We all know that the major advantage that the Celtics will have over much of the Eastern Conference is their bench. On paper the bench looks high-octane, especially when Avery Bradley comes back off of injury but despite improvements to their own team what about the rest of the Eastern Conference? We'll look at the Atlantic Division first. Over the next few days I'll make posts regarding how well the Celtics will do against the Raptors, 76ers, Nets, and Knicks.
Perhaps the biggest threat in the Atlantic Division is the Brooklyn Nets. With arguably the highest scoring backcourt in the league, Joe Johnson and Deron Williams will be a pair to be reckoned with. Then add the frontcourt of all-star Gerald Wallace, with the likes of double-double machine Kris Humphries, and Brook Lopez coming off of injury who can drop 20 or 30 any given night and you have a formidable starting lineup. I hear a lot that the Nets have no bench but I'm not too sure about that. C.J. Watson played pretty well in place of the injured Derrick Rose, and Keith Bogans is a great defender. Marshonn Brooks is a promising young player who can light it up for 20 any given night, but the Nets don't have much of a front court bench. This is where hopefully the Celtics may be able to take them in the playoffs (if that's what the matchup happens to be). In addition to that, despite how good of a starting backcourt WIlliams/Johnson are, the Celtics have arguably the best defensive backcourt with Rondo/Lee and Bradley once he comes off of injury. As far as rebounding goes (one area where the Celtics severely struggled with, in the regular season and postseason) the only consistent rebounder on the Nets is Kris Humphries. Despite Brook Lopez's 7 foot frame, he doesn't rebound as consistently as Humphries however he does average 8 rebounds for his career. Plus of course there's always the chemistry factor that may hinder the success of the Nets. (Avery Johnson is no Doc Rivers!).