NBA Atlantic Division Preview For 2018-19 Season
With the tyranny of Lebron James ending, the eastern conference has opened up to the other contenders. The Atlantic Division being the toughest division in the east is indisputable. With at least three title contenders, and two young teams on the rise, nothing will come easy this season. The following list will be a ranking of the teams in the Atlantic Division, and a brief summary of their upcoming season.
The New York Knicks
The New York Knicks enter the 2018-19 season already undermanned. Superstar power forward Kristaps Porzingis is out with a torn ACL and there’s no timetable for his return. This will hurt their success in the upcoming season because without Porzingis, the Knicks have a mix of inefficient veterans and unproven young guys. Although they will be competing for a lottery pick this season, they will not be an easy win. The pride of young rookies in Kevin Knox and Mitchell Robinson, along with point guard Frank Ntilikina, will form a prideful culture in New York.
The Brooklyn Nets
If you are an owner of NBA league pass, then I encourage you to watch some Brooklyn Nets games this year. This Brooklyn team is young, exciting, and full of life. D’Angelo Russell has the potential to breakout this season, along with other guards Caris Levert and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson. Keep an eye on second-year big man Jarrett Allen to become an elite rim runner and protector this season. However, the Nets aren’t ready for the playoffs. They will be around the 11th seed in the Eastern Conference, and will be selecting in the middle of the lottery.
The Philadelphia 76ers
The process is complete. The Philadelphia 76ers come into this season after being bounced by the Boston Celtics in last year’s playoffs. Nevertheless, this team has improved. The players within the organization have been getting better and better every year. Ben Simmons will rise to the top of the league as a dominating point guard. Joel Embiid will continue to wreak havoc upon the other centers in the league. The wild card is Markelle Fultz. I believe Fultz will have bounce back season, and will justify his first overall selection.
Lastly, the departures of Ersan Ilyasova and Marco Bellini will hurt this team’s spacing. However, the team has the pieces to trade for more veteran shooting as the playoffs inch closer.
The Toronto Raptors
The north is a whole new ball club. Adding superstar Kawhi Leonard is just the boost they need to get them to the conference finals, and potentially the NBA finals. Leonard fits an already great team with a great system way better than DeMar Derozan ever could.
All of this being said, there still will be chemistry issues. The issues will be slight, but significant enough to effect the Raptors record. The players will learn to adjust to Nick Nurse’s system, and play alongside Leonard. The x-factor here is Kyle Lowry. Can Lowry continue to be an elite efficient point guard, or will father time run its course?
The Boston Celtics
It feels good to be king. The Boston Celtics are the most hyped up team in the East, and for good reason. With a star studded roster from head to toe, this team has a chance to not only make it to the finals, but dethrone the Golden State Warriors. The roster, coaching staff, and locker room are in the best shape it could possibly be. The only thing potentially stopping the Celtics is injury or failure to create chemistry. In spite of this, this team will be a top the Atlantic Division.
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