The I-76ers

Around the Atlantic: Carmelo Anthony, Deron Williams Taking Over New York

Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

(Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports)

The state of New York is in basketball heaven right now. Up north in Manhattan, there’s the New York Knicks jumping out to a 2-0 series lead against the Boston Celtics, and heading south there’s the Brooklyn Nets, playing in their first playoff series in franchise history, who have split the opening pair of games against the Chicago Bulls.

The Knicks won the Atlantic Division for the first time since 1993-94, as(NBA scoring champion) Carmelo Anthony  and (Sixth Man of the Year) J.R. Smith pushed the team to the second seed in the Eastern Conference with a record of 54-28. Anthony has combined for 70 points in the two opening games, leading his team to victories of 85-78 in Game 1 and 87-71 in Game 2.

Deron Williams, the star PG who has been one of the main catalysts in the Nets’ drastic change from dreadful team into the #4 seed in the Eastern Conference, has shown two sides of himself in the opening games against the Bulls. In Game 1, D-Will dropped 22 points and dished out 7 assists in a 106-89 victory, but in Game 2 recorded just one field goal and finished with 8 points on 1-9 shooting as his team fell 90-82.

Anthony and Williams are the faces of New York basketball, and clearly their respective teams are relying heavily on them to win in the postseason. Anthony has put on for the Knicks thus far, averaging 35 points per game in the first two of the series, while Williams shined in Brooklyn’s win and struggled in their loss.

For the Nets to meet the Knicks in the Conference Finals, they will have to cross through the path of the reigning champion Miami Heat and LeBron James. If the Knicks can get past the Celtics, beat the Indiana Pacers, and reach the ECF against Brooklyn, New York will be thrust into a world of basketball paradise.