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2013 NBA Betting – Atlantic Division Preview

Posted by Craig Parsons on 2/11/2014 2:04:16 AM

When people in the online sports betting community try to assess the 2013 NBA season, they’re going to realize that there are really two sub-divisions within the Atlantic Division. On one hand, there’s the upper tier of New York and Brooklyn. In the lower tier, the Boston Celtics will slide downward and join the Toronto Raptors and Philadelphia 76ers. That’s the basic outlook in the Atlantic this season.

New York and Brooklyn possess the quality needed to outpace Boston, Toronto and Philadelphia. The Knicks still have Carmelo Anthony to get them a big bucket whenever they need one. They still have point guard Raymond Felton to push the pace and dish the ball to a roster of capable shooters. The Knicks should still score well this season. They remain a tough team to guard even though Steve Novak and Chris Copeland will take their three-point shooting talents to other franchises. Defense is the issue for New York. The Knicks just aren’t strong enough at all five spots on the floor. Tyson Chandler has to stay healthy in the paint; if he doesn’t, Brooklyn could win first place in the division. Metta World Peace – acquired from the Los Angeles Lakers – should help out a lot. Yet, Chandler and World Peace can only do so much to mask the Knicks’ larger defensive deficiencies. Andrea Bargnani is a soft player who will likely be savaged by opposing offenses this season. He will hold the Knicks back against Miami, Chicago and Indiana, but the Knicks might have enough firepower to hold off the Nets within the Atlantic Division.

Speaking of the Nets, the reason why they will probably finish behind the Knicks is that they’re really old and thrown together. Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett are Hall of Fame basketball players, but their legs are just about gone. They’ve reached the point in their careers where there’s very little left in the tank. The only way the Nets will beat the Knicks and perhaps contend in the Eastern Conference is if the supporting cast (and star guard Deron Williams) can do enough work in the regular season to limit the minutes Garnett and Pierce accumulate. If Pierce and Garnett can stay somewhat fresh heading into the playoffs and are not overworked during the regular season, perhaps this high-dollar Brooklyn lineup can mesh and yet have the vigor needed to make a push in the playoffs. Right now, though, Brooklyn seems to be chasing names rather than a good mixture of players. Second place seems like a better and more likely destination than first in this division. That’s the sense right now.

Boston is starting over, having sent Garnett and Pierce to the Nets while also losing head coach Doc Rivers. Toronto has Rudy Gay… and little more. Philadelphia is also clearing the deck, having been burned by the Andrew Bynum signing. The Sixers sent Jrue Holiday to New Orleans and appear to be rebuilding for the 2014-2015 season.

NBA Betting Pick: New York Knicks to win the Atlantic Division

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