Atlantic Division as of Christmas Day

Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE

@craigballard77

I wrote an article before the 2012-13 NBA season about how good I thought the Atlantic Division could be. We are at the one-third point of the season, and on Christmas day we will have seen three Atlantic teams in action.

The early Christmas game was the Boston Celtics at the Brooklyn Nets. The Celtics won that game, and that leaves the Atlantic looking like this:

(#2 seed in Eastern Conference) New York Knicks…20-7 (they play the second game on Christmas day at the Los Angeles Lakers).

(#7) Nets…14-13

(#8) Celtics…14-13

(#9) Philadelphia 76ers…13-15

(#11) Toronto Raptors…9-19

The 76ers have not had Andrew Bynum yet, and Doug Collins does not yet have his team clicking this season. I like a lot about the Sixers and I think they will make the playoffs this season.

Even the joke of the division – Raptors – have reeled off five wins in a row despite being without Andrea Bargnani. The Raps have already played 16 road games which is the most in the Division. The Raptors are 7-5 at home. They will finish 2012 with three road games, but in 2013 they will have 18 of their first 26 games at the Air Canada Centre so they may still be heard from in the playoff race.

The Knicks early success has built them a nice cushion in the Atlantic (only the Oklahoma City Thunder have a bigger lead in their division than the Knicks) but their are surely three other Atlantic teams that are legit playoff contenders.

The Knicks and the Nets are winning the games played within the Atlantic. The Knicks are 4-1 in the division, and the Christmas day result leaves the Nets at 6-3 in the division. The Celtics are just 3-4 while the 76ers are 4-4. The Raps have yet to beat an Atlantic foe (0-5).

As the calendar is about to turn to 2013 we see a division that is going to send upwards of four teams to the playoffs. This is a potentially top-heavy division as the Knicks are off to a fantastic start, but there are several solid teams in the Atlantic.

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