NBA Standings Predictions 2012-2013 Atlantic Division

this division just became one of the most competitive divisions out there.  let’s see who will stand on top.

1. Boston Celtics (52 wins)

the big 3

this summer was a heartbreak summer for the celtics, with them losing ray allen, who was part of the big 3.  they did make a nice recovery though, signing courtney lee and jason terry to replace allen.  no one expected allen to leave, but there was tension in the locker room between him and rajon rondo.  and with doc rivers giving the ball to rondo all the time, allen just couldn’t take it.  it must have been pretty bad if he left for miami, which gave him half of what boston was offering.  i don’t think he’ll get the ball more in miami, but i think he’s a loyal guy, one who reacts to how others treat him.  he was the center of many trade rumors over the past few years, and he didn’t like that either.  but now the celtics only have rondo, garnett, and paul pierce as their big 3.

they also brought back brandon bass, which is a great thing.  he was a key component in their run last year, and they have a loaded backcourt, with terry, lee, and avery bradley, who should come back in the middle of the season.  they’re a little thin in the front court, and garnett is getting older.  he just signed for 3 more years, but i don’t know how long he will last.  this year, i see them leading the atlantic division, but they probably won’t win a title.  and even though they might win the division, they are still vulnerable to lost to the knicks or the nets.  but they can also amaze us again and surpass all expectations as well.

starting 5: garnett, bass, pierce, lee, rondo

2. Brooklyn Nets (50 wins)

the second best backcourt in the league

the nets are on the cusp of something exciting and hopefully good.  hopefully their spending spree paid off.  they resigned deron williams, one of the best point guards in the league, and they traded for joe johnson and his massive contract.  although it’s a lot of money to pay one guy, i think it’s worth it.  they didn’t get dwight, but they still have a decent front court.  with brook lopez, kris kardashian humphries, and gerald wallace, they have the ability to make some noise in the east.  they also have marshon brooks, a shooter who was good enough to be one of the main pieces for a dwight howard trade.  they did overpay for wallace, though.  i think they could have spent a little less on him.  but because of their willingness to spend, i’m sure they will reap the benefits of it.  deron williams and joe johnson can be a deadly and lethal 1-2 punch.  and brook lopez is a good offensive center.  i think they have better pieces than new york.  and i think their jerseys are going to look better than new york also.

starting 5: lopez, humphries, wallace, johnson, williams

3. New York Knicks (48 wins)

last year was the year of linsanity.  this year will be totally different, as they shipped lin to houston.  now, their success depends all on amare stoudemire and carmelo anthony.  and that’s probably why i have them in 3rd place in this division.  carmelo anthony excelled during the olympics.  many people were talking about new york getting better this year because of his play and his improvement.  but here’s the difference between the olympics was that he was playing with great players, and he was on a team where all he had to do was shoot the ball and worry about nothing else.  he didn’t have to worry about leading his team, because lebron and kobe did that.  he didn’t have to worry about passing because cp3 and deron williams did that.  so that’s why he played so well.

in new york, it’s a different story.  he has to be the leader, he has to play unselfishly, he has to switch up his game, and he has to jell with everyone on the team, even if they’re not playing well.  that’s a tall order for someone who has never really been a leader.  as much as he would like to be, he’s not.  that’s why he couldn’t make it work with jeremy lin.  and that’s why i don’t really have high hopes for the knicks.

amare worked with hakeen olajuwon this past summer, and i hope that it adds a lot to his game.  for the past few seasons, he’s been a step slow.  so hopefully this rejuvenates him a bit, even after he injured his own hand.  this offseason was supposed to be a good one, but instead, it turned out to be an ok one.  they snatched jason kidd from dallas and signed marcus camby back.  so they got a bunch older, but didn’t do what everyone expected and resign jeremy lin.  i know it was a lot of money to get him back, but i think they should have done it.  they instead got raymond felton, who has been out of shape for the past two seasons, to make up for it.  and they got kurt thomas,another veteran who’s 40.  so i don’t know where they’re going with this, but i don’t think this will get them past miami, or even brooklyn.  maybe they’ll prove me wrong.

starting 5: chandler, stoudemire, anthony, smith, felton

4. Philedelphia 76ers (43 wins)

the 76ers made a surprising trade of the summer and ended up with the second best center in the league.  how they did that, i have no idea.  but give credit to the GM, he made the right move and helped this franchise get better.  they have the most dominant big man in the east, and they gave up just iguodala for it.  that’s pretty good, i would say.  and the trade doesn’t really hurt them because they have people like thaddeus young and even turner, as well as nick young.  spencer hawes now moves to the power forward spot, giving them two dominant and tall big guys who can control the paint.  they are going to be tough to score on, and their defense will improve in the paint.  it might take a hit on the perimeter, but that’s ok.  one move i didn’t get was getting backup kwame brown.  he’s the most useless player on the planet, but somehow, he still gets money and he still “plays.”  that’s amazing.

this club is solidly built, with jrue holiday at the point, evan turner at small forward, nick young backing up shooting guard, and jason richardson, who brings leadership.  but the one thing that concerns me the most is bynum.  i don’t feel that he’s ready to lead a team.  if you watched the press conference they had, he talked more about himself and how he’s excited to be the first option on offense, rather than talking about the team.  he’s a me-first guy, always have been that way, and needs to mature some more.  also, physically, he needs to stay healthy.  this past season was the first time he was able to stay on the floor for more than half the season, and that won’t cut it if that happens again.  there’s a lot of risk involved with bynum, so hopefully he continues to take care of himself the way he should.

starting 5: bynum, hawes, turner, richardson, holiday

5. Toronto Raptors (20 wins)

their main goal was to acquire steve nash this summer.  that didn’t pan out, but they got kyle lowry.  i guess that’s a decent replacement.  they also acquired landry fields, who looked lost in new york last season.  i honestly don’t see any positive to this team the way it’s constructed right now, and if your leader is andrea bargnani, then that’s not a good look.  linus kleiza is a solid player, as well as demar derozan.  but other than that, this team needs alot of work.  they need even more work, with the way this division is constructed.  there will be a huge gap between them and the rest of the division.

starting 5: valuncianus, bargnani, derozan, ross, lowry

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    • Lawrence
    • October 26th, 2012

    The Nets are going to jump up to 50 wins ? Really Joe Johnson is worth that much. I don’t think so.

    • nchin000
    • October 26th, 2012

    in the weakened east? they might. i’m aiming a little high

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