FanPost

Knicks vs. Nets

There has been a lot of discussion about which New York team is better going into 2012-13. Nets fans have a very justifiable claim in thinking that their team is better and they certainly could turn out to be correct, but I would just like to clear up a couple of things that I think have been way overblown.

1) JR Smith is a gunner who hurts a team more than he helps them

Smith certainly can be a gunner (he shot the Knicks out of any chance of winning a couple of those playoff games). Yet Smith is a very underrated defender; he actually is pretty good at playing on the ball defense. He needs to work on communicating with his teammates better and on driving to the basket with the athleticism and ball handling he possessess. Don't forget, JR Smith played 30 minutes a game on the 2008-09 Denver Nuggets (the one year Carmelo made it out of the first round), scoring 15 points a game on a team which lost in 6 games in the WCF to the Lakers. JR at least can be a crucial cog on a very good basketball team.

2)Tyson Chandler is not as good as Brook Lopez

Tyson Chandler completely transformed the Knicks' defense last season. Along with Mike Woodson coaching the Knicks and Iman Shumpert guarding dominant playmakers on the perimeter, Tyson Chandler was the most critical piece in the Knicks defensive success. Not to mention that Tyson had a phenomenally efficient season offensively, to possibly argue that Brook Lopez is better than Chandler only works when you factor in Lopez's low post scoring ability and assume that he will get better on defense and rebounding. Lopez can be an all-star center with D Will at PG and solid wing players, especially if Johnson and Teletovic can light it up with D Will from the perimeter. But give Chandler his due, an elite defensive center like him isn't easy to find (NO Samuel Dalembert and Theo Ratliff didn't have years as good as Chandler's last year and in 2010-11). Lopez may be better than Chandler in the long run, but he hasn't yet played with a good enough team to really be sure that he can have a transformative effect on a team like Tyson has.

There are way too many "ifs" to call the battle of New York at the point. Both team will greatly benefit with a full training camp together. The Knicks and Nets both have the potential to challenge Miami (in my opinion), but health for both teams (particularly Lopez and A'mare) will be critical to any chance. You guys are legit fans and I'm glad you'll be at a great new arena in Brooklyn. Let the rivalry continue!!!

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