Knicks at Brooklyn (I almost said NJ) will begin opening night. Who is the better team in your opinion? Well let me speak on this for a quick minute. Let’s break down the starting five and go head to head from each position. Then we will grade the bench as a collective.
PG: Deron Williams vs. Raymond Felton.
Well obviously Deron is a light’s out PG. He bounces around the court, switching gears like Dr. Dre’s 64. His outside shooting and passing skills are on a level of themselves and he might be a top 3 , if not the best PG in the NBA. How does Raymond follow up those complimentary words? I Guess you don’t. Felton is a good solid PG for NY. He will do a decent job here and will have his excellent nights, coupled with some bad nights. Edge: Williams
SG: Joe Johnson vs. Ronnie Brewer.
Johnson is a “ISO” guard , who needs the ball in his hand and even though experts claim he fits great with Deron, I’m not quite sure of that. He can score at will with his deadly jumper, but having the ball in your hands the entire shot clock (sound familiar?) might not work for the rest of the team , especially Deron. Brewer was an underrated pick up for NY and we believe that he will bring toughness and grit that this team needs at the SG position. He is not a great shooter at any distance , but he can knock down the open shot when the game is on the line. He is here for defense and tenacity, not shooting, however Johnson is the better all around player. Edge: Johnson
SF: Gerald Wallace vs. Carmelo Anthony.
Let us start with Gerald. Wallace is a rugged SF. He can shoot , even though his shot is off many nights and has some 4 for 15 games. His defense is the key for him. Night after night , Gerald brings his game. His intensity never is lacking and he can take you out of your game with his energy and on the ball presence. He hustles for loose balls and can run the floor with the best young players in this league. Carmelo Anthony in my opinion is a strait up “assassin”. Usually I reserve that title for Kobe and Kobe alone, but in my eyes Melo has earned this name. He can do it all. Inside, outside, 3 ball , and of course to the basket. He is long and can kill opposing PF’s with his inside game and shoot over SF’s if he’s beyond the arc. His mid range game is beyond conversation. His one downfall is his defense and rebounding, however last year he picked up on those 2 issues and definitely has gotten better as the year went on. Carmelo is the better player and I would be shocked, but not surprised if someone said otherwise. Edge: Carmelo Anthony
PF: Kris Humphries vs. Amare Stoudemire.
I might surprise some people, but I actually like Humph’s game. He is tough as nails in the paint and can hit the mid range jumper. The only thing I can say about him is his judgement over woman. Don’t get me started on her. He was treated unfairly by other teams fans , but that comes with the territory of marrying a Kardashian. If I am judging him as a basketball player and not a reality star/husband, I would say I would take Kris on my team any day to bang in the paint and clean up the glass. Amare Stoudemire. Ok , where do I begin and end. Amare is a incredibly talented guy, who might be on the decline. Nobody really knows for sure, so we will have to wait and see. He can hit the jumper, but it’s a little inconsistent at times( a lot of times). His defense is down right atrocious. He doesn’t move his feet and turns his back on the ball to many times to count. For a 6’11″ PF, his rebounding is way below what is should be. He was never really taught defense, but at his age he should have some defensive concepts and discipline already set in his head. Ok, back to the good stuff. Amare can explode to the basket and drive with the top PF’s in the league. His pick and roll is his bread and butter, along with his aggressiveness to the basket. If Amare can his get quickness back to where it was, he and the Knicks will be a force to be reckoned with. Edge: Amare
Center: Brook Lopez vs. Tyson Chandler.
Lopez is fluid and has a soft touch around the basket for a guy his size. His outside shot has really catapulted his game to the next level. He signed a large contract this summer , so he needs to live up to it. His weakness is on the glass. For a guy his size he does not rebound the way a 7 footer should. Not only is his rebounding number bad, but you can maybe argue they are the worst in the league for his position and minutes played per game. Brook also has been injury prone. He must stay healthy for Brooklyn to have a rebound year(no pun intended). Tyson on the other hand is the anchor on the defense. He has changed this teams defensive mindset from day 1 and especially since the removal of Mike D as coach. He plays banged up, brings the pain to other teams and defends other bigs like no other. His offensive game is lacking greatly, but that was expected when he signed here. Edge: Tyson Chandler.
Bench: Nets vs. Knicks.
The Nets have a solid core of players. Teletovic is unproven as of today, but Marshon Brooks , CJ Miles and Reggie Evans can pack a punch. Jerry Stackhouse is a solid locker room guy, who can still hit the jumper if he is called into action. I am sure a few more moves will be made before and during training camp. Stay tuned. The Knicks bench is what could take this team to the next level. Jason Kidd, Camby, Novak, JR Smith, and Kurt Thomas all have different jobs, but they are all still hungry and ready to contribute to this team. If you add in Pablo Prigioni and James White it is obvious the Knicks bench is one of the deepest in the league. They still have some minor moves to make, but looking at this roster as of now, I would say “Deep Baby”. Edge: Knicks
Coach: Avery vs. Woody
Avery Johnson is a dam good coach. He did well in Dallas, however he was run out of town for rubbing players and management the wrong way Not sure what that is, but time will tell in Brooklyn as well. Woody earned his stripes as assistant for years, before getting his chance in Atlanta. He helped that team excel and got better every year under him. He was let go after they couldn’t get over the hump. When he took over as head coach of NY, his philosophy and schemes shot NY to the top of the league in defense. Was that a fallacy? Edge: Even
Let me some up this comparison. In order for these teams to play well, they will have to play as a whole and not individuals. Question marks remain in both boroughs of Brooklyn and Manhattan, but if one of these can figure out chemistry, then watch out NY. If they both figure things out, then ratings and attendance will blow through the roof. Would love to hear your thoughts Knick and Nets fans. Edge:?????
Peter A. Knickswag Chief Editor