NBA 2006-'07 Projected Standings/Awards

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2006 12:34 pm
NBA Projected Standings

Eastern Conference

Atlantic Division

(1) New Jersey Nets - Prediction: #2 Seed

Jersey didn't add too much to their cause this offseason... but they're still the cream of the crop in the Atlantic scene. As long as Jason Kidd can keep playing like he's still in his 20's, the Nets will be Eastern Conference contenders. Carter and Jefferson have been consistent in New Jersey, so it all pretty much rides on Kidd. Their lack of a big man means they'll never get past the Conference Finals in their hunt, but it shouldn't be too big of a stretch for them to upset Detroit in the playoffs and get there (not that it's likely). Expect them to run all over a weak division this year and pull past the Pistons in the regular season.

(2) Boston Celtics - Prediction: Misses Playoffs

Pierce is still a stud, showing no signs of slowing down. Gerald Green will also get on the map this year after a furious finish to last season (word is, he's gelling really well with Telfair in practice). 'Bassy was a good addition for short term results, but the Celtics would have been better off taking Randy Foye or Maurice Williams in the draft for long-term results. Don't expect a break-out year from Al Jefferson just yet (he still needs a more capable PG). Ratliff gives their inside defense respect, but nothing else. The full-season combination of Pierce, Green, and Wally at the forwards means the Celtics will squeak by the reeling 76ers to grab the second best record in the division... but that's not saying much.

(3) Philadelphia 76ers - Prediction: Webber's done

Chris Webber proved to the people in Sacramento (not to mention all the doubters around the league) that he's still a damn good player. Now that he's got that off his chest, expect him to return to his usual routine of too many games off, forgetting his head at home, and playing the "me, me, me" game. Allen Iverson will have another terrific year... but the blackhole of the NBA will also continue to steal the thunder from Andre Iguiodala, Kyle Korver, and rookie Rodney Carney. If Webber repeats what he did last season, they'll stay in front of the Celtics... but that's not likely.

(4) Toronto Raptors - Prediction: A busted #1 pick

The Raptors' best offseason aquisition was TJ Ford. He'll improve the team's record by bringing energy (not to mention a more sure-handed passer to get the ball to Chris Bosh), but he's not talented enough to erase a 5-game lead the Celtics had on Toronto last year. Bargnani won't live up to the hype. Expect another growth year from Bosh... but minus the help from Charlie Villanueva. Toronto needs more than just Chris Bosh, in terms of big-time scoring. Bargnani can't make up for the loss in offense that both Mike James and Villanueva will leave.

(5) New York Knicks - Prediction: A fired GM

Picture last year's Knicks. Now imagine them without Larry Brown. The Knicks made a terrible trade involving their 1st-round pick last season, so they come in with basically the same roster (their big pickup of the offseason was Jared Jefferies). The fans in Madison Square Garden are faithful... but also ruthless. And you gotta believe New York (one of basketball's hotbeds) won't stand for this for much longer. If the Knicks don't make a dream-like push this year, Isaiah Thomas will be back home in Detroit watching the 'Bockers lose on his big screen TV (instead of the club level in the Garden).

Central Division

(1) Detroit Pistons - Prediction: #3 Seed

Chauncey Billips' MVP-level of play will prove to be a one-year thing. The Pistons will miss Ben Wallace a lot more than they'd presently lead you to believe. Their biggest strength (depsite last season's newfound renaissance in offense) has always been their stone-wall combination of perimeter defense and inside defense. And I'll guarentee you Rasheed's inside D will look a whole lot worse when he's playing center next to Antonio McDysse (as opposed to backing up Big Ben). Detroit isn't dead (yet), but they'll fight LeBron's Cav's for the #3 playoff seed (ultimately finishing in front of them... but for the last time).

(2) Cleveland Cavaliers - Prediction: #4 Seed

LeBron James needs an NBA Title to officially own the league. Right now, the rule of thumb is that the NBA Championship team owns the league. When LeBron's time comes, it will be like when Michael's Bulls were on top. The Bulls didn't walk the league on a leash; Michael did. And LeBron is getting the same support; stars wanting to come and play with him, Cleveland gathering a host of excellent roles players (not unlike the Spurs and Mavericks have done in the past), and James improving (yes, folks, he's STILL getting better) every season. It's a matter of time until the reign begins.

