Despite the uneven balance of power in the Atlantic Division in years prior, teams in the northeast are looking to make big splash in the Eastern Conference this season. Although the only true title contender in the division is the Boston Celtics, there are four legitimate playoff teams in the Atlantic.
The Celtics have won five consecutive Atlantic Division titles, dating back to the 2007-2008 season, the first season of the ‘Big Three.’ Although Ray Allen decided to take his talents to Miami, the Celtics still have a very deep roster. With the additions of players like Jason Terry and Courtney Lee, Boston is poised for another exciting season.
The New York Knicks have also made major strides in improving their team, and everyone in the city is hoping that Carmelo Anthony can transform his game to harmoniously co-exist with the other major contributors on the roster. There is a great chance that Anthony will be an MVP candidate this season and his skill-set has the potential to challenge the likes of LeBron James and Kevin Durant. If the Knicks want to surprise everyone and take the division crown, Anthony has to make sure he’s leading the charge.
The Brooklyn Nets will begin their inaugural season in 2012-2013, and there is a lot of excitement surrounding the team. With a new stadium and a revamped roster, the Nets are hoping to get back to the postseason. The addition of Joe Johnson and the re-signing of Deron Williams were the Nets’ two main moves in the summer and they will likely be the most-improved team from last season.
Sixers fans are expecting great things from their talented young nucleus. With the addition of Andrew Bynum in the off-season, the Sixers made themselves true contenders in the Atlantic Division. The duo of Jrue Holiday and Bynum will be a formidable one and they will surely experience significant success during the season.
North of the border, the Toronto Raptors are looking forward to finally cracking the top three in the division. The Raptors won the divisional crown in 2005-06, but they have been irrelevant ever since. However, with a group of young players and international leaders, the Raptors may surprise the NBA this upcoming season.
According to the NBA general managers survey, 66.7 percent of them believe the Celtics will win the division; the Nets and Knicks got 13.3 percent of the vote while the Sixers received 6.7 percent.
Division Standings Predictions:
1. Boston Celtics (53-29)
2. New York Knicks (49-33)
3. Philadelphia 76ers (45-37)
4. Brooklyn Nets (44-36)
5. Toronto Raptors (32-50)
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