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Celtics Or Knicks? Deciphering The Advantage In The Atlantic Division

Those of us who pay attention to the NBA know this -- supremacy in the Eastern Conference Atlantic Division will come down to two teams, the Boston Celtics and the New York Knicks. Sure, there's other talent in the division, or at least something close to it. The Philadelphia 76ers, New Jersey Nets and Toronto Raptors -- who the Celtics will meet in their preseason finale on Wednesday night -- all have pieces but aren't as complete.

So who's it going to be? Celtics or Knicks?

Between the two, the Knicks have the best player in Carmelo Anthony and may very well have the second best in Amar'e Stoudemire. After that, the Celtics have the next best four in Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo. New York bolstered up under the basket with Tyson Chandler and added guard Baron Davis.

The Celtics have the advantage in the bigs category, boasting such players as KG, Jermaine O'Neal, Brandon Bass, Chris Wilcox and JaJuan Johnson. As far as depth is concerned, the C's have the advantage, although neither team has a huge amount of depth.

At this point, I would give the slight edge to the Celtics. Still, there's no way the Celtics win the division by more than five games, as these teams are still very competitive. Expect a close race in the Atlantic Division, if nothing else.

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