(3) Chicago Bulls - Prediction: #5 seed

The addition of Ben Wallace means that the Bulls are the easy choice for contenders this season, but I wouldn’t count on it. Wallace is exiting the prime of a hustle-player’s career... and he never had any offensive play to begin with. He’s an improvement in any sense of the word, but he’s not a one-man solution to any team’s inside woes. Miami’s weak perimeter defense made Chicago look really good in the playoffs. Don’t expect them to slide by like that during the season (especially not in such a tough division). The Bulls have a better chance making it to the second round at a lower spot, anyway, so they’ll be satisfied with anything between a 4th-6th seed. They have a shot at getting to the NBA Finals next year… but the same can be said for the Top 5 seeds in the East.

(4) Indiana Pacers - Prediction: #6 Seed

A distant 6-seed from the Top 5, Indiana’s addition of Al Harrington will prove effective… but not to the degree that they’d have you believe. Danny Granger will also suffer behind Harrington in the rotation (as O’Neal has clearly stated that he does not want to go back to playing center). Speaking of Jermaine, he will have another solid season, but look for him to miss another 15 games. You never know what you’re going to get from Stephen Jackson, either. Carlisle has his hands full this season. He may have lost Ron Artest’s attitude, but Indiana is far from purifying the demons they need gone in order to be the powerhouse everyone knows they can be.

(5) Milwaukee Bucks – Prediction: #7 Seed

Milwaukee is terrifically mediocre. Their only real star (Michael Redd) is B-list material anyway. He’s a solid shooter and competent defender… but not much else. Andrew Bogut, Ruben Patterson, Mo Williams, Dan Gazuric, and Charlie Villanueva are all good role players, but none have ‘star’ material (not even Bogut, as far as I’m concerned). They have too many average and above-average players to miss the playoffs, but their lack of special talent will keep them from getting past the first round.

Southeast Division

(1) Miami Heat - Prediction: #1 Seed

It’s true Shaquille O’Neal takes it easy during the regular season (to stay healthy for the playoffs), but Miami will still end up with the best record in the East. Detroit’s loss of Wallace will see to that. I expect Dwayne Wade to be one of the few Heat players that improves their numbers from last season. Look for the Heat to be clipped in the Eastern Conference Finals next season, as they’ll have a real tough time repeating the magic from last year’s run (even with Riley back on the bench).

(2) Orlando Magic - Prediction: #8 Seed

Orlando’s time (in the post-Shaq era) finally seems to be on its way. Despite a slight fling with Tracy McGrady, the franchise has been in total disarray since O’Neal left them high and dry just over a decade ago. Dwight Howard looks like a quieter version of Orlando’s franchise back in the early ‘90s. He’s big, athletic, and incredibly powerful. One would be hard pressed to find a match-up for him where he wouldn’t control the boards (or even the paint, for that matter). Jameer Nelson needs to have a bigger year for the Magic to make it. Darko will also make his presence known. Don’t count on Grant Hill… but don’t count him out, either. The few games he’ll play will make Orlando look like they deserve the 5th or 6th seed. I’m picking them (along with the Bucks) to make the playoff cuts, in a race that will include the Wizards, Celtics, and Morrison-boosted Bobcats.

(3) Washington Wizards - Prediction: The latest version of Allen Iverson’s 76ers

Gilbert Arenas is the new Allen Iverson. He’s incredibly talented, he’s an excellent player for your fantasy basketball team, and he’ll even drop a couple buzzer-beaters every year (to maintain the illusion that he contributes to his team’s success). In reality, these players only take their teams as far they can carry them. Iverson and Arenas can pick up Philly & Washington (respectively) and carry them deep into the playoffs, but they’ll never win the big one. This will be Washington’s final year in front of Charlotte, as the Bobcats (whose front office has proven to be patient and knowledgeable) will add a SG in the draft next year and propel Charlotte into the playoffs. Meanwhile, the Wizards will enter the draft lottery at least once by 2010. Count on it.

(4) Charlotte Bobcats - Prediction: No Rookie-of-the-Year… but best long term pick in the draft

People will find that most Adam Morrison doubters are the same guys who axed Jason Richardson from his (rightful) third Slam Dunk Title. They are fundamentalist; fans of the 80’s and 90’s game (when Bird, Jordan, and Magic were far more than NBA superstars… they were legends in the making). They don’t want to see the current basketball deities reincarnated… or, even worse, dethroned. But their blind emotion won’t stop the inevitable from taking place. In an offense that already features an inside force (Okafor), a midrange forward (May), and one of the league’s finest playmakers (Knight), Adam Morrison will thrive as the scorer. Although Charlotte will miss the playoffs this year (and probably next year, too), their time is coming… and the league better take notice.

