It is going down in New York—Cablevision vs. the Russian Billionaire. The battle for hoops supremacy in New York is taking place in the heart of the city.
Neither Jim Dolan nor Mikhail Prokhorov spared many expenses getting their teams and arenas in tip-top shape for the upcoming 2012-2013 season. It's Knicks vs. Nets, and the only things that separate the two arenas are about a dozen stops on the subway.
The Knicks' glory years of the '70s and then the Patrick Ewing era have been marred with minimal success at best since 2000. The Nets have banners hanging from their rafters showing that the last thing they won in basketball was in 1974 and 1975, when they won their two ABA titles. They, too, have struggled mightily over the years, other than in 2005 when Jason Kidd took them to the NBA finals in back-to-back years.
Both New York teams have revamped their rosters in hopes of gaining ground on the champion Miami Heat. The Nets went out and found themselves a few new stars to coexist with Deron Williams while keeping their current core in place. The Knicks, on the other hand, have acquired veterans for leadership, signing five players over the age of 35. The Knicks vets are an older team, but their starters are all 30 and under and are in the primes of their careers.
The Barclays Center's comparison to Madison Square Garden is incomplete since MSG just finished stage two, so that comparison will be determined at a later date. The Barclays Center's overall setup is a fantastic one, and fans will appreciate the work that has gone into Brooklyn's newest arena. There is a plethora of eateries and VIP clubs to experience the game in various ways.
Let's now explore both teams' current rosters and give out predictions for the 2012-2013 season.