The NBA regular season starts earlier every year. I remember when I was a kid, not only did it snow more and the walk to the bus stop was longer but I remember the season starting around Election Day.
Then, the official tip-off was around Halloween.
Now, this year, we are looking at a week earlier on October 23rd with just two games, albeit big ones, and the remaining squads opening their season of play on the 24th.
Team win total projections have been announced by the best NBA betting sites and there are a few valuable betting opportunities just in this division not to mention some of the best teams.
The Brooklyn Nets arguably had the best offseason of any NBA team in what was a historical free agent season with the signings of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant.
If you watched the NBA Finals last year, you’ll remember that Kev did his best Willis Reed impression or at least he tried.
The Raptors will, of course, be a different team this season sans Kawhi as well as the Boston Celtics who are without Kyrie Irving.
Does this mean it’s the 76ers year?
They lost J.J. Redick which hurts. He is not only a lights out shooter from everywhere on the court but also one of the most fundamentally sound players in the league today.
And finally, we will discuss the win total for my beloved New York Knicks…
Their playoff chances are near zero but I believe they have a good chance at going over their projected win total.
This division, in all likelihood, will be the best in the Eastern Conference.
BetOnline has the odds for us.
Let’s go ahead and look at the NBA regular season win total predictions for the Atlantic Divisions.
Okay, so they lost Kyrie.
That dude doesn’t know what he wants.
He doesn’t even know the earth is round!
Let’s not even start that “debate”.
I really thought when Lebron and the Cavs were able to edge the Boston Celtics in the 2018 NBA Playoffs now two seasons ago that the Celts undoubtedly the team of the future.
Then, Kyrie Irving came back from injury the next season and the chemistry was never the same.
Former Celtic and current general manager Danny Ainge knows this as well as anyone, and I think that’s why he didn’t do everything in his power to try and keep Kyrie in Boston.
Their two key additions of Enes Kanter and Kemba Walker should make up for the losses of Kyrie as well as Al Horford.
The latter, who we will discuss further in a bit, is an old school baller and as tough as they come.
The man looking to replace him, while nowhere near as accomplished, is definitely old school and tough.
Kemba is a very similar player to Kyrie but with a better jump shot.
As far as our pick today goes, it’s going to be tough to bet the over on these guys.
Horford’s absence during a portion of last season was felt more than Irvings ever was. He was the centerpiece on defense as well as the offensive side of the ball and will be sorely missed.
The worst part is that he was one of the only men in the league who could guard the 76ers Joel Embiid, and now he has joined Philadelphia.
Philly will be better. Brooklyn will be better. Toronto has always won a lot of regular season games.
Boston will regress.
55 wins is a lot for a strong division and a balanced Eastern Conference.
The addition of the aforementioned Al Horford may be the difference for Philly, though.
We have yet to see how the on-court chemistry of Embiid and Horford plays out. I think defensively they will be significantly better overall.
On the other side of the ball, though, not so much.
Their bench is also a big question mark. They had one of the lowest scoring backup squads in the league last season and while they picked up some decent players, it’s unclear how much they will be able to contribute.
Joel Embiid is a young old man.
He’s not Greg Oden old but there’s a possibility he’s on his way towards a similar fate. It will be nice to have Al Horford there to spell him at times, but that means they won’t be out there together as much.
This also means Philly might give Joel a couple more nights off as well as a reduction in minutes when he suits up. Both would be good for a deeper run in the playoffs but neither would help them get to 55 wins.
I love Ben Simmons as a ballplayer but he is going to have to threaten opposing teams more with his jump shot. Otherwise, they will keep going under the pick and rolls.
JJ Redick isn’t there anymore and just like Boston is going to miss Horford more than expected, I think Redick’s absence will be stifling until Philly can prove they can legitimately threaten from deep.
New York Knicks
I mentioned earlier that this is my squad. Even growing up in Virginia, I’ve been a Knicks fan for my entire life.
Allow me to pull up the Delorean and look back on the early 90s with a smile when football was football and basketball was rugby.
