Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE
The Philadelphia 76ers haven't had a bad start to the year, with Jrue Holiday averaging nearly a double-double through 15 games as they await the return of their star center, Andrew Bynum.
The Philadelphia 76ers are out to a nice 9-6 start despite not having Andrew Bynum, although they're still a little bit behind two squads in the Atlantic Division that look like they could be amongst the Eastern Conference's elite.
The Sixers have lost some embarrassing games -- blowout losses to Detroit and Cleveland without Kyrie Irving -- but they've managed to alternate between three-game win streaks and two-game losing streaks for most of the year. That pattern looks to be holding strong, with back-to-back tight wins against the Phoenix Suns and Dallas Mavericks in their last two outings. Jrue Holiday is cruising, including a 33-point, 13-assist effort against the Suns. He's near a double-double on the year, averaging 18.5 points and 9.1 assists. And the team will only get better whenever it is that Bynum comes back.
But the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets are the class of the conference thus far. After starting 1-2, Brooklyn is 9-2 in their last 11 outings, and are coming off back-to-back wins against the Knicks and Boston Celtics. The Celtics are a game behind the Sixers in the standings, while the Toronto Raptors are a distant fifth.
Here's a look at the full conference standings after Wednesday night's action:
|New York Knicks||13||9-4||.692|