NBA Blog Previews: Atlantic Division

Here are the previews for the Atlantic Division.

Celtics: CelticsBlog Celtics 24/7 | Celtics Central | Celtics Hub | CelticsLife | Gino’s Jungle | | SBNation Boston | SBN Recap

Knicks: Posting and Toasting | Bandwagon Knick | KnickerBlogger.Net | SBN Recap

Nets: NetsDaily NetsAreScorching Fanway | SBN Recap

Raptors: Raptors HQ | Hoops Addict | Hip Hoop Junkies | SBN Recap

Sixers: Liberty Ballers

Recaps: All Previews

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Mike Kurylo

Mike Kurylo is the founder and editor of His book on the 2012 Knicks, "We’ll Always Have Linsanity," is on sale now. Follow him on twitter (@KnickerBlogger).

17 thoughts to “NBA Blog Previews: Atlantic Division”

  1. @1

    Read the TSN preview. Don’t really understand why it’s assumed the Knicks overpaid for Amar’e. It’s not like it was with Al Houston (no other suitors and we bid against ourselves). There were dozens of teams with max deals to offer, and Amar’e’s resume commanded one of them. Personally, I’d rather have Amar’e @ $20 million per than Boozer at $17 million per. Or Bosh, for that matter.

  2. Yeah, don’t agree with his take on Gallo either. I see this take as a worst case scenario, assuming everyone is relatively healthy.

  3. I do not understand why Bosh is such a coup and Amare is a desperate move. Over the last 4 years Amare has played more games than Bosh, scored more points, shot 5% better at TS% and only grabbed .3 less rebounds per 36. Amare is two years older but has only played one more season and actually logged less minutes than Bosh. And for all of Amare’s publicized shortcomings on defense I still think he is a better defender than Bosh.

    I think Amare is a better player than Bosh and maybe in 3-4 years Amare will decline and Bosh will be better, for now Amare is the better move.

  4. I agree, Ben. Furthermore, Amar’e has impressed me even more since we got him. I think he can be a better leader for this team than Bosh could have. He also seems out of his mind psyched to be here.

  5. The TSN preview still puts the knicks as having a shot for the 8th seed. Not much different from predicting 42 wins. I honestly felt the preview was pretty fair. Gallinari is still young, and he had a good rookie season, but potential and proven commodity are two different things. Eddy Curry was once forecast as having the potential to be an all star year in, year out. Even guys with good attitudes don’t always fulfill the potential they seem to have early in their careers. Channing Frye is a good example of this. He looked like he was going to be a star after his rookie season. Now he’s one level up from a minimum contract type player.

    As far as the draft picks go, the consensus here was that for anyone other than LeBron, the risk of the Jared Jeffries trade was not worth taking. It was a huge risk, and it didn’t pay off. We could still have signed Stoudemire with Jeffries on the team, and we would then still have our pick this year, along with Jordan Hill. So it goes.

    BTW, how is it that the nets have more season previews than they do fans?

  6. We still have our pick this year.

    And I don’t think this draft will make such a difference anyway. What are the odds for the Rockets be a cotender and the Knicks a lottery team? Looks like two mid lottery picks for me.

  7. Latke,
    Not sure if we get Amar’e without the extra cap room. As soon as he signed, he joined the LeBron recruiting effort.

    Not having next year’s draft pick hurts, but Mozgov is like an extra pick this year.

    Jordan Hill would be redundant on this team, no?

  8. I think the article probably represents the general outside of NY impression of the Knicks this year. Basically unproven guys are not considered real factors in evaluating a team. It’s fair about Stoudemire and Felton representing upgrades at C and PG, but not necessarily dramatic ones. Where it falls down is at center position. Last year our starting center was Jared Jeffries. I actually like Jeffries and felt he had a positive impact on the game; but I think that Turiaf, Mozgov, and possibly a healthy, scoring Curry represent a real upgrade. But I can understand how TSN didn’t notice this. At SG and SF, we are counting on the growth of Gallinari and Chandler, the potential of Randolph, and the healing of Azubuike. All of these guys, except maybe Randolph, were NBA role players last season and don’t make non Knick fans think twice about these positions.

    Actually, the biggest positive for the team next year should be that not as many players are in the last year of the contract and none of them are expecting the immediate demolition of the them to get cap flexibility. The biggest negative is actually that all the season predictions base their comparison on the overall Knicks record and use the final player roster for comparison to this coming season. But the the Knicks actually had three progressively worse teams last year as big trades were consummated. So the final roster probably couldn’t have acheived the Knicks final record. So the baseline Knicks record to compare when looking at roster upgrades is worse that the actual record. This suggests to me that if we don’t get upside out of our SG, SF and Center positions this year we will contend for the playoffs but fail to actually make them

  9. KFINJ,
    Your take is reasonable for a pessimistic take on what could unfold. There are some major causes for optimism, though.

    1. Felton proved last year that he can be a starting PG for a playoff team, given a decent team around him. He should benefit from the D’Antoni system, but even if he just repeats what he did last year, that is an upgrade over what we had. TD strikes me as the kind of guy that will work his ass off to get better. If Coach K says that TD was his favorite non-Duke player, that’s good enough for me.

    2. Big-name FAs are actively considering the Knicks as a desirable team to play for. When is the last time that happened?

    3. Chandler, who is a punching bag on this site, played pretty good ball last year after a dreadful start. He has had much more time to rehab from minor surgery this summer than last, and is a solid rotation player that should be an asset on this team, now that he is not obligated to be a primary scorer.

    4. AR may not be a star, but even without much improvement, he can easily become an X-factor type of player in the mold of Camby circa 1999. I think Camby was the single most important reason we went to the finals in 1999, he had a huge impact on both ends. Compare their per 36 minute early career stats:

    AR is playing on a team with more leadership, a better coach (for him) and potentially more stability than GS had. So even if he doesn’t develop, he can still be a defensive presence we haven’t had in a long time.

