Joe Johnson will try to get the Hawks back on track
Joe Johnson leads the Hawks in scoring Reuters

For years, the Knicks have been the number one basketball team in the tri-state area.

Now, the Nets have moved from New Jersey to Brooklyn, and are looking to become the top team in New York. They've made several moves this offseason to contend in the East next season, adding the Hawks Joe Johnson and re-signing Deron Williams to a long-term contract.

Brooklyn was also working on trading for Dwight Howard, but ended their pursuit of the big man when they signed Brook Lopez to a new deal.

The Nets finished near the bottom of the East last season, but are looking to be one of the best teams in the conference next year. While being introduced as the newest member of the Nets, Johnson stated that Brooklyn is now the best team in New York.

Have the Nets surpassed the Knicks as the best team in the Big Apple?

The Knicks were easily the better team a year ago. They won 14 more games than the Nets and made it to the playoffs as the seventh seed in the East.

New York kept its core of Carmelo Anthony, Amare Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler together for another year. They've added a few pieces, though none of them as big as Johnson to the Nets.

Jason Kidd and Marcus Camby both signed contracts with the Knicks in recent days. Neither is expected to start, but both should help the team win a few more games. Kidd gives the Knicks experience at point guard, and could play alongside Jeremy Lin in the backcourt. Camby will be the best big man to come off the bench for the Knicks in years.

Even with Williams at point guard, the Nets were not competitive for most of last year. The play of Johnson and Lopez might decide if Brooklyn can surpass New York.

Johnson signed one of the biggest contracts in NBA history in 2010, and his level of play has somewhat dropped since that time. He averaged at least 20 points per game in his first five seasons with Atlanta. In the last two seasons, he averaged 18.2 and 18.8, respectively.

Johnson may have to raise his scoring average if he wants to back up his words on the court.

Lopez was poised to become one of the best centers in the game when he was drafted in 2008. He struggled somewhat during the 2010-11 Season, averaging less than six rebounds per game. He missed almost the entirety of last year with foot problems.

Despite Brooklyn's shortcomings, there's no question they've helped lessen what was a wide gap between the two teams.

The Nets arguably have the best player between the two in Williams. Stoudemire and Anthony still haven't quite figured out how to play together and Jeremy Lin is still a relative unknown. Brooklyn also re-signed Gerald Wallace, a small forward who fills up the stat sheet and is a great fourth option.

The Knicks thought adding Anthony and Stoudemire would make them a championship contender. Now, they might not even be the best local NBA team.

The two teams will face each other four times next season.