Who Owns New York? It's Close

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 20: Deron Williams #8 of the New Jersey Nets reacts after scoring a three pointer against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on February 20, 2012 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

Fred Kerber worked the phones the last few days, asking 29 NBA executives, former executives, coaches, scouts and consultants who they think would be the better team in New York this season. Final tally: Knicks, 14; Nets 13, with two saying it's too close to call.

The reasoning was for the most part predictable: Those liking the Knicks like their front court; the Nets their back court. But some other arguments were interesting: the Knicks got points for their chemistry and the Nets for their versatility. The harshest criticism of the Nets came from a former assistant coach.

"I don’t know if Deron Williams is as good as everyone says, and he has minimal playoff experience," said the coach.

"Gerald Wallace’s best days might be behind him, Joe Johnson is on the decline, and Brook Lopez is coming off a major injury."

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