2011-12 Preview: Atlantic Division

The Atlantic Division in the Eastern Conference is steadily improving and the Boston Celtics are no longer the only dominant team. Although the Celtics have won the last four division championships, the New York Knicks and Philadelphia 76ers are making a push for the top.

The Celtics are an aging team and with the youth surge besieging the division, expect the Atlantic’s throne to change cities.

Boston finished atop the division last season, followed by the Knicks and Sixers at two and three, respectively. As for the New Jersey Nets (finished 4th last season) Toronto Raptors (5th), you can count on them to once again disappoint fans with a sub-par campaign.

5. Toronto Raptors- 2010-11 (22-60), 2011-12 prediction (17-49)

The Toronto Raptors did win the Atlantic Division back in  2006-07, but their team has not been able to reach the same position since. Once Chris Bosh left the city to join his friends in Miami, the Raptors instantly became irrelevant in the NBA. The Raptors have no star players, and the lone NBA team in Canada does not create buzz when they come below the border.

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The Raptors do have valuable young players on their roster like Andrea Bargnani, DeMar DeRozan and Amir Johnson, but their defensive is absolutely atrocious. They do have flexibility in terms of cap space, but Toronto is not a destination city for NBA players.

The only way for the Raptors to improve is if they bring in more talented players to their roster. They do have Reggie Evans to spark the younger players, but his contributions to the team on the court is not enough to match his attitude off it. The Raptors may not be making the playoffs this year, but at least fans in Toronto will be able to see a professional basketball team.

Next Page: New Jersey Nets

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