Who Will Reign Supreme in New York?
One has to think that the emergence of two talented teams out west in Los Angeles sparked the interest in creating a similar dynamic on the East coast. Maybe they got tired of playing second-fiddle to west coast ball. Or it could be the fact that Miami and Boston, two New York rivals have been playing at such a competitive level over the last ten years.
Either way, the Knicks stormed out of the gates this season, playing without Amare Stoudemire thus far and defeating some quality opponents, most notably the Spurs in San Antonio. Tyson Chandler, Jason Kidd, Marcus Camby have provided a stable presence to this otherwise erratic roster, giving the Knicks some perspective of what lies ahead.
In Brooklyn, Deron Williams re-signed along with Brook Lopez, Kris Humphries and Gerald Wallace. They brought in Joe Johnson to form one of, if not the most dynamic pairing of guards in the NBA. Old fellas like Jerry Stackhouse and Reggie Evans have injected a sense of youth into the Nets bench as well - they provide enegry and consistency on the floor, night in and night out.
Take tonight for example; the Nets defeated the Knicks in overtime in the first meeting between these two teams and they have their bench to thank. In 22 minutes, Stackhouse scored 14 points on 4-6 from the field. Reggie Evans grabbed 14 boards, 6 on the offensive side of the ball in just 18 minutes of play. Game changers. Guys who are willing to do the dirty work.
On the other side, Carmelo and Chandler combined for 63 points but the Knicks only score 89. That wont get you the win.
While both teams have drastically improved their title chances, the Nets will reign supreme in New York as they have a more balanced team - not to say the Knicks wont be a very good team this season because they most certainly will.