The good news is that after a 2-2 record last week, the Nets still retain their top 10 position in the Power Rankings around the Internet. The bad news is that despite the Knicks' defensive meltdown (345 points in losses to Dallas and Houston and a win over Detroit) New York remains ahead of Brooklyn.
The big power rankers, John Schuhmann and Marc Stein, both have the Nets at No. 9 and the Knicks three places higher. In fact, the Nets are in everyone's top 10 this week for the first time in years. (Stein had them at No. 12 last week.) Sporting News has the Nets the highest at No. 6. USA Today has them at No. 8 while the Los Angeles Times, SB Nation and Sports Illustrated (published Thursday) all have them at No. 7. John Hollinger who does Daily Power Rankings for ESPN Insider has the Nets at No. 9 as well, but has the Knicks all the way up at No. 2!
Here's some quotes from the rankings...
John Schuhmann, NBA.com (9)
As the Knicks have regressed defensively, the Nets have improved, holding the Clippers and Blazers to just 91 points per 100 possessions over the weekend. And they've actually won a couple of third quarters! It all sets up a big matchup in Brooklyn on Monday for first place in the Atlantic and early bragging rights in the city. More tough games (against the Celtics, Heat and Thunder) follow.
Marc Stein, ESPN (9)
The Nets of Brooklyn vintage have their first win of real quality courtesy of Friday's worthy shutdown of the high-flying Clips. Which means that Brooklyn's team will be taking some undeniable momentum into Monday night's rescheduled first installment of the New York derby with the Knicks.
Sean Deveney, The Sporting News (6)
Joe Johnson and Deron Williams have combined to shoot just 40.1 percent from the field this year; it has been Brook Lopez who has kept the Nets offense afloat.
Seth Rosenthal, SB Nation (7)
Joe Johnson's offense seems to have finally arrived in Brooklyn. It was Brooklyn's defense, though, that stood out in the impressive win over the Clippers and that decisive fourth quarter against the Blazers.
Matt Dollinger, Sports Illustrated (7 - published Thursday)
Thankful for ... Shaquille O'Neal. The Nets are one of the few teams that Shaq never played for, but he's given them a surprise boost this season. When he said last month that he'd take Andrew Bynum and Brook Lopez over Dwight Howard, we assumed it was his ego, not his brain, talking (especially considering that he referred to Lopez by his twin brother's name, Robin). But The Diesel fueled Lopez's fire with that statement, which has been more correct than we thought. Howard is still the superior player, but Lopez is averaging 18.7 points, third among centers in the league. His 6.1 rebounding average is still a source of frustration, but Brooklyn has to be happy that it has a franchise center -- even if it's not Howard.
Lisa Dillman, Los Angeles Times (7 - published Sunday)
Brooklyn (7-4) – DWill versus CP3. Sounds like a fun video game. But Williams takes Round 1. (11)
There will more later Monday and Tuesday.
- Power Rankings: Heat on top with parity out West - John Schuhmann - NBA.com
- NBA Basketball Power Rankings - Marc Stein - ESPN
- 2010-2011 Hollinger Power Rankings - John Hollinger - ESPN Insider
- NBA power rankings: LeBron and the Heat are on top—get used to it - Sean Deveney - Sporting News
- The Times' NBA rankings - Lisa Dillman - Los Angeles Times
- NBA power rankings, Week 5: Memphis Grizzlies' reign continues - Seth Rosenthal - SB Nation
- NBA Basketball Power Rankings - USA Today
- Chris Paul, Jamal Crawford put Clippers on top of NBA Power Rankings - Matt Dollinger - Sports Illustrated