Wow, I haven’t done this post in almost a year. But, look at that, I’m back. Our fantastic editorial duo of Emily and Drew wanted to bring this series back on a much more consistent basis. I decided to volunteer in posting. Since I created this baby in the first place, I felt I would be able to handle some of the load. Let’s make sure you know what this post is about.
Breaking Down the Atlantic Division is a post that helps us keep track of things going on in the Atlantic Division. I started it because last year, the division was projected to be the best in the league with the Sixers, Celtics, Nets, and Knicks all projected to make the playoffs easily. And now, this season, it’s the weakest division. Still no team has a winning record. That’s not good. But still, we’ll give you the latest news as well as a brief recap of the games this past week. We’ll emphasize on how they do against each other.
So, ya ready?
Atlantic Division Match-ups:
The Sixers faced the Nets last Friday. After getting blown out a few days earlier, the Sixers responded with a home win in OT over the Nets on an Evan Turner buzzer beater. The Sixers earned their first divisional win of the season and sit at 1-3 in the division. Apparently, the Sixers needed that win:
“We needed to get that win for the sanity of the group.” — Sixers coach Brett Brown.
The Nets haven’t won a game since that loss, currently on a four game losing streak. After some extremely embarrassing losses, especially to the Bulls on Christmas, the Nets are looking worse than the Sixers right now. At least the Sixers play with heart.
The Raptors are in the lead in the division sitting at 11-15. As is the rule of the playoff seeding, winning the division means automatic home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs as the winner finishes no lower that 4th place. The Atlantic division is a prime example of why this system doesn’t always work. Quite possibly, a team that is better than the Raptors would finish below them. Maybe even miss the playoffs. Anyway, the Raptors seem to be playing better after the Rudy Gay trade, even though there have been some Kyle Lowry trade rumors. They went 3-1 this week with wins over the Mavericks and Thunder while losing to the Spurs. Not bad.
The Celtics went 0-2 this past week, losing to the Wizards and Pacers. The Celtics do have a record of 2-2 against the division so they’re okay in that area. However, winning games in the Atlantic Division isn’t saying much. Meanwhile, we’ve been hearing a rumor here and there about trading Rondo, which is doubtful. Celtics seem to want to keep him to see how he plays when he comes back. I would hold on too, he’s a top five point guard when healthy. Currently, the Celtics are 12-17 on the season. While they have more wins than the first place Raptors, remember that the standings go by winning percentage. The Raptors have won a bigger percentage of their games.
My rankings are based on nba.com. I say this because Knicks and Nets have the same record but they have the Knicks above the Nets. So, the Knicks have been struggling, which we all know. Tyson Chandler is finally back in the lineup. Chandler is important to the Knicks success. The Knicks lost to the Grizzlies, beat the Magic, and were blown out by the Thunder. The Knicks are 1-2 against the Atlantic. There is so much going on from trade rumors to coach rumors. Latest thing I heard was that Carmelo Anthony could end up on the Clippers, probably by trade. I know, how crazy does that sound? There have been so may trade rumors this season, I’ve learned to not trust any of them until they actually happen (or Woj tweets them).
We talked about the Nets a little bit earlier. They are on a four game losing streak right now. For the record, the entire division is on some sort of losing streak. Anyway, they lost to the Wizards, Sixers, Pacers, and Bulls. Jason Kidd claims that his team is on the verge of accepting losing. They recently were dealt a big blow when it was announced Brook Lopez would be out for possibly the rest of the season. Once again it’s the same foot that’s been nagging him his whole career. I’m reminded of Yao Ming, when I think of Brook Lopez’s injury issues. Nets’ contending window is set for just this year. They put themselves in a not so ideal spot of locking themselves financially as well as having no draft picks that could really be worth something. If the Nets don’t win this year, they could be setback for a very long time. How’s the billionaire life going Prokhorov?
Just how we want it, the Sixers are last. Their fall has been the hardest because they started off in first and have fallen all the way down to last. But that’s okay, it’s going as planned. They beat the Nets and lost to the Bucks (huh?). The Sixers continue to lose on the road and it’s becoming alarming. Considering they started their road trip, either they will be in for a long trip or they will finally break through. Me? I expect losses, losses, and more losses. They finally won their first divisional match-up and are 1-3 for the season.
Match-ups this week:
Oh boy, we got a couple of good ones. The Knicks and Raptors have a home and home this Friday and Saturday. In these events, I always split the games so I’ll predict that the teams will each win a game. The second games is the Knicks’ first game of four straight on the road. The Knicks actually have a better record on the road than home.
That’s it. Who will perform the best this week?