2006 Atlantic Division Predictions
Welcome to the 2006 Atlantic Division NBA Preview page. At the time of publish the preseason games are underway with the regular season to open soon. If you regularly do bet on the NBA use Maddux Sports for NBA Picks and Live NBA Odds to increase your winning percentage this season.
2006 Atlantic Division NBA Season Preview
The Atlantic Division is dominated by the New Jersey Nets with everyone else being also-rans. In 2005-06, the Nets were the only team from the division to make the playoffs. This season may be more of the same.
New Jersey will definitely be “the team” in the Atlantic Conference. One reason for that is the fact that they tend to play like a team. They have a good mix of seasoned players, including the aging but still effective guard Jason Kidd and the young and developing center Nenad Krstic. Vince Carter will continue to be a major force in the league and Richard Jefferson is about as skilled and talented as a player can get. The bench is comprised of talented but for the most part inexperienced players.
Over the past three years under the leadership of G.M. Danny Ainge, the Boston Celtics have slowly developed a nucleus of players. Led by shooting guard Paul Pierce, the team includes two talented young players—power forward Al Jefferson and point guard Sebastian Telfair. There’s some depth on the bench and a potential scoring threat in starting center Kendrick Perkins. The Celts have a chance at making the playoffs this year.
There’s a new G.M. in Toronto and in his first year former Phoenix Suns’ executive Bryan Colangelo has already made some good moves, including trading for point guard and former Buck T.J. Ford. Chris Bosh at power forward is a great, young player and first round draft pick Andrea Bargnani is a major talent ripe for NBA development. It’s doubtful that the Raptors will be in the post-season this year, but they are certainly on the right track.
The Philadelphia 76ers have Allen Iverson, Chris Webber and some talented young players, but they lack an on-court and locker room leader. It’s pretty much a pickup game with these guys—a very expensive pickup game at that. Maurice Cheeks is a good coach but may be too nice for a team that needs a no nonsense coach. The Sixers were the lowest scoring club in the league. Philadelphia is a soap opera and not a team. Don’t expect them to be in the post season.
With the largest payroll in the league, the New York Knicks are one of the worst teams and perhaps the biggest embarrassment. Coach Larry Brown tried to get this talented group to play like a team, but they refused. Isiah Thomas will just let them play, which may result in a happier locker room and a few more wins, but the only way they’re going to the playoffs is if they buy a ticket.
Look for New Jersey to outclass everyone else in the Atlantic Division but to have major difficulty getting to the finals with the Miami Heat in their way.
Projected Order of Finish: Click on the team link for a break down of the basketball team.