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Knick-less playoffs should help Nets build brand in New York

Anthony Gruppuso-US PRESSWIRE

The Nets will have a unique opportunity this spring, to turn New York fans' gaze from Manhattan to Brooklyn and build the team's "brand."

"I think it’ll be good for us to kinda be the only team playing and all of the focus being on us as far as the fans are concerned," Williams said Sunday. "I think that’s good for Brooklyn basketball, and I think it’s good for our brand. The attention is going to be on us, and we have to make the most of that opportunity and hopefully put together a run."

The Knicks may pick up some headlines as Phil Jackson talks to potential head coaches and recruits free agents, including Carmelo Anthony, but those talks aren't likely to produce anything quickly. Melo could postpone his decision until mid-July.  And they'll be no speculation about who they'll pick in the Draft. Like the Nets, they don't have first --or second-- round picks.

The two teams play again Tuesday but while it may mean something to the Knicks fans, Joe Johnson says the Nets have other things to think about.

"Like I said, we’re playing for something bigger than just the Knicks and the Nets. Obviously, we’re preparing ourselves for the postseason, and we’ll continue to play hard and continue to work toward that."

Meanwhile, the Brooklyn Brigade offers its take on the Knicks decline, using the recent Knick fan protest outside the Garden as its touchstone.