NY Knicks Rivals: How does the Atlantic Division stack up post-deadline?

Kemba Walker, Jayson Tatum, New York Knicks. (Photo by Maddie Malhotra/Getty Images)
Kemba Walker, Jayson Tatum, New York Knicks. (Photo by Maddie Malhotra/Getty Images) /
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NY Knicks
Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, NY Knicks. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /

NY Knicks Atlantic Division Rivals: The Boston Celtics

It feels like the perception of the Boston Celtics isn’t always great because we were all in agreement just a few years ago that this team was “up next.”

Again, simply nailing your draft picks (Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown) is what gets you into a place of consistent playoff basketball. It’s really been just figuring out the rest of the roster.

It’s crazy to think that just 2 seasons ago they were on the cusp of an NBA Finals in the Orlando Bubble with Kemba Walker at point guard.

Even before that, they had tremendous success. They had reached a conference finals with Tatum in his rookie season.

The stagnation of the team and fears over Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum’s long-term commitments led to some shakeups, with Ime Udoka as the new head coach and Brad Stevens becoming the team’s GM.

Simply having Tatum and Brown on your roster gives you a leg up on most NBA franchises.

The key for this team is getting back to those conference finals.

Even if Tatum and Brown are under contract, it feels like if you don’t hit that next level of success, it becomes a ticking time bomb where the franchise players begin to weigh their options.

For now, this team feels like it’s in the “2nd tier” in the East until they prove otherwise.