Breaking Down the Atlantic Division: 2014 All-Star Weekend


Feb 12, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan (10) carries the ball against the Atlanta Hawks during the first half at the Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

It’s time for the annual All-Star weekend stuff. The Atlantic Division will be represented on each night. Let’s take a quick look at who will be where:

Sixers: Michael Carter-Williams (Rising Stars, Skills Challenge)

Raptors: Jonas Valanciunas (Rising Stars), DeMar DeRozan (Skills Challenge, All-Star Game), Terrence Ross (Dunk Contest)

Knicks: Tim Hardaway Jr. (Rising Stars, Shooting Stars),  Carmelo Anthony (All-Star Game)

Nets: Mason Plumlee (Rising Stars), Joe Johnson (3-Point Shootout, All-Star Game)

Celtics: Jared Sullinger (Rising Stars), Kelly Olynyk (Rising Stars)

The Raptors, Nets, and Knicks are appearing on each night, with the Raptors taking part in the most events. Also, there will be at least one team represented in each event. For a division that was really bad to start the season, it’s cool to see them all over the place with quality players all around.

The Raptors continue to lead the division. And, quite frankly, I’m just about convinced that they will win the division. I’m seeing reports that the Raptors plan on hanging onto Kyle Lowry. If that’s true, then yeah, I’m giving the division to the Raptors.

The Nets just don’t see to have the kick. Now, a lot of teams really turn it on after the break. The Nets could be one of those teams. They have a lot of veterans who have been there and done that and know what it takes to make the playoffs. Will they take the Raptors on? I don’t really think so. But, I think the Nets do make the playoffs.

The Knicks. I hear that Woodson is just about out the door as coach as well as his staff during the break (for all we know, he could already be gone between the time I write this and when it’s published). If so, will the next guy be able to light a fire under this team to make a playoff push? I still think making the playoffs will be key to keeping Carmelo. Ya never know what could happen. I still don’t have an idea of what Carmelo will actually do. Only he knows. If I had to predict, I’d say if the Knicks miss the playoffs, it’s a lock he’ll be moving on.

The Celtics have been playing a little better since Rondo came back. I wasn’t expecting a drastic change in the script though. I asked last week if the Celtics could be pushed to the playoffs with Rondo leading the charge. Rondo has some games under his belt. Like I said earlier, post all star weekend is when teams make playoff pushes or seeding pushes. I would think Rondo would be up to it and lead the team. They’re 4.5 games behind the 8th spot which makes a playoff dream real at this point.

The Sixers really hit a low. So low it matched NBA history. So low it matched their own terrible NBA record. Like…how does that even happen? Sigh…now I heard that Turner could be moved for Ben Gordon and a first round pick for the 2014 draft, which is ideal for the TANK. Their current eight game losing streak has pushed them to the 2nd worst record in the league. Some people want them to be the worst. Not me. Not exactly. The worst record has rarely gotten the first pick. Normally 3rd-5th gets bumped up. We’ll see.

Questions for you:

  1. Again, who wins the division?
  2. Will the Knicks make the playoffs?
  3. What event are you looking forward to this weekend?

Hit the comments, Sensors!