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2012 NBA power rankings: Knicks, Nets evenly matched to start season

The New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets are closely ranked in every power ranking right before the start of the 2012-2013 season, which is hypothetically supposed to begin for the two teams with a crosstown matchup Thursday night.

Al Bello

Some NBA power rankings feature the New York Knicks higher than the Brooklyn Nets, others have it vice-versa. But the consensus is both teams will be Eastern Conference playoff squads and should be amongst the top 15 in the league.

Much opinion about which team will be better in the new crosstown rivalry will be decided in the season-opening Thursday night matchup between the two squads, if Hurricane Sandy permits the game to occur. The two squads are very closely ranked by all sources: Seth Rosenthal put the Knicks at No. 11 and Nets at No. 12 in his NBA Power Rankings, while Kurt Helin at Pro Basketball Talk had the Nets No. 10 and Knicks No. 11 in his at Pro Basketball Talk. Helin describes his thoughts on the Knicks already banged up lineup:

No Amare Stoudemire and probably no Marcus Camby to start the season due to injuries is not ideal, except that it moves Carmelo Anthony to the four spot and that is a good thing.

ESPN has a slightly different view of the talent of the two squads, placing Brooklyn at No. 11 and New York at No. 15. Marc Stein wrote that New York's season might be defined by the rivalry with Brooklyn:

The question is asked on a near-daily basis: Who's the best basketball team in New York? The Knicks' problem, even if they ultimately win that debate, is that trumping the Nets might well be the highest honor that the league's oldest team can achieve this season.

The teams will have to answer the question of who is better on the court - weather permitting.