The Miami Heat are still considered the best team in the East — and the league. But on paper, the Brooklyn Nets look able to at least compete with the champs. And Shaquille O’Neal agrees. Here’s the New York Daily News:

Kevin Garnett

The big-name acquisitions made over the summer by GM Billy King have the Nets talking NBA title contention. But the championship rhetoric isn’t contained within the confines of the Barclays Center or the team’s training site in East Rutherford.

Some believe the Nets have what it takes to knock LeBron James and the two-time defending NBA champion Miami Heat from their perch. Former NBA great and current TNT analyst Shaquille O’Neal is one of them. He feels Brooklyn’s title aspirations are legitimate, provided its star players can stay on the court and build chemistry.

“If they can stay healthy, I think they can give Miami a run,” O’Neal said Monday at a TNT luncheon in New York, according to SI’s Richard Deitsch. “If they come together, I think they can take Miami.”

The consensus at Nets practice Monday was they were appreciative of his comments and agree with his qualifier regarding the team’s health.