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."