I get it if you hated them. I would too if I didn’t love ’em.
The reality is, though, that the 90s are far gone.
The only thing that has improved since is technology and the only thing that has regressed more than the New York Knicks is hip hop music.
There are several directions in which the finger can be pointed. Some will say Isaiah Thomas ruined the franchise. Others place the blame on Carmelo Anthony.
For a team that, at its core, was so strong to have fallen and been unable to stand again for nearly 20 years, there are several reasons why.
All I know is I want them to get better each year even if it takes nearly a decade to win a playoff series.
This year doesn’t look much different than the last.
I like the pickup of Julius Randle. I don’t think he gets in the way of rebuilding, and the drafting of RJ Barrett isn’t Zion Williamson but I dig his maturity and fundamentals at such a young age.
We aren’t here to talk about the future today, though.
Will they get to 27 wins or not?
We’re asking them to win 59% more games than they did a year ago. Think about that.
I do think New York will be better. They got rid of a bunch of bums and added some good players but many of them play the same position.
It looks more like they are preparing for a mid-season trade more than a winning season.
Another team with massive turnover is the 2019-2020 Brooklyn Nets.
Nearly the entire roster is new.
It appears that the sportsbooks are buying two factors here.
- Kyrie can’t change the world alone even if it was flat.
- Chemistry in the NBA isn’t instantaneous or guaranteed.
I’m with them too.
The (-135) is a lot, though, compared to the lines of the other teams.
What did the addition Kyrie for the Celtics win total?
Yes, they got better but much of that success was due to several young players breaking out at once.
I don’t think he’s going to move the needle very far this season. The loss of D’Angelo Russell could hurt more than forecasted.
Adding DeAndre Jordan will give them a stronger presence in the paint but if opposing teams can pull him out of there with matchup problems, such presence is then nullified.
The Nets know next year is their season. No KD means no rush.
I saved the best for last. Somehow, someway, the Toronto Raptors are being overlooked, again!
They are the defending NBA Champions.
Yea, they probably wouldn’t have won it if Golden State didn’t lose two of their biggest stars to injury in the Finals.
I don’t think they would have been there if Kawhi hadn’t joined them either but we have to realize that this team has consistently been winning a lot of regular season games for years now.
They have been the Atlantic Division champs in 5 out of the past 6 years.
48 wins, 49 wins, 56 wins, 51, 59, 58…
Those are the previous 6 years. How many games out of those was Kawhi on the roster?
The answer is 60. He only played 75% of the regular season last year. This is a winning franchise.
46.5 for the defending champs who haven’t lost more than 56 in all but one of the previous four seasons?
That’s a sharp drop-off.
The answer is expiring contracts for the entire veteran core of the team.
Gasol, Ibaka, and Lowrey are all free agents in 2020.
They could all be let go to a contender in return for some picks. The Raptors could also trade them for equal talent. I don’t see the front office throwing the whole crew overboard like the Florida Marlins of the past.
Even if the big trades do come, they will still be a playoff team and outside of the draft lottery conversation so tanking is out of the question.
Go Canada, eh.
After one of the most anticipated offseasons in recent memory for free agency, the NBA year is set to kick off in a few weeks on October 23rd.
In all likelihood, won’t get to see Kevin Durant suit up for the Brooklyn Nets but Kyrie Irving will be doing his best to turn the franchise around while KD rehabs that busted achilles.
This squad was assembled beautifully and outside of the Golden State Warriors, have been the most consistent team over the past 5 years in the league.
Speaking of consistency, the New York Knicks are consistent.
Ugh, can they add 10 wins?
It doesn’t sound impossible but when you consider it’s 50% more victories than they had a year ago, the possibility shrinks.
The Boston Celtics lost Kyrie and Al Horford. They picked up two similar players in Walker and Kanter but Enes is not nearly as complete as Al and the word is Kemba is more of a ball hog than the conspiracy theorist, Irving.
Then there’s Philly who has changed face as well. Can their bench produce and how will they find another pure shooter like Redick?
This is an exciting division!
I love the Raptors to get to 50 wins once again!