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PBT Extra: Atlantic Division preview... this is one deep division

Jason Terry, Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo

Boston Celtics’ Jason Terry (4), Paul Pierce (34) and Rajon Rondo (9) walk onto the court after a time-out during an NBA preseason basketball game against the New York Knicks, Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012, in Hartford, Conn. New York won 98-95. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

AP

It’s back — PBT Extra has returned just in time to start doing some division previews for the NBA season.

Matt Stroup and I start off our run of previews in the Atlantic, which is as deep a division as there is in the NBA. There are playoff teams and the Raptors are going to be better than people think.

Boston should still be the class of the group — their off-season acquisitions of Jason Terry and Courtney Lee should make them a tough team to beat in the regular season. The Knicks should be good but they have to show they can fit all the pieces together, the Nets will score points but defense is a question, and the Sixers have some good young players that need to take the next step forward this season.

I still think four teams in this division will finish within five games of each other at the end of the season. Health and some lucky breaks will determine who wins and who faces the tougher playoff seedings.

Keep your eyes out, over the next couple of weeks we will preview every division in the NBA on PBT Extra.