June 5, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; Boston Celtics small forward Paul Pierce (right) greets power forward Kevin Garnett (left) during the second half in game five of the Eastern Conference finals against the Miami Heat of the 2012 NBA playoffs at American Airlines Arena.Boston won 94-90. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Trade Rumors: Are The Knicks Still The Best In The Atlantic After The Nets-Celtics Trade

With the Brooklyn Nets stealing the headlines by trading Keith Bogans, Kris Humphries, Gerald Wallace, MarShon Brooks, Kris Joseph, and the Nets 2014, 2016, 2018 first round picks for Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Jason Terry it seems that the Nets are now a big time contender in the Eastern Conference.

With the Nets starting lineup now looking like it will be PG Deron Williams, SG Joe Johnson, SF  Pierce, PF Garnett and C Brook Lopez, with Terry and also Mason Plumlee as contributing bench players it seems that the Nets are loaded for the upcoming NBA season.

April 18, 2012; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics small forward Paul Pierce (34) and forward/center Kevin Garnett (5) celebrate after defeating the Orlando Magic 102-98 at TD Banknorth Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

In reality though this Nets team is nowhere near close to challenging for an NBA crown and not close to winning the Atlantic Division crown.

There are two major flaws with this Nets team that will prohibit their chances of winning the division, let alone an NBA Championship.

This Nets team looks like they will have slow transition defense and offense, and no ball movement. With Garnett, 37, Pierce, 35, and Johnson, 31, declining in all aspects of their NBA game it only seems right to call out that this Nets team slow, which will be exposed by younger faster teams such as the Philadelphia 76ers, and Toronto Raptors.

The fact of the matter is that these old bodies cannot take the pace of the NBA game and more importantly the NBA playoffs.

In the 2013 NBA playoffs  Johnson averaged 14.2 PPG but only shot 41 percent from the field and 18 percent from behind the arc. The same goes with Pierce who averaged 18.8 PPG but only shot 36 percent from the field and 29 percent from behind the arc.

Garnett has seemed to be consistent over the years and the switch from the Celtics center to the Nets power forward should help him in terms of fatigue and injuries. The one major worry for the Nets is their ball movement.

With Garnett, Pierce, Johnson, and Lopez are all players that can only work with the ball in their hands and it seems with only one real ball handler in Williams and he’s a point guard that is more of a scorer than distributor.

This Nets team will struggle to get the ball movement going between the current all-stars and former all stars. It seems that the New York Knicks should be considered the Atlantic Division favorites for the next two to three years and then they will most likely hand it off to another team but it seems that the Nets will not be the challenger that they were this season.

This year’s Atlantic Division crown will be fought out by the Knicks and 76ers with the Nets taking a backseat after a big summer of spending.

Tags: Brooklyn Nets Kevin Garnett NBA Draft Nba Trade Rumors New York Knicks

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