I've said it before, but I think Philly could go either way. They replaced Andre Iguodala, the best wing defender in the league except for possibly LeBron, with Jason Richardson, who is terrible on D and coming off the worst season of his career. They amnestied a solid defensive center (Brand), and replaced him with a very, very good two-way player (Bynum) whose knees are definite question marks. They've got a pretty good coach who has a history of clashing with players who won't follow orders, and they just acquired a star player who is notoriously bratty and disrespectful of coaches. Plus, Lou Williams was their microwave, and they let him walk. If Richardson doesn't have a big-time comeback year, where does the guard play that allows Bynum to not be constantly double-teamed come from?
If everything clicks for them, they're gonna be dangerous, maybe even conference finalists. But there are a whole lotta ifs. If someone were to offer me even money on who's gonna finish with the better record between Philly and Toronto, I'd think hard about it, but I'd probably take Toronto.
CELTS (Rondo/JET/Truth/KG/Bass/Lee/**Bradley**) **even without him they have a healthy Jeff Green
BULLS (Rose**Kirk/RIP/Deng/Booz/Noah/Gibson) ** they jump to a lock depending how soon rose gets back
on the bubble/in the mix:
HAWKS (Teague/Sweet Lou/JSmoove/Big Al/ZaZa/Dharris/Korver)
BUCKS (BJenn/Monta/Illy/Gooden/SammyD/LuckyLuc) + Carlos Delfino, Pryzbilla, MikeD
RAPS (KLow/DD/Fields/Bargs/Vala/Caldé) + some potential in Ross/Ed & a healthy Amir
WIZZ (Wall/Crawford/JanV/Nene/Oaka4/Beal) & the ghost of trevor Ariza
DEEE-TROIT (Stucky/Daye/Prince/JJ/Monroe/Drummond) + Charie V, Maggette and a dead british artist named Richard Hamilton (according to googles fancy little top bar)
CLEVELAND (KI/Waiters/Gee/TommyTdot/AndyV/Omri) and a man called boobie
thanks for comin out:
It'll be tough. Hopefully the Hawks implode, Chicago gets mired in mediocrity and Boston runs out of time with KG.
I would not consider the Knicks a lock. They were out of the playoffs before Linsansity hit last year. Amare/Melo don't fit well together, and they are relying on a resurgence from both Kidd and Felton at the PG position. Shumpert won't be back until December, and Fields even though he had a bad year for them, was great depth off the bench.
I was thinking the same thing about the Knicks, but J. Kidd has a way of bringing teams together and the combo of Camby and Chandler is ridiculous. Good luck trying to score in the post with those two manning the paint.
They were also playing D'Antonis ssol offense without a pg capable of playing it and a SF who doesn't play that way. They're a lock, last year was an abberation. Felton, Kidd and Pablo are upgrades, Sheed, Kurt and Camby bring leadership, defense and ovaltine.
I'm still not buying it.. Melo is a better PF then a SF, yet he'll be playing the 3 because of Amare. Felton had a horrible year last year and got fat in the process. Kidd is more of a coach then a player now. So I don't quite see either of them as upgrades. I like the Camby acquisition but he'll be coming off the bench for Chandler and will probably only get like 20mpg. I'd be surprised if Wallace got any minutes at all. Any team can suffer the wrath of an injury, but the Knicks have so many vets that an injury is far more likely for them then for a younger team. If they do run into injury issues then I think they'll be in trouble as their depth is pretty weak.
NY has a very good chance to make the playoffs... but I still wouldn't consider them a lock.
hmmm, fair enough. Ready to have your mind blown? YOU'VE CONVINCED ME! lol, let the record show that the Knickerbockers got pulled down, heheh, to that "next level"...
LOL! No worries.... I just hate the Knicks so when I see someone talking highly of them I have to speak up.