    5. Gallo is another guy that doesn’t have to develop very much to be a huge factor for us. He already has established himself as a great 3-pt shooter, a pretty good “length” defender, and a good overall skill and B-ball IQ level for a guy with his size/length. It is not so far-fetched to project that Amar’e is going to open things up more for Gallo.

    6. Speaking of which, Amar’e is the first guy we have had in ages that commands double-teaming. Even when the SSoL offense breaks down, the perimeter is going to be more open than it has been in a long time.

    7. We now have several players that are potentially plus shot-blockers at their positions: PF: Randolph and Amar’e; C: Turiaf and Mozgov SF: Gallo and Chandler. The parade to the rim that teams have enjoyed vs. the Knicks since Camby was traded is hopefuly at an end.

    9: The character of the team is totally different, in that there are veterans from winning situations (e.g. Amar’e, Mason) who know what it takes to win. It seems that the core of the team has a lunchpail work ethic, almost all have reported early to start the process of building chemistry, especially Randolph, Gallo, and Chandler. Amar’e has impressed with his work ethic and shows leadership ability.

    10. If the blog chatter is any indication, glory-starved Knicks fans are absolutely dying for the season to start and should be rockin’ the Garden during home games.

    As such, 38-44 seems like a low number to me, even conservatively. I think 40-45 wins is a fair range.

  10. Z-man,

    You make a lot of good points and I agree with you these are reasons for optimism, But most are basically what I meant about “upside”. I just don’t think outside analysts will take these factors into account. If they come true we will have reasons to surprise all the analysts.

    Your stats about Camby and Randolph are very nice, especially since, as I think I recall, Camby got better and less injury prone as he got older (unfortuately after he left the Knicks).

    Another reason for optimism is Mozgov, whom I think is basically ignored in published season predictions. I watched a lot of his play in the World Basketball championships this summer. I was impressed. He affected games positively the way Jeffries did for the Knicks; but he was also a scoring threat. Besides that, he’s much bigger than Jeffries. After the US game Lamar Odom was quoted as saying they made some adjustments after the first quarter to limit Mozgov’s effectiveness (I think they basically worked at getting him in foul trouble and were effective doing so). Anyone the US team had to adjust for is clearly a player who has potential in the NBA.

    For Stoudemire, I really didn’t see him play much last year and have no idea how much he was double teamed. Lee, on the other certainly didn’t get double teamed much. So if Stoudemire bettered Lee’s stats but with a lot of double teaming, he might be more than a modest upgrade.

    I would love to see all these optimistic words come true

  11. Yeah, me too. The main point I was trying to make was that even if Randolph, Chandler and Gallo are generally about the same as before, they are still pretty good and in Gallo and Chandler’s case, they have better offensive and defensive players around them, particularly Amar’e. They can focus more on the things they already do well, rather than overextending their games like they had to last year.

  12. You know it’s a slow NBA news day (week,month?) when you see the headline:

    “Bulls in contact with Scalabrine”

  13. I don’t know that the TSN analysis of Gallo is particularly unfair or untrue, but it reads somewhat pessimistic to me too…

    The production doesn’t amount to “super-star” in a LeBron James sense of the word (no where near it), but guys like Peja and, more so, Reggie Miller were superstar players who didn’t do much but shoot Js. Gallo may never even peak as high as Peja (remember that Peja was arguably the best offensive player in the NBA for a season and had two really great seasons), but if he can come close to that (and he’s pretty well on track, I’d say) then he just has to hold that production more consistent over a long period than Peja did… and he starts to inch more towards Reggie Miller status (granted Reggie did it for a ridiculously long period of time).

    This is usually the case, but the author throws around a bunch of terms–superstar, average, above average, production–without defining what they are actually talking about.

    Comparing AR to O’Bryant and Belinelli is silly. The author notes that he has “more potential” than both combined, but he doesn’t mention that he has more *production* No one is demanding that AR get any better, though it would be nice, just that he does what he’s been doing over more minutes. The other two were/are scrubs. They had to seriously improve their games.

    I am glad that he nails Ray Felton, even if I don’t agree on some details.

  14. I’d put them at 45 wins, 7th spot. Here’s what I see:

    The good:
    -STAT gets to shoot all he wants; he’ll be happy
    -When STAT gets doubled, Gallo will be wide open. He stood on the wing open last year and watched Harrington hog the ball.
    -Gallo can develop as the 2nd or 3rd option on the team. Even less pressure than last year.
    -We’re small, but Randolph/STAT down low is better than Lee/Jeffries
    -Eddy Curry’s expiring contract could bring playoff help
    -Say what you want about Felton….we’re MUCH improved at the 1 with Felton / Douglass w/ 1 year under his belt
    -The potential guys this year…..walker, randolph, Azubuike’s health are much better than last years crop of Jordan Hill and Jordan Hill’s hair.
    -Ronnie Turiaf is one tough dude, much better than our last french guy (Fred W.)
    -We have a guy nicknamed STAT and a big white russian.

    The Bad:
    -Who is going to shoot the J from the guard spots is Azubike isn’t healthy?
    -No real C, lots of STAT out of positoin
    -Seriously…who’se gonna shoot the J?
    -Why isn’t Earl Barron signed?
    -Hard to spell Azubuike
    -Hard to see us above the 7th seed, meaning either boston or Miami in the first round, meaning 3 playoff games and no lottery pick.
    -Ill Will running out of room for body ink

    The Skinnee:
    -Nothing to add here, I just wanted to make a 2 skinnee j’s reference, for the 2 of you that have heard of them.

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