Jan 8, 2014; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry (30) controls the ball against Brooklyn Nets small forward Paul Pierce (34) during the fourth quarter of a game at Barclays Center. The Nets defeated the Warriors 102-98. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Breaking Down the Atlantic Division: Nets on winning streak; Celtics sliding fast

The Raptors are trying so hard to get that winning record. The Knicks and Nets seem to have improved a bit. The Celtics are in a slide, and the Sixers…well, I guess the tank is on again?

The Raptors hold onto the first place with a week you would expect from them. They beat the Wizards and Pistons while losing to the Heat and Pacers. They sit at 17-17 and, of course, are a playoff lock for now. They are actually one of the top seeds in the East, which is scary in itself. I’m still sorta rooting for a division with no one over .500. That would be interesting. With a 5-1 record against the division, the Raptors are making sure they do everything they can to win the division. This next week is huge, though. They face the Nets and Celtics, who are in 2nd and 3rd place, respectively. The Nets have been on a winning streak and are only 3.5 games back. Especially after an impressive victory over the Golden State Warriors last night, where it appeared that Kevin Garnett gained access to a time machine.

Yes, the Nets are currently on a four game winning streak. None of the games were decided by more than 7 points, but they beat a couple of good teams in the Thunder and Warriors. Is this the start of good basketball? Or are the Nets going to falter this upcoming week? Like I said, they face the Raptors. I would think that the locker room is well aware of how important it is to beat the Raptors to get closer to securing a playoff spot. Right now, they are in 8th, but, you always want to move up as far as possible. They also have a game vs the Heat so that will also give an indication to how well the Nets are playing. The Nets are the only other team to have a winning record against the division at 3-2.

The Celtics have lost six in a row. Not a good sign. They’ll have a hard time winning again as they have the Warriors, Blazers, and Rockets. And, of course the Raptors. Yikes. They sit in 3rd place on the division right now, but are tied with the Knicks and only a half game ahead of the Sixers. If the Celtics can’t break this streak soon, they’ll probably end up in last place by next week.

The Knicks have won two in a row. For the week, they went 3-1, beating the Spurs, Mavericks, and Pistons. Not bad. They are tied with the Raptors, but it’s the Sixers they might want to worry about. They face them this week. Comparing the schedules of the Celtics and Knicks this week, I would almost expect the Knicks to be in 3rd place by the end of the week. Of course, that’s all if the Knicks are coming to expected form. It’s not like anybody in this division is playing well, so you can understand my slight skepticism on short bursts of decent basketball. Plus, if J.R. Smith can’t stop untying peoples shoes at the free throw line, then who knows what will happen. I’ve never seen someone lose $50,000 dollars over untying a pair of sneakers. David Stern is making sure the NBA will remember him.

The Sixers have a chance to get out of last place. After a four game winning streak was snapped, the Sixers were blown out twice in a row. All of their games this week are at home. Against the Pistons, Knicks, and Bobcats. Sixers, in a (Sixer) sense, should be able to win all three. The question is, will they? Who knows? I’m not sure I want to see them win any of these games.

So there it is. Another week down. For the love of cookies, can somebody get a winning record?

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

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