A look at the Atlantic Division and potential New Year's resolutions for each team
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Photo Credit: Jared Wickerham/Getty Images[/caption]
Every NBA team will enter 2013 with an addition or a subtraction they'd like to do to their roster, or something they want to establish within the team, whether an identity or an attitude or something like a new offense.
So here are some notes and resolutions that each team may want to start on, beginning with the Atlantic Division.
The Celtics want consistency. In the backcourt, off the bench, from KG to Terry to Sully to Lee .
Top to bottom, this team has really struggled on both ends at times, changing their line-up quite often as Doc Rivers tinkers with finding the right mix.
Rajon Rondo is dominating the assist race, but they might want him to be more assertive on the offensive end where he seemingly passes up open shots nightly.
Funnily enough, during end of game situations Rondo tries to take over but simply isn’t a good enough shooter, and he should leave end of game heroics to Paul Pierce and Jason Terry.
This team is in dire need of an identity.
The Nets have the feel of the Lakers of the East; a group of individual stars who collectively just aren’t gelling for whatever reason.
Both teams are now onto their second coach of this relatively young season, and they just haven’t lived up to their billing as a potential top four seed in the East.
Deron Williams doesn’t seem to care most nights, and Gerald Wallace is merely proving that he isn’t worth the contract that he signed in the offseason.
This is far from a lost season; unlike the Lakers in the West, there aren’t four or five legitimately better teams than them, so as long as Brook Lopez can stay healthy and keep scoring, they’ll have a chance to make the playoffs.
New York Knicks
The Knicks are hoping that this bubble doesn’t burst.
Raymond Felton has a busted finger, and Iman Shumpert is a few weeks away at least, and they still have the 6’10” elephant in the room called Amare Stoudemire.
As a devout Suns fan, I grew tired of hearing Stoudemire’s promises of defensive improvement and being a different player and vowing to rebound and block shots.
Will this year be any different? Only time will tell, but using his history as a measuring stick, I don’t think he’ll be able to help himself.
Initially I was dubious about the staying power of this Knicks team, and this latest injury to Felton will really test their fortitude.
Melo is playing like an MVP candidate and is really committing to leading the team, and Jason Kidd can still play 30 minutes effectively at either guard spot.
Andrew Bynum’s new year’s resolution should be to stop bowling, which in turn should make the 76ers resolution to have a healthy Bynum.
There’s a reason the 76ers can go deep in the playoffs with a healthy Bynum, because he is the best low post scorer in the conference.
Nobody can match his size and touch round the basket, but if he can’t stay on the court then all this talent and ability will be for naught.
Thaddeus Young has taken the big step in his career, cementing a starting gig by becoming a Shawn Marion type player who just does what the team needs when they need it.
Jrue Holiday is providing nightly justification for his big extension this offseason, leading the team in scoring and assists, despite hitting a career low in free throw and three point percentage, and a career high in turnovers.
Evan Turner is finally delivering on his billing as the 2nd overall pick, setting career highs across the board and improving his shooting in all forms.
This team needs to break up with their tall, long legged Italian ‘tease’.
For all his talents and shooting prowess, Andrea Bargnani needs to take his talents elsewhere.
At times he has looked like Dirk 2.0, but too often he looks like Keith Van Horn or any other tall but mediocre shooting stretch four.
Either way, the best option now would be to part ways because it just isn’t going to work out.
It's not you
Toronto, it’s Bargnan-me
The team needs to get something for Jose Calderon too, while his value is high.
Plenty of teams could use a good backup point guard (hello the Thunder and Bulls), especially a good citizen who could still start for a handful of teams.
Kyle Lowry when healthy is the team’s best player, and he will prove it once Calderon’s Spanish shadow is out from behind him.
The plethora of decent but not good big men collectively seems to be solid, with Amir Johnson, Ed Davis and Jonas Valanciunas all taking turns in having good games once a week.
Up next is the New Year's Resolutions for the Central Division.
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