Blogtable: Who Ya Got, Knicks Or Nets?

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes to weigh in on the three most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.

Week 13: First-half blindside | Knicks or Nets? | Trade me!

Who wins the Atlantic, Knicks or Nets?

Steve Aschburner: So we’ve given up on Boston, eh? The Celtics were my pick coming in. The Knicks and the Nets both are flawed teams, too. They’re led by stars (Carmelo Anthony, Deron Williams) with shaky reputations as winners. Each has a big man (Tyson Chandler, Brook Lopez) performing at an All-Star level. Each relies in part on a former knucklehead (J.R. Smith, Andray Blatche), each has oldsters and so on. I’ll take New York, narrowly, for three reasons: I like their chances of playing defense to coach Mike Woodson‘s specifications the rest of the way, I think Amar’e Stoudemire can bring real second-half help and I think the Woodson bump that Brooklyn has gotten from coach P.J. Carlesimo will be hard to sustain over another 40 games.

Fran Blinebury: Never thought the 3-ball attack that was so much a part of the Knicks’ red-hot start was going to carry them through a full season. P.J. Carlesimo has tapped into Deron Williams, Brook Lopez is rounding into form and Joe Johnson is stepping up. I’ll take the Nets in a hot Battle of the Boroughs race.

Jeff Caplan: You know what? I like what the the Nets are doing. These guys have shown a real maturity in allowing P.J. Carlesimo to take over and do his thing. It’s actually darn inspiring considering what’s gone on in Los Angeles with that third coach over there. The Nets’ win at the Garden the other day was big for those guys. With the Knicks, injuries are a real issue right now and it could really have a negative effect on Jason Kidd down the stretch. Give me the boys from Brooklyn.

Scott Howard-CooperI picked the Nets at the start of the season to win the Atlantic. I’ll stick with that, partly because it’s too easy to make a bunch of switches during the season (Lakers to win the West!) and partly because the Nets have had some bad moments and are still on the Knicks’ heels.

John Schuhmann: It’s a tough call. The Nets have been the much better team of late, but they have a slightly tougher schedule (fewer home games, more back-to-backs) going forward and I imagine both teams will have their highs and lows over the final three months. I believe the Nets were underachieving offensively early on, but I also believe that the Knicks’ ability to take care of the ball (lowest turnover rate in NBA history) and the eventual return of Raymond Felton will help them sustain offensive success.

If either team had shown sustained defensive success in the first half of the season, I’d believe in them more. The Knicks defended well for the first few weeks of November, but have been pretty awful there since. And though they’re 11-2, the Nets have ranked just 12th defensively in P.J. Carlesimo‘s time on the bench.

So yeah, I think it’s really even. And I’ll give the Knicks the slight edge, because they already have a two-game lead in the loss column.

Sekou Smith: Two weeks ago, I’d have told you the Knicks … easy. Then, P.J. Carlesimo showed up and started coaching like he did at Seton Hall. My gut says the Knicks have another roll or two in them between now and the end of the regular season. But the Nets have the balance and some wicked momentum right now on their side. Barring anything crazy happening at the Feb. 21 trade deadline, this thing goes down to the final days of the season with the Nets clipping the Knicks at the tape.


  1. BRIO says:

    MELO WILL BE THE MVP.. and the NYK will be the 2013 NBA Champion…

  2. the miz says:

    AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! CLEVELAND CAVALIERS WILL BE CHAMPIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. bill russell is great! says:

    you know what? right now the Nets are on a kind of roll that no one saw coming, really impressive, the exact kind of roll that had Houston climbing from .50 to 21-14… only to follow that with 8 Ls in 9 games. It’s easy to get carried away in the very short term, and we (NBA fans more than most) tend to lose perspective with 82 games in 30 weeks. By the end of the season no one will remember the interim coach that sat in Phil’s armchair at Staples, That Bernie something, yeah, the one with the winning record… So, until the Nets show they are on something more than a temporary outburst of good basketball and high spirits, I will think of it as Nets-sanity, and keep an eye on Houston, especially their PG…

  4. Anonymous says:

    I give the VERY slight advantage to New York. Now, let me point out now that at the moment New York is not a winning team. This is due to the fact that again, the point guard position is AGAIN an issue for the Knicks like it was when they amnestied Chauncey a couple years back up until this season when they reacquired Felton. Keep in mind that there are several key factors in all this. First off, Amar’e Stoudemire is not yet at 100%. I believe he will break out and emerge as (sort of) his old self after All-Star break, perhaps with some new post-moves and some defense (which he has shown he is capable of with his already improved play this season). Shumpert will also take a while to get back to 100%. Felton is set to return on Saturday the earliest, so we will see how that goes. I am anxious to see what his presence can do for this team but at the same time I know that he should not be returning this quickly and he is obviously fighting the doctors to get back quickly, which is not something I would recommend. Rasheed and Camby… lol. Anyway, the Knicks are still being bogged down by injuries keeping in mind that those who are coming back are not in perfect shape yet. I believe they have another two or three streaks in them and that will put them in either 2nd or 3rd seed (I would say that Brooklyn is not their main concern, more likely Indiana will be the enemy here for the rest of the season.) above Brooklyn who will likely lose this great momentum they have right now with Carlesimo after their schedule gets tougher a little later down the road. Both teams are great, but when New York is healthy and the drive is there, very few teams can beat them.

