Maybe a trip to Brooklyn can cure Knicks’ travel ills

The Knicks are about to experience perhaps the most accursed four-letter word in their vocabulary.


OK, they’re going to Brooklyn on Thursday and it’s not a six-hour journey — although it can be with traffic — but the road so far has made for some very long nights for the Knicks. They are an NBA-worst 1-8 and have lost six straight away from their beloved Garden.

“We’re not playing in our building. It’s a close-travel game [so] we don’t have to get on a plane. But still, it’s not in our building. They’re going to have their fans in there as well and we’ve got to do whatever we can to combat that,” Jarrett Jack said. “If we want to be a serious team and a team that wants to fight to get to postseason, that’s something we’ve got to kind of get a handle on right here.”

And they are facing their city-rival Nets.

“It’s going to be a good game. Obviously they’re a pretty good team they’re in the 11th spot, I think, in the East. Every team is an NBA team so you have to respect every team and not look at their record and say, ‘Oh, we’ve got an easy one today,’ ” Knicks banged-up center Enes Kanter said.

The Nets (11-15) have made defensive strides recently and are coming off a 103-98 win over Washington. Plus, they are eighth in scoring at 108.3 points per game.

“They started toward the end of last year and they continued this year with their hard play. They shoot a lot of 3s and they’re active, and they’re confident when they come off those screens shooting the ball,” coach Jeff Hornacek said.

“They put pressure on you all 48 minutes that way. [Coach] Kenny [Atkinson] does a great job with these guys. They got good balance with how they play defensively, they’re after it all the time.”

The Nets soon figure to debut Jahlil Okafor and Nik Stauskas. And Kanter is an Okafor fan.

“He’s a good player. He’s really good offensively, he’s got the footwork and everything, he’s strong. I think he’s just so young. He’s going to get better and better. He just needs to get used to it a little bit, the NBA game. But I think he’s a good man. I like him,” Kanter said of the guy selected third — just before Kristaps Porzingis and just after D’Angelo Russell in 2015.

Jack already experienced the Knicks-Nets rivalry from the Nets side. Now he’ll see how the other half feels.

“When we played in Brooklyn, the Knicks fans always made themselves very much known so it was almost kind of like a battle of the city, almost like who are these guys coming into our building even though they’re from right across the way on the other side of the town,” Jack said. “Almost like a college-type fighting-over-the-town, type thing. But for us it’s bigger than that. We just have to go out there and put these road struggles to bed and play a solid game for 48 minutes.”


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