On Thursday afternoon the Brooklyn Nets held a press conference to introduce their newest members, as Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry were officially trotted out in front of the press to usher in a new era in Brooklyn.
As if the rivalry wasn’t heated enough, you add in the hate that the Knicks (and their fans) have for Garnett and Pierce, and this has the makings of a backyard brawl that will only grow. The already acrimonious relationship between Carmelo Anthony and Garnett will only intensify with bragging rights for the city being on the line this time around. Expect even more chipiness and physicality this year.
Some of the Knicks’ most entertaining contests last year were the games with the Nets, with scintillating affairs taking place at both Madison Square Garden and the Barclays Center.
The trend these days in the NBA is to build these supposed “super-power” teams, and on paper, the Nets’ starting five is very imposing, with Garnett and Pierce being joined by holdovers Deron Williams, Brook Lopez and Joe Johnson.
Aside of the assembling of the current Heat roster, and having another-worldly talent in LeBron James helping the cause, these supposed “super-power” teams never usually pan out.
Think back to Lakers last year, when Dwight Howard and Steve Nash joined forces with Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol. How exactly did that work out?
That’s why it’s easy to get a kick out these reports suggesting the Lakers could be in pursuit of both Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James in 2014. That’s downright laughable.
Chris Paul joining Blake Griffin on the Clippers is another example that has led to nominal success.
Remember when Charles Barkley tried to join the championship bandwagon with Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler in Houston in the late-90s? That also did not pan out.
So, with chemistry being vital to success in the NBA (look at the San Antonio Spurs as a model of excellence), the Nets could crumble under their own weight.
With added pressure and scrutiny to perform up to extremely high expectations, the Nets might wilt and the Knicks would be a primary benefactor because of it.
Regardless, the Nets will still pose an ample threat to the Knicks in the Atlantic standings and the games between the two New York teams will take on an added meaning this year.
In the immortal words of Bart Scott: “CAN’T WAIT!”
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