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NBA 2013 Summer Moves: Atlantic Division

Law Murray |
August 12, 2013 | 12:44 p.m. PDT

Staff Writer

Tyson Chandler (right) could be on an island often this season with the Knicks' lack of defense. (mbk2482/Creative Commons)
Tyson Chandler (right) could be on an island often this season with the Knicks' lack of defense. (mbk2482/Creative Commons)
This article looks at the new NBA landscape for the 2013-2014 season for the Atlantic Division. With the draft and the major wave of free agency in the past, it is time to take a preliminary look at how the rosters are shaking out and whether or not the moves that teams made will have a significant difference in how those teams performed from last season.

Each team will be separated by their nominal starting five (PG = point guard, SG = shooting guard, SF = small forward, PF = power forward, C = center), with most important players followed by the more replaceable parts (i.e, franchise player of the Big 3, followed by the other two starters). Also included are the rotation (6th man through 8th man), followed by the rest of the bench (up to the 13th man). New additions and re-signings are marked by an asterisk*, rookies by a (1). Players who are uncertain to be ready for the season opener are kept out of the starting lineup and rotation and marked with a (+). Because of the heavy coaching and management turnover, those figures are listed as well.

Also check out the NBA 2013 summer moves for the Central, Northwest and Pacific divisions.

ATLANTIC DIVISION

New York Knicks (2012-2013: 54-28, 1st in Atlantic, 2nd in Eastern, Semifinals Loss to Indiana)

Starters: PF Carmelo Anthony, C Tyson Chandler, PG Raymond Felton, SG Iman Shumpert, SF Metta World Peace*

Rotation: SF J.R. Smith*, PF Andrea Bargnani*, PG Pablo Prigioni*

Bench: C Amaré Stoudemire, SG Tim Hardaway Jr. (1), PF Kenyon Martin*, PG Beno Udrih*, C Jeremy Tyler*

Head Coach: Mike Woodson

General Manager: Glen Grunwald

The Knicks essentially swapped sharpshooter Steve Novak (149 3s on 42% in 2012-2013) for Bargnani, the first pick in the 2006 NBA Draft. Bargnani has made 149 3s … over the last three seasons combined (at a shabby 32%). World Peace fits the "don't pass, shoot the three" style of the Knicks' offense from last season while theoretically giving the Knicks a wing defender. He's not that far off a replacement for Jason Kidd as you think (Kidd made 114 3s at 35% with 125 steals, World Peace made 141 3s at 34% with 122 steals). Of course, MWP isn't a difference-maker, and he just adds to the litter of age and injury marking the Knicks' lineup around Anthony.

Brooklyn Nets (2012-2013: 49-33, 2nd in Atlantic, 4th in Eastern, First Round Loss to Chicago)

Starters: PG Deron Williams, C Brook Lopez, SG Joe Johnson, SF Paul Pierce*, PF Kevin Garnett*

Rotation: SF Andrei Kirilenko*, C Andray Blatche*, SG Jason Terry*

Bench: PF Reggie Evans, PG Shaun Livingston*, C Mason Plumlee (1), SF Alan Anderson*, PF Mirza Teletovic

Head Coach: Jason Kidd*

General Manager: Billy King

On paper, the Nets are beyond loaded. If this was 2008, I'd be excited. Of course, it's 2013, and the former Celtics are all coming to Brooklyn as role players. The addition of Kirilenko would have been a solid enough replacement for Gerald Wallace; think of Pierce replacing Keith Bogans. Even if Pierce is limited to 25 minutes a game, he adds playmaking and shooting that the Nets didn't have last season from the wing. With last season's starter at power forward still on the roster (Evans) along with Blatche, Garnett can also be limited to reasonable minutes, replacing Kris Humphries and adding a long defender with the ability to play 20 feet from the basket. Terry is another player drafted in the 90s (AKA: He's old), but the chemistry factor should be positive considering the fact that he won a title with Kidd in 2011. Livingston replaces C.J. Watson, while Anderson just adds to the extraordinary depth that the Nets are paying for. The key to this team's success is how well all of these players support the Nets' big three from last year of Williams, Lopez, and Johnson. Lopez was the team's lone All-Star from last season, and it will be interesting to see whether or not he gets lost in the shuffle of what Kidd wants to accomplish next season in order to jumpstart Williams.

