Deron Williams is quite aware of who has dominated the New York hoops scene. “You can say we’ve been the JV [team in this area] at times,” Williams said Thursday.
The New York Knicks have drawn electric Madison Square Garden crowds no matter how they were playing. The New Jersey Nets, not so much. The Nets' mantra this season, along with winning, is to make some noise in NYC. They want recognition and, as Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov has stated, "we want to turn Knicks fans into Nets fans." Winning a division title in their first season upon entering the borough might do the trick. Williams explains:
“I think it definitely would mean a lot to clinch the division title to the fans, to the organization, I think it would be huge. There’s no doubt about that,” Williams said.
Of course the players just focus on their own game and don't look at how other teams are doing. Ok, Joe Johnson confesses he occasionally looks at the standings. "I tend to peek every now and then,” he said. “You kind of want to gauge where you’re at and what it’s going to take to get where we’re trying to be." Ok, maybe more than occasionally. "Yeah, I look at it quite often actually.”
And here's what he might have noticed: If the Knicks lose to the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday and the Nets defeat the Atlanta Hawks, they will be all tied up for the first time this season.
Based off of Mike Mazzeo's story on ESPN/NewYork.com.