Monday, December 16, 2013

2013-14 NBA Power Rankings, Week 8

The Eastern Conference — and even more specifically the Atlantic Division — has been incredibly weak with the exception of the top two teams.

It's too bad we couldn't move some Western Conference teams east or fast forward to a likely Pacers-versus-Heat Eastern Conference Championship.

The good news about the Pacers and Heat is they are clearly the two best teams in the entire assocation with the league's best player (LeBron James) and one of the league's most underrated superstars (Paul George).

Roundtable question: Will any team(s) in the Atlantic Division finish the season with a winning record?

John Trifone (follow on Twitter):

As pathetic as the Eastern conference as a whole has been, and specifically the Atlantic Division, I do think at least one team, and probably two teams, will finish over .500.

The Nets have a good team on paper, and have showed some signs of putting something together.  The Knicks also are not as bad as they've played.  Prior to moving Rudy Gay and now possibly unloading Kyle Lowry, I thought that Toronto had a chance to be decent as well, although I would now take them out of the mix.

And finally, Boston has been substantially better than predicted.  Brad Stevens may just be a great coach, but I think between the Celts, Knicks, and Nets, at least one of them will end the year with a winning record.

Sean Beazley (follow on Twitter):
Yes, I believe Brooklyn will make a run and finish above .500 and win the Atlantic division this year.   I think the Eastern Conference playoffs will have at least three teams in it that are under .500 in the playoffs.  NBA action; it's Fantastic!

Dan Yanotchko (follow on Twitter):
I would have to say that this year's Atlantic Division of the NBA has to be the worst possible division in the history of sports.  Right now, we are past the quarter point of the season, and not one team is over .500.  The Celtics lead the way with a lofty 11-14 record, good enough to be three games clear of the .500 mark.

This division will have a .500 finisher though, and the only team that will finish over 41 wins, will be the Brooklyn Nets. Although the Nets have one of the worst coaches in the league, they have way too much talent, and of course, they play in the Atlantic division of the Eastern conference, so they can stockpile wins.  The Nets will eventually get to, and finish over, the .500 mark.

Kevin Hanson (follow on Twitter):
For a couple of reasons, I'd like to see all five of the teams in the division lose all of their games.  As a Sixers fan, I'm rooting for more ping pong balls leading to a (very) high lottery pick.  For the rest of the division, I root for them to lose, as always.

That said, I think we see the Nets finishing above .500.

Over the long haul of the NBA season, there will be plenty of games against the other teams in the division.  The trio of Deron Williams, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett will eventually get healthy and gel and finish with around 45 wins on the season.  Adding Pierce and KG, however, I'm sure that the organization and its fan base was hoping for more than a 45-37 regular-season record.

- See full power rankings here

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