  5. Melo Baby says:

    Knicks Nation!

  6. newyorksteelo says:

    @ Bstarr – No way the Celtics can beat the Knicks in a 7 game series, especially if the Knicks are healthy. Celtics just don’t have it anymore. They lack consistency and only play hard one game, then lose 4 in a row against mediocre teams. They did win 6 in a row in early January, but before that they couldn’t win back to back games (which is why they are the 8th seed), and after that little run, they started to look like a bunch of worn out old men. Sounds like age is creeping up on them as suspected. It’s time for other teams to move up in the east like Indiana, Atlanta, Knicks, Nets, etc. Not gonna happen.

    • Bstarr says:

      Well newyorksteelo you have a point there and are right on a lot. I do agree that the Celtics are not that good this year and that high age is one of reasons. Personally I would have traded KG after last season for Cousins but ok KG brings a lot of hearth in his plays. Pierce can not deliver every night like he used to 4-5 years ago.

      It’s true that after the most recent winning streak they lost against Pistons, Cav’s and Hornets…..not the best teams in the league. But we all know that in the playoffs the game changes and unpredictable things happen (Chicago last year or NY 8th seed beats Miami in ’99). So I’m still going with the Celtics over the Knicks in a best of 7 (probably a tight 4-3 win). Miami is too good for them but they still can beat the rest in the east in the playoffs.

      Oh and I’m glad that the Knicks are back after the Ewing, Starks, Oakley, Big L, Sprewell days. Fans waited long for it to happen and finally a competitive team on the court in MSG! Like!

  7. Bstarr says:

    Celtics beat them both in a best of seven, 100%, no doubt about that. But I would say Knicks. Melo, JR, Chandler & Stoud are just too much for the Nets.

  8. Collin Lamey says:

    I hope both teams realize that they have work to do to get to that championship level. I am a Knick fan but I call like I see it. PEACE!!!!

  9. Collin Lamey says:

    I believe the NYKNICKS will win the East once they get all their players back and start utilizing their depth. Right now however they are slipping into mediocrity because they are not focused and locked in shooting the basketball. Shooting %s have to improve across the board. They have the ability to get more physical and start featuring different lieups depending on the opponent. I propose trying Melo at the 2 guard sometimes because it would give them more flexibility on the frontline. They need to start enjoying the game again. All this comes naturally with winning and jelling. Go Knicks!!! THE NETS are rising and will give them a run for their money as key positions are solidified with quality player. DERON WILLIAMS HAS TAKEN CONTROL of this team whike BROOK LOPEZ IS becoming a dominant center. JOE JOJNSON IS STEADY and they do have depth around them who can defend and score. Any way its not about The Atlantic division for me. Its The NBA CHAMPIONSHIP. RIGHT NOW Chicago looks like the team to beat …

  10. Hello Brooklyn says:

    Brooklyn Nets all the way. Even with the Nets having that horrible December record we are only 2 games behind the knicks and that was partly due to Brook Lopez’s injury and Avery’s horrible coaching. Now that everyone is back and close to full strength I really believe we’ll be first in the Atlantic in no time.

  11. Casey says:

    ^^^Nets also beat the Celtics twice

  12. CHUCK NORRIS says:

    Celtics beat them both.

  13. 16going417 says:

    The big 3 markets are Hollywood, South Beach and the Big Apple (in that order). Based on your choices you have to pick the Big Apple……

  14. newyorksteelo says:

    John Schuhmann hit the nail on the head with this one. The key is the return of Felton. Ever since Felton went down with the fractured bone in hand injury, Knicks have struggled to penetrate and break down the opposing defense to find the outside open man. A big key to their success this season The numbers don’t lie and it is clear as day the Knicks are struggling without Felton. Too many injuries for NY this year and they miss Rasheed Wallace as well. Both teams are somewhat evenly matched, but if New York gets healthy and goes back to playing the defense Mike Woodson is hoping for, the Knicks are just better. Oh, and let’s not forget Carmelo Anthony. Deron WIlliams is good, but he can never match up to the star caliber of Melo, which may be the reason the Knicks come out on top in the Atlantic Division.