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2012 NBA power rankings: Knicks and Nets sixth and seventh heading into Monday showdown

The New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets are ranked sixth and seventh, respectively, in the latest SB Nation NBA Power Rankings. The two will face off Monday night at the Barclays Center.

Bruce Bennett

Both of New York's basketball team's are off to strong starts and this week they find themselves ranked beside one another in the latest SB Nation NBA power rankings. The New York Knicks slipped a few spots, but are still No. 6, while the Brooklyn Nets climbed three spots to No. 7.

The Knicks and Nets will meet tonight at 7 p.m. ET on TNT in their rescheduled first showdown at the Barclays Center.

The Knicks are 9-3 on the season after picking up wins over New Orleans and Detroit this week while losing to Dallas and Houston. Regarding the 2-2 week for New York, SB Nation's Seth Rosenthal opined:

Back when the Knicks were doing everything right to open the season, we were all over here like "Yeah, they can defend, but there's no way this shooting is sustainable." Lo and behold, New York got back to shooting absurdly well this past week, but their defense backslid enough to waste all that offensive efficiency. The swarming defense we saw from New York through the first two weeks has devolved into reckless switching and trapping without any subsequent help. The drop-off goes right down to Tyson Chandler, who's become weirdly passive as New York's defensive anchor.

The Nets also split their four games this past week, beating the Los Angeles Clippers and Portland Trail Blazers, but losing to the L.A. Lakers and Golden State Warriors. Following the West Coast swing, Rosenthal had this to say about the 8-4 Nets:

Joe Johnson's offense seems to have finally arrived in Brooklyn. It was Brooklyn's defense, though, that stood out in the impressive win over the Clippers and that decisive fourth quarter against the Blazers.

Brooklyn currently ranks first in the NBA in points allowed, holding opponents to just over 91 per game.

Be sure to check out the full power rankings here to see what Rosenthal had to say about the rest of the league.