The Atlantic Division might be the most dysfunctional division in the NBA.
The Celtics just suspended their coach for the season, the Nets have had drama all summer long, and the Knicks are, well, the Knicks, and as we know, there's always something going on at The Garden.
This is one of the hardest divisions to handicap in the NBA.
That being said, there's no denying the talent that we have not only with the Celtics or Nets but the Sixers as well. The question now becomes, who keeps it all together to win this division?
First off, the Celtics have gone from a quiet, efficient offseason, to a complete mess right before the start of Training Camp.
With head coach Ime Udoka suspended for the season, and maybe their most important piece defensively in Robert Williams now set to miss 8-12 weeks after knee surgery, the favorites to win the east (+260) and the NBA title (+500) on BetMGM suddenly have an uphill battle, even with their odds sitting the way they are.
The Nets dealt with Kevin Durant's trade request, and now that he's staying, they have the talent to win a title, but as we've seen over the years in the NBA, you need chemistry to go along with that talent. We haven't seen that consistently from Durant and Kyrie Irving as it is, let alone what it will mean when they throw Ben Simmons into the mix.
This team has been a mess since they tried their original Big 3, and James Harden wanted out almost as soon as he walked in the door. Now Simmons is there in his place, but he's one giant question mark, too. Oh, and let's not forget we still have no idea whether or not Steve Nash can actually coach since his roster has been a revolving door since he got there.
The Sixers lost to the Heat in the second round of last year's playoffs, and even though James Harden is the latest to have videos on social media showing he's "in the best shape of his life", we need to see the consistency there again to trust Philly over an entire 82-game schedule.
The Raptors are as well coached as any team in the NBA but don't have the talent to match up with these other teams, and the Knicks are just getting set for another mediocre season at best.
Boston, Philly, and Toronto have the won Atlantic over the last three years, and with all this laid out, trying to find a comfortable landing spot for the winner of this division isn't easy.
The Nets (+200) have more talent and depth than anyone in the division though, and if everyone can stay healthy, and they somehow find a way to develop chemistry on the court, it's hard to bet against them, especially given what the Celtics are going through.
Like I said, this division is tough to read, but if you're looking for a lean as we start NBA Training Camp, looking at the team with the most top-end talent matters in a league that's talent-driven. If they can put it all together, this Nets team has a shot to finally put to bed all the issues that have plagued them since Durant and Kyrie came to Brooklyn.