NBA Season Preview For Atlantic Division, 2022-23

NBA Season Preview For Atlantic Division, 2022-23
Tue 11th October 2022

We simply cannot wait for the new NBA season to start, and we are counting down the days until the very first tip off. If you are like us and love the NBA, then you definitely need to have a read on below, as we take a look at each and every team from the Atlantic Division and analyze their chances for success in this brand new season.

Boston Celtics

The Boston Celtics struggled during the first half of the 2021-22 season and sported a 19-22 record at the midway point. However, rookie head coach Ime Udoka’s squad posted 32 wins in their final 41 games to finish 51-31. Boston reached the NBA Finals but lost to the Golden State Warriors in six games.

Interim head coach Joe Mazzulla will direct the Celtics this season after Udoka was suspended for the entire season. Still, Boston will be the favorites to capture their second straight Atlantic Division title this season.

Boston signed forward Danilo Gallinari in July, but the Italian suffered a torn ACL a month later and is not expected to play in the 2022-23 campaign. The Celtics also acquired Indiana Pacers point guard Malcolm Brogdon, who posted 18 points and six assists over the past three years. 

Three-time NBA All-Star Jayson Tatum has established himself as one of the league’s top players. The 24-year-old forward averaged 27 points, eight rebounds, and four assists last season. But the 2022 Eastern Conference Finals MVP must limit his turnovers if the Celtics are to capture their 18th NBA Championship. 

A backcourt consisting of Brogdon, Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, and Derrick White will look to provide more playmaking this season. Smart, the reigning Defensive Player of the Year, is slotted in as the starting point guard, with Brogdon set to occupy the sixth-man role. Brown became an NBA star a year ago and averaged 23 points in the regular season and playoffs. 

Robert Williams headlines a frontcourt consisting of Al Horford and Grant Williams. Williams is an elite defender, while Horford averaged 12 points and nine boards in the 2022 playoffs. The Celtics must avoid the injury bug and reduce their turnovers but have all the tools to compete for the Larry O’Brien Trophy again in 2023. 

Brooklyn Nets

The Brooklyn Nets opened the 2021-22 season in high gear with a 23-10 record, including a 13-3 mark at Barclays Center. But the Nets limped to a 44-38 mark and defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers in the play-in tournament to advance to the playoffs. However, the Boston Celtics swept Brooklyn in the first round. 

Steve Nash returns for his third season at the helm of the Nets. Brooklyn signed T.J. Warren, who missed the entire 2021-22 season due to a fractured foot. The small forward averaged 19 points for the Indiana Pacers during the pandemic-shortened 2019-20 campaign.

On paper, Brooklyn is a legitimate NBA championship contender, but off-the-court turmoil has doomed the Nets. 12-time All-Star Kevin Durant posted 29 points, seven rebounds, and six assists last season. The two-time NBA Finals MVP is the crown jewel of the Nets’ “Big 3” with point guard Kyrie Irving and forward Ben Simmons.

Irving suited up for only 29 games last year but managed to drop 27 points and five assists per outing. The availability of the talented but unpredictable seven-time All-Star and Simmons – who did not play a single game last season – will determine if the Nets are a serious playoff contender.

Brooklyn boasts a trio of the league’s most potent shooters: Joe Harris, Seth Curry, and Patty Mills. Harris played in only 14 games last season due to ankle surgery and is the Nets’ three-point field goal percentage leader. Curry has shot over 40 percent from behind the arc for seven straight seasons, and Mills has achieved the feat on six occasions.

Nic Claxton posted eight points and five boards a game last season and will start at center, and defensive specialist Royce O’Neale was added to replace Bruce Bowen. The Nets have the talent to be one of the NBA’s top squads this season. But the biggest question remains how many games will their star players not be available? 

New York Knicks

The New York Knicks went 5-1 in October to open the 2021-22 season on a high note. But the Knicks did not have another winning month until March and failed to make the playoffs for the ninth time over the past 10 years with a 37-45 record. 

Two-time Coach of the Year Tom Thibodeau returns for his third season with the Knicks. With the addition of former Dallas Mavericks point guard Jalen Brunson and the development of forward RJ Barrett – the third overall pick in the 2019 draft – New York should win at least 40 games and advance to the play-in tournament.

Brunson averaged 16 points, and four assists coming off the bench but posted 32 points, five rebounds, and five assists with Luka Doncic injured in a trio of playoff matchups against the Utah Jazz. The former Villanova standout signed a massive 4-year, $104 million deal to become the Knicks floor general.

