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Monday, October 29, 2012
Why the Nets will be Big Apple's best team

By Mike Mazzeo

So who’s better: the Brooklyn Nets or the New York Knicks?

Tough to say for sure, but here are three reasons why the Nets will be the best team in the Big Apple this season:

1. They have the best player

If Donnie Walsh had to do it all over again, the former Knicks GM has essentially stated that he would’ve went after Deron Williams, not Carmelo Anthony. D-Will may not be considered the best point guard in the league anymore by NBA executives, but now that he’s surrounded by a ton of talent, look for him to have a big year.

The pressure is on for Williams to perform on both ends of the court and lead the Nets to the playoffs for the first time in five seasons. Given his skill-set and the massive chip on his shoulder to lift his team to prominence, odds are he’s going to live up to expectations.

2. Their pieces fit together better

All offseason long, GM Billy King reiterated the importance of “building a team.” And that’s exactly what he’s done. Just take a look at Brooklyn’s starting five: D-Will (superstardom), Joe Johnson (versatility), Gerald Wallace (intangibles), Kris Humphries (rebounding) and Brook Lopez (scoring).

The Nets aren’t playing anyone out of position. And while they have chemistry issues, they don’t seem to be as big a concern as say, trying to incorporate Melo and Amar'e Stoudemire in the same offense.

3. They’re younger

Consider this: the Nets’ oldest player, Jerry Stackhouse, would be the fifth-oldest player on the Knicks. D-Will (28) is in the prime of his career, while Lopez (24) might still be scratching the surface of his potential. Johnson (31) and Wallace (30) aren’t exactly young, but it seems like they’ve still got three or four years worth of good mileage left.