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NBA Bold Predictions: Atlantic Division

The NBA season starts on October 24th. The hoop heads around the world are all rejoicing with happiness as real NBA basketball is about to start. I will make a bold prediction on each team. In this article I will concentrate on the Atlantic Division. We all know that divisions don’t really matter in the NBA. The NBA doesn’t have a NFC East but its a good way to organize my thoughts.

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Boston Celtics

My bold prediction for the Boston Celtics is that they will have the best record in the eastern conference. The reason they will have the best record in that they will have the number one ranked defense in the league. Last season Boston was fifth in opponent points per game and third in defensive rating.

This off-season the Celtics added Kristaps Porzingis and Jrue Holiday to the roster. Holiday is one of the greatest perimeter defenders of all-time. Porzingis is one of the original unicorns of the NBA. He will be in the back blocking shots while opposing teams have to deal with Holiday, Derrick White, Jaylen Brown, and Jayson Tatum’s on ball defense. This defense will be very entertaining and dominating at times.

Philadelphia 76ers

The Philadelphia 76ers are one of the most interesting teams in the NBA for all of the wrong reasons. There is a battle going on between star guard James Harden and general manager Darel Morey. Harden wants to be traded and Morey does not want to trade him at a bargain.

Harden has already missed multiple practices and did not play in any preseason games. My bold prediction is that Morey and Harden will both be stubborn and not fix this situation. Morey has dealt with a very similar situation with Ben Simmons a few seasons ago. In that situation Morey waited to get what he thought was equal value for Simmons.

The issue this time around is that Harden isn’t in his mid-20s like Simmons was. Harden is going into his mid-30s and has a history of bailing on his teams. Neither Morey or Harden will get what they want leading to a trickle down effect where the 76ers take a major fall in the standings and lose in the first round of the playoffs.

New York Knicks

The New York Knicks were one of the surprise teams of the league last season. They were the five seed in the eastern conference playoffs and defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first round. This off-season was not eventful for the Knicks and that lack of movement has put the Knicks in a bad position.

My bold prediction for the New York Knicks is that they will be good but not good enough as other teams in the eastern conference have gotten better. The Knicks will be in the play-in this season.

Brooklyn Nets

The Brooklyn Nets had a very interesting season last year. They were one of the best teams in the league at the beginning of the year and ended up being swept in the first round by the 76ers. The roster went through major changes as the Nets traded away Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant. One of the players the Nets got back in those deals was former Phoenix Sun Mikal Bridges.

My bold prediction is that Bridges will be an all-star this season but not good enough to lead them to the playoffs.

Toronto Raptors

The Toronto Raptors are in a weird spot as a franchise. They went 41-41 last season and their coach Nick Nurse is now the head coach of the 76ers. Toronto replaced Nurse with Darko Rajakovic. Rajakovic is a long-time assistant coach but this is his first year as a head coach in the NBA.

In the off-season they also lost their all-star caliber point guard Fred VanVleet. He signed with the Houston Rockets. The loss of VanVleet along with the growing pains that come along with a rookie head coach will lead to the Raptors being a bad team.

My bold prediction is that OG Anunoby and Pascal Siakam will be traded by the trade deadline and the Raptors will start the process of rebuilding their roster.

This is it for the Atlantic division. Do you agree with my predictions?

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