2010 NBA Off Season Recap: Atlantic Division

The Atlantic has been a one horse race the last few years and it looks like that will be no different this year.

1. Boston Celtics

C - Jermaine O'Neal, Glen Davis, Semih Erden, Kendrick Perkins
PF - Kevin Garnett, Luke Harangody
SF - Paul Pierce
SG - Ray Allen, Avery Bradley
PG - Rajon Rondo

The Big Three return for another shot at the title. Depth is nill right now, especially with Kendrick Perkins out until probably January or so. Signing Jermaine O'Neal helps, but it's still a downgrade as he is not able to guard the Dwight Howard's of the NBA as well. Still, when perkins comes back O'Neal and Big Baby will give them a solid group of big men. Losing Tony Allen hurts, but as the free agency period marches on they should be able to fill out their roster with veterans like they have been doing the last couple of years.

2. Philadelphia 76ers

C - Elton Brand, Spencer Hawes, Jason Smith
PF - Thaddeus Young, Marreese Speights
SF - Andre Iguodala, Andres Nocioni, Jason Kapono
SG - Evan Turner, Willie Green, Jodie Meeks
PG - Jrue Holiday, Lou Williams

The Sixers really underachieved last year but there is reason for optimism. First, Jrue Holiday really came on towards the end of the year and looks like a solid starting point guard for the future. They also added versatile back court running mate Evan Turner in the draft. Andre Iguodala is still around for now, which I think is a good move. Sure, him and Turner's games may be a bit redundant, but it should cause matchup problems. They traded Samuel Dalembert for solid depth in Spencer Hawes and Andres Nocioni. Both of those guys should help. But the Sixers are still undersized, especially if they go with a starting front court of Elton Brand and Thaddeus Young. The Sixers need to get something out of Brand if they expect to have a chance. The bench is solid with Lou Williams, Willie Green and Marreese Speights rounding it out.

3. New York Knicks

C - Amare Stoudemire, Timofey Mozgov, Eddy Curry, Jerome Jordan
PF - Anthony Randolph, Ronny Turiaf
SF - Wilson Chandler, Bill Walker, Landry Fields
SG - Danilo Gallinari, Kelenna Azubuike, Andy Rautins
PG - Raymond Felton, Toney Douglas

The Knicks struck out on LeBron James but hit a double with Amare Stoudemire. I say double and not home run because they are paying him a ton of money, and he could break down at any moment. Still, the Knicks finally have someone who can be the face of the franchise again and he should put up monster numbers in Mike D'Antoni's system. Other then that the cupboard is pretty bare. Which is okay because they are being smart and saving money for the summers of 2011 and 2012, with Carmelo Anthony, Tony Parker and Chris Paul their targets. I do absolutely love the sign and trade they did for David Lee. Instead of losing the guy for nothing, they turn him into three players who will round out the rotation. Anthony Randolph should step into the starting power forward spot and produce good numbers right away. The Knicks will be killed on defense, but at least they will be exciting to watch.

4. New Jersey Nets

C - Brook Lopez, Johan Petro, Brian Zoubek
PF - Derrick Favors, Kris Humphries
SF - Travis Outlaw, Anthony Morrow, Damion James
SG - Terrence Williams, Courtney Lee, Quinton Ross
PG - Devin Harris, Jordan Farmar, Ben Uzoh

I have no doubt the Nets new ownership will get things done in time, but it will be a slower process. They were unable to add any significant free agents, most likely due to their 12-70 record. Instead they used their money to fill out the roster with role players. They could double their win total, but anything more then that is unrealistic in my opinion. They have a nice point guard/big man combo in Devin Harris and Brook Lopez. Derrick Favors could be a monster in time, and Terrence Williams has a very nice all around game. Courtney Lee can shoot the three and Anthony Morrow and Travis Outlaw can score as well. Still, the Nets have to be very disappointed they were unable to land a marquee player. They still have the cap room to try again next year, though.

5. Toronto Raptors

C - Andrea Bargnani, Solomon Alabi, Dwayne Jones
PF - Amir Johnson, Ed Davis, Reggie Evans
SF - DeMar DeRozan, Linas Kleiza (offer sheet)
SG - Leandro Barbosa, Marco Belinelli
PG - Jarrett Jack, Jose Calderon, Marcus Banks

Toronto has had as many great players come through their team as anyone in the NBA, but they just cannot keep their stars. So they are continuously rebuilding, and that continues this year. Chris Bosh is gone, leaving the cupboard very bare. The Raptors amazingly managed to get out of Hedo Turkoglu's contract, and almost rid themselves of Jose Calderon in the same trade. The Raptors could be the worst team in the NBA. But they do have some talent. DeMar DeRozan looks like he could be the next guy to become a very good player and then force his way out of Toronto. Andrea Bargnani might be there for the long haul, though. The first overall pick continues to improve despite having to play center. Other then that, there isn't much to get excited about with this current group of Raptors.

Jonathan Carrano

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