NBA Atlantic Race Tight
The New York Knicks at 38-25 are fading on a road swing through the Western Conference while they battle through injuries to stars Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler. Their lead in the Atlantic Division is down to one game over the Brooklyn Nets and 3.5 over the Boston Celtics as they get set for a tough road game on Sunday at the Los Angeles Clippers. The Knicks are expecting Anthony to return on Sunday. On Monday they close out there road trip at the Utah Jazz before going home to play the Orlando Magic on Wednesday and then back to back games with the Toronto Raptors on Friday and Saturday.
The Nets are 38-27 and will host the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday. Should the Clippers win on Sunday and the Nets beat the Hawks, they will be in a virtual tie for the division lead with New York. The Nets then travel to face the Detroit Pistons on Monday, the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday, the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday and the Phoenix Suns on Sunday.
The Boson Celtics are now 35-29. They will face the Charlotte Bobcats tonight and then the red-hot Miami Heat on Monday. They will then travel to face the New Orleans Hornets, at the Dallas Mavericks on Friday and the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday. The game on Monday promises to be quite a battle as the Heat will likely come in with 22 wins in a row. There is no love lost between these two teams, especially with former Celtics star Ray Allen now playing for the Heat.
At the bottom of the division, the Raptors hold a one game lead over the Philadelphia 76ers. Toronto will host the Heat tomorrow with a chance to stop their 21 game win streak. The 76ers will host the Indiana Pacers tonight.
Oddsmaker has futures on the teams of the Atlantic Division making it to the NBA Finals:
Boston Celtics +1500– That is a tempting bet. The Celtics have been there before and came close a year ago. Without injured star Rajon Rondo it will be very tough though.
New York Knicks +800– The Knicks, when healthy certainly have the talent. They took Miami deep into their series a year ago. But will they be healthy for the playoffs?
Brooklyn Nets +1400- At these odds, we like betting on the Nets over the Knicks. Brook Lopez at center could give Miami match-up problems.