To teams such as the Spurs, Celtics and Lakers, an NBA division title is as meaningful as a bucket of sand in the Sahara. To others, a divisional banner is huge.

Especially if you’re the guy who has had sand kicked in his face over the years. So in these parts, the Nets beating the Knicks in the Atlantic Division is a big deal.

“You can say we’ve been the JV at times,” Deron Williams said of the Nets’ stature in the area compared to the Knicks.’ “It definitely would mean a lot to clinch the division title to the fans, to the organization. It would be huge, no doubt about that.”

Given the Knicks’ recent trend of being on a first-name basis with assorted emergency room staffs, an opportunity has emerged for the Nets. No one ever wants to see injuries, but they occur. The afflicted must overcome. The opponent must pounce.

“Because of injuries, they’re struggling so it is an opportunity for us, but we’re more focused on ourselves and trying to win more than what other teams are doing,” said Brook Lopez, who admitted a division title would be “huge” for the Nets.

“It’s just important for us to win the division, not just finish ahead of the Knicks. As long as we finish ahead of all four [teams].”

The Nets last won the Atlantic in 2006. The Knicks’ drought stretches to 1994 when they lost to Houston in the NBA Finals. With injuries to Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire, a scare with Tyson Chandler plus general concern over age, the Knicks, who have led the Atlantic from the outset, seem vulnerable. The Knicks, who lost 105-90 to the Trail Blazers last night, lead the Nets by just one game.