they play on the Knicks home-court.
There may not be a rivalry between these teams now, but the Knicks are steadily improving. The acquisition of Amar’e Stoudemire completely changed the complexion of the team, and the playoffs seem to be a feasible accomplishment.
The Lakers must take the Knicks seriously in tonight’s game, and they will be tested for a full 48 minutes. If the Knickerbockers continue to climb the NBA standings and emerge as a title contender, another era of the Lakers-Knicks is inevitable.