The NBA season is just about here. BangtheBook is examining all the NBA divisions one by one before the season gets underway. Let’s take a closer look at the Eastern Conference and the Atlantic Division. This looks like a division that will be decided in the battle for New York City. All futures odds listed are from Sportsbook.ag.
2012-2013 Record: 49-33
Odds to Win NBA Atlantic Division: -165
Odds to win NBA Championship: +1,100
Jason Kidd was the point guard for the New York Knicks last year. Now, he’s on the sidelines as head coach of the Knicks top rival. Think of this year’s Nets team as half of the old Boston Celtics. Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett will try to make another run, and this team in Brooklyn. Jason Terry is also along for the ride. Deron Williams is still one of the league’s best point guard, and Kidd being around might help him. The Nets have 35 combined All-Star appearances in their new starting lineup. This is the team to beat in the Atlantic Division.
New York Knicks
2012-2013 Record: 54-28
Odds to Win NBA Atlantic Division: +145
Odds to win NBA Championship: +2,900
The Knicks didn’t have a very good offseason. New York made a big deal to bring in Andrea Bargnani during the offseason. To be honest, I don’t think this deal makes any sense. The Knicks already have Carmelo Anthony, Amare Stoudemire, Tyson Chandler, and now Metta World Peace in the frontcourt. Why did the Knicks need to get another long range shooter who plays in the frontcourt? That trade would have been better served bringing in a guard who can get to the basket and create for teammates. I do think World Peace could help this team’s defensive energy. Carmelo Anthony is an elite scorer, but he still needs to prove he is capable of leading his team on the biggest stages. The Knicks will be pretty good, but I’m skeptical of their chances in the playoffs.
2012-2013 Record: 49-33
Odds to Win NBA Atlantic Division: +1,800
Odds to win NBA Championship: +47,500
Toronto isn’t the laughing stock of the league like they were a couple years ago. Rudy Gay gives the team’s fans a new star to cheer for until he decides he doesn’t want to be in Toronto anymore. DeMar DeRozan is a youngster who has gotten noticeably better in the past couple years, and he should be a big part of this team’s offense in the season ahead. The Raptors cut bait with Bargnani, which was probably a wise move. Toronto isn’t going to win the division, but they might win more games than most people expect them to. This team is middle of the road this season.
2012-2013 Record: 41-40
Odds to Win NBA Atlantic Division: +10,000
Odds to win NBA Championship: +21,000
Brad Stevens was a big hire for Danny Ainge, but I’m not sure Stevens has enough talent to work with for the team to have much success at all right away. Rajon Rondo isn’t even healthy yet, and the Celtics really lack star power this season. It’s almost like the deck is stacked against Stevens in his first year in Boston. The Celtics didn’t get guys that will make them winners right away in their deal with the Nets, but they did get three first round picks in the deal. Expect Boston to struggle this year, but the team will be back in a couple years. Keep an eye on Kelly Olynyk, who has dominated in the NBA Summer League.
2012-2013 Record: 34-48
Odds to Win NBA Atlantic Division: +50,000
Odds to win NBA Championship: +57,500
It’s really hard to find a reason to suggest betting on the Philadelphia 76ers this year. There is a real chance that this team could finish with the worst record in basketball this season. Philadelphia appears to have no real plan to succeed in the near future. The oddsmakers put the over/under for season wins for Philadelphia at 16.5 wins. Don’t be surprised if they fall under that win total. Nerlens Noel has a ton of potential, but he likely won’t be fully healthy all year. It’s going to be a long year in Philadelphia!
NBA Atlantic Pick: Brooklyn Nets
I’m not a fan of what the Knicks did during the offseason, and the Brooklyn Nets have a ton of depth. The Nets might win this division with less than 50 wins.
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