Opening Tip: Is the Atlantic No. 1?


Every weekday throughout the season, ESPNNewYork.com will tackle a burning question about the Nets in our "Opening Tip" segment.

Today's Burning Question: Is the Atlantic Division the toughest division in the NBA?

The last time the Boston Celtics didn’t win the Atlantic Division?

Try 2006-07.

Since then, the Celtics have captured five consecutive division titles, winning a ridiculous 69.3 percent of their games over that span (273-121).

During Boston’s five-year reign, only two other teams in the division have finished over .500: The 2010-11 Knicks (42-40) and the 2011-12 Knicks (36-30); and the 2011-12 Sixers (35-31).

That is expected to change this season.

On paper, the Celtics, Knicks, Nets and Sixers should all finish over .500 and qualify for the playoffs, while the Raptors could surprise. Yes, the Atlantic, for years considered the NBA’s weakest division, could be its strongest in 2012-13.

Boston lost Ray Allen to Miami, but picked up Jason Terry, Fab Melo, Jared Sullinger and will add a healthy Jeff Green to the mix. Talk about depth behind KG, Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo and Co.

New York let Jeremy Lin and Landry Fields go elsewhere, but added veterans Jason Kidd, Marcus Camby, Raymond Felton and Rasheed Wallace.

Philadelphia acquired Andrew Bynum, one of the best low-post players in the league. Toronto brought in Kyle Lowry and Fields to supplement its young core.

Add in the Nets’ $330 million spending spree and you get an extremely competitive division, on paper.

The Nets last won the Atlantic Division in 2005-06, which is also the last time they finished over .500. They’ll have a legitimate chance to accomplish both feats this season -- but it’s not going to be easy.

Which team do you think is going to win the Atlantic Division this season? Is it the toughest division in the league?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.