I like the idea of tiering the conference, but I slightly disagree with your tiers
TIER 1 - In a class by themselves
TIER 2 - Contenders with holes
TIER 3 - Talent + major question marks
TIER 4 - The battle for 8th
TIER 5 - Perennial Lottery players
TIER 6 - Just move the franchise
I had posted a very similar breakdown in another thread a couple weeks ago, that was almost identical to that. I only had 2 differences
1. I put Chicago in Tier-3 without Rose (they'd be Tier-1 with Rose)
2. I put Toronto in Tier-4, to be in the battle for 7th & 8th. I think they are better on paper than you give them credit for, as I think they will be a significantly better team than Detroit, Washington and Cleveland.
For me, the closest tiers are 3 & 4. I could easily see the Knicks and/or Nets falling flat, back into the battle for 7th & 8th. I could just as easily see any of the Tier-4 teams jumping up to separate themselves from the rest of the back, safely into the playoffs.
To be fair, Toronto plays Washington, Orlando and Charlotte as many times as Atlanta does (4 each), and Toronto has one less game against Miami. So for this year, at least, I don't think their division really works against them.
demar and ed in make or break (CONTRACT) years + flying v/ross + second year of casey + lowry (the leader/alpha dog we've never really had) + landry fields (eager to prove the critics wrong) + best depth in years (ever?)
i'm going to go out on a limb and say the team overachieves and we get the 5th or 6th seed barring injuries. have a feeling the team makes a strong move come trade deadline team too.
I predict the Hawks will finish ahead of the Nets. Of course I am pulling for the Raptors to make the playoffs but we'll see how it plays out. Every year there are teams that surprise us and ones that disappoint.
it's pretty rare for a team to have so much turnover, have to rely so much on rookies and relatively unknown or unproven young players to make such a leap as 5th or 6th. If you really believe it who, in a best case scenario are they gonna beat out for those spots?
I would LOVE to see both the Knicks and Nets MISS the playoffs! That would be sweet. With the Raptors making the playoffs, of course!
That would put Miami, Boston, Indiana, Chicago, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Toronto and one of Milwaukee, Washington, Detroit or Cleveland in the playoffs.
I would argue that Boston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, New York and Brooklyn have all had significant roster turnover this offseason, just like Toronto. I think Boston is still a guaranteed playoff team, given their veteran leaders and the quality of depth/role players they added.
All those other teams could easily finish 4th (Miami, Indiana and Boston will be top-3), or just as easily miss the playoffs, given the various uncertainty surrounding them. It should be a wild ride this year in the East!
you're right but they've added NBA Vets, we've added rookies and guys still wet behind the ears. Apples 'n Oranges hombre. Also, the core identity hasn't really changed for Boston or NYK and to some extent ATL. Philly and Brooklyn have the biggest adjustments to make I guess, but the guys they've added should help that be smoother than our own transition will be.
Put you're seatbelt on and keep your arms in the vehicle. Wild ride indeed!1
Two ways of looking at:
-Explain the logic of Nets adding JJ & they are EXPECTED? to fight for top 4 spot (same Nets that lost some of the bench, overpaid for 3 key guys (Wallace, Hump & Lopez).
-What does adding those 4 guys do?
-Lowry improves your PG defensively (lets call it a wash on O -even that can be argued). This automatically improves your help D by 4s & 5s (simple, a lot less need to help bec Jose got beat, KL won't);
-Your 5 is as good or better on D (Val, regardless what he does, Gray & Amir hugely improve your D);
-Our PF is much better on O (no argument there I hope), while on D there is a lot less pressure (PGs don't get beat, SF can take care of themselves, there is competition at SG & competition & final year of contract are usually good "stimulators"); Bargs offense should be no problem.
THere you are.
All excellent points.
I am not sold on Philly on several reasons:
-Bynum & healthy are generally not found in same sentence/year consistently; Is Bynum an alpha dog happy to have escaped Kobe's shadow & be the man? Even if he has a great & healthy year:
-Essentially Philly replaced Bynum for Iggy, Brand & Lou W (plus some bench). My math was always good & there appears to be a major shortage which improved Turner & J Rich & N Young have no chance of replacing.
Lets remember: Philly was 8 seed last year. IMO they have not improved for sure. If everything clicks perfectly (If Bynum stays healthy & is very productive, if Turner has a major improvement spurt, if JRich becomes a JRich 5 years ago, if N Young becomes a team player -he better with Collins...).
Too many ifs if you ask me.