Shaquille O’Neal has spoken. And he’s dead on.
“I’m going with the [Brooklyn] Nets right now over the [New York] Knicks — all day, every day,” said O’Neal. “[Coach Jason] Kidd‘s a great guy. He’s a great leader. I’m anxious to see when things get tough how the guys are going to respond.
“It’s a dangerous lineup. I was thinking about it on the way over here.”
After making a blockbuster trade with the Boston Celtics that will allow the Nets to team Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett together with their already potent trio of Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez, the Nets formulated what appears to be, on paper, the deepest starting lineup the league has to offer.
Meanwhile, the Knicks boast plenty of talent, but their inferiority to the Nets’ starting five is demonstrated through their uncertainties. It’s still up in the air whether or not Amar’e Stoudemire will return to the starting lineup. The same goes with Pablo Prigioni and the starting shooting guard position.
And let’s not forget, the Knicks lived and died far too much by the three pointer last season.
Brooklyn also appears to have a slight edge off the bench. Veteran Jason Terry made his way over through the Celtics trade, as well as Andrei Kirilenko via free agency.
For the Knicks, Andrea Bargnani’s production will depend on how durable he can be next season. J.R. Smith’s inconsistency can make him a liability, as well.
Shaq’s gotten a reputation for being a little outlandish at time, but when it comes to this prediction, that won’t be the case.