Yahoo Contributor Network
This article was created on the Yahoo Contributor Network, where users like you are published on Yahoo every day. Learn more »Yahoo Contributor Network
76ers Gaining from Struggles of Celtics: A Fan’s Look
The Philadelphia 76ers are currently sitting at 10-3. That is good enough to give them a four game lead in the Atlantic Division. No other team is even at .500 and that is a surprise considering the strength of the Boston Celtics and New York Knicks entering the season. Right now, things look great for the 76ers. But as a fan, it's hard not to look at this division as a two team race. Surprisingly, the team that isn't in the race looks to be Boston.
The Celtics are a disappointing 4-8 on the season. They have lost five straight games, including four in a row at home. It is fair to say that Boston has played a much tougher schedule than the 76ers, but the fact remains. Boston isn't getting the job done on their home floor. They have only beaten the Detroit Pistons, the New Jersey Nets, and the Washington Wizards twice. They have lost to the Indiana Pacers twice as well as the New Orleans Hornets, two teams that the 76ers handled. The Celtics seem to be showing their age in the worst way.
Now, I'm not saying that Boston is done. This team has proven that it can take it easy in the regular season and bounce back in the playoffs. If Boston gets that far, they will be dangerous. That said, I don't think they will contend in the Atlantic Division. First of all, the gap has closed because the 76ers and the Knicks are both a lot better than they have been. Second, the Celtics are being outplayed by both teams in all phases of the game. The only thing they have going for them right now is preseason speculation.
With Boston fading, the 76ers are in great shape to win the division. That is the best way to guarantee them a home advantage in the first round of the playoffs, something they need. The Knicks can't be overlooked. Though they are 6-7, they have already beaten the Celtics and 76ers once each. They also have a lot of star power and we all know that that gives them a huge advantage. But in this short season, the opportunity is there for the 76ers. With one opponent falling out of the mix, things are looking better and better for the 76ers.
* - Mark Paul is a Philadelphia resident and 76ers fan. Follow him on Twitter here.
Note: This article was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Sign up here to start publishing your own sports content.