Not that long ago, the Golden State Warriors defeated the Boston Celtics in a six-game series to capture the 2022 NBA Championship, but time marches on, and with that, the 2023 NBA Season is already in our sights.
The 2023 NBA Season kicks off on October 18, with the two teams from the 2022 Finals facing divisional foes. In the West, the Warriors play the Los Angeles Lakers, while in the East, the Celtics face the Philadelphia 76ers.
With the 2022-23 NBA Season approaching, it’s time to look at the divisional races and which teams are likely to end the season at the top of those divisions.
2023 NBA Atlantic Division picks
|To Win NBA Atlantic Division 2022-23|
|New York Knicks||+6600||+6000||+6000||+6600||+4000|
The Boston Celtics finished the 2022 season with a 51-31 record, which was good enough to win the Atlantic Division and put them in second place in the Eastern Conference. The team then went on to represent the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals, where they fell to the deeper and more experienced Golden State Warriors. Some would say the Celtics exceeded expectations last year, but head coach Ime Udoka would not be one of those people. He wants to build on last year and win the title.
Boston added Malcolm Brogdon in a trade. The 29-year-old has played for Milwaukee and, most recently, Indiana. He averaged 33.5 minutes last season with 19.1 points per game.
The team also picked up Danilo Gallinari, but he tore his ACL while playing for Italy this summer, and he could miss the entire NBA season. A best-case scenario is he will be back late in the 2023 campaign.
As for returning players. The Celtics are stacked with Jayson Tatum, Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown, Robert Williams, and Al Horford.
During the summer, it looked like the Brooklyn Nets were going to be without Kevin Durant in 2023. However, Durant and the team worked out their differences — or the team couldn’t find a trade partner — and Durant is going to be back with the team for the upcoming season.
Brooklyn has the skill and star power in Durant, Kyrie Irving, and Ben Simmons, but there are a lot of questions about how that trio will be able to work together through the ups and downs of a full NBA season.
That chemistry and worries about the health of those stars are a worry. Yes, the team has depth, but those depth players are not going to be able to keep the team in the mix with Boston and Philadelphia.
Expectations were high for the Philadelphia 76ers in 2022, and hopes increased when the team picked up James Harden via trade late in the year. Things did not work out well for the team as they exited the playoffs earlier than they would have liked.
Philly signed Harden to an extension, so they had to like what they saw from him last year. Perhaps a full year with NBA MVP candidate Joel Embiid will make a difference for Harden and the Sixers in 2023.
The team added depth in the offseason with De’Anthony Melton, Danuel House, and PJ Tucker. Further, Tyrese Maxey should show improvement in his third NBA season. He started 74 games last year and put up a respectable 17.5 points per game.
The 2022 NBA season was a learning experience for the Boston Celtics. We’ll soon find out just what they took away from that campaign and how they have improved, and I think they will show everyone they have improved.
Pick: Boston Celtics to win the NBA Atlantic Division in 2023.
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