NBA Primetime's Eastern Conference: Atlantic Division Preview

Brandon RibakSenior Writer IOctober 20, 2009

BOSTON - MAY 17:  Paul Pierce #34 of the Boston Celtics walks off the court as he is pulled from the game late in the fourth quarter against the Orlando Magic in Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2009 NBA Playoffs at TD Banknorth Garden on May 17, 2009 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Orlando Magic defeated the Boston Celtics 101-82 to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

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NBA Primetime breaks down every division in the NBA, giving you, the fans, the upcoming season predictions and preview on how each team will pan out for the year.


Eastern Conference: Atlantic Division Preview

Boston Celtics —(60-22, 1st in Atlantic Division)

The Celtics ultimate concern this year is how durable their veterans can be throughout the season and into the playoffs. Coming off of knee surgery, Kevin Garnett's status remains up in the air until the forward can prove to be consistent once again.

Aside from KG, the Celtics core enters the season a year older, and with age comes major injury concerns.

Danny Ainge decided to gave his organization some insurance this offseason, signing veteran Rasheed Wallace and guard/forward Marquis Daniels. Both athletes can play multiple positions, inevitably contributing to the Celtics success.

With the immense productivity from 6'1" point guard Rajon Rondo and the emergence of Glen "Big Baby" Davis during the postseason, the Celtics continue to be the favorites in the Atlantic Divison.


Toronto Raptors— (45-37, 2nd in Atlantic Division)

GM Bryan Colangelo was definitely one of the busiest managers during the offseason period.

After a disappointing '08-'09 season, Colangelo completely re-designed his team, acquiring newcomers Hedo Turkoglu, Jarrett Jack, Marco Belinelli, Amir Johnson, Rasho Nesterovic, Antoine Wright, Reggie Evans, Sonny Weems, and the drafting of DeMar DeRozan. 

Toronto once again heads into the season with high expectations, but this time, they are for real. A healthy Chris Bosh, Andrea Bargnani, and Jose Calderon should take this squad from a 33-win season last year to close to 50 wins this season.


Philadelphia 76ers —(38-44, 3rd in Atlantic Division)

After playing for close to three seasons for the Sixers, starting point-guard Andre Miller opted to sign a contract this offseason with the young and upcoming Portland Trail Blazers.

Newly signed head coach Eddie Jordan plans to use his "point guard-less" theory and put it into motion for Philadelphia this season.

Lou Williams will assume the starting point guard role, while highly talked about Thaddeus Young enters his third season in the league at the starting three or four spot.

A healthy Elton Brand will certainly inflate the Sixers win column, but the big question will be if that is enough to take this team to the playoffs this season.


New York Knicks— (36-46, 4th in Atlantic Division)

The Knicks managed to keep David Lee and Nate Robinson under their belt this offseason by signing both players to a one-year contract.

New York drafted PF Jordan Hill with the eighth pick of the NBA draft, adding more youth to their roster.

Expect G/F Wilson Chandler to blow up this season, averaging career-high numbers all across the board.

As for the Knicks as a whole, fans are just going to have to wait one more season before acquiring that special "big-named" player or players.


New Jersey Nets— (28-54, 5th in Atlantic Division)

The Nets consist of an extremely young team with unlimited amounts of upside.

Devin Harris will lead the way for New Jersey, ranking as the top scoring point guard in the league.

Center Brooke Lopez seeks to improve on his rookie success and will ultimately emerge as a top center in the league after this season.

Guard Courtney Lee, rookie Terrence Williams, Chris Douglas-Roberts, and Yi Jianlian will each gain much needed experience this year and will use that to their utmost advantage once the Nets become a contender once again.


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