Breaking Down the Atlantic Division

This week in the Atlantic division saw the Knicks become the clear leader of the division. The Celtics had won the division ever since their big 3 came together in 08. The Nets are a clear second followed by the Celtics. Raptors and Sixers continue to battle for the 4th spot, although it looks like the Sixers will take it.

Apr 3, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Knicks small forward Carmelo Anthony (7) is congratulated by teammates after winning against the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena. The Knicks won 95-82. Mandatory Credit: Mike Muszynski-USA TODAY Sports

Carmelo Anthony scored 90 points in 2 games in as many nights. They also have won 10 straight and are peaking at the right time with the playoffs just around the corner. But how long can they hold up? Injuries have been around for the oldest team in the NBA (even the oldest rookie in NBA history at 36!). Defense is still a concern as outside of Tyson Chandler, there’s not much else going on. But, they shouldn’t have a problem getting past the first round and even the second. I don’t think they can take the Heat though.

The Nets continue to look like they are a few steps away from contending. The biggest part is the bench in my opinion. After Deron Williams and Joe Johnson, there’s not much support for the team in the scoring department. Granted, Williams and Johnson are big scorers (even if they are inefficient) and can carry a team offensively. If Dwight is out of LakerLand, will the Nets indeed make the move or should they stick with Lopez? My guess is sticking with Lopez as I don’t think they have the pieces to get Howard and still have a respectable support system.

The Celtics have struggled with injuries as well especially losing Rajon Rondo. And yet, before the injuries, the Celtics didn’t look like they were poised to make a run. Like the past couple of seasons, they started off slower and people figured the window was closed. That was not the case. But, was the loss of Ray Allen key here? Or is this team done contending? Of course, I do like the team’s future. Rondo and Jeff Green are a couple of players they’ll probably look to keep in the next contending core. But, unless they make a big trade, it’ll be time for rebuilding in Boston.

The Sixers had a good week. They’ve been winning games. Of course, this means nothing to you if you’re for tanking as the Sixers have sealed themselves for a mediocre pick. But, for a mediocre team, I guess this makes sense. Anyway, they are playing better as of late and are technically still in the playoff hunt. In fact, they are the only team under the 8th seed with a chance of making the playoffs. Really, the only two teams fighting are the Bucks and Sixers. If you followed this blog last year, you knew I didn’t want the team making the playoffs. Not because of a chance for a pick. No, the team’s collapse was so bad last year I was pretty much expecting them to get completely embarrassed in the playoffs. Of course, this didn’t happen. But the possibility was there for sure. I don’t think the Sixers make the playoffs though so I’m not worried.

The Raptors look like they are going to be fine in the future. I think Andrea will as well as should be traded. I guess they will finish last in the division although with the Sixers, anything is possible. I think they handled the division well even though they are 3-11 vs the division. If things don’t work out with Sixers and Bynum, the Raptors may be in last place in this division for the last time this year.

Oh hey…it’s my first post as a staff writer since May 2012. You’ll get the same content from me; just a different title is all. I don’t (I totally do) mean to brag but I am the site’s leading publisher. Thanks for reading and follow me on Twitter @DanteWrites.

Topics: Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, New York Knicks, Philadelphia 76ers, Toronto Raptors

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