(Note: SPONSORED POST)

Joe Johnson

Who has the best fantasy basketball value in New York? (AP/Kathy Willens)

Close your eyes and imagine a landfill. I want you to envision all the foul smelling items you have disposed of recently mixed in: expired food, dead rat carcasses stuck in mouse traps, human vomit, and all the other wretched things left to never be seen again in those horrible places. Try and conceptualize what that odor might smell like if you were to accidentally take a whiff. Starting to get a good feel for what experiencing that horrible part of the Earth may be like?

Also, have you figured out where I’m going with this?

As disgusting as that landfill might appear, the state of basketball in the state of New York is ten times worse. Staring at the screen for more than a ten second period during a Brooklyn Nets game makes my temperature suddenly rise and a pain grow in my forehead. It actually makes me physically sick to watch that team. To be fair, the Knicks aren’t any better (their record is actually worse). I am not even a New York sports fan, nor from the state, so I can only imagine how the locals feel.

But just because they aren’t playing well doesn’t mean that there isn’t fantasy value to be had. Most of the time, bad teams present value in fantasy because other owners will overlook them or just avoid. Bad teams have a tendency to get blown out or just don’t have an entertaining brand of basketball to watch, so owning their players is no fun. We've talked about this on Fantasy Basketball Money Leagues. Considering the high expectations the Nets had coming into the season, I doubt you were able to acquire their players at a discount. The Knicks, on the other hand, were very superstar-heavy from the start. If you wanted someone on the team, you targeted Carmelo Anthony and if you whiffed on him, you could wait a long time for the next.

I wanted to find out which team holds the better fantasy value. So I will go position by position analyzing which team has the superior fantasy performer at each spot. For only then can we really determine which team is more of a fantasy landfill than the other. Here's what I found:

Start Here: Point Guard

 

Kevin Garnett, Kenyon Martin

The biggest battle between these two may be a war of words. (AP)

Kevin Garnett: 36 FG%, 6.5 PPG, 1.9 APG, 7.5 RPG, 0.9 SPG, 0.9 BPG, 1.3 TPG, 22.7 MPG
Kenyon Martin: 53 FG%, 3.7 PPG, 1.7 APG, 4.3 RPG, 0.7 SPG, 0.7 BPG, 0.4 TPG, 17.9 MPG
... MORE →

 

After missing the playoffs since 2007, the 40-28 Brooklyn Nets clinched a playoff spot Thursday night in their inaugural season in Brooklyn thanks to a loss by the Philadelphia 76ers. In honor of this momentous occasion, we've decided to take a look back at the last Nets team to make the NBA Finals: the 2002-03 New Jersey Nets, who went 49-33, won ten consecutive playoff games at one point, and lost in six games to the San Antonio Spurs. That team stood in stark contrast to this year's playoff-bound Nets: the Jason Kidd-led roster ranked first in the NBA in defensive efficiency and 11th in pace, taking down opponents both by grinding out victories and by pushing the break. There are some names old Nets fans may recognize (Lucious Harris, Aaron Williams), as well as names current Knicks fans will recognize (Jason Kidd, Kenyon Martin).

It's been a decade since that New Jersey Nets team went as far as any NBA Nets team has ever gone, so we decided to ask: where are they now?
 
Start Here...

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The phrase “Fugazi” – Mafia slang for “fake tough guy” per the movie Donnie Brasco – should be a familiar one to long-term Nets fans. Following a game 2 Nets demolition of the Manhattan Knicks during the 2004 NBA Playoffs, then-Knick Tim Thomas, injured by a hard foul from Nets center Jason Collins, referred to Collins’ teammate Kenyon Martin – long considered the heart, soul and tenacious grit of the back-to-back finals team – as a “Fugazi.” Martin, ever the diplomat, said he would welcome being locked in a room with Thomas to see who would emerge in one piece. That surprisingly did very little to quiet the heat between the Nets and Knicks.

What I’ve always found preposterous about Thomas’ words was the fact that Martin’s tough guy act helped his team win, and only went on to emblemize in that playoff series how much more battle-tested and prepared the Nets were than the Knicks –- a team that had taken a punch and essentially refused to fight back. If Jason Kidd hadn’t suffered a debilitating knee injury in the second round of that postseason, the Nets and their “Fugazi” spirit probably would have made a third consecutive trip to the NBA Finals. There was nothing "fake" about Martin and those Nets.

Of course the reason why I’m fixated on “Fugazi” today is based on last night’s Brooklyn Nets victory in Boston over the Celtics. The Celtics, who are only a few months removed from taking the Miami Heat to a competitive fourth quarter of Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals, put on a clinic in “Fugazi” last night... MORE →

 

Stephon Marbury, New York Knicks, Jason Kidd, New Jersey Nets

Stephon Marbury & Jason Kidd... Two players who have seen both sides. (AP/Bill Kostroun)

In whatever superlative you'd like to assign it -- the Battle for New York, Battle of the Boroughs, the Nets' arrival on the New York stage, or just another game -- the ex-New Jersey/now Brooklyn Nets take on the New York Knicks tonight, in Barclays Center in Brooklyn. This game has added meaning like few Nets-Knicks games have had before, but these two have had an up-and-down rivalry since the Nets joined the NBA in 1976.

Let's take a look through the history of the Nets-Knicks rivalry: from its origin, through the decades and playoff matchups, through the players that have seen both sides, and finally to today: the "Blueprint for Greatness" era.

The origin story
The 1980s: Waves of excellence in a sea of obscurity
1983: The first playoff battle ends in defeat
The 90s: what could have been
Playoffs: '94's and Heartbreak

The Nets take center stage
Nets sweep at last

The Blueprint for Greatness

The origin story

... MORE →