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Brooklyn Nets, New York Knicks bunched near top of Power Rankings

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Anthony Gruppuso-US PRESSWIRE

Power rankings, along with some late season previews, are starting to roll in and they project the Nets --and their opponents Thursday-- the Knicks bunched in top third of the NBA.

John Schuhmann and Mark Stein, who've put together Power Rankings for the last several years, puts the Brooklyn Nets at No. 10 and No. 11. Schuhmann has Knicks just below them at No. 12, Stein down at No. 15. Seth Rosenthal, who's new to the job at SB Nation, has the two team a little lower, the Knicks at No. 11, the Nets at No. 12.

Schuhmann writes again about the Nets' defense...

Avery Johnson has some work to do, because the preseason did little to dispel the notion that the Nets would struggle defensively. We did see the potential for Deron Williams and Joe Johnson to be a pretty potent combination offensively, and Andray Blatche was surprisingly effective, but the D is going to be key.

Stein is all about the money...

The building cost a cool $1 billion. No one in the starting lineup makes less than Gerald Wallace's $9.7 million. The Nets couldn't be more ready to launch their new, opulent life in Brooklyn against the Amare-less Knicks ... except for the worrisome news about D-Will's ankle.

Rosenthal thinks there are other question marks for the Nets, including the coaching...

A squad with so many new faces could take some time to establish roles and delegate responsibility, and there's a possibility that Avery Johnson isn't the ideal coach for this group. In any event, the first unit is monstrous -- especially if Brook Lopez can pull together a full year of production -- and the bench might prove deeper than it looks.

  • Power Rankings: Harden trade shakes up the top - John Schuhmann - NBA.com
  • NBA Power Rankings: Preseason taught us so much about the Heat, Lakers - Seth Rosenthal - SB Nation
  • Power Rankings: Let the games begin - Mark Stein - ESPN
  • Why the Nets will be Big Apple's best team - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
  • D-Will enters season as franchise player - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
  • N.B.A. Eastern Conference Preview - New York Times