Wednesday, November 3, 2010

2010-2011 NBA Preview - Atlantic Division

I'm late. And I'm doing this division-by-division. That is all.

Boston Celtics
Make no mistake, there are pros and cons to starting this a week into the season. It's easy to get sucked into phantom trends that come about in the first few games. Kinda like what the Memphis Grizzlies apparently did in giving Mike Conley a $45 million extension, which pays him only $2 million less than one Rajon Rondo. Rondo, meanwhile, has something like 80 assists in the first five games. Considering the trend of improvement he's displayed in every season of his young career, this doesn't figure to be much of a mirage. The Celtics are the class of the East because they're the best defensive team in the league and now they're DEEP. Final Record: 56-26

New York Knicks
I'm putting 'em second because I think they'll make some sort of significant move, possibly by Christmas, but after Boston the rest of this division is weak. Amar'e is a beast but as much as I support him, you don't have a good team if he's your best player. And while Ray Felton is the most talented point guard 'Antoni's had on that team, he's far from ideal. I don't even know how much adding 'Melo would really help. Final Record: 38-44

New Jersey Nets
I watched one of their games and thought Brook Lopez was awful. Then I looked at the stat sheet and he had 30 points. I think the Nets as a team will have a lot of nights like that, where they'll put you to sleep but you'll wake up, look at the scoreboard, and they'll somehow have a win. Devin Harris is a player, and young Derrick Favors is making my poor-man's Dwight Howard comparisons look halfway sane. Final Record: 35-47

Philadelphia 76ers
This is not a well constructed roster by any stretch, but they have some nice players. Iguodala is wasted on this team but he's a stud. Jrue Holiday is the real deal, and Elton Brand is again playing like he belongs in the NBA. Still lottery bound, but I'd be surprised if their roster isn't shaken up by February. Final Record:  30-52

Toronto Raptors
Bargnani is good I guess. DeMar DeRozan is gonna be a stud. This is a really bad team, though. Final Record: 23-59

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