The Divison is for the Taking!!

Since the “Big 3″ formed in 2008, the Boston Celtics have dominated the Atlantic Division. However last season the New York Knicks and the 76ers made significant strides and made the playoffs.

The Boston Celtics are not getting any younger while Rondo continues to improve the Big 3′s talent and health continues to diminish. Last season was a perfect example of that. Kevin Garnett only averaged 14.9 points per game almost five points less than his 19.5 career points per game average. Also he averaged 8.9 rebounds last season which is about two rebounds short of his 10.7 rebounds he has averaged per game throughout his hall of fame career. Furthermore Paul Pierce scored 18.9 points per game which is three points below his career average. Finally Ray Allen (aka Jesus Shuttlesworth) who is still in excellent NBA shape scored only 16.5 points per game last season which is four points below his career average. While it is crucial to note that each player performed better than the last regular season, than they did two seasons ago they failed to make it back to the Finals (unlike in 2009 when they faced the L.A Lakers). Also it is becoming increasingly apparent that they are not only past their prime but also at the end of their careers.

Last off-season the New York Knicks made a huge addition to their lineup by signing Amare Stoudemire one of the league’s best scorers. At first people were skeptical about how well Amare would perform without Steve Nash dropping “dimes” to the big man. However Amare silenced those doubters very quickly by dominating opposing teams’ big men and being the number one scoring option in the world’s most famous arena (Madison Square Garden). In addition to that, just before the trade deadline the Knicks acquired superstar Carmelo Anthony, Thus creating one of the most prominent one-two punch in the entire NBA. The Knicks will definitely be contending for the Atlantic title, having Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire together for an entire season (assuming that there will be an entire season of basketball) will be a nightmare for defenses who are trying to guard these two stars. The only reason why they won’t win the Atlantic Division is if the team’s defense lets them down like it did during the playoffs last year.

The city of brotherly love obviously have young talented players that love the game of basketball. Last season the 76ers made significant strides with new head coach and former 76er guard Doug Collins. The Sixers vastly improved defense and fast break scoring, was the key to the 76ers success last season. Their eventual demise came from youth, inability to close out games, and lack of a number one scoring option. Unlike the Knicks the 76ers have built their team primarily from the draft: Jrue Holiday, Louis Williams, Andre Iguodala, Evan Turner, Jodie Meeks and more, as a result creating a good young core of talented players and good chemistry. If those young players can continue to improve and if either Jrue Holiday or Andre Iguodala becomes the much needed number one player; the 76ers will have a very good shot at winning the division.

Hopefully for our sake (76ers fans) the team will work hard during the prolonged off-season, maybe play overseas and then comeback with a good mix of youth and experience. If that happens then the Sixers might win something more valuable than the Atlantic Divsion title.

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