NBA Over/Unders: Atlantic Division

How will the Celtics fare without Ray Allen?

Leading up to the NBA season, Mike Aurigemma and Vinny Ginardi will take a look at this year’s over/under win totals for each team, by division.

Boston Celtics (Last year’s record: 39-27; Total: 51.5)

Vinny Ginardi: Taking the over here means you believe that this year’s Celtics will fair better in the regular season than last year’s Celtics. Boston got better this offseason despite replacing Ray Allen. The Celtics added Jason Terry and Courtney Lee to fill the void, return Jeff Green after a year off, and picked up a player with major upside (Jared Sullinger) and a player who should help the team’s rebounding weakness (Fab Melo) in this year’s draft. Even though I think the Celtics are the Heat’s main threat to come out of the Eastern Conference, I’m not sold on them being a great regular season team. There are too many players who have an injury-filled past. Verdict: Under

Mike Aurigemma:  The Celtics have been a team that has just wanted to get to the playoffs healthy and did not care about their regular season record.  I think we will see more of the same in that respect this coming season.  One thing to keep in mind is how deep and versatile this team will be this year.  As Vinny mentioned they have gone out and picked up a bunch of new players as well as some returning from injury.  Doc will have plenty of options throughout the season and he has already hinted at having a different starting lineup depending on matchups.  This could be a common theme as Doc will try to find out what works best for this team throughout the regular season.  Factoring in that as well as players like Pierce and Garnett able to take nights off with more depth and talent this year, I cannot see this team being a regular season juggernaut.  Verdict: Under

Brooklyn Nets (Last year’s record: 22-44; Total: 43.5)

VG: The nets core-four of Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Gerald Wallace and Brook Lopez might be the best in the division. The bench has also been solidified with the additions of Andray Blatche, Reggie Evans and C.J. Watson. It’s not a team that can get to the NBA Finals but is one that has a shot at the Eastern Conference Finals. That being said, a lot depends on how well these players can play with one another. It feels like at 43.5 wins, the oddsmakers didn’t want to commit either way on the Nets. I’ll commit, I like them. Verdict: Over

MA:  As Vinny mentioned the Nets will have an extremely talented starting five and he even left out Kris Humphries, who will be a perfect complementing piece in that lineup.  He is someone who does not need the ball in his hands like a Williams or Johnson will.  With solid role players coming off the bench in Evans and Blatche who we should not forget was a helluva player for the Wizards at one point, I expect the Nets to be fighting for the Atlantic Division crown.  Verdict: Over

New York Knicks (Last year’s record: 36-30; Total:45.5)

VG: How exactly did this team get better? The Knicks didn’t improve in the offseason, adding veterans who were on their last legs three years ago (Jason Kidd, Marcus Camby, and Kurt Thomas) and a point guard who is below league-average. Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire have done little to show that they can mesh well together and New York’s best perimeter defender Iman Shumpert is probably out for the entire season. I was low on the Knicks last season and I will continue to be low on them until proven otherwise. Verdict: Under

MA:  Unlike Vinny, I was pretty high on the moves that the Knicks made this offseason.  On a team that desperately needs to be taught how to play the game of basketball the right way, they went out and added veterans who know how to win in this league and can also help develop some chemistry that the team desperately needs.  I also feel like replacing Lin with Felton will help the team as far as basketball goes and the Knicks do not need the marketing like the Rockets do.  With all of that being said, I still think this number is a little too high for the regular season as I think this team will be much like the Celtics and will try to keep some of their older players and more injury-prone players healthy for the playoffs.  A better playoff team in the end, but worse in the regular season.  Verdict: Under

The Sixers’ biggest offseason additions: Andrew Bynum and Jason Richardson.

Philadelphia 76ers (Last year’s record: 35-31; Total: 47.5)

VG: The 76ers have a great future in store as long as they can keep the players that they have. Jrue Holiday, Andrew Bynum, Evan Turner and Thaddeus Young are all 24 years old or younger. Turner seemed to turn a corner last season and now with Lou Williams gone, Holiday should have a bigger role in the offense.  That being said, while ridding themselves of Williams, Andre Iguodala, and Elton Brand made sense for the future financially, it does hurt their depth for this season. Depending on Bynum’s health, this team could contend for the division title, but they are probably a year or two away from making them a threat to the Heat in the East. Still,  48-50 wins isn’t unrealistic as long as Bynum is healthy. Verdict: Over

MA:  One thing I have to disagree with is that this team is a year or two away from competing with the Heat.  This team as is now I cannot see competing for a title.  They may be stuck where the Hawks have been over the past few seasons as I do not think this team has enough star power to get them over the hump.  I like the roll of the dice to bring Bynum in even though there is a big size risk due to his knees and injury history.  One concern I have with that trade is that they got rid of Iguodala who was there best perimeter defender.  In a conference that is stacked at the small forward position with LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Paul Pierce , Danny Granger and many more they will sorely miss his defensive presence.  Verdict: Under

Toronto Raptors (Last year’s record: 22-40; Total: 31.5)

VG: Strange to say, but I think with 22 wins, the Raptors actually overachieved last season. I’m curious to see how Jonas Valanciunas performs in his rookie season, but not much else excites me about this team. Verdict: Under

MA:  This is a team tha has talent to put up points, but on the defensive side they will struggle as they play guys like Andrea Bargnanni, Jose Calderon and Demar Derozan.  I like the addition of Kyle Lowry in the offseason, but when looking at their roster, I cannot see much more talent that will help them win over 30 games.  Verdict: Under