11/29/2010 1:53 PM ET
Fields, Knicks take on Lopez, Nets
Former Stanford teammates face each other on pro stage
By Adam Zagoria / SNY.tv
New Jersey center Brook Lopez (above) was a teammate of Knicks guard Landry Fields at Stanford. (AP)

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Landry Fields wants to beat the Nets Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden, but it has nothing to do with a New York-New Jersey rivalry.

Rather, Fields' motivation comes from the fact that his old Stanford teammate plays for the Nets.

"Because Brook Lopez is on that team, I definitely want to get that one," Fields said Monday after practice. "A little Stanford-Stanford [rivalry]."

He added: "We want to treat it like a playoff game."

The Knicks (9-9) and Nets (6-11) have their own rivalry, one that heated up in June when Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov put up a billboard overlooking Madison Square Garden featuring himself and team co-owner Jay-Z with the words, "Blueprint for Greatness."

The Knicks responded in October with their own billboard featuring Amar'e Stoudemire opposite the Nets' Atlantic Yards construction site in Brooklyn. The heading read, "Brooklyn Represent."

"I think just the proximity of the two teams, there will be a rivalry among the players," said Knicks president Donnie Walsh, who returned to practice after hip replacement surgery last week but said he won't attend the next "couple" of games. "Both teams will want to win."

Coming off a double-overtime victory Sunday in Detroit, the Knicks must find a way to win at home.

New York is 7-4 on the road but just 2-5 at Madison Square Garden, including Saturday's loss to Atlanta.

"I think we jell a little bit more on the road because it's kind of a mentality of us against the world," Fields said. "So if we have that same mentality at home, we should be all right."

Asked if the pressure of playing in New York got to the players, Fields added: "The fans are very passionate. You want to go out there and please them as best you could. It's not about them, it's about us as a basketball team going out there and performing."

Walsh said the team must find a way to win at home.

"Whatever it is, we gotta find the answer to it and make this our home court," Walsh said, "because we have one of the best home courts in the whole league and we haven't taken advantage of it."

Free throws: Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni listed Ronny Turiaf (sore left knee) and Toney Douglas (contused right quad) as "probable." Both sat out the Detroit game. ... The Knicks starters were given a "recovery day" after the Detroit game and didn't practice. Instead, the reserves, including injured players Eddy Curry and Kelenna Azubuike, played four-on-four. Curry again slipped out of practice without speaking to the media. Azubuike is recovering from left knee surgery and still hasn't targeted a return date. "Once I'm ready to play, I'm ready to play," he said. "I'm not giving coach any time limit on what I can do."

Adam Zagoria is a regular contributor to SNY.tv. Read his blog at ZagsBlog.com and follow him on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/AdamZagoria.
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