(5) Atlanta Hawks – Prediction: Going nowhere… fast

A team that’s collecting wings/forwards (Sheldon Williams, Marvin Williams, Josh Smith, Josh Childress, ect) and nothing else. The addition of Joe Johnson is a great long-term move, but not if the Hawks can’t pair him with a decent point guard or center. Forwards are a dime a dozen in this league… and Atlanta has too many. Johnson will rot away on this forgotten team unless they turn it around quickly. Atlanta is the only team whose front office is in more disarray than Sacramento AND New York.

Western Conference

Northwest Division

(1) Denver Nuggets - Prediction: #3 Seed

This one is simple; Denver is going to manhandle a weak division with hardly any other threats in it. No other team is ready to make a push except for Seattle; whose hardly got the talent. Denver will be the #3 seed again behind another great Carmelo Anthony season. The health concerns of Camby and Martin mean that a chance at the NBA Finals is slim… but not impossible with all the pieces this roster has (when healthy). Anthony has too much support around him to average 30 points, but don’t mistaken think it’s because he lacks the talent.

(2) Minnesota Timberwolves - Prediction: In the hunt for the 8th Seed

Randy Foye is NBA-ready. That’s music to the ears of Kevin Garnett. Some fans mistakenly assume Garnett is out on an island in Minny, but the added firepower of Foye will be enough to boost the added help from Ricky Davis (who averaged a quiet 20 PPG next to Garnett last year). That trio is deadly… with the potential to run the floor, play the post well, hit from the outside, handle the ball, and all play defense. In the Eastern Conference, they’d be a lock for a playoff spot. Unfortunately, the Timberwolves are in a hungry Western Conference where more than 5 teams can rightfully lay claim to that 8-seed. I can’t see Foye boosting Minny to the playoffs this year, but the threesome of him, Garnett, and Davis is something to smile about for Wolves fans.

(3) Seattle Supersonics - Prediction: It’s time to rebuild

Ray Allen has still got at least 5 good, productive years left in him. If I’m Seattle, I’m looking for trades next season. A team like Miami (all the way on the other side of the country) could use another outside gun to go with Shaq... the problem is, Miami doesn’t have much to offer besides cagey veterans (Haslem would be underpayment – not to mention useless with the resign of Wilcox - and they won’t give up Wade). But, none the less, it’s time for Seattle to scrap this current core and rebuild around someone else. Allen could be useful trade barter for a younger, potentially great SG and a couple cheap big men. Seattle wants to hang onto their center projects (Petro and Swift), not to mention Luke Ridnoir (as a good point guard is hard to come by). But they won’t go anywhere with this current roster… and their only real trade pieces are Allen and Lewis (the current core).

(4) Utah Jazz - Prediction: Injuries will bury them

In the past two seasons, Andrei Kirilenko has played an average of 55 games a year. Carlos Boozer (since coming to the Jazz) has played an average of 42. And nobody else on the roster (Okur, Fisher, Giricek, ect) is a franchise-level player who can carry the team during their absence. DFish will be a nice tutor for Deron Williams, but the Jazz won’t make any progress this year with both their franchise players in street clothes for half the season. Because of his decreased trade value (due to frequent injuries), trading Kirilenko would be a bad move… so the Jazz can only hope that he miraculously plays close to a full season next year.

(5) Portland Trail Blazers – Prediction: Great draft… but not much else

The Blazers have exited the 2006 Draft with, arguably, the two best players available. LaMarcus Alderidge won’t get as much press as Brandon Roy or Randy Foye (because the media loves small players), but he was a candidate for the #1 overall pick prior to the Draft (as was Brandon Roy). However, aside from those two huge pieces to the puzzle, Portland is no better than it was last year. Zach Randolph, Darius Miles, and Jamaal Magloire all present legit motivation problems… and all are in the current starting lineup. Martell Webster is trash, Voshon Lenard is injury prone, and Joel Pryzbilla has been paid (so it’s safe to assume he’ll go back to his career averages instead of the previous surge he had last year). This Draft gave Portland hope where once was none… but they’re still a long way from where they need to be.

