April 24, 2014

2012-13 NBA Blogger Previews: Atlantic Division

For the past several years, the great Boston Celtics blog CelticsBlog.com has hosted an annual NBA Bloggers Preview. Basically, every day leading up to the start of the season, one team is previewed by s0me of the best writers on their team blogs, and then once the division is done, we will post the links to all the previews.

The Cavaliers preview day is Tuesday, October 9th, so check back then for our preview of the upcoming season. In the meantime, though, check out all the excellent links below to start getting your fill of NBA goodness before the season starts.

Can the Celtics stay healthy and make yet another run? And how will Jason Terry and Courtney Lee do as replacements for the departed Ray Allen? How big of a difference can Joe Johnson make as the Nets make their Brooklyn debut? How badly will the Knicks miss Jeremy Lin and can Jason Kidd make Knicks fans forget about losing Lin? How well can the overhauled 76ers lineup gel? Will Evan Turner step up in Andre Iguodala’s absence, and how will Andrew Bynum fare now that he is out of Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol’s shadows in Los Angeles? As Jonas Valanciunas makes his NBA debut for the Raptors, will he make the Cavaliers regret passing on him for Tristan Thompson?

These are just a few of the many questions facing these teams in this upcoming season. To read about these issues and so much more, please pour yourself a cup of coffee and take a few minutes to read all these great previews:

Atlantic Division

Boston Celtics: CelticsBlog | Celtics Green | CLNS Radio

Brooklyn Nets: Nets Daily | Baller Mind Frame | Atlantic Twine

New York Knicks: Posting and Toasting

Philadelphia 76ers: Liberty Ballers

Toronto Raptors: Raptors HQ

  • Vindictive_Pat

    Do the Nets really need 3 blogs? They might have added some very good players, but aren’t they still the Nets?

  • BenRM

    Jay Z writes 2 of them.

  • mgbode

    when the 76ers win this division, who will be the whiniest group of fans about their supposed superstar team?

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Maybe one he’s to busy making up for lost time and spawning!

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com Andrew Schnitkey

    I know Bynum is where all eyes will be, but I truly am excited to see how Evan Turner steps up to this challenge. There is a massive opportunity for him to step up now, and it’s up to him to grab it.

    But as to your question, the Knicks. I always go with the Knicks. Such entitled fans for a franchise that has won two Championships in their entire history.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Just two championships, sheesh, slackers!

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com Andrew Schnitkey

    Haha, look, I know it’s 2 more than Cleveland has won. But I also don’t feel Cavs fans are entitled.

  • BrownsFanSF

    Count me in the ‘pumped to get a look at Turner camp. He’s always played reasonably efficient, and averaged like 13/7/3 as a starter. There is a chance he’s a pretty good player given a consistent 36 a night.

    Of course there is also the chance that he never gets a feel. I need NBA in my life… like yesterday.

  • mgbode

    cannot disagree with a Knicks pick. especially since any falloff at PG will instantly have fingers pointing to Jeremy Lin regardless of how he does in Houston.

    76ers scare me a little bit in how much they are trusting Turner and Hawes to make jumps this year. They are just so loaded on depth (with above average players) that they seem to be bullet-proof to most injuries (other than Bynum who already is going to have to sit for awhile).

  • mgbode

    my point with 76ers is that Evan will never get a consistent 36/game because they have enough “good” depth that they will go 30min tops with almost any player (and just have them go full bore for those minutes).

  • BrownsFanSF

    Good point. The Turner discussion got me thinking a little bit. When you look at his development, Harden’s, Gordon’s, Mayo’s and ect. It seems an awful lot like “The 2″ (what ever that even means anymore) is the position that has the toughest transition from College ball to the NBA. Logically you’d think the 4s or 5s since the NBA is so much bigger and stronger (and we’ve kinda discussed the rebounding thing before), or the 1s since the game is so much faster and more complex. Why do you think this is? Or am I totally off base here?

  • mgbode

    you can go back and point to Kobe (not as much with Wade)

    i don’t think you’re completely off-base. i would argue that 5s still have the toughest transition, but that most are expected to fit into a neat little box and not be complete players there, so it’s easier to disguise (take a look at how long the development for Bynum took, Dwight to have an offensive game, etc.). the same can be said for 2s, but the guys who are pure shooters are exposed more often at the other end and get roasted for it by most (Klay Thompson comes to mind).

    the real interesting piece there though is that it does seem that 2s have a longer transition now than 1s. not only guys like Irving come on strong, but guys like Lin, Dragic, etc. even if they are only offense their defense gets masked better by help defenders whereas 2s look bad because their guys are more likely to spot-up and shoot. it’s also possible that since more teams are moving to the DDR offense where the SG acts like a PG on many possessions (hey, that sounds familiar to Mr. Waiters) that there is a steeper learning curve as they are basically learning 2 positions (PG & SG) where the PG is doing what the PG has always done.

  • BrownsFanSF

    I think you hit on a lot of it there. You can go to any high school, College, YMCA or black top and know basically who the PG is and his job. For the 2 that’s a lot more complicated. You can get by in college being a elite spot up shooter without much handle and decent defense.

    But once you’re in the NBA, solid defense doesn’t cut it anymore, you’re suddenly not bigger than the guys defending you and everyone knows (unless we are talking Reggie Miller and Ray Allen) that you earn your money in the NBA going to the basket. Suddenly just being a shooter doesn’t get you open looks any more (Adam Morrison and JJ Redick come to mind). Now you have to balance scoring with the ball in your hands, not having the ball in your hands too much and keeping proper spacing, while your handle wasn’t ‘NBA Caliber’ in the first place.

    All the while no one is exactly sure what it means to be a 2 anymore anyway. Are you making plays for other people? Waiting for the open corner 3? Pressing up on your guy so he doesn’t shoot? Taking a step back so he’s not blowing by and killing your bigs? Defending the post against Kobe, the perimeter against Wade… it’s definitely a complicated position

  • mgbode

    which i also think is a big reason that pundits claim there is a dearth of quality 2s right now. it’s more that each team wants something different and it changes depending on who you are playing. so, there are only a few guys who look good in that wide a spectrum.

  • BrownsFanSF

    Yup! Plus is Westbrook really a PG? You could make the same argument for Rose (though not as strong), sure he averages 8 assists a game, but also 18 shots. These guys make more plays for their teammates than Joe Johnson or Kevin Martin, but they aren’t exactly ‘pass first’ guys. The line between 1 and 2 is a lot more convoluted than simply ‘play maker’ vs ‘scorer’ these days

  • mgbode

    Tony Parker is another great example of that one. He works within a system, but the system is based on a rotation where Parker and Ginobli actually switch roles constantly.

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com Andrew Schnitkey

    A while back, I kind of touched on this transition to the NBA issue: http://www.waitingfornextyear.com/2012/07/summer-league-thoughts-on-dion-waiters-his-struggles-and-more/. I looked at the efficiency ratings for players drafted in the top 5 over the past 5 years, and SGs have the lowest PER by far.

    PGs and SFs are having the most initial success, which I guess isn’t so surprising when you see how much this league has transitioned into a 1′s-and-3′s league.

  • mgbode

    i knew i remembered reading that but couldn’t place where it was from. thank you.