Are the Brooklyn Nets better than the New York Knicks?
Is Charles Barkley out of line with his comments saying that the Brooklyn Nets are the better New York basketball team? When asked on NBATV’s Season Preview Series, Barkley said that the Knicks roster is too old and that if it were 2000, he would have them winning the NBA title. Both teams went into the offseason with specific tasks. For the Knicks, it was retooling a roster that saw them be dispatched from the first round of the playoffs yet again and for the Nets, it was retaining star point guard Deron Williams.
The Knicks were able to make some great additions to this roster, only if some of these players were still in their prime. Jason Kidd, Kurt Thomas and Marcus Camby are all pushing 40 years of age and so I don't know how the Knicks may count on them through the duration of a full 82-game season. Jason Kidd is a first ballot Hall of Famer but how many minutes will he play without fizzling out too early in the season? Jeremy Lin departed for Houston, after a back loaded offer that the Knicks refused to match and instead signed point guard Raymond Felton. In Portland, Felton had his share of problems last year after being out of shape and battling injuries. I agree with Charles Barkley that this Knick roster is old and lacks some youth and athleticism. As far as I'm concerned, I think this team has many question marks heading into the season. The cyst behind Amare’s right knee should concern them moving forward; as they do not know how much production to they will get out of their four spot. This injury just delays the on-court chemistry Carmelo and Amare must have in order for this team to make some noise in the Eastern Conference.
The Nets on the other hand, had their offseason full of uncertainty, which started with Deron Williams. After a 22-win season, Deron wanted to see changes made to the roster in order to resign with the Nets. Besides moving into a new arena, Brooklyn had plenty of cap and decided to trade for the highest paid player in the league last year, Joe Johnson. The move sold Deron into resigning with the franchise. Unable to acquire Dwight Howard from the Orlando Magic, the Nets decided to resign their own players in Kris Humphries, Brook Lopez and Gerald Wallace. Brooklyn rounded out their roster with players like the reclamation project Andray Blatche, who has proven to be a 20 point, 10 rebound player in the NBA, as well as point guard CJ Watson. These two players, along with shooting guard Marshon Brooks give the Nets that added depth in case of an injury in-season.
Both of these teams have chemistry issues, as they added a lot of pieces in the offseason. It will be interesting to see how well all of the pieces fit on both teams but I do believe the Nets are currently the better team in New York. They have the better point guard in Deron Williams, to control games along with youth that may withstand an in season injury. The Knicks have too many question marks with the health of the roster, as well as the lack of athleticism, which may hurt them when playing teams like Miami. I think the offense will be very stagnant with Amare out, as Carmelo will be forced to once again shoulder the load. It should be an exciting basketball season for New York fans though, as many expect an epic rivalry between the two boroughs on the hardwood.