Preseason prediction: Celtics to take Atlantic Division
Our experts predict which team will win the Atlantic Division.
Editor's note: We asked our panel of NBA experts, "Who will win the Atlantic Division?"
1. Boston Celtics (14 votes)
Henry Abbott, ESPN.com's TrueHoop: Kevin Garnett looks selfless and motivated, so I'll say Boston. But is there any chance none of the big three get injured?
J.A. Adande, ESPN.com: The new big three will make the Celtics relevant again; they just won't add to the banner collection right away.
Jon Barry, ESPN:
Expectations are NBA Finals or bust, but I don't think they have the team to win it. With Ray Allen and KG, this will be the team to beat in the East. Big questions: point guard and bench.
Chris Broussard, ESPN Mag: The big three will be awesome. James Posey and Eddie House will bolster the bench.
Chad Ford, ESPN.com: The big three make the Celtics a serious contender who could go all the way if KG, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen can all stay healthy.
Jemele Hill, ESPN.com: Boston owns the sports world right now. Why should the NBA be any different?
John Hollinger, ESPN.com: The big three doesn't have much help, but they won't need it in this division.
Mark Jackson, ESPN:
Three future Hall of Famers make them the favorites.
Scoop Jackson, ESPN.com: The best team "no regard for a salary cap" can buy.
Keith Lipscomb, ESPN.com Fantasy:
How can I go against the big three and the C's as the easy choice for biggest turnaround from '06-07?
Chris Palmer, ESPN Mag: So which one volunteers to give up half his shots so this thing can work?
Jack Ramsay, ESPN Radio:
The big three, especially KG, will be great, and they'll get adequate support from Rajon Rondo, Kendrick Perkins, James Posey, Eddie House and Brian Scalabrine.
Marc Stein, ESPN.com: Question their depth, if you wish, when it comes to going deep in the playoffs. But the Celts have more than enough, as presently constituted, to win the division formerly known as the Titanic.
Kiki Vandeweghe, ESPN: Will win a wide-open division with the big three. The Nets could still be the best overall team.
T-2. New Jersey Nets (2 votes)
Jalen Rose, ESPN: Why? Chemistry, playing together, playoff runs, their own big three.
David Thorpe, Scouts Inc.: I'm going with the point guard and coach I trust most in this division. Nenad Krstic should improve as the season evolves, giving New Jersey's big four an edge over the bigger three from Boston.
T-2. Toronto Raptors (2 votes)
Ric Bucher, ESPN Mag: Depth and chemistry trump Boston's big three.
Chris Sheridan, ESPN.com: OK, we're going the unpopular route here with all the Boston love. But Jose Calderon is improved, Jason Kapono is a nice add and their system is a year more polished. Boston will be playing catch-up all season.
2007-08 NBA PREDICTIONS
It's finally time to get back on the court and play some ball. ESPN.com experts pick their award winners and teams that will take the titles for the 2007-08 season. • One page look: Team title predictions
• One page look: Individual award predictions
TITLES• Atlantic Division Champs
• Southeast Division Champs
• Central Division Champs
• Southwest Division Champs
• Northwest Division Champs
• Pacific Division Champs
• Eastern Conference Champs
• Western Conference Champs
• NBA Champions
AWARDS• Rookie of the Year
• Defensive Player of the Year
• Sixth Man of the Year
• Most Improved Player
• Coach of the Year
• Most Valuable Player
SPORTSNATION• Vote: Predict major award winners
• Vote: How all the league races will shape up
• Vote: Rank the MVP candidates
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