Knicks coach David Fizdale said his team’s goal is more than being better than Brooklyn.
The Knicks and Nets will scrap Friday at Barclays Center in the season’s second game for both clubs. The teams split two preseason games against each other.
Chatty Nets point guard Spencer Dinwiddie said during the preseason the Nets are “better than the Knicks.
“Do you really think I’m [going to] sit here and think that the Knicks are going to be better than us this year?” Dinwiddie added. “We had almost the same record last year, and their best player [Kristaps Porzingis] is not gonna be playing until like February.”
“I don’t get into that stuff,” Fizdale said after Thursday’s practice. “I’ll let these guys banter back and forth if they want to. It’s good old jawing. No one’s going to take it personal. These guys see each other all year, play pickup in the summer together.
“Our goal isn’t necessarily to be the best team in New York,” Fizdale added. “It’s to be the best team in the league. I’m focused on that.”
The Knicks are higher in the standings after whipping Atlanta, 126-107, in Wednesday’s opener while the Nets dropped a close one at Detroit.
Noah Vonleh begs to differ with Dinwiddie.
“He’s not wrong for saying that,” the reserve Knicks big man said. “That’s his team. He should feel they’re better. I obviously think we’re the better team. We’ll see how the season goes. We play them four times.”
Knicks rookie Allonzo Trier, who lit up the Nets for 25 points in Brooklyn in the preseason, said: “That’s his opinion. Obviously he’s not going to say he thinks they’re worse than us, but that’s what the game is played for.”
As impressive as the Knicks’ season-opening rampage was, they were facing a Hawks club with a chance of posting the NBA’s worst record. Trying to rid them of any sense of complacency, Fizdale showed film Thursday of only mistakes.
“A happy team is a soft team,” Fizdale said. “I told them, ‘What did you do? You didn’t do anything. We took care of home.’ We got into the film and watched a lot of mistakes we made. And guys were great in the film session, correcting each other. We didn’t watch anything that was positive.
“They understand Brooklyn came in here and handled us for most of the game until the late run. They got our guys respect and attention.”
If the Knicks pull off the win, it would only be the third time in 20 years they would have started 2-0 — the last time in 2012. But that unbeaten record would be in major jeopardy Saturday, when mighty Boston invades the Garden.