Friday, January 21, 2005


Important Stretch for Atlantic Pretenders

As the utterly embarrassing Atlantic Division heads into what could be an important end of January, I thought I would write a semi-positive post regarding our beloved, yet flawed, team’s good chances over this period.

Before I do that, though, let me first state that I believe the eventual Celtic push to a potential division title will hurt the team in the long run. Those in the media, as well as those idiot fans who post in other blogs (I’m looking your way Hackrid), will have the ill-conceived notion that our team is good. To quote the good Dr. (Chestnutt, not Rivers), we are painfully mediocre. That fact does not change if we win a division with equally, or slightly more, mediocre teams. My fear is that Danny may hesitate in making the moves necessary to set up the Cs for the long run.

O.K. – I promised semi-positive.

The Celtics are set up over the next five to not only take first in the division, but also distance themselves a bit from the other pretenders. Our (non) road warriors have three eminently winnable road games against a bad, Jeffersonless, NJ team, followed by two of the three worst teams in the entire league, At & Cha. With confidence brimming from a five game winning streak, the Cs then host the Pacers and Suns. I will be very disappointed with a record less than 4-1 over that stretch (with 5-0 a possibility the way we’re playing at home). I will be downright pissed if they loss any of the next three.

Prediction – Celtics, 4-1

Over that same period, the OB led 76’s, currently tied for first, have four road games (Orl, Wash, NO and Dal) with a home game against Wade and the Heat. Look for the confused look on the faces of the Sixers as their coach indiscriminately doles out minutes. An optimistic Philly fan, if one exists, could hope for a 2-3 record over that time.

Prediction – 76’s, 2-3

A reeling Knick team, losers of four in a row, has five relatively tough games ahead (Hou, Mil, Pho, Cle, @ Det).

Prediction – NY, 1-4 and the All-Time Leader in coaching losses loses again, this time his job.

Now, we need to watch out for the Raptors, who are playing great ball since shedding themselves of their pouting “star.” Hmmmmmmm. Two games against Cha, home against Pho and the Heat, and on the road against Wash. Donyell is playing for his next contract, Rose is playing to get out of Canada (who wouldn’t), MoPete is playing to prove he wasn’t Vince’s sidekick and Bosh is just playing well.

Prediction – Tor, 3-2

If all goes as I predicted, the Atlantic will look like this.

Celtics 22-21
76ers 20-23 2GB
Tor 20-23 2GB
NY 18-25 4GB

Under such a scenario, the division leader would actually have a record over .500. How’s that for positive!

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