Dave D: Brooklyn Nets to finish fifth, New York Knicks seventh in East

Al Bello

Dave D'Alessandro, who has spent his career following the Nets and Knicks, projects the Nets to finish fifth in the East and the Knicks two places lower in his NBA preview out Sunday. Dave D also has Deron Williams making the All-NBA team and calls "BKN vs. NYC" one of the top story lines this season. He writes...

Both can be slotted into that 47-to-50-win bracket, and health may be the only thing that determines who grabs the fourth seed instead of the fifth in a weak conference. The sight of the Knicks’ true MVP (Tyson Chandler) leaving Nassau Coliseum on crutches may indicate that they’re not exactly going to break out fast, but they should finish strong as long as Iman Shumpert returns by the break. The Nets have built a very nice roster and have a splendid court on which to play, but their preseason defense still looked stuck in the mud somewhere in the swamps of Jersey.

Greg Anthony calls the Nets his surprise team of the season, saying they will make the playoffs and goes even further regarding Williams, suggesting he could be a stealth MVP candidate. He tells Yahoo's Larry Biel...

This is a team that made of the best moves in the off-season that didn't get a lot of the hype. They've got more hype about moving to Brooklyn than maybe the product they put out on the floor. this is a solid basketball team. they're going to be much better defensively and I know Brook Lopez is the rebounder a lot of people would like to see at the center positon but he's an effective scorer and when you couple that with a guy like Kris Humphries at the power forward who is just a rebounding machine, and Crash Wallace also, those guys are going to be upping the ante and controlling the defensive backboard and that's going to be on of the best backcourts in basketball with Joe Johnson and Deron Williams. Now, the bench may not be as strong as some would like but I do think that this is a team that will be playing in the post-season and I think that Deron Williams is the type of guy that could be under the radar for the MVP when it's all said and done.

Meanwhile the Philadelphia Inquirer projects D-Will as first-team All-NBA and notes...

From the Broken Nets to the Brooklyn Nets, the former New Jersey franchise has a new home and an even newer outlook. Deron Williams, Brook Lopez, Gerald Wallace, and Kris Humphries were re-signed. An expensive but still effective Joe Johnson was acquired from Atlanta. Here is a question that nobody in his right mind would have asked at the end of last season: Are they as good as the 76ers?

  • The Star-Ledger's NBA Preview 2012-13 - Dave D'Alessandro - Star-Ledger
  • Most underated NBA teams (Video) - Greg Anthony, Marc J. Spears & Larry Biel - Yahoo! Sports
  • Will King James' reign continue? - John N. Mitchell - Philadelphia Inquirer
  • Clyde: Pressure Is On The Nets to Match Expectations - Adam Zagoria - Zag's Blog
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