Pacific Division

(1) Phoenix Suns - Prediction: #1 Seed

Amare Stoudamire might not ever be the same again... but a 75%-80% Amare is still better than most (probably yielding 19 PPG, 9.5 RPG, and 1 BPG). Add that to last season’s Suns and you get the Western Conference’s official most dangerous team. Nash is still MVP-worthy, Amare is coming back (even if he’s not MVP stuff anymore), Marion has proved himself as a stud, and the entire D’Antoni system caters to players on the team (Diaw, Barbosa, Bell, ect) that would be average to poor in other lineups. Phoenix is hereby the favorite to win the West next year.

(2) Los Angeles Clippers - Prediction: #5 Seed

Sam Cassell got the contract he was looking for, so don’t expect another huge season from him. That might be troublesome; seeing as it’s not Livingston’s time to shine either (even though he’ll be everyone and their mother’s pick for Most Improved Player at the beginning of the season (like he is every year). Right now, Elton Brand is too good to let the Clippers fall off completely… but I wouldn’t expect as good a record as they had last season. The Clippers will be in the playoffs… but don’t expect them to hit the 2nd round again.

(3) Golden State Warriors - Prediction: #7 Seed

Chris Mullin made the best off-season move of any team in August when he fired Mike Montomery and brought back all-time great Don Nelson to coach the team. No other change in the league can guarantee an extra 8-15 wins in the regular season like that can. Golden State has had the talent for two years running… now it’s time to bring in the proper person to orchestrate all the pieces together properly. Nelly is that man. Expect a first-round exit for Golden State (unless they play the Mavericks… in which case, they may surprise the league and make it into the 2nd round).

(4) Sacramento Kings - Prediction: A single spark and the whole thing explodes

Combustible elements on the Kings include: the most controversial, insane player in the entire league, Ron Artest… a big-headed coach who managed to tick off even the melo likes of Jason Richardson… and a couple money-pissing children who are about ready to sell this ship before it flies apart under it’s own weight. One single issue next year (which is bound to happen) and the Kings tumble like a pack of cards. Oh… and not to mention, they lost their starting SG for nothing. In a tough division like the Pacific, they’ll be left behind.

(5) Los Angeles Lakers – Prediction: Phil’s final year

Kobe Bryant could lead the league in scoring again and it still won’t pull the Lakers out of the seller. They have a decent enough team, with plenty of young talent to compliment Bryant, but the division is just too tough for a team that seems to lack direction at the moment. They’ll slug it out with the Kings for last place in the Pacific.

Southwest Division

(1) Dallas Mavericks - Prediction: #2 Seed

They won’t make it to the Finals again, but they still can’t be counted out in the regular season. Jason Terry inked a new contract, so he’ll probably slow it down a tad. Dirk Nowitski is a question mark. After single-handedly blowing the NBA Finals for the Mavericks, he had a sub-par showing in the World Championships (shooting horribly, as we saw in the Finals). If Dirk’s lost his confidence, the Mav’s are in trouble. The smart bet is that he’ll have another year… but, at the moment, he doesn’t look too sharp. Should we expect a subtle, but sure drop in PPG & percentages next year (ala Peja Stojakovic on the Kings)?

(2) San Antonio Spurs - Prediction: #4 Seed

Last year’s roles will be reversed in the Southwest. The Mavericks and Spurs will slug it out for who gets the top seed, with Dallas ultimately winning, but San Antonio will go further in the playoffs. Expect a “Spurs vs. Suns” Western Conference Finals match up after another solid year from San Antonio. As long as Duncan can produce, the Spurs won’t fall off.

(3) New Orleans Hornets - Prediction: #6 Seed

The addition of Peja makes the Hornets more dangerous (as Chris Paul as another weapon to throw the ball to). Paul will continue to improve, Peja won’t have the bounce-back year everyone expects him to have (17 PPG at best), and David West’s numbers will take a slight drop. Overall, the Hornets will be a distant 3rd in their division, but will still squeak in front of Golden State for the playoff seeding.

(4) Houston Rockets - Prediction: #8 Seed

This #8 seed could very well go to anybody. I’m picking Houston because I don’t think Yao will have another unhealthy year and he tore it up last season. McGrady will need to play more games, but I doubt that will be a problem once Houston starts winning again *cough*. Battier is a more “effective-now” player than Rudy Gay would have been, so the Rockets made the right short term move by trading for him. The Timberwolves are Houston’s biggest threat next season. McGrady’s health will be the main thing that determines which of them gets the playoff spot.

