Atlantic Division Preview

The Atlantic Division: 50% Less Shitty Than Last Year!

No-Looks:
Nenad Krstic was voted 3rd most eligible bachelor by a Serbian version of People Magazine. Very nice!

Juan Dixon’s aunt is the Mayor of Baltimore.

I’m not sure if you’ve heard, but Stephon Marbury is kind of the man and/or insane, and Isiah Thomas is kind of a dick to women.

Kevin Garnett? Yeah, he likey da futbol!


In the Time of Chimpanzees, I was a monkey.” Who Won’t Win the Division:

Philadelphia 76ers: The Sixers decided last season to finally scrap it and trade Mr. Practice. wait, I mean, Mr. Practice is Cool.
The Sixers were to enter a rebuilding mode. This was a good thing, as they were entering into the greatest draft in recent history. So now’s as good a time to tank as any, right? Wrong! By some grace of God, this team managed to finish just below .500, barely miss the playoffs, and,
in a briliant, glorious display of how God really does think Billy King is a moron, managed to completely miss out on the sweet part of the lottery and end up with Thaddeus Young. Now, Young could turn out great, he was a value pick for where he was at (one of the few things
King does right). But he won’t make enough of an impact to turn this team around. This team overperformed last season, and should settle in nicely for the OJ Mayo Sweepstakes. Andre Iguodala is nice, and they’ve got a nice trading piece in Andre Miller, once they figure out what to do with him, and it never hurts to have a big man like Samuel Dalambert down low. But the East got too good over the summer. Good news, though! Next summer there are a ton of great superstars for Billy King to pass up in favor of one of the lesser pieces he will surely overpay!

New York Knickerbockers: Wow. Just wow. We all thought that the sexual discrimination suit might get ugly. But this? And this? And Stephon Marbury? In the back of a car? Wowzers.

So funny, we thought that it would have been Isiah Thomas’ idiot managerial moves that did him in (you may remember such classic hits as this, or this, or this). Who woulda known it was a pissed off lady who’d had enough that would come in and bring it all down. And this after Isiah had a pretty good summer, too! Had another pretty good draft, landed the big asset to complement Eddy Curry in Zack Randolph he was looking for, and he’s still got David Lee to smother on the bench! There are going to be some pretty bad consequences coming out of this case for the whole Knicks organization. This team could do anything at this point and it
wouldn’t shock us. Bottom out and hit the lottery, make the playoffs as the sixth seed, finish just below .500 and the playoffs, become a roving dance group…again, really, we can’t get a feel for them. But with all the distractions and the fact that Eddy Curry still can’t hang onto the ball and Zack Randolph still has trouble with whole “throwing the ball to the other guys” bit, we can’t see them going too far. Marbury’s pimp, though. And we like his kicks.

New Jersey Nets: Jigga like “woah.” Very few people are as excited as we are for the Nets to move to Brooklyn. The combination of NBA personalities, Brooklyn, and Jay-Z as an owner is just irresistibly fun. Until then, though, we’re stuck with this incarnation. Hey, did you know Jason Kidd is good? Like, better than John Stockton? Too bad this team is kind of like my college girlfriend. She looks good and all, but she can be kind of a freak, and when she’s in a funk it’s a disaster. Also, get her loaded up on peach schnapps and she could completely lose her shit. Richard Jefferson is perpetual trade bait, always good enough to be considered valuable enough to trade, but not great enough to keep. Vince Carter is Vince Carter. Scorer. Superstar.
Douchebag. Him dumping the Raptors in last year’s playoffs only added to his infamy. We look forward to watching his slow decline and increasing injuries. Losing Mikki Moore is going to hurt these guys. They’re going to be scrapping for that 8th seed, especially with how much bigger everybody else got in the East.

Toronto Raptors: Holy Hell! Basketball in Canada works! Salvation, thy name is Chris Bosh. The Raptors took the leap last season, winning the division and nabbing the #2 seed in the East. They built themselves around Bosh and a number of young, athletic European players, including rookie Andre Bargnagni who came on strong at the end of the season. Unfortunately, God must hate Canada (or at least the douchebag that owns that site), because He allowed Vince Carter to come back and beat his old team who he screwed over in oh, so many ways. This team will have another year under its belt, has added the services of Kapono, a pure shooter, and Bargnani will have another season under his belt. Bosh is a Superstar, when healthy, and can annihilate the insides of puny Eastern teams. So they should win the division, but, oh, Christ… you’ve got to be kidding me…

The Big Kahuna:
Boston Celtics: Look, it doesn’t make us any happier than it does you. And we know they’re old. And they have no depth. And Ray Allen is an egomaniac. And we’re pretty sure the Hamburgler is starting at point guard. We. Don’t. Care. This is the Eastern Conference. The same Eastern Conference where the presumptive “best team”‘s primary scorer is an English bred Duke player named Deng. (We kid, we kid Chicago, you know we love you). This is the Eastern Conference where Isiah Thomas, Billy King, and Billy Knight have been employed for several years. Where Rashard Lewis gets more money than Brad Pitt, and Zack Randolph is a “primary big man.” And you’re telling us KG, Allen, and Paul “Dear God, Save Me, I’m In a Basketball Snuff Film” Pierce can’t win this division? The Celtics could turn into a bigger flop than the Garth Brooks pop alternative identity disaster. They could win 60 games. Garnett could spiral into a Jim Morrison like depression and head out to walk the earth like Caine, in Kung Fu. Pierce could get seriously, tragically, yet ironically injured. Allen could remember he’s 32. They could miss the playoffs. They could win the championship. Nothing is more up in the air than this team. But we’re afraid that if we don’t pick them, Kevin Garnett will come in the night and eat us. So we’re sticking with them.

Matt Moore

Matt Moore is a Senior NBA Blogger for CBSSports.com's Eye on Basketball blog, weekend editor of Pro Basketball Talk on NBCSports.com, and co-editor of Voice on the Floor. He lives in Kansas City due to an unbelievably complex set of circumstances and enjoys mid-90's pop rock, long walks on the beach and the novels of Tim Sandlin.