Two of the Atlantic Division's Finest
To follow suit with ESPN's top-ranked players, I've decided to rank the best players in the Atlantic Division position by position.
Of the other divisions, the Atlantic Division received quite the overhaul with a new makeup that has once again made some teams contenders for the Eastern Conference finals. Here are the top five point guards in the Atlantic Division.
Raymond Felton was good for the Knicks in 2010-11 but has never really impressed me mightily. What’s the point of a point guard in an offense that centers around Carmelo Anthony?
Entering his eighth season, Felton brings his 6'1" frame to the Knicks' backcourt once again. Last season with Portland, he averaged 11.4 points per game and 6.5 assists. The Knicks will be in serious competition with Brooklyn for the crown of New York if some type of pick-and-roll combination with Stoudemire isn’t created.
The Knicks also need to stay in shape as a team; this season they added more “should have retired” players than they should have.
Jrue gets this spot because his numbers are solid, and his assists are bound to go up as long as Bynum left his temper in Los Angeles.
He’s never really had too much inspiration to play behind, but after last year’s push into the second round of the playoffs, Jrue might have some extra motivation this season. I’m still not quite sure how all the pieces Josh Harris acquired will fizzle out, but I’ve always believed in a point guard/center combination. Hopefully Holiday and Bynum will bring the best out of each other.
The newest and more talented addition to the Raptors has finally given Toronto fans something to cheer about. Toronto has seemingly become heartbreak city after the departures of Tracy McGrady, Vince Carter and then Chris Bosh.
Kyle Lowry and Landry Fields certainly aren’t going to be the reason the Raptors make the NBA Finals this year, but a winning season is on the horizon for the Rap Crew. Again, Lowry is more of a scoring point guard, averaging 14.3 points per game last season. He is more than capable of producing a double-double and scoring well into the 30s.
Toronto has never been known for its defense, so Lowry’s scoring ability will be welcomed.
In terms of overall play, it’s hard not to put Deron Williams on the top of the list. He has proved he’s a scoring machine. His 21 points per game may not increase this season.
Finally, Billy King has given Williams some relief and an All-Star shooting guard in Joe Johnson. Although overlooked in my opinion, it appeared Deron would check out of games last season. He ducked the media several times, complained about the Prudential Center and also battled injury.
With a new home in Brooklyn, plenty of surrounding talent and also coming off an Olympic medal, expect Williams to be extremely energized and ready to make some noise in the Eastern Conference. Brooklyn should fight for first in the Atlantic Division alongside Boston.
The triple-double machine has kept the Celtics' boat afloat since their 2008 championship. Although most of the other point guards in the Atlantic Division have better numbers in points, his 11.7 assists per game last season easily kept the Celtics relevant.
Although his attitude has been subject for concern, and possibly a reason why Ray Allen decided to choose Miami over Boston, his impact with his teammates is vital to the Celtics this season. With the additions of Jason Terry and several appealing rookies, the Celtics have once again put themselves in a position to see Miami in the Eastern Conference finals.
This article was first published on Atlantic Twine.