As the Nets say hello to Brooklyn, the New York Knicks have decided to say goodbye to Jeremy Lin. So how do the two New York squads now stack up against each other?
Well, let’s with an abridged version of the “Linsane” six-month timeline that brought us to this point:
- February: “Linsanity” begins in Madison Square Garden (against the Nets).
- June: Jason Kidd shows interest in going to the Knicks…and mentoring Jeremy Lin.
- Early July: Jason Kidd verbally agrees to sign with Knicks.
- July 14: Frank Isola (New York Daily News) tweets, “The Knicks have acquired Raymond Felton…”. Rumors of Jeremy Lin not coming back to New York ensue.
- July 15: Jason Kidd is charged with drunken driving after crashing his SUV into a telephone pole in the Hamptons. Was this a coincidence? Fate? Foreshadowing? Take this as you wish, but here is the photo of Jason Kidd’s Escalade (Stephen Barcelo, New York Daily News).
- July 17: New York does not match Houston’s offer sheet, as Lin becomes the Point Guard of the Rockets. Kidd left Linless.
Guess this kidd is the one who needs the mentor now (Pun intended).
Back to the Nets – Knicks debate.
While Knicks fans continue to talk themselves into “being better off” without Lin, Nets fans are loving every minute of it (and the squad the franchise has put together this offseason).
With full rosters taking shape, we can only dispute and discuss which (overpaid) franchise is better off now and down the line. Here is a comparative breakdown of the two teams, revealing why the Nets have become the talk of the town here in the New York metropolitan area. Note: All statistics are from the 2011-2012 66-game lockout-shortened regular season.
STARTING POINT GUARDS
Deron Williams – 55 Games – 21.0 PPG 8.7 APG 3.3 RPG 1.2 SPG
Raymond Felton – 60 Games – 11.4 PPG 6.7 APG 3.3 RPG 1.3 SPG
Edge goes to: Brooklyn. As a Top 5 Point Guard and Olympian, Deron will continue his dominance against the Knicks for years to come…especially while his close friend and golfing “mentor” Jason Kidd is in Manhattan. Good luck to Raymond Felton. Have fun if the team struggles.
STARTING SHOOTING GUARDS:
Joe Johnson – 60 Games – 18.8 PPG 3.9 APG 3.7 RPG 0.8 SPG
J.R. Smith – 35 Games – 12.5 PPG 2.4 APG 3.9 RPG 1.5 SPG
Edge goes to: Brooklyn. Newly acquired Joe Johnson not only has the lethal scoring ability, but is also one of the best playmaking shooting guards in the NBA. With Iman Shumpert’s knee injury, the Knicks are very thin at the shooting guard position. New York fans can only hope that the underpaid J.R. Smith can put together a complete season in 2012-2013.
STARTING SMALL FORWARDS:
Gerald Wallace – 58 Games – 13.8 PPG 2.8 APG 6.7 RPG 1.5 SPG
Carmelo Anthony – 55 Games – 22.6 PPG 3.6 APG 6.3 RPG 1.1 SPG
Edge goes to: New York. Melo clearly has the advantage in this matchup. However, “Crash” can make a huge impact on this Nets squad, both on the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. Until the Knicks make a serious championship push, the same question will always remain: can Carmelo and Amar’e coexist?
STARTING POWER FORWARDS:
Kris Humphries – 62 Games – 13.8 PPG 1.5 APG 11.0 RPG 0.8 SPG 1.2 BPG
Amar’e Stoudemire – 47 Games – 17.5 PPG 1.1 APG 7.8 RPG 0.8 SPG 1.0 BPG
Edge goes to: New York. This is a very interesting matchup at the Power Forward position. If Amar’e can stay healthy (and under control in the locker room), he could propel the Knicks towards the upper echelon of the Eastern Conference. Down in Brooklyn, the underappreciated and overly publicized Kris Humphries has become a (wealthy) double-double machine. Hump, along with Crash, will do all the dirty work for Brooklyn inside. Look for another big year from Humphries, especially since “Jay decided to not drop ‘em from the team”. Thanks Kanye, send Kim my regards.
Brook Lopez – 5 Games – 19.2 PPG 1.2 APG 3.6 RPG 0.2 SPG 0.8 BPG
Tyson Chandler – 62 Games – 11.3 PPG 0.9 APG 9.9 RPG 0.9 SPG 1.4 BPG
Edge goes to: Both. I’m sure all of the Knicks fans will be up in arms about this one. Coming off his Defensive Player of the Year campaign, Tyson obviously dominates Brook on the defense and rebounding fronts. However, Tyson has zero offensive game, whereas Brook is an offensive force. Brook has career averages of 17.4 PPG, 7.5 RPG and 1.6 BPG while being double-teamed more times than not. Now, with multiple weapons in the Nets starting lineup and more off the bench, Brook will thrive offensively (if healthy). It’s about time for Brook to step up in the defensive and rebounding departments (and get a haircut).
C.J. Watson, MarShon Brooks, Mirza Teletovic, Reggie Evans
Jason Kidd, Steve Novak, Kurt Thomas, Marcus Camby
Edge Goes to: Brooklyn Very simple here. As of now, the Knicks have one of the oldest benches in the history of the NBA (Bill Walton voice). With — veteran Point C.J. Watson, young sharpshooter MarShon Brooks, the Euroleague’s Top Scorer Mirza “Teletubby” Teletovic, and NBA Rebounding Force Reggie Evans — there is no comparison as to which bench will be more effective. After personally assigning Mirza the nickname, “Teletubby”, I came across this highlight reel. Go straight to the two-minute mark and watch his “take” to the rim.
(I immediately regret my decision and will no longer be calling him Teletubby)
Edge Goes to: Brooklyn Billy King traded Jordan Farmar, Anthony Morrow, Johan Petro (hope his jersey gets hung in the rafters of the Barclays Center one day), DeShawn Stevenson, Jordan Williams and two draft picks for Joe Johnson. Enough said. Plus, it can’t hurt to have Mikhail Prokhorov in your corner…
Overall Edge Goes to: Brooklyn
Long time coming for the Nets organization from the swamps of East Rutherford, NJ to the talk of the NBA in Brooklyn. Going to be a long season for you Knicks fans. #HelloBrooklyn
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