2017-18 Season Preview: Atlantic Division

NBA.com Global on Oct 15, 2017 01:56 PM
2017-18 Season Preview: Atlantic Division
Boston Celtics' Gordon Hayward, right, is defended by Philadelphia 76ers' Ben Simmons during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017, in Philadelphia. The Celtics won 110-102. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)

By Lang Whitaker, NBA.com

Call it the Atlantis Division no more. Last season the best team in the Eastern Conference's regular season, the Boston Celtics, came from the Atlantic Division. And with the Toronto Raptors getting their group back together and the Sixers and Nets revving up their rebuilds, the NBA's Northeast Corridor feels like it's finally turning a corner.

DIVISION PREDICTION

1. Boston Celtics

2. Toronto Raptors

3. Philadelphia 76ers

4. Brooklyn Nets

5. New York Knicks

Team On The Rise

Philadelphia 76ers -- The process is paying off with a nice haul of young talent.

Team On The Decline

New York Knicks -- With the trade of Carmelo Anthony, the Knicks are just starting their rebuild.

Top Player

Kyrie Irving, Boston Celtics – Boston made a bold move in trading for one of the NBA's brightest young stars.

Player On The Rise

Kristaps Porzingis, New York Knicks -- The 7-foot-3 multi-talented Knicks big man recently turned 22 years old.

Top Coach

Brad Stevens, Boston Celtics -- The Boston coach is among the NBA's elite, and puts his players in the best positions to be successful.

Coach On The Hot Seat

Jeff Hornacek, New York Knicks -- Was hired by Phil Jackson, and with Jackson gone and the team rebuilding, suddenly finds himself in a new situation.

Top Rookie

Ben Simmons, Philadelphia 76ers -- Was the prize of the 2016 NBA Draft, and after sitting out last season with injuries, should make an immediate impact in Philadelphia.

Lang Whitaker has covered the NBA since 1998. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here or follow him on Twitter.

The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting.

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