In the Eastern Conference, the Atlantic Division has work to do. In this article, I outline the major weakness of each team.
Toronto Raptors: Bench
The Toronto Raptors’ bench is mediocre compared to many teams in the league. Toronto may have a talented starting five but they NEED more talent. At the forward position, (the strongest part of the bench) the Raptors have Patrick Patterson and John Salmons. Patterson contributed his share of points and rebounds; averaging 8.5 points-per-game and 5.3 rebounds-per-game this season. Salmons averaged 5.2 points-per-game in 22.1 minutes of play; shooting 33% percent from the field. At the guard positions, there isn’t a standout player; many of them are VERY young. If Toronto lost Terrence Ross or Kyle Lowry, they wouldn’t have a reliable player that can step in.
Brooklyn Nets: Age/Reliability
Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce came to Brooklyn quickly, but could be leaving them quickly as well. Brooklyn’s age is a huge weakness against the young teams in the Eastern Conference. Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce are in their last years, and Brooklyn will need to prep for their retirement. Brooklyn is in need of younger talent at the forward position. Another issue is the reliability of Deron Williams. Williams, 29, has been through a lot with his ankles; recently getting arthroscopic surgery on both. In his eight years of the NBA, Williams had one of his worst years in his career. Brooklyn will NEED to get young talent at the point-guard and small/power forward position.
New York Knicks: Consistency/Point Guard Position
As Carmelo Anthony’s future is undecided, so is the future of the New York Knicks team. New York has lacked consistency offensively and defensively all year. It’s not all Carmelo Anthony’s fault; it’s time to look at the other players too. The Knicks ranked in the bottom half of points-per-game, rebounds-per-game, and assists-per-game. New York has NO winning consistency; they will go on a winning streak then lose five straight. It’s not like the New York Knicks are a “terrible” team, they HAVE decent players. But the point guard position is the stumbling block of the team. Raymond Felton does NOT deserve to be a starting point guard. Felton averaged bench numbers; 9.7 points-per-game, 5.6 assists-per-game, and 3.0 assists-per-game. Don’t forget the 39% shooting percentage. This offseason, the New York Knicks need to find a younger and more consistent point guard to replace Felton.
Boston Celtics: Scoring
The Boston Celtics have a successful point guard (Rajon Rondo) but who is he going to pass to? Boston is desperate for a reliable offensive player; someone that can consistently put up 20 points-per-game. Jeff Green and Avery Bradley aren’t players that can consistently score every night. This offseason, Boston is looking for a player that can help mend their offense back together. Kevin Love is an option for the Celtics, but does Love really want to go to a team that is rebuilding? No, Love doesn’t want to belong to a team that is similar to his Minnesota Timberwolves team. Boston will have some convincing to do, but it should pay off in the long run. If the Boston Celtics have a successful draft and offseason, they can make a mark in the weak Eastern Conference.
Philadelphia 76ers: Star Power
In this year’s draft, the 76ers have hopes of drafting their new face of the team. Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, Joel Embiid, and Dante Exum are all draftees the Philadelphia 76ers could potentially get. Philadelphia finds young talent Michael Carter-Williams and Nerlens Noel, but they are in need of more starts. Players like Wiggins or Parker would help the 76ers accomplish that goal. This season, the 76ers lacked production on both sides of the ball; offense and defense. (19th in points-per-game & 30th in points-allowed) Thaddeus Young plays to his full potential with another star; we saw it with Andre Iguodala. If Philadelphia can snag a young, talented player; they could be in good shape for next season.