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NBA power rankings 2012: Knicks, Nets sit near top; Thunder No. 1

The two teams in the New York area are off to strong starts in 2012.

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Basketball has been down in the city of New York the past couple years. That has not been the case this time around, with the Knicks featuring the second-best record in the league as of Monday, Dec. 17. Add in the Brooklyn Nets, who are playing very well across the bridge, and it's easy to see why hoops have become king once again in the area.

According to SB Nation and their most recent round of power rankings, the Knicks are the league's second-best team right now. Here is what they had to write about the team:

New York's not defending much either, but the Knick offense cruised through the beginning of a long home stand. Tyson Chandler has somehow grown even more efficient around the rim, and his guards have been helping him on the boards lately, neutralizing what should be large glass disparities against top rebounding teams.

As for the Nets, SB Nation has them ranked No. 10, which is two spots lower than last week.

In the latest ESPN rankings, Marc Stein has the Knicks ranked third. Only the red-hot Thunder and Clippers are ahead of coach Mike Woodson's squad. As for the Nets, they dropped a spot from last week, and are now 11th.

Josh Schuhmann of has the Knicks at No. 2 in their latest power rankings. Once again, the Thunder are his top team. has the Nets at No. 10 for the second-straight week.