Atlantic Division Roundup

Later tonight or tomorrow morning I will post gift ideas for each team, many will be trades, so check back for that fun later. I will not include trade talk in this roundup, but look for it in future roundups.

It’s time for the Atlantic Division’s annual post Christmas west coast road trip, but first, let’s see what they did this past week: Here is your Atlantic Division Roundup:

ATLANTIC W L PCT GB HOME ROAD DIV CONF PF PA DIFF STRK L10
New York 20 7 .741 12-2 8-5 4-1 13-3 102.6 96.5 +6.1 Won 1 7-3
Brooklyn 14 12 .538 5 ½ 9-6 5-6 6-2 11-6 95.3 93.9 +1.4 Won 1 3-7
Boston 13 13 .500 6 ½ 9-5 4-8 2-4 8-10 97.2 97.8 -0.6 Lost 1 4-6
Phil 13 15 .464 7 ½ 9-7 4-8 4-4 8-10 93.4 96.2 -2.8 Lost 1 3-7
Toronto 9 19 .321 11 ½ 7-5 2-14 0-5 5-8 96.1 100.4 -4.3 Won 5 5-5

NY Knicks:
Last weeks games: 2-2
1. Loss vs. Houston 109-96
2. Win vs. Brooklyn 100-86
3. Loss vs. Chicago 110-106
4. Win vs. Minny 94-91

Upcoming Games: Projected Record 2-1
1. Dec 25th (Xmas Day)  @ LAL 3:00 PM EST
2. Dec 26th @ Phoenix 9 PM EST
3. Dec 28th @ Sacramento 10 PM EST
  
This was certainly a rough week for the Atlantic Division. Starting at the top, the Knicks split their 4 games this past week looking less than stellar in doing so. Despite winning the subway series against the Nets, they dropped games to Chicago and Houston.  They also pulled out a late win yesterday against the Twolves who were without Kevin Love, and could have easily lost the game as they trailed late.  Carmelo Anthony finally looked to be coming back down to earth too, shooting just 32-72 (44.4%) in the three games he played, often relying on his old habit of settling for long jump shots. Carmelo, coming off his own mild ankle sprain wasn;t the only Knick nursing an injury. Injuries to the front line include Rasheed Wallace, Marcus Camby, and the soon to be returning Amar’e Stoudemire. Another point of interest for the Knicks was their scuffle in the waning minutes of their loss to Chicago.  Joakim Noah is one of the most infuriating players to play against no doubt, but both Tyson Chandler and Carmelo let their emotions get in the way of the Knicks comeback attempt, as each earned an ejection. The Knicks got beat up in this one, but need to show better poise going forward. I still think this team is the best in the Atlantic, but they looked beatable this week.



Brooklyn Nets:
Last Weeks Games: 1-2
1. Loss vs Utah 92-90
2. Loss @ NYK 100-86
3. Win vs. Phili 95-92

Upcoming Games: Projected Record 2-2
1. Dec 25th vs. Boston 12 PM EST
2. Dec 26th @ Milwaukee 8 PM EST
3. Dec 28th vs. Charlotte 7:30 PM EST
4. Dec 29th vs. Cleveland 7:30 PM EST

Staring up at the Knicks in the division, the Brooklyn Nets continue to struggle in finding their groove.  Supposed franchise player Deron Williams, who has absolutely been the biggest disappointment for me this season, finally started playing better but the team still lost 2 of 3.  Williams is still shooting below 40% for the season but shot 17-33 (51.5%) this week. Brook Lopez is also healthy again, although it looks as though he is still trying to find his shot.  Thankfully for the Nets, both Joe Johnson who looks to have found his 3 point stroke, and Gerald Wallace whose rebounding and hustle give the team much needed energy have helped to carry the load. This team has the core to play with anyone, but the depth they need is very apparent when this team matches up against the elite.

Boston Celtics:
Last Week Games: 1-2
1. Loss @ Chicago-100-89
2. Win vs. Cleveland 103-91
3. Loss vs. Milwaukee 99-94 OT

Next Weeks Games: Projected record 3-1
1. Dec 25th @ Brooklyn 12 PM EST
2. Dec 27th @ LAL 10:30 PM EST
3. Dec 29th @ Golden State 10:30 PM EST
4. Dec 30th @ Sacramento 9 PM EST

Boston is not happy with their hometown team these days. The Celts have lost 4 of 5 and 2 of 3 this week, including being swept 3-0 in the season series against Milwaukee.  This game was particularly discouraging because the Celtics made a valiant comeback in the final minute, showing poise and execution that seemed to disappear in overtime.  Paul Pierce played amazing this week, scoring 30.3 a game on a ridiculous 65% from the field.  On the flip side, Rajon Rondo looked bad this week, lacking aggressiveness in the Milwaukee game.  This team also looks desperate for big bodies   With Chris Wilcox out for a month and Jason Collins being added to the starting unit, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the team was active in the trade market.  They Signed NCAA all time blocks leader Jarvis Varnado, but unless he can make a Greg Steimsma like contribution, this team is in trouble up front.  The guard situation is great though as they get back Avery Bradley next week and hope for Jason Terry to get out of his recent shooting slump. This team should finish first of second in the division, but they need to start winning now.  They face the  Nets tomorrow on Xmas day at noon.

