An epic rivalry is brewing in Americas biggest city. When the Nets play their first game as Brooklyn’s native team, they’ll be playing against their neighbors, the New York Knicks. Both teams have all-stars on their roster, are headed towards the playoffs and are looking towards a title this season. These teams are very evenly matched, and it will be interesting to see who takes over New York as the city’s best team. But overall, which team is better? Read below to find out.
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[one_half] By: Josh Moeschl
Jeremy Lin bolted to Houston for a big time deal after lighting Broadway on fire seemingly overnight last year.
The Knicks rival New Jersey Nets moved to the neighboring borough of Brooklyn and are closer than ever before. With a revamped roster, Brooklyn will look to dominate the Division this year.
Here’s why that won’t happen.
We have seen teams acquire several players all in one off-season (Heat, Celtics, Lakers, Clippers) and there is one constant: it takes a while to build team chemistry. Basketball is a team game where fluidity and chemistry matter.
The Nets are just beginning. Jason Kidd, Joe Johnson, and Gerald Wallace are new this season. They won’t just walk into an NBA season and magically have chemistry. That takes time. Multiple games played together. They don’t have that kind of time.
The Knicks, on the other hand, have a whole season of chemistry to build on. Although Lin was a great player last year, I understand why the team would not give him a big contract. He was not right for what New York is trying to do offensively.
Ray Felton and Ronnie Brewer are developing younger players. Brewer is new to New York, but his game fits. The Knicks win when Carmelo Anthony has room to operate offensively. The offense runs through him.
He will either take over, or distribute to Amare Staudemire (when he returns in 4-5 weeks), JR Smith, or Brewer. With Tyson Chandler doing what he does bast down low, the Knicks are going to be a difficult team to beat this season.
[one_half_last] By: Reed Wallach
This debate pits two teams going in opposite directions. The Brooklyn Nets are new to the Big Apple and bring in a completely different roster than last season. On the contrary the Knicks are used to the city life and have only made upgrades to their roster in the age column, bringing in the likes of Jason Kidd and Kurt Thomas, both in the final stretch of their careers.
The Nets altered lineup includes Joe Johnson, who was obtained in a trade over the summer, and they have brought back four core players such as Deron Williams and a healthy Brook Lopez. As well, the Nets boast a deep bench with Marshon Brooks being the first man off the bench, C.J Watson a proven veteran who can run the point allowing DWill to become a scorer, and Reggie Evans, one of the most efficient rebounders in all of basketball.
The Knicks are still in shambles from last season’s collapse. With the health of Amar’e Stoudemire in question, and an issue at who is going to be the most effective point guard replacing Jeremy Lin, the Knicks are going to face issues all over the court. Carmelo Anthony is one of the most pure shooters in the league today, but one man can only do so much for a team with so many issues looming.
The reason the Nets will be a better all-around team than the Knicks comes down to one key component—ego. The Knicks believe that they are a top five team in this league, but where has it shown. Since Melo has come to Madison Square Garden, the Knicks have been no higher than a six seed in the playoffs. Every season, New York has faced issues both on the court and in the locker room, yet they have brought back the same core of players that brought about these issues. With these issues on and off the court, the Knicks will be halted in their development. On the other hand, the Nets have a balanced group of five starters, each who are very good, but not considered great, therefore they do not have the need to put up 20 shots like Stoudemire or Anthony, they just play team basketball. The lack of stars and core of very good players will springboard the Nets over the Knicks into the top half of the East, something that has been out of the Knicks grasp in their past two campaigns.
The battle of New York without a doubt will result in the team from Brooklyn reigning supreme. With a more complete roster, and more team-first attitude, the Nets will take New York City for themselves and put the Knicks behind them and look ahead to more talented teams in the East, and potentially the rest of the league.