The best basketball team in New York is…

Last season, the Nets made a bold push to try and overtake the Knicks, but a 14-14 start all but dashed those aspirations. Now the Nets, at least on paper, can lay claim to being the best team in New York. The addition of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry and the re-signing of Andray Blatche gives the Nets every reason to think they can win the division. But most New York fans need to see before they will believe it.

Last year, the Nets got off to an 11-4 start and topped the Knicks in their first meeting at the Barclays Center. However, a 3-10 slide killed all the joy and goodwill the Nets built and resulted in the firing of Avery Johnson. Whether the firing was deserved, the internal strife between the coach and players cost the Nets the public relations battle, too.

The 2013-14 season could prove to be a different story. Assuming everyone can stay healthy, (Brook Lopez had a third surgery on his foot)the Nets (49-33), who fell just short of 50 wins, should not have a problem getting past that mark.

Garnett (37), Pierce (35) and Terry (35) are considered old men, but all three were remarkably durable last season. Terry played in 79 games, Pierce appeared in 77 games and Garnett was in 68 games. As long as the Nets’ bench (Terry, Blatche, Tyshawn Taylor, Bojan Bogdanovic, Mirza Teletovic) stays productive, Garnett and Pierce will get all the rest they need. There was also the selection of Duke big man Mason Plumlee with the 22nd selection during the first round of the NBA Draft. Plumlee has played well in the Nets’ summer league games and could be an early factor in the paint next season.

None of these bold moves by Nets General Manager Billy King will mean anything if they can’t prove it on the floor, though. No one wants to hold the title of paper champion.