New York (3-0)
The Week That Was:
The Knicks are off to their best start since 1999. They have eclipsed the century mark in their three wins over the Sixers and Heat. Carmelo Anthony scored 30 in their home opener against the defending NBA Champion Heat. The Knicks followed up with a home domination of the Sixers, behind Jason Kidd’s 12 point, 6 rebound effort in game one. In Philly, Ronnie Brewer hit 3 of 4 threes and finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds for the Knicks.
The Sixers have been extremely inconsistent this season. They began the season easily beating the Nuggets in Andre Iguodala’s return to Philly. They then got dominated twice by the Knicks and were severely struggling to score points. Thanks to the absense of Anthony Davis, Philly was able to grind out a second win against the Hornets.
The Celtics were handed a tough task of having to face the defending champs on opening night. Dwayne Wade scored 23 and Ray Allen hit a few clutch threes to beat the C’s. The Bucks outplayed the Celtics behind Brandon Jennings’s 21 points to go 0-2. The schedule showed the Celtics some compassion with a home and home against the Wizards. The veterans Pierce and Garnett lead the Celtics to their first two wins to get back to 500.
Basketball debuted in Brooklyn Saturday night, after their first game was postponed by Hurricane Sandy. Four starters finished in double figures as the Nets christened the Barclay Center with a victory over the Raptors. Brooklyn lost their next two blowing a big lead to Minnesota and getting dominated by the Heat.
Toronto as expected, has been the worst team in the division. They nearly beat the Pacers on opening night and even with Kyle Lowry’s 28 points fell to the Nets. The Raptors backcourt of DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry combined for 44 points as they got their first win against the T-Wolves. Tough road contests in Oklahoma City and Dallas have put the Raptors at 1-4.
The Week Ahead:
The Knicks will be tested this week as they have to face the Spurs, Grizzlies and Pacers. They look good but dont expect them to run the table. Their will be a battle in Beantown Friday night as the Sixers and Celtics square off in a battle of contending teams. This will be the first time they have seen each other since the Eastern Conference Semifinals and dont think Philly hasnt forgotten that the Celtics ended their season. The rest of Philly’s schedule is pretty easy with the Bucks, Pistons and the cellar dwelling Raptors. After their showdown with the Sixers, the Celtics have a tough game in Chicago and then face a pesky Jazz team at home. A home and home with the Magic and a prime time battle at home against the Celtics are what the Nets have to look forward to. The Nets can really test themselves against an experienced Celtic team and find out if they are going to be a contender in the East. The Raptors schedule does not get much easier as they have the Sixers, Pacer and Celtics, two of which are on the road, in the upcoming week. The Sixers and Celtics will test them all over the court and will be a good experience for a young Toronto team.
After this week of Atlantic Division action, we will find out about whos for real and whos a pretender. The Knicks will be tested and will reveal that they are not invicible as they battle a couple of the West’s good teams. The Celtics will get the best of the Sixers because this Philly team is struggling to score and desperately needs Andrew Bynum to appear. Brooklyn should be able to handle Orlando but will fall victim to the Celtics just like the Sixers. Toronto can really impress if they keep they head above water against Boston, Indiana and Philadelphia, but dont hold your breath with this young squad. When the week is in the books, expect the Celtics to be atop the Atlantic.