Philadelphia 76ers:
Last Week: 1-3
1. Loss @ Dallas 107-100
2. Loss @ Houston 125-103
3. Win vs. Atlanta 99-80
4. Loss @ Brooklyn 95-92

Next weeks Games: Projected Record 1-2
1. Dec 26th @ Memphis 8 PM EST
2. Dec 28th @ Golden State 10:30 PM EST
3. Dec 29th @ Portland 10 PM EST

The 76ers, also look up at the Knicks in the division  This team is in a tailspin, dropping 6 of 7 and look to be, as said previously on this blog, the 4th best team in the division.  They will battle for a playoff spot, but won’t go far this year.  Jrue Holiday, Evan Turner, and Thaddeus Young all continue to play well, but after them this team is struggling.  NBA teams have no fear of playing Phili these days.


Toronto Raptors:
Last Weeks Games: 3-0
1. Win @ Cleveland 113-99
2. Win vs. Detroit  97-91
3. Win vs. Orlando 93-90

Next Weeks Games: Projected Record 1-2
1. Dec 26th @ San Antonio 8:30 PM EST
2. Dec 28th @ New Orleans 8 PM EST
3. Dec 29th @ Orlando 7 PM EST

Has this team responded to their star calling them out? No, I’m not asking about the Lakers, I’m talking about  the Toronto Raptors.  A week after ‘star’ player Andrea Bargnani called the team the worst in the NBA, the Raptors have rolled off 5 straight wins.  Bargnani is actually hurt, so he hasn’t been contributing to this, but some of his teammates have stepped up their games in his absence   Rising star Demar DeRozan , energy big man Ed Davis, steady point guard Jose Calderon, and little known Alan Anderson on the wing have this team rolling.  Calderon has averaged 15 and 10 assists during the win streak.  This team actually looks to have pretty excellent offensive balance.  They are certainly no longer the NBA’s worst.

Later I will post gift ideas for each team, including trades for some that could help them reach the next level.

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2 thoughts on “Atlantic Division Roundup

  1. John Shaw

    As a Celtics fan I wish the team had kept Greg Stiemsma and not wasted cap space on either Milicic or Jason Terry.

    Stiemsma did have the usual rookie problems with refs’ pro vet bias but is going to be a very good player unless his heel injury becomes a chronic thing. With his knack for paint defense in general and shot blocking in particular any offense he provides will be a bonus. And his offense will improve unless I’ve overestimated his work ethic.

    Milicic had disappointed too many prior teams and Jason Terry’s age is showing more than he thinks it is. Plus he overestimates the value of outside shooting and underestimates the value of driving the lane.

    Reply
    1. Andrew Lipson

      John, you make some really excellent points here. Stiemsma did an excellent job with help defense in the lane, certainly better than anyone outside of KG on our team. His interior defense is sorely missed on the current club and I, like you, think he was worthy of coming back on a reasonable contract.

      Having said that, I do not regret (at least not yet) the JET signing. While Jet is known for stretching the floor, and creating his own shot, I think he is still trying to find how he fits in on this team. From what i have scouted of JET in past years compared to this year, i am also seeing a similar issue as to what you mentioned. He seems to be relying on his jumper now more than ever even though he is fairly excellent at finishing or drawing fouls in the lane. I expect JET to pick up his shooting and really be a key force for this team as the season moves forward. In fact, Offensively, i’d like to see Pierce take the most shots, followed by rondo and then JET. Obviously KG deserves to be right there too, but guards generally get more shot attempts due to their ability to create off the dribble. While Terry is showing his age somewhat, I think we are seeing him at his worst now. He’s known as a strong worker and someone that stays in great shape.

      In terms of Darko, i thought it was a low risk/low reward signing. it didn’t work out, but i don’t blame Danny. Would i rather have had “Steimah”, of course, but Minny priced him out of our range. We signed Varnado as mentioned above, but do you see anyone out there you’d like to add/go after in a trade? Any interest in trading Bradley, Sully, and melo for DeMarcus Cousins? This team needs a big man, so they’ve got to go get someone to help take the pressure off KG.

      Also John, I really appreciate your comment. We really enjoy responding and creating dialogue with intelligent fans like yourself. Happy Holidays!

      Reply

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