By Scoop Fox
New York is a city that’s so nice that they named it twice. Unfortunately you can’t say the same thing about its basketball team. Already the NBA finished up one-fourth of its 82-game season and we see both the 5-13 New York Knicks and the 5-14 Brooklyn Nets flopping harder than a Spanish soccer player. Even though things look their bleakest, there is still some time to right the ship for both teams. But the question is which team has a chance at salvation and which is doomed to rot in basketball hell.
Well let’s look at the rosters for each team. The Nets have a good amount of talent on their squad, let by the likes of C Brook Lopez, SG Joe Johnson, F/C Andray Blatche, and PG Deron Williams. Newcomers to the squad include a trio of former Celtics SF Paul Pierce, PF/C Kevin Garnett, and SG Jason Terry to add some grit to a team that was obviously missing when they were knocked out of the first round in last year’s playoff. Now on to the Knicks. They boast perhaps a top 10 NBA talent in SF Carmelo Anthony to go along with stout defensive C Tyson Chandler and the 2012-13 6th NBA Man of the Year SG J.R. Smith and reliable guards in PG Pablo Prigioni, PG Raymond Felton, and SG Iman Shumpert. They then brought in big man scorer PF/C Andrea Bargnani to go with PF/C A'mare Stoudemire and drafted SG Tim Hardaway Jr. to add some energy coming off the bench.
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Now let’s examine the head coaches. Regardless of what you might make of New York Knicks’ coach Mike Woodson, at least he has some coaching experience under his belt. He spent 6 seasons in Atlanta, going 206-286 (.419) in the regular season and 11-18 (.379) in postseason and 2 ½ seasons with New York, going 67-47 (.588) in the regular season and 7-11 (.389) in postseason. Not to mention that he actually has a coaching philosophy that emphasizes on team defense and forcing turnovers. On the opposite side you have rookie coach Jason Kidd. Now Jason Kidd is without a doubt a top 10 point guard in the modern era and has been described as a floor general. But other than that, zero coaching experience. Not a year as an assistant coach or even at the college level after retirement, right smack onto the bench. So far Kidd’s coaching resume includes pissing off the fans, annoying his players (Pierce and Garnett), and pulling an underhand move (aka, Spillgate) that would make Bill Belicheck proud.
So which of the flailing New York teams has a chance to safe their season? After further examination, it would seem like the Knicks have a better chance. There haven’t been any reports of ‘disappointed’ players like there are on the Nets (looking at you Pierce and Garnett). Let’s look over the fact that the Nets have no team chemistry. It’s essentially 4 guys on the court doing whatever they want and Lopez is left trying to piece everything back together. At least with the Knicks, half their squad has 2+ years’ experience playing with one another, including two consecutive years of making the playoffs. But the thing that’ll prove the difference is leadership. Coach Mike Woodson can keep under control and buy into his defensive philosophies and Carmelo is a guy that players can gravitate to and can lead by example.