Boston Celtics (2012-2013: 41-40, 3rd in Atlantic, 7th in Eastern, First Round Loss to New York)

Starters: SF Jeff Green, C Kelly Olynyk (1), PG Avery Bradley, PF Brandon Bass, SG Courtney Lee

Rotation: SF Gerald Wallace*, PF Kris Humphries*, SG Jordan Crawford

Bench: PG Rajon Rondo (+), C Fab Melo, PF Jared Sullinger, SF Keith Bogans*, SG MarShon Brooks*

Head Coach: Brad Stevens*

General Manager: Danny Ainge

The Celtics are jumping into a rebuild here, but the status of Rondo (their only All-Star from last season) will determine how much deeper that rebuild will go beyond swapping retirement-aged assets Pierce, Garnett, and Terry for Gerald "Crashed" Wallace, Humphries, Brooks, Bogans and three 1st round picks from Brooklyn. The Celtics were barely at .500 this past season, so the drop off won't be too steep. Rondo is coming off ACL surgery and has had to reaffirm his communication with Stevens, formerly of Butler, and his commitment to the Celtics amid trade rumors. He's a wild card, along with Stevens' ability to keep the Celtics in the Top Ten defensively with a rookie center instead of Garnett. Other than Green making a projected jump in production as the number one option over the course of a full season, there's not much to like about the upside of the Celtics' roster.

Philadelphia 76ers (2012-2013: 34-48, 4th in Atlantic, 9th in Eastern)

Starters: SG Evan Turner, SF Thaddeus Young, PG Michael Carter-Williams (1), C Spencer Hawes, PF Lavoy Allen

Rotation: SG James Anderson*, PF Arnett Moultrie, SF Justin Holiday

Bench: C Nerlens Noel (1) (+), SG Jason Richardson (+), PF Royce White*, C Tim Ohlbrecht*

Head Coach: Brett Brown*

General Manager: Sam Hinkie*

Unlike the Celtics, the 76ers are not being shy about their trip to the cellar. The Sixers set an NBA record for fewest free throws made in a season. There is a severe lack of scoring and shooting on the roster, and there isn't a veteran point guard in sight. New GM Hinkie didn't replace Doug Collins at head coach until mid-August when Brown, a former Spurs assistant was hired. Brown is the 8th head coach of the Sixers since Larry Brown left in 2003. The plan is to get a coach who will be able to develop young players over the course of a bad season, and Brown, a former director of player development in San Antonio, will have his work cut out for him. Hinkie replaced All-Star PG Jrue Holiday and C Andrew Bynum with rookies Carter-Williams and Noel. Carter-Williams is a big playmaking defender who struggles with his shot and turnovers, but Holiday's shooting and ball-handing numbers in the second half of the season were discouraging. He averaged 15.9 points per game on 40% shooting with 7 assists per game and 3.5 turnovers per game after February 1st, compared to 19.4 points on 46% shooting with 8.9 assists and 4 turnovers per game going into February. Noel is thin and raw offensively, and coming off ACL surgery (so of course the Sixers had to trade for him), but has major upside as a defender. Richardson is still on the books while he recovers from major knee surgery, while the team is trying to buy out C Kwame Brown. It doesn't appear that Turner, the second overall pick in the 2010 draft, was in the team's plans, but Hinkie wasn't able to trade him during the draft. His production hasn't matched his draft pedigree, but Turner might be better without Collins. Obviously, the Sixers are going the way of the 2012-2013 Trail Blazers in terms of not having a bench and featuring two lottery rookies (a point guard and a center).

Toronto Raptors (2012-2013: 34-48, 5th in Atlantic, 10th in Eastern)

Starters: SG DeMar DeRozan, SF Rudy Gay, C Jonas Valanciunas, PG Kyle Lowry, PF Amir Johnson

Rotation: SG Terrence Ross, PF Tyler Hansbrough*, PG D.J. Augustin*

Bench: C Aaron Gray, SF Landry Fields, PF Steve Novak*, PG Dwight Buycks (1), SF Austin Daye*

Head Coach: Dwane Casey

General Manager: Masai Ujiri*

The Raptors lost their lottery pick in order to acquire Lowry last year, and Ujiri's arrival has already paid dividends in the form of getting a shooter (Novak) and a first-round pick for Andrea Bargnani. Bargnani has essentially been replaced with superior rebounders Johnson and Hansbrough. Their bench looks awfully thin, the wing combo of DeRozan and Gay is one of the most inefficient in the league, and Casey is squarely on the hot seat. There's enough talent for the Raptors to make the playoffs for the first time since 2008, though not enough to win their first playoff series since 2001.

Reach Staff Writer Law Murray via email or follow him on Twitter.



 

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