Tuesday, October 21, 2008
The NBA season kicks off one week from tonight, so for the next couple of days, we'll be bringing you a preview division by division. Our first division? The Eastern Conference's Atlantic.
The past couple of years have seen the Atlantic be pretty dismal, but as the photo above reminds us, that has definitely changed.
Boston Celtics: You know the story. It was the entire buzz since more than a year ago when the Beantown Green traded their entire team for the Big Ticket and Jesus Shuttlesworth. The pieces around may change, but Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and the self-proclaimed "Best Player in the World" Paul Pierce, know the score. They're back for more, because who knows how long it will last. The x-factor may be Rajon Rondo, who showed fantastic improvement. A consistent J added to Rondo's nose for the ball and mind-boggling speed would definitely bring the C's back to the promised land.
Toronto Raptors: The Canadian team won the second-rate division two years ago, and things have sure changed since. The offense still runs through Bosh, but with the added twist of having Jermaine O'Neal on the squad. The departure of T.J. Ford means that Jose Calderon will be running the point pretty much the entire game. Andrea Bargnani is still improving, but depending on the night, he can be like Dirk Nowitzki, or be an empty uniform. Regardless, don't forget that Jamario Moon can dunk on anybody.
Philadelphia 76ers: Two words: Elton Brand. He's what's important. He's a perpetual 20-10 player, and should be primed to run roughshod all over some of the weaker big guys in the East (although there are increasingly fewer by the day it seems). Add in some young cats that can run and score with the best of them, namely USA Select killer Andre Iguodala, plus Thaddeus Young and Louis Williams, the 6ers should capitalize on their making the playoffs last year.
New Jersey Nets: It's hard to be positive with this team. Sure they have Vince Carter, but the dude hasn't impressed in a while. They traded Richard Jefferson for Yi "Ginandjuice" Jianlian, which will add some size that they haven't seen since the Todd McCullough days. They traded Jason Kidd for about half of the Mavericks last year, but what did they really get out of that? Devin Harris, Eduardo Najera, and the rights to Keith Van Horn. Najera's a decent role player, but Van Horn has been garbage, and even though he's listed on the roster, doesn't even have a number. However, they have Chris Douglass-Roberts, who should be interesting to watch, and Sean Williams. Williams may be the best dunker in the league right now, but he's also dumb enough to say that Najera and Jianlian are Anglo-Saxon. True Story.
New York Knicks: Jamal Crawford and David Lee are good players. The rest of the team looks like a sick joke. Little-ass Nate Robinson flying around, Quentin Richardson wondering where the time went, Stephon Marbury bringing the sort of crazy that only he can, Chris Duhon being team captain, Zach Randolph shooting people, Eddy Curry being fat, Danilo Gallinari wishing he was still in Italy, and Malik Rose being the only player on the team with a ring. Throw in Allan Houston's old ass, and a new coach who loves nothing but fast breaks. Should be fun.
Stay tuned. Should be a fun season.
Posted by Icehouse at 8:45 PM