NBA Atlantic Division: Knicks Fading; Raptors Surging

By James F.

The New York Knicks have led the Atlantic Division all season. But they are doing all they can to choke it away as they have lost four in a row and five out of six. In fact, the rest of the NBA had better hop the Toronto Raptors don’t claw their way into the playoffs because they are the hottest team in the division now.

Last night, the Raptors beat the Knicks for the second time in the Knicks four game slide. Ever since trading for Rudy Gay in a deal with the Grizzlies, they have been very good. Gay had 32 points last night as he went toe to toe and point for point with Carmelo Anthony.

Unfortunately, The Raptors buried them selves early in the season with an awful start. Is the hole they dug too deep to dig out of? Probably so. Right now they are 23-33 which puts them in the 10th spot in the Eastern Conference, 4.5 games behind the Milwaukee Bucks for the eighth spot.

The Philadelphia 76ers are in the ninth spot, one game ahead of Toronto. We can pencil them in for last place in the division. The Sixers had to go this whole season without their star center Andrew Bynum, so we should cut them some slack.

The Boston Celtics could have tanked when their star point guard, Rajon Rondo went down for the season with a torn ACL. But to their credit, the Celtics responded by winning their next seven games after Rondo went down. They find themselves down by only 4.5 games and right now, they might be the best bet to win the division.

The Brooklyn Nets are having a great first season in their new digs, the Barclay’s center in Brooklyn. The first team in sports to call themselves Brooklyn since the Dodgers left for Los Angeles may walk away with the Atlantic Division title. The Nets are three games in back of the Knicks in the loss column. They missed a chance to cut that to two last night when they lost to the Houston Rockets.

The only Atlantic Division team in action tonight is the Sixers. Betonline has the odds for the game:

Miami Heat at Philadelphia 76ers– The Heat is -7.5 -110 while the Sixers are +7.5 -110 ATS. The Heat is -350 in the moneyline while the Sixers are -290. Over/Under is 185 with over and under both -110. We like the Heat -7.5 and the over -110.