Atlantic Division Preview
Another NBA season is upon us, and this is the first of six division previews to get you pumped for the league year filled with questions that will be answered so be sure to stay tuned and checkout the rest of them before the season tips off in mid-October.
New York Knicks: New coach same problem. This will be the theme that the Knicks will have this coming season. Rookie Kevin Knox had a good summer league and will be a nice player during his NBA career, but this team will flat out stink this coming season. Kristaps Porzingis is recovering from a torn ACL and the Knicks will struggle on offense to the point where fans will be shocked if they score 100 points. Head Coach David Fizdale should play Frank Ntilikina as many minutes as possible this season instead of under twenty minutes a night that Jeff Hornacek gave him. This team is so far gone with barely any hope that it will be lucky to see them win many games. Let’s call it 22-60 and will be battling Atlanta for the worst record in the league and will hold out hope for Kyrie Irving to come in free agency.
Brooklyn Nets: What an off-season for this team, were seeing a franchise went from paralyzed to having life for this season and for the foreseeable future. By trading Timofey Mozgov and buying out Dwight Howard the Nets saved money on next year’s cap and taking Denver’s bad expiring contracts for a first-round pick is a win and will only help this team going forward. A healthy D’ Angelo Russell will show what this team is supposed to look like on offense. Surrounded by shooters Russell will finally be able to thrive in a system that favors his style of play and show why he was the 2nd overall pick in 2015. Expect Caris LeVert to make leap as a two-way player and Joe Harris continues to be a very good three-point shooter off the bench. With a record of 35-47 the Nets will compete for the last playoff spot in the East but will fall short to a team that will be desperate to make the playoffs and will pull all the stops to do it. Expect Brooklyn to make the playoffs in the 2019-2020 season
Philadelphia 76ers: Stay and hold is the mentality this summer after no Kawhi Leonard or LeBron James coming to Philly. The key to where we will see Philly go is the health and ability of Markelle Fultz swapping a crucial pick to draft him over Jason Tatum could prove damaging if Fultz doesn’t look like himself. Head Coach Bret Brown has firm control of this team and the players have bought into what he wants the team to. With continued development of the core players on this team will be a good sign that the Sixers are here to stay for many years to come. Expect Philly to have a 50-32 record who will feast on the bottom of the conference and will bow out in the second round of the playoffs again. As a consolation prize, Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid will be in the All-Star game come February.
Toronto Raptors: It’s all Kawhi all the time when it comes to the Raptors record and hopes this season. Trading away the franchise in DeMar DeRozan was hard but they did it knowing that Kawhi is better and they have a full year to convince Kawhi to stay long term and blossom with a team that is ready to take the next step. Toronto will rack up wins vs the bottom of the conference using the best bench in the league lead by Freddy Van Fleet and Pascal Sikiam. Kawahi won’t be traded at the deadline, Toronto’s record of 55-27 will be good enough for second in the East only to lose to Boston in the Eastern Conference finals. Kawhi will stay in Toronto with a bright future and moves will be made including move Kyle Lowry to get younger at the point guard position.
Boston Celtics: Boston had a better team to represent the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals, but Cleveland won a rock throwing match that somehow Jeff Green was the reason the Celtics were sent home. This season Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward will be ready to grab the reigns of the offense and propel Boston to new heights. Jason Tatum is an All-Star in the making and Jalen Brown is good but will eventually be the odd man out and will be traded at some point next summer. Brad Stevens is the second-best coach in the league and will have Boston ready to steamroll the conference with a healthy squad that will dominate all season and somehow, they will get better and walk through the conference beating Toronto for a division title and the conference finals in 6 games only to be blown out in the Finals.