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Knicks or Nets… who’s the bigger threat to Boston?

Rico Albarracin November 28, 2012 Around the NBA 9 Comments

Where Brooklyn at? On November 26, the Brooklyn Nets hosted the New York Knicks and took care of business with a 96-89 overtime win.  Not only does the win establish themselves as a threat to the New York stranglehold that Knicks currently hold over the boroughs, but also a legitimate threat to the Atlantic division crown.  Although it may be early in the season, it is always interesting to think about this possible scenario:  Who presents a bigger threat to the Celtics?

The easy way would be to look at the lineups.  Brooklyn is sporting two All-Star guards in Deron Williams and Joe Johnson, averaging 31.9 points and 12.5 assists a game, provide problems for any team.  Against the Celtics, and a smaller backcourt of Rajon Rondo, Courtney Lee and Jason Terry, it gives the Nets a possibility of going with a big lineup. Toss in the fact the Nets are a + 51 this season when Brook Lopez and Kris Humphries are on the floor together. Although they play the slowest pace in the league, they are averaging 108.1 points per 100 possessions.  A simpler way to say they know how to score points. Although Boston has been known for their defense, the stats haven’t really backed up that statement. The season may be short but the Celtics have given up an average of 100.07 points a game, ninth worst in the league. Not really reminiscent of the lockdown Celtic defense’s of the past few years.

When you cross the bridge over to Manhattan, you come across a Knicks team that ranks fourth in the league in effective field percentage.  Most of it comes from the terrific 3-point shooting from Carmelo Anthony, J.R.Smith and Jason Kidd, who is averaging 50 percent from behind the arc, nothing close to his 42 percentage career high.  The Knicks will come back down to earth in terms of shooting but what has helped the Knicks to a 9-4 record is their ability to hang on to the ball. Currently first in the league, the Knicks have committed the fewest turnovers this season, with an average of 11.4 per game.  This is all with A’mare Stoudemire recovering from injury.  Will things change when he comes back? Will Carmelo Anthony willing go back to the small forward position? I’ll answer that right away, yes.

Given the way these two teams are playing, both are threats to beating the Celtics in a seven-game series.  When given the choice, Brooklyn would give Celtics more fits on the offensive end and on the offensive glass.  The Knicks do love to shoot the three but the Celtics are one of the top ten teams in the league defending the 3.  The rebounding has been killer for Boston and Humphries is a rebounding machine.  With questions surrounding the Knicks, in terms of Stoudemire’s return and how that will change the team, I’ll give the edge to Brooklyn, for now, but it’s extremely close.   A matchup against either NYC team would provide plenty of fun but in the meantime, let’s enjoy these two teams battle for the heart of the city.

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  • Roy

    Neither. I think bloggers and writers need to hold back on who’s a bigger threat to who. It’s not even 40 games into the season and already we’re judging? Though I think the Nets and Knicks are much improved, I don’t think they pose any serious threats to the Celtics. The Celtics are a threat to themselves, because they don’t the intangibles like consistently rebound or defend.

    Both Nets and Knicks are 9-4, that is a small sample size to suggest they’ll both be threats to the Celtics in a 7 gm series. It’s only November, folks. Let’s wait until March to see where these teams are at.

    It’s not how u start, but how u finish. And the past 3 season, we’ve saw the Celtics get off to fast and slow starts, then finish strong in the post-season. So right now I’m holding off judgement on the Celtics, but other teams too.

    Honestly I think a Knicks/Celtics series would be more competitive than a Nets/Celtics series. So if the Celtics lose to the BK Nets or vise versa, would that be indicitive of either teams?

  • Jo Jo Wht

    Knicks or Nets… who’s the bigger threat to Boston? With 69 games left we’re already talking who’s a bigger threat to Boston. Already people are getting caught up in the hype. So if the Nets defeat the Celtics tonight, will Cetics bloggers jump off ledge? LOL

    • http://redsarmy.com John – Red’s Army

      I don’t see the harm in evaluating the competition. Of course it’s early… but a look at who’s doing what in the division is warranted from time to time

  • RedsLoveChild

    It`s close.

    So far, NY has been more impressive, especially w/o Stoudemire.

  • Noori

    I think we can beat either.

    I think however between the two New York is the bigger threat. Star power always makes me nervous and you never know when Amare or Melo could explode. Tyson Chandler is a defensive stud and shouldn’t be overlooked. The only thing that us Boston fans can recognize is that NY’s age will catch up with them after the rigors of 82 games.

    Brooklyn – Poor defense and its basically the same craptastic New Jersey team only with the addition of ISO-Joe.

    So if I had to pick one for us to meet in the first or second round it would be Brooklyn

  • Shawn

    I would love (as a basketball fan hate as a celtics fan) to see (though it would never happen) Amare come off the bench. Melo and Amare have yet to find a way to coexist effieciently and with the amount of touches both needs they could play a rotation where melo tyson start, chandler sits for amare then melo sits and chandler comes back in. They’d always have a credible scorer on the court and I could see both their averages be in the low-mid 20’s. would never happen but would be interesting

  • LAF

    the nets will be a bigger challenge for us because:
    1. melo is a loser
    2. melo + stat = no D
    3. joe johnson’s struggling right now. once he gets going, the nets will be tough.
    4. rondo > kidd/felton BUT deron williams >>> rondo.

  • Joseph

    Good points, but I’m not convinced we would have any trouble in a seven game series.

  • Art

    No interest in the division. When it comes to the men in green, threats are at the league level only. The ring is all that counts.