Barrett posted 20 points, five rebounds, and three assists during his third NBA campaign after being the third overall pick in the 2019 draft. The consensus All-American averaged 23 points a game after December. Center Mitchell Robinson cashed eight points, eight boards, and nearly two blocks a game into a 4-year, $60 million Contract.

The 2021 All-Star forward Julius Randle tallied 20 points per game and nine rebounds an outing and remains one of the centerpieces of the Knicks’ offense. Shooting guard Evan Fournier averaged 14 points in 80 games, while sixth man Derrick Rose posted 12 points and four rebounds in 26 games.

New York also added backup center Isaiah Hartenstein, and will have forward Obi Toppin and guard Cam Reddish play significant roles with the second unit. The Knicks will utilize a suffocating defense to slow down opposing teams, but a lack of offensive power will make qualifying for the playoffs an uphill climb.

Philadelphia 76ers

The Philadelphia 76ers started slowly during the early stages of the 2021-22 campaign and sported an 11-10 card at the end of November. But the 76ers won 40 of their next 61 games to finish the season with a 51-31 record. In six games, Philadelphia lost to the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

Former NBA Coach of the Year Doc Rivers enters his third season calling the shots for the 76ers. Philadelphia added veteran forwards P.J. Tucker and Montrezl Harrell to a championship-caliber squad and will challenge the Boston Celtics for Eastern Conference supremacy.

The reigning NBA scoring champion, Joel Embiid, averaged 30 points a game last year while pulling down 11 rebounds and dishing out four assists. The seven-foot center also shot 37 percent from the three-point line and became the first foreign player to lead the league in scoring.

The 10-time NBA All-Star James Harden returns for his first entire season with the 76ers. After being traded by the Brooklyn Nets. The 33-year-old guard averaged 21 points, seven boards, and 10 assists in 21 games with Philadelphia last season. 

The addition of Tucker and the continued development of 2020 first-round pick Tyrese Maxey should bolster the starting lineup. Tucker will bring a measure of “toughness” that Philadelphia has lacked in recent years, while Maxey is poised to become the third scoring option behind Embiid and Harden. The native Texan averaged 17 points, four assists, and three rebounds during his second year in the league and shot 43 percent from behind the arc.

Philadelphia could make a deep run for the NBA title if Embiid and Harden stay healthy. Tobias Harris will look to rebound from a subpar campaign last season in which he averaged 17 points and six rebounds, while Harrell and former Memphis Grizzlies guard De’Anthony Melton will serve in key reserve roles. 

Toronto Raptors

The Toronto Raptors open the 2021-22 season with just nine wins in their first 22 games. However, the franchise regrouped and claimed victories in 39 of their final 60 games to finish the season 48-34 and advance to the playoffs. Toronto lost in six games in the first round to the Philadelphia 76ers. 

The Raptors have a playoff-caliber roster but lack a superstar that will help the team get past the first round. Nick Nurse returns for his fifth season at the helm of the Raptors. Toronto had a quiet offseason and added free agents Otto Porter and Josh Jackson.

The 2022 NBA Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes averaged 15 points, seven rebounds, and three assists in 74 games last season. The 6-foot-7 power forward was also the only first-year player to rank in the top five in total points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks.

Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet are the top returning scorers for the Raptors. Siakam posted 22 points a game with eight rebounds and five assists to earn a spot on the All-NBA Third Team. VanVleet, who played in his first All-Star Game in 2022, averaged 20 points an outing with four boards and six assists.

Jackson seeks to resurrect his career after being selected with the fourth overall pick in the 2017 draft. Former first-round pick OG Anunoby had a breakout season in 2022 with 17 points, five rebounds, and two assists per game. Shooting guard Gary Trent tallied 18 points a game while Porter averaged eight points and five boards to help Golden State win the Larry O’Brien Trophy.

The 6-foot-10 forward, Chris Boucher re-signed with Toronto, and averaged nine points and six rebounds last season. The Raptors have an array of skilled players but do not have the “star” power to make it past the first round of the playoffs.

When the 2022 NBA season does eventually begin, make sure SportsTips is your go-to destination for NBA picks. We will provide NBA picks for each and every game of the season from our experts, so you can place your bets with more confidence!

Marvin is a self-confessed sports fanatic who is addicted to the NFL, MLB and CFB. He has a passion for Daily Fantasy Sports and absolutely loves gambling and making money on his favorite sports. He has been an avid Dallas Cowboys fan since the 1970s and has been writing about sports for more than three decades. Whether he is making prop bets or choosing which teams will cover spreads, he is thrilled to provide relevant information for all of our readers.