New York (6-0), Brooklyn (5-2), Boston (5-4), Philadelphia (4-4), Toronto (2-6)
Past Week: Well, in the past week the Knicks have kept their perfect record in tact, the Raptors have continued to struggle, the Nets, are improving and the Sixers and Celtics would be categorized as mediocre early in the season. The Sixers beat the Celtics in impressive fashion 106-100 in what would prove to be the Sixers most impressive win this season. However, they then proceeded to lose to the Bucks and the then 0-8 Pistons.
Knicks: The Knicks have remained undefeated by defeating three tough teams in the Pacers, Grizzlies, and Spurs. The biggest surprise for NY so far is the play of JR Smith. He is shooting great percentage from three and has supplied some highlight reel dunks as well. Carmelo seems to be comfatorable playing at the power forward position and as a result has scored easy baskets by using his size.
Raptors: While the Raptors have a few bright spots such as Kyle Lowry, who they received in a trade with Houston, they have a record of 2-6 and don’t have much to smile about. Andrea Bargnani has played well but still remains a dissapointment in terms of rebounding especially for his position.
Celtics: In the past week, Boston has lost to Philly and Brooklyn and beaten Milwaukee, Utah, and Chicago. So far they have proved that they still have the potential to beat good teams, and Kevin Garnett has looked good. Now the question becomes whether Rondo can become healthy and form into a contender like many predicted before the season.
Nets: The Nets have beaten the Cavs and Celtics and Deron Williams and Joe Johnson have looked good so far in their new home. In addition, Brooke Lopez has looked good who will be a key part to their team and determine how good they are.
Sixers:The Sixers had a rather disappointing week. After beating the Toronto Raptors on Saturday night, they then lost to the Bucks and the winless Pistons. They fell behind Milwaukee early and were never able to come back. Against Detroit, they shot a pathetic 27% from the floor and were dominated inside.
In the next week, I expect some separation at the bottom half of the division, but expect the other four teams to stay close. I think that the Raptors will continue to struggle while the other teams will play better and stay close in the standings. The Sixers will play Utah, Cleveland twice, and Toronto. They should have a good chance of getting back on track.
The Nets face an interesting matchup against the Lakers who will be looking to play well under new head coach Mike D’Antoni.
The Celtics will look to get Rajon Rondo back as they hope their team will continue to gel and become better as the season progresses. They will play Detroit, Toronto, and San Antonio next week.
It will be interesting to see who does what in the upcoming week and if any teams will have any surprises in store.