Scotto: Brooklyn Nets are Legit Contenders After Sweeping LeBron — UPDATED

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LeBron James trophyNo team has done what the Nets have done. And going into the playoffs, what they’ve done should not be dismissed.

On Tuesday, the Brooklyn Nets became the first team ever to post a 4-0 season series sweep over LeBron James since he entered the league more than a decade ago.

After being crowned by the Nets, James took out his frustration on TNT’s Craig Sager during a postgame interview when asked if Brooklyn was Miami’s biggest challenge in the East.

“Get out of here, Craig,” James replied. “Next question.”

While James avoided the question, there’s no denying it – Brooklyn has a legitimate chance to win the East now.

Sprung: Small Ball Leading Nets’ January Resurgence

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Joe JohnsonThe Brooklyn Nets wanted to improve on both sides of the ball after ending 2013 with a disappointing 10-21 record.

Unlike most people’s new year’s resolutions, they’ve stuck to it.

With All-Star center Brook Lopez out for the season, head coach Jason Kidd thought going with a smaller starting lineup would benefit the team going forward and afford the team versatility in many respects.

It worked. Big time.

Scotto: New Year’s Resolutions for Knicks and Nets: Rebuild

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Can money buy happiness? If you’re the Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks, the answer is no.Prokhorov

The Nets have the league’s highest payroll, while the Knicks rank second.

The combined exorbitant payroll has produced a deflating 18-38 record and proven any championship aspirations were merely a pipe dream.

Ironically, speaking of the pipe, J.R. Smith was the first Knick to panic back when the team was only 3-8 at the time. Now, it appears Smith’s anxiety was warranted.

Thanks to injuries, a lack of chemistry and a subsequent lack of identity, the outlook for both teams is bleak for the rest of this season and the following season, too.

Therefore, it’s time for both organizations to make a critical decision – it’s time to begin rebuilding each roster.

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Bernucca: In Trying to Overtake Knicks, Nets Have Become Them

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ProkhorovIn his stated effort to upstage Knicks owner James Dolan, Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov has become him.

Like Dolan, Prokhorov desperately wants an NBA championship. Like Dolan, he has pursued that desperation with financial abandon, giving his GM an open checkbook. Like Dolan, he has overspent on overvalued big names. Like Dolan, he has mortgaged his team’s future by giving away multiple draft picks.

And like Dolan, he appears headed down the abyss.

In two months, the Nets have gone from contenders with star power, maximum depth and championship pedigree on and off the court to pretenders with age issues, no speed or athleticism and a lack of direction from a clearly underqualified coach.

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Scotto: Brooklyn’s Nightmare Has Become a Reality

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ProkhorovBROOKLYN – Mikhail Prokhorov once vowed to take over New York as owner of the Brooklyn Nets and turn Knicks fans into Nets fans. But on Thursday night in front of a national TV audience, it was the Knicks who took over Brooklyn and Barclays Center.

It was so bad, Brooklyn’s introductory video malfunctioned before loud boos for Kevin Garnett and Jason Kidd filled the arena during the starting lineup introductions.

Chants of “Let’s go Knicks” began as New York pulled away from Brooklyn en route to a 113-83 win.

By this point, James Dolan’s grin probably spanned the entire Brooklyn Bridge.

During quarter intermissions, Ally Love – Barclays Center’s arena host – routinely encouraged Nets fans to get loud by saying, “Where’s Brooklyn?”

Sadly, Nets fans have asked themselves the same question about Brooklyn’s roster all season long.

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