Nets\’ Prospects for 2007-2008: Mini-Projections for Atlantic Division

One thing\’s for sure, the Atlantic Division looks to be tougher. Ditto for the Eastern Conference.

As Coach Frank is fond of saying, the season is a \”work in progress.\” Who am I to argue?

That implies a variable outcome. If the Nets get off to a quick start, they have a chance to take the division crown. If not, anything is possible. *

Apply a + or – 10 game variable to all W-L records suggested below:

NJN\’s projected record: 52-30. (Plus or minus ten games either way barring serious injury)

BOS could end: 50-32. (If BOS flounders, the only Doc that\’d help is Dr. J)

TOR could wind up: 46-36. (Division is tougher on Sam Mitchell)

NYK may end: 46-36. (Anything less and the axe likely falls on Isiah)

PHI will likely bring up the rear: 32-50. (Mo Cheeks might hear Larry Brown\’s footsteps)

As for the postseason, SAS repeats as champs. DAL, PHX, HOU, DEN, GSW, UTA and LAL all will be in the playoff mix. HOU is a dark horse finalist to unseat SAS.

EC finalist representative is take your pick: MIA, ORL, CHI, CLE, DET, NJN or BOS? ORL is a dark horse finalist.

Why is the Eastern Conference finalist uncertain? Well, it depends if CLE gets Varejao back (or Simmons replaces him) … Everything comes together in ORL … Krstic & Magloire return to form in NJN … While the team avoids serious injury … Wade is 100% in MIA … Or Riles makes up for it … DET finally replaces Ben Wallace … AND Saunders flips the switch to \’Larry ball\’ … CHI guts the team for Kobe … Or young \’uns make good … BOS gels … AND Doc turns genius … etcetera.

In other words, there are too many variables! But, if I had to, I\’d go out on a limb and say Riley\’s troops down in MIA make it back to the finals for one last hurrah!

Let me emphasize, though, it\’s no \’sure thing\’ calling the Eastern Conference finalist. It could go any which way including a strong possibility of a return by CLE … A surprise appearance by NJN … or even a dark-horse like ORL sneaking in. It\’s wide open! CHI has a shot. BOS, too!

To access an archive of NBASCOUT\’s previous features and divisional previews click here.

NBASCOUT is an independent freelance sportswriter that covers the NBA and the New Jersey Nets. He is not affiliated with the National Basketball Association. Copyright 2007 by NBASCOUT, all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and not necessarily this website. You may e-mail NBASCOUT in care-of his wife, who writes for children, at kathyforkids@cs.com

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