- Mike Mazzeo, ESPN Staff Writer
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Nets coach Avery Johnson hopes the Nets-Knicks fan split Monday night is reversed from his days in New Jersey.
“My first two years here it was basically an 80-20 split,” Johnson said. “And the 80 was for their side. I’m hoping that the 80-20 split is gonna be on our side tonight.”
Johnson was asked if this game means more to the Nets than it does to the Knicks.
“I think it’s just as important for them, because if we’re so much the new kid on the block, and want to gain territorial rights, then they’re going to do everything they can to push back,” Johnson replied. “I think it’s great. I don’t think it’s so much of a Duke-North Carolina rivalry yet, but hopefully one day it’ll get there.”
Johnson has always been very complimentary of the fans at the Barclays Center.
“I’m assuming you’re going to hear the “BROOK-LYN!” chant more tonight, probably from start to finish,” Johnson said.
Nets GM Billy King said the best way to keep Knicks fans quiet is to come out on top.
“They’re gonna be here. The best way to silence them is going out there and beating them,” King said on ESPN NY 98.7 FM’s “The Michael Kay Show.”
Even if Nets fans pack the arena, Johnson won’t be happy unless his team wins the game.
“This year, it’s never good to lose a game,” Johnson said. “We’re not really into moral victories.”
They’re currently 0-11, the only winless team in the league.
• Avery Johnson doesn’t think Carmelo Anthony is a power forward.
“Carmelo Anthony is a three,” Johnson said. “And he can play some small four, but (Ronnie) Brewer is more their four guy.”
7dSteve Ilardi and Jeremias Engelmann