Previewing The NBA’s Atlantic Division | Truth About It.net

Previewing The NBA’s Atlantic Division

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Updated: October 6, 2008

Jeff from CelticsBlog.com is doing the grunt work to put together a comprehensive NBA preview from bloggers ’round the ‘sphere. The complete Atlantic Division Preview is out. Here are the highlights from the participating bloggers for each team:

Boston Celtics

[Celtics Blog]
The East is getting better, so I feel like the bad teams will lose less and the good teams will win less, but the Celtics should still be good for the best record in the East. Prediction: 59-23

[Green Bandwagon]
Last year I laughably predicted the Celtics would win 49 games. Translation: I’m not too good at this. Meanwhile, Chicago, Cleveland, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, Toronto, and the Eastern Conference in general should be better. Factor in James Posey’s departure, the question marks on Boston’s bench, and concerns about whether or not the Celtics will have the same fire and drive, and it is reasonable to expect fewer wins. Prediction: 58 – 24

[Loy's Place]
The goal is obviously to repeat as champions. Nothing less will be considered a success. They may not be as dominant in the regular season this year because a lot of teams have improved with the goal of beating the Celtics. And everyone will be gunning for the champions and seeking to unseat them. But, I believe it will all come together in the playoffs and that they will meet their goal to repeat as champions.Prediction: 60-22

[Red's Army]
I’m a big advocate of limiting the Big 3’s minutes early on in the season. Let some of the younger guys work in and get some reps to see who can really fit where. Let KG, Paul and Ray sit and let some of the other guys try to win a couple of games. You don’t get an extra trophy for hitting 60 wins… and we want to make sure that we’re not overworking these guys for some meaningless November W’s. If the C’s do that… then they’ll drop a few more games than last year. Prediction: 59-23

[Celtics 24/7]
With the pending improvements within the Eastern Conference – including Atlantic Division rivals Philadelphia and Toronto – I think it’s realistic to expect the C’s to take a slight hit in the win column. However, that doesn’t change the fact that these are the defending champs, and on top of the world until proven otherwise. Prediction: 58-24

New Jersey Nets

[About Basketball]
Goal: To somehow fake like they want to make the postseason, but secretly desire to tank in order to get some prime talent in the 2009 NBA Draft. Is that fair to say? Nope. However, the Nets do not really project to make it into the playoffs, even in the seemingly “weak” Eastern Conference. So, since the much ballyhooed plan is to get LeBron James after the 2009-10 season, why not put some pieces in place that will better the chances of Bron Bron lacing up his kicks in a Nets locker room? Of course, every team wants to make the playoffs, but sometimes, long-term, it might not be worth it. I only speak the truth… don’t judge me!

New York Knicks

[Straight Bangin']
Goal: Stop being f*ck ups. Sorry to be blunt and profane, but that, really, is the goal. Start acting like men. Start playing like professionals. No more intern parties, no more asinine decisions, and no more loafing. The secondary goal, of course, and one that buttresses the first, is to get rid of the other Isiah proxy, Stephon. He represents everything that has been horrible about the Knicks. If I had the money, I’d gladly give him $20 million to go away. I’d even throw in a house in Tuscany. That is how much a Knick fan just wants this abortion of basketball to end.Prediction: 30-52

[Posting and Toasting]
Goal: Significant improvement. I know, that phrase rings of a bitter and (hopefully) bygone era, but it’s what we’re looking for. A Cinderella run to the playoffs would be sweet, no doubt (except for losing that lottery pick), but I think most of us would be happy with at least sniffing the top 8. Such an improvement would bring at least some modicum of respectability and a sense of foundation rather than reinvention in the years ahead. Oh, and no more truck parties. Prediction: 36-46

Philadelphia 76ers

[The Recliner GM]
The Sixers were quietly one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference for the second half of the season and burst onto the national scene by giving the mighty Pistons a battle in the first round. Going into this season, Philadelphia is more excited about a Sixers team than they have been since the 2001 Finals. They have a great core of young talent with Iguodala, Williams, Young and Dalembert. Added to this is a pair of all-star veterans in Andre Miller and Elton Brand as well as several solid bench players. The talent is there; the only unknown is how this team will gel and whether or not they will continue to excel with their running offense and tough defense. If it all comes together, a trip to Eastern Conference finals is possible. Prediction: 52-30

[Passion & Pride]
Goal: 50 wins would be a nice start for the regular season, but the Sixers are not conceding the division to Boston and can’t forget about Toronto either. The ultimate goal is a championship, but with the youth of guys like Young, Iguodala and Williams, I’d give that a couple more years. Advancing past the first round of the playoffs is a definite and the Conference Finals would be nice. You can count on this team to play hard every night. Prediction: 53-29

Toronto Raptors

[Raptors HQ]
Goal: Having been knocked out of the first round of the playoffs two years running, it’s time for this team to take the next step. The second-round? The Conference Finals? The Finals? If all falls into place there’s no doubt this team will find itself in the mix for the Conference Championship. It’s a fine line though, and if any one of Bosh, O’Neal or Calderon gets hit with a serious injury, fans of thi
s team may have a vested interest in a certain set of lottery balls come spring. Prediction: 49-33

[Hoops Addict]
Goal: Besides keeping O’Neal, Bosh and Calderon healthy? The team must improve on their 41 wins from last season and secure home court advantage in the playoffs. After losing 13 games by five points or less last season, I think securing 50+ wins this season is a modest goal which would also allow the team to host an opening round series in the playoffs. Prediction: 52-30

[Cuzoogle]
Goal:Staying healthy is easily number one. They don’t have the depth to fall back on now with the East is getting better they can slide down the standings pretty fast. On paper this is a 50 win team but if they get hurt in any way they will fall back dramatically. The team needs to find a way to help blossom Andrea Bargnani’s game, help Jamario Moon improve and find a way to keep Jason Kapono (of the playoffs) on the court more. Playoffs is a given to me, this team needs to move past the first round or the season is a bust. Prediction: 48-36


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