Sunday Topic: Best Team in New York?
Every Sunday, HOOPSWORLD’s analysts will weigh in on an NBA-related topic. Get in on the debate by leaving your thoughts in the comment section. Without further ado, here is this week’s Sunday Topic.
The New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets have plenty of talent and both teams enter the 2012-13 season with championship aspirations, but which team is the best in New York?
“The Knicks and the Nets are relatively even on paper. Both teams have obvious strengths, as well as some potentially troubling flaws. For instance, New York’s roster possesses superior depth (a second unit of Jason Kidd, J.R. Smith, Steve Novak, Rasheed Wallace and Marcus Camby is intriguing as it is impressive); however, can the veterans the Knicks added this summer stay healthy? That’s a crucial question that will only be answered over the marathon regular season.
The Nets, on the other hand, boast an undeniably imposing starting five (Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries and Brook Lopez). Yet, while many of Brooklyn’s bench players have significant upside, it remains to be seen if they will effectively spell the starters on a consistent basis.
Interestingly, in the 35 years since the Nets franchise joined the NBA back in 1976, the Knicks and the Nets have never once finished as the top two teams in the Atlantic Division. Both teams have the talent to make a charge at the division title this season. However, the more experienced New York roster, whose key pieces jelled nicely at the end of last season, will finish ahead of Brooklyn and claim the crown of best team in New York City.” – Tommy Beer
“The area encompassing New York City and Brooklyn can now boast the largest collection of marquee NBA talent in the country. The only problem is that talent is split up between two teams. If you could just take your pick of players from both the New York Knicks and the Brooklyn Nets and create one team, you might have a shot at a championship.
As it stands, the talent is spread out over two teams, and one will clearly be better than the other. While the Knicks spent the summer getting older and even slower, the Nets locked in Deron Williams long-term, added All-Star Joe Johnson to the backcourt and made sure Gerald Wallace and Brook Lopez will be around for a while as well. Unlike the Knicks, the Nets have a strong overall defensive presence, not just one guy in the middle trying to do it all.
The Knicks are a playoff team, but unless Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony suddenly decide to play defense, the Knicks will have trouble getting out of the first round. The Nets are unlikely contenders, given the strength of the East’s top seeds, but they will almost certainly enjoy a longer postseason run than their new cross-town rivals.” – Bill Ingram
“The New York Knicks rank higher than the Brooklyn Nets by a tiny margin, based more on the known than the unknown. The Knicks are loaded and while last year it just didn’t work, they just weren’t healthy and deficient at point guard (especially after Jeremy Lin’s injury). A bounce-back season from Raymond Felton along with the older, but always steady Jason Kidd, should mean a strong season for the Knicks.
Along with the star power of Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire, center Tyson Chandler is the reigning Defensive Player of the Year. New York will score, have improved at the point and, if they stay healthy, commit to defending. They have tremendous potential this season.
The Nets need Brook Lopez back from the foot injury that torpedoed last season. It’s one thing to be called “healthy,” and another to truly return to form. The addition of Joe Johnson and return of both Gerald Wallace and Kris Humphries certainly gives the Nets potential to eclipse the Knicks by the end of the year. Naturally, retaining Deron Williams was the priority above all. He’s the team’s true star, relieving the pressure from Johnson (who never lived up to that role with the Atlanta Hawks).
New York and Brooklyn have great upside and while the Miami HEAT still seem a class above both teams in the Eastern Conference, the early nod goes to the Knicks over the Nets by a slight edge.” – Eric Pincus
“The Brooklyn Nets have the highest-paid starting lineup in the history of the NBA, and the New York Knicks’ roster is home to four of the league’s six oldest active players.
Based on that information alone, one would assume that the much-ballyhooed Nets were the better-looking team. That’s not my vibe, though, as I like New York’s mix of players from top-to-bottom a little better than the group in Brooklyn.
Outside of the starting five, which includes a couple of players I’m not so sure were necessarily worth the money, the Nets look pretty thin. Meanwhile, the Knicks have just as much star power and go quite a bit deeper. Plus, defensively, New York has more to like with reigning Defensive Player of the Year Tyson Chandler and new acquisition Ronnie Brewer.
I just think the Knicks are more well-rounded than the Nets, and I’ll err on the side of depth when it comes to choosing the best team in New York.” – Joel Brigham
“I’ve got to go with the new guys, the Brooklyn Nets. One of the main reasons why the Nets will be better is because of chemistry. I feel that their pieces are going to fit in together a lot more seamlessly than the ones on the Knicks are. Deron Williams also helps push them over the top, especially considering how big of a question mark the Knicks have at point guard.
Even with that said, though, the margin between the two teams is not vast at all. The Knicks’ offseason was nothing to shake your head at, despite not being as noteworthy as the Nets’ summer. If they defend night in and night out like Mike Woodson is going to demand of them, they’re going to have a chance against any team in the league in a seven-game series. They have that kind of talent.
On the outset, the Nets don’t appear to have the same kind of potential that the Knicks do on the defensive end. Whereas the Knicks could be very good with Tyson Chandler manning the middle, the Nets look to be just good enough on that end of the floor to win games. They’re going to be more focused on outscoring their opponents, something they have the firepower to do on a nightly basis.
With viable offensive threats at every position and a top-flight point guard setting them up, the Nets should be one of the top offensive teams in the league and the best team in New York, even if it’s just by a couple of games.” – Yannis Koutroupis
Which team is the best in New York, the Knicks or Nets? Leave your thoughts in the comment section.