The New York Knicks have gotten off to a great start at 25-13—though they've cooled down a bit of late—and their successes have really set an unfair benchmark for their crosstown rival, the Brooklyn Nets.
Granted, the Nets are off to a very good start as well. At 23-16, they're just 2.5 games back of the Knicks in the Atlantic Division.
That record is a 100 percent reflection of P.J. Carlesimo. Coach Carlesimo has led the team to a 9-2 record since taking over the reigns from Avery Johnson, and the Nets are thriving under his system.
Even with their recent stretch of strong play, the Nets still seem to be playing second fiddle to the Knicks.
Why? Well, that's a good question.
The Knicks were a playoff team last season. Yes, they were knocked out of the first round as the seventh seed. Even still, they made it to the postseason.
The Nets, on the other hand, were abysmal. They were 22-44 and, needless to say, fell well short of a playoff spot.
The hot start of the Knicks has most definitely tarnished the fact that the Nets have become a team that is currently seven games over .500. One would think that this vast improvement would steal the headlines in New York, especially considering the fact that it's the Nets' first season in Brooklyn.
But, no. The excitement is still centered around Madison Square Garden and the Knicks. Much was made of the Knicks' offseason, and this led to increased expectations coming into 2012-13.
Do the Nets deserve more credit than they've received?
This success is proving that their playoff berth last season was not a fluke, and their establishment as one of the premier teams in the Eastern Conference is causing many to overlook the Nets.
Because the Knicks look like title contenders, nearly all of the spotlight has been shone upon them. The Nets are not getting the attention they deserve, even though they're realistically a team that is pretty close to the Knicks in talent, record and potential.
This, again, is very unfair.
The Nets, while only hot of late, are clearly on their way to the same level as the Knicks. Under Carlesimo, it seems as if the sky's the limit.
Deron Williams and Joe Johnson are finally playing like the stars that they're supposed to be, and Carlesimo even has the Nets rebounding amongst the top teams in the NBA.
The incredible turn-around orchestrated by Carlesimo is enough to bring the attention to the Nets, but the Knicks are still occupying much of the attention.
In the end, fans and the media care about winning championships. At this point in time, the Knicks look to have a better chance than the Nets—therefore giving them most of the spotlight.
But, really, what does it matter?
At the end of the season, we'll see which team deserves the most attention. Who knows? Maybe by next season, this argument will be reversed.
There's plenty to watch in the Knicks-Nets rivalry moving forward, and there's exciting basketball ahead in New York City.