(5) Memphis Grizzlies – Prediction: Pau’s foot injury knocks out their season

Let’s face it; without Gasol, the Grizzlies aren’t playoff quality. Hakim Warrick and Rudy Gay will both need more development, the loss of Battier will seriously hurt their perimeter defense (more than people realize), and Mike Miller will be given the starting role back… only to pull a Dunleavy and fail at it again. Eddie Jones is still solid, but has never been an A-list star (even in his prime). And don’t expect much from Stromile Swift when Memphis’ threats decrease. Gasol will be out until December, which will put the Grizzlies behind by a huge point in a very competitive division next year.

************************************************************************

Most Valuable Player: LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers
Defensive Player of the Year: Ron Artest, Sacramento Kings
Coach of the Year: Mike D’Antoni, Phoenix Suns
6th Man of the Year: Alonzo Mourning, Miami Heat
Most Improved Player: Mike Dunleavy, Golden State Warriors
Rookie of the Year: Brandon Roy, Portland Trailblazers

*

NBA Finals: Phoenix Suns over Miami Heat in 7
Finals MVP: Steve Nash
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GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS DIE HARD
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2006 1:34 pm
#32 wrote:NBA Projected Standings

Eastern Conference

Atlantic Division

(1) New Jersey Nets - Prediction: #2 Seed

Jersey didn't add too much to their cause this offseason... but they're still the cream of the crop in the Atlantic scene. As long as Jason Kidd can keep playing like he's still in his 20's, the Nets will be Eastern Conference contenders. Carter and Jefferson have been consistent in New Jersey, so it all pretty much rides on Kidd. Their lack of a big man means they'll never get past the Conference Finals in their hunt, but it shouldn't be too big of a stretch for them to upset Detroit in the playoffs and get there (not that it's likely). Expect them to run all over a weak division this year and pull past the Pistons in the regular season.

(2) Boston Celtics - Prediction: Misses Playoffs

Pierce is still a stud, showing no signs of slowing down. Gerald Green will also get on the map this year after a furious finish to last season (word is, he's gelling really well with Telfair in practice). 'Bassy was a good addition for short term results, but the Celtics would have been better off taking Randy Foye or Maurice Williams in the draft for long-term results. Don't expect a break-out year from Al Jefferson just yet (he still needs a more capable PG). Ratliff gives their inside defense respect, but nothing else. The full-season combination of Pierce, Green, and Wally at the forwards means the Celtics will squeak by the reeling 76ers to grab the second best record in the division... but that's not saying much.

(3) Philadelphia 76ers - Prediction: Webber's done

Chris Webber proved to the people in Sacramento (not to mention all the doubters around the league) that he's still a damn good player. Now that he's got that off his chest, expect him to return to his usual routine of too many games off, forgetting his head at home, and playing the "me, me, me" game. Allen Iverson will have another terrific year... but the blackhole of the NBA will also continue to steal the thunder from Andre Iguiodala, Kyle Korver, and rookie Rodney Carney. If Webber repeats what he did last season, they'll stay in front of the Celtics... but that's not likely.

(4) Toronto Raptors - Prediction: A busted #1 pick

The Raptors' best offseason aquisition was TJ Ford. He'll improve the team's record by bringing energy (not to mention a more sure-handed passer to get the ball to Chris Bosh), but he's not talented enough to erase a 5-game lead the Celtics had on Toronto last year. Bargnani won't live up to the hype. Expect another growth year from Bosh... but minus the help from Charlie Villanueva. Toronto needs more than just Chris Bosh, in terms of big-time scoring. Bargnani can't make up for the loss in offense that both Mike James and Villanueva will leave.

(5) New York Knicks - Prediction: A fired GM

Picture last year's Knicks. Now imagine them without Larry Brown. The Knicks made a terrible trade involving their 1st-round pick last season, so they come in with basically the same roster (their big pickup of the offseason was Jared Jefferies). The fans in Madison Square Garden are faithful... but also ruthless. And you gotta believe New York (one of basketball's hotbeds) won't stand for this for much longer. If the Knicks don't make a dream-like push this year, Isaiah Thomas will be back home in Detroit watching the 'Bockers lose on his big screen TV (instead of the club level in the Garden).

