May 9, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; New York Knicks power forward Amare Stoudemire (left) with small forward Carmelo Anthony (right) after Stoudemire fouls out of the game during the second half of game five in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals against the Miami Heat of the 2012 NBA Playoffs at the American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

Knicks vs Nets: Who has the advantage?

The hype in New York City right now is all about football. New York Giants and New York Jets fans are making their case for who has the better team. September is all about who has the better football team to start the year, as Yankees and Mets fan have their arguments in April. In a month from now New York City basketball fans will have their first legitimate argument on which team is better in the city: the New York Knicks or the now Brooklyn Nets.

Both teams improved their rosters this off-season and are ready to make that next step and challenge the Miami Heat for the East crown. The Knicks let go of Jeremy Lin and acquired Jason Kidd and Raymond Felton to run the point. The Knicks also added frontcourt depth by adding veterans Marcus Camby and Kurt Thomas. The Nets resigned their franchise player Deron Williams and paired him with All-Star shooting guard Joe Johnson. They also kept Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries, and gave Brook Lopez a huge deal. So who has the better team? Let’s break it down by position.

Point Guard: Raymond Felton/Jason Kidd/ Pablo Prigioni VS. Deron Williams/C.J. Watson/Tryshawn Taylor

A lot will be asked and expected out of both squads’ ball handlers. The Knicks are bringing in the duo of Kidd and Felton hoping giving everyone a quick memory of Jeremy Lin. They are hoping to get Felton in his prime and to play like he did his first go around with the Knicks. Jason Kidd was originally brought in to be a mentor to Lin but that clearly quickly changed. Jason Kidd is here to establish a veteran, winning and intelligent presence to a Knicks team that needs it.

In Brooklyn, the Nets have arguably the best point guard in the game. An Olympian and All-Star, Deron looks to elevate his game to an even higher level. Watson is no stiff either and is very good off the bench. Both Pablo Prigioni and Tryshawn Taylor will have to prove many things before they crack either rotation. No debate here that Deron is better than every Knicks point guard.

Advantage – Nets

Shooting Guard: JR Smith/Ronnie Brewer/Iman Shumpert VS. Joe Johnson/MarShon Brooks/Keith Bogans

One of the weakest points on the Knicks roster is their shooting guard depth. While Iman Shumpert recovers from injury, the Knicks will have to be patient with J.R. Smith and Ronnie Brewer. Both have been bench guys and spot starters through out their career and will be asked to start and bulk up the minutes.

Joe Johnson should compliment Deron beautifully as Deron is one of the best passers and least selfish players in the NBA. Expect Joe Johnson’s numbers to go up playing with Williams. MarShon Brooks is a great scorer and could be dangerous off the bench. These both lack what the Knicks have, pure scoring in this position.

Advantage – Nets

Small Forward – Carmelo Anthony/Steve Novak/James White/Chris Copeland VS. Gerald Wallace/Jerry Stackhouse/Tornike Shengelia

Carmelo Anthony is an elite scorer and looks to be in the best shape of his career. He showed the world in the Olympic games his outside range added with his low post scoring is deadly. The Knicks will go wherever Melo takes them. Steve Novak was the best three-point shooter last year, but will he repeat his success? The Knicks gave him a pretty big deal for a journeyman three specialist so they think he will.

Gerald Wallace is a very savvy and gritty player. He is no bum and is a great third option. He is no Anthony that’s for sure. Jerry Stackhouse should have no impact on this team, and if he does the Nets are in trouble.

Advantage – Knicks

Power Forward – Amar’e Stroudemire/Kurt Thomas VS. Kris Humphries/Reggie Evans/Mizra Teletovic

We all know Amar’e’s story. He needs go back to his dominating ways and be the player the Knicks signed him for. He has worked with Hakeem Olajuwon this off-season and all signs point to he will bounce back. Kurt Thomas might not play a lot but when he does I really don’t expect much out of him. He gives the Knicks much needed depth in the frontcourt and will be used when the Knicks need to take out STAT or Tyson Chandler and doesn’t want to go small.

I don’t buy the Kris Humphries hype. Yes he puts up doubles doubles but he really isn’t a player you can rely on in a big game. If he were so good, the Nets wouldn’t have been garbage the last few years. Reggie Evans is solid bench guy and will hustle and give you that hard foul when needed. I’m picking a proven STAT over Humphries any day.

Advantage – Knicks

Center – Tyson Chandler/Marcus Camby VS. Brook Lopez

This is the closest position battle between the two teams.  Chandler is the defending Defensive Player of the Year and like Deron and Carmelo, is an Olympian. Tyson was the starting center and is in the best shape of his life. We all know his defensive skills are second to no one, but his offense needs improvement. Camby is a big body off the bench and I think he will fit in New York just fine.

Brook Lopez battled injuries last year and really hasn’t proved anything to me. I believe the Nets were forced to sign him when they missed out on Dwight. He is a very good center who does a little bit of everything, but I think Tyson will lock him up

Advantage – Knicks

Coaching – Mike Woodson VS. Avery Johnson

Mike Woodson and Avery Johnson are both coaches who are finally expected to win. Woodson was no expected to beat the Heat last year and Johnson’s Nets weren’t expected to compete until they revamped their roster this season. Now the heat is on. Avery Johnson had success in Dallas with a talented team, making it to the Finals and constantly being a high seed in the always-tough west. Mike Woodson always had a talented team in Atlanta but could never escape the first round. I believe Woodson has good control of this team and good chemistry with his players, but Johnson is the better coach.

Advantage – Nets

So who would win a 7 game series? Its is very likely these two New York teams clash in the first round this year which would be great for the NBA and basketball in the city. With no travel but being under the constant microscope of New York media, this series would be the best in a while. The Nets have the big advantage in the backcourt but the Knicks frontcourt might be too much for the Nets to handle. I believe both starting fives would give us a very even series, but baring any moves, the Nets bench will catch up to them. With no other center on the roster, no other big men to keep up with Chandler and Camby will be tough. I think the Knicks would win this series with Carmelo going off.

Knicks win 4-2 on Brooklyn’s floor

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