With a four-game lead heading into the night, it looks like the Celtics will take the Atlantic Division crown this year, completing a dramatic second-half comeback and leaving the Sixers, who led for most of the season, to fight with the Knicks for the last two playoff spots in the Eastern Conference. Of those three teams, only the Sixers are in action tonight, taking on the Magic. There's plenty going on off the court, though, so let's check in with the news from the Eastern seaboard:
- Howard Beck of The New York Times recounts the whirlwind of moves and near-moves that the Celtics and Knicks have endured since they met to open the season.
- Deron Williams can go anywhere he wants this summer as an unrestricted free agent, but he'll be spending part of his time working out with Nets teammate DeShawn Stevenson in New Jersey, writes Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News.
- John Mitchell of the Philadelphia Inquirer believes the Sixers will "work tirelessly" to move Andre Iguodala this summer (Twitter link). That will be a challenge, considering he has a total of $30.623MM left on his contract for two more seasons after this one. Iguodala has an early termination option in the final year of the deal, but it's doubtful he'd turn down the $15.9MM he'd earn that season.
- The Nets get the Rockets' first-round pick this year as long as it's not in the lottery. With Houston teetering on the edge of the Western Conference playoff race, Tim Bontemps of the New York Post takes a look at the chances the Nets will hang on to the selection. For a continuously updated look at the probable draft order, bookmark our draft order tracker.
- Frank Zicarelli of the Toronto Sun looks back at the nearly two years since Mikhail Prokhorov was approved as the Nets owner, and sees no progress toward the championship the Russian billionaire vowed the team would win within five years.