Though the Nets plummeted this past postseason with a first round exit, they were still a team that won 50 games during the regular season. Such success is often difficult to duplicate, let alone improve upon.
And that's why doing so will likely be a tall order for first-year head coach Jason Kidd to handle.
But even so, there's no denying that Kidd's (who spent the last year of his playing career with the Knicks) appointment ignited the fire of the continuous Knicks/Nets rivalry even more. Clearly, Brooklyn knew what they were doing, and took things that much further by acquiring the likes of Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett.
The forthcoming season hasn't even started yet, but with Pierce now an even more localized rival to the Knicks, the war of the words has already begun. And we're still just in September.
Earlier this summer, the former Celtics' star spoke to local media and asserted how much his "hatred" for the Knicks has grown over the years. Of course, such a statement was taylor-made for one of the Knickerbockers to bark back. Unsurprisingly so, J.R. Smith recently came to his team's defense, calling Pierce "bitter."
And with backup of his own, Pierce has already seen new teammate Reggie Evans jump in, responding to Smith's comments via Twitter.
Members of the two teams are likely to continue going back and forth, but if one thing is for sure, it's that the rivalry between the two teams is now as hot as ever. This should make for an interesting season.