The Atlantic Division has undergone a major overhaul since we have last seen the teams on the floor.

There have been major offseason transformations to both the Sixers as well as many of their division mates, which will likely change the balance throughout the division. While there is a good chance the team’s rosters will continue to see changes over the course of the season and trade deadline, the 2019-2020 Atlantic Division standings may look something like this.

1. Philadelphia 76ers

The Sixers finished second place in the division last year after winning 51 games in the regular season. A full season of Tobias Harris, along with the additions of Al Horford and Josh Richardson makes the Sixers clear favorites to lead the Atlantic. The team will have much-needed bench depth as well as a capable center to help share the load with Joel Embiid. Both of these factors were missing from the team’s roster in 2019. Shooting and the teams early season chemistry are definite questions marks, however, Philadelphia’s abundance of talent should be enough to assume their position at the top of the division.

2. Brooklyn Nets

The Brooklyn Nets were the talk of the league and free agency for a couple of weeks after landing a number of big-time free agents. After going 42-40 in the 2019 season, the Nets added an All NBA free-agent class in Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant and DeAndre Jordan in an attempt to compete for an NBA finals birth. These three free agents added to an already talented core group will make the Nets a legitimate threat for years to come. Brooklyn has a great deal of depth, and other than Kyrie is very switchable on the defensive end of the floor.  Even with Kevin Durant being injured for the 19′-20′ season, the Nets will still compete for the top spot in the division.

3. Boston Celtics

The Boston Celtics will likely be in a very similar position heading into the 2020 playoffs as they were in this past season. After winning 49 games and placing third in the Atlantic division, the team was eliminated from the playoffs after losing to the Milwaukee Bucks. In free agency, the Celtics lost their star point guard, Kyrie Irving, replacing him with 3-time All-Star Kemba Walker. The removal of Kyrie Irving from the team’s locker room may actually make Boston a better overall unit on the court, however, the team’s largest issue will likely come from the loss of free agent Al Horford. Losing Al Horford to Philadelphia will likely force the Celtics to start Enes Kanter at the Center position in the 19′-20′ season. In a division inhabiting a number of talented Centers (Joel Embiid, Jarret Allen, DeAndre Jordan, Marc Gasol), Boston will likely have a very difficult time defending the paint.

4. Toronto Raptors

After winning the division last year with a record of 58-24, the Raptors take a significant hit in the 19′-20′ power rankings. After losing Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green in free agency, the team is now a middle of the road team in the Eastern Conference that will likely fight for a bottom playoff seed. While the team still has talent on their roster in the likes of Pascal Siakam, Kyle Lowry and Marc Gasol, the team will likely struggle to keep pace with the overhauled and improved “top dogs” of the division.

5. New York Knicks

Must I even explain? ….. Until the New York Knicks start acting like a real NBA team they will remain in the basement of the Atlantic Division. Knicks fans have a long season in front of them, and RJ Barrett is nowhere near good enough to save them.

Featured Image: 94.1 WIP / Andrew Porter
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