Central Division

(1) Detroit Pistons - Prediction: #3 Seed

Chauncey Billips' MVP-level of play will prove to be a one-year thing. The Pistons will miss Ben Wallace a lot more than they'd presently lead you to believe. Their biggest strength (depsite last season's newfound renaissance in offense) has always been their stone-wall combination of perimeter defense and inside defense. And I'll guarentee you Rasheed's inside D will look a whole lot worse when he's playing center next to Antonio McDysse (as opposed to backing up Big Ben). Detroit isn't dead (yet), but they'll fight LeBron's Cav's for the #3 playoff seed (ultimately finishing in front of them... but for the last time).

(2) Cleveland Cavaliers - Prediction: #4 Seed

LeBron James needs an NBA Title to officially own the league. Right now, the rule of thumb is that the NBA Championship team owns the league. When LeBron's time comes, it will be like when Michael's Bulls were on top. The Bulls didn't walk the league on a leash; Michael did. And LeBron is getting the same support; stars wanting to come and play with him, Cleveland gathering a host of excellent roles players (not unlike the Spurs and Mavericks have done in the past), and James improving (yes, folks, he's STILL getting better) every season. It's a matter of time until the reign begins.

(3) Chicago Bulls - Prediction: #5 seed

The addition of Ben Wallace means that the Bulls are the easy choice for contenders this season, but I wouldn’t count on it. Wallace is exiting the prime of a hustle-player’s career... and he never had any offensive play to begin with. He’s an improvement in any sense of the word, but he’s not a one-man solution to any team’s inside woes. Miami’s weak perimeter defense made Chicago look really good in the playoffs. Don’t expect them to slide by like that during the season (especially not in such a tough division). The Bulls have a better chance making it to the second round at a lower spot, anyway, so they’ll be satisfied with anything between a 4th-6th seed. They have a shot at getting to the NBA Finals next year… but the same can be said for the Top 5 seeds in the East.

(4) Indiana Pacers - Prediction: #6 Seed

A distant 6-seed from the Top 5, Indiana’s addition of Al Harrington will prove effective… but not to the degree that they’d have you believe. Danny Granger will also suffer behind Harrington in the rotation (as O’Neal has clearly stated that he does not want to go back to playing center). Speaking of Jermaine, he will have another solid season, but look for him to miss another 15 games. You never know what you’re going to get from Stephen Jackson, either. Carlisle has his hands full this season. He may have lost Ron Artest’s attitude, but Indiana is far from purifying the demons they need gone in order to be the powerhouse everyone knows they can be.

(5) Milwaukee Bucks – Prediction: #7 Seed

Milwaukee is terrifically mediocre. Their only real star (Michael Redd) is B-list material anyway. He’s a solid shooter and competent defender… but not much else. Andrew Bogut, Ruben Patterson, Mo Williams, Dan Gazuric, and Charlie Villanueva are all good role players, but none have ‘star’ material (not even Bogut, as far as I’m concerned). They have too many average and above-average players to miss the playoffs, but their lack of special talent will keep them from getting past the first round.

Southeast Division

(1) Miami Heat - Prediction: #1 Seed

It’s true Shaquille O’Neal takes it easy during the regular season (to stay healthy for the playoffs), but Miami will still end up with the best record in the East. Detroit’s loss of Wallace will see to that. I expect Dwayne Wade to be one of the few Heat players that improves their numbers from last season. Look for the Heat to be clipped in the Eastern Conference Finals next season, as they’ll have a real tough time repeating the magic from last year’s run (even with Riley back on the bench).

(2) Orlando Magic - Prediction: #8 Seed

Orlando’s time (in the post-Shaq era) finally seems to be on its way. Despite a slight fling with Tracy McGrady, the franchise has been in total disarray since O’Neal left them high and dry just over a decade ago. Dwight Howard looks like a quieter version of Orlando’s franchise back in the early ‘90s. He’s big, athletic, and incredibly powerful. One would be hard pressed to find a match-up for him where he wouldn’t control the boards (or even the paint, for that matter). Jameer Nelson needs to have a bigger year for the Magic to make it. Darko will also make his presence known. Don’t count on Grant Hill… but don’t count him out, either. The few games he’ll play will make Orlando look like they deserve the 5th or 6th seed. I’m picking them (along with the Bucks) to make the playoff cuts, in a race that will include the Wizards, Celtics, and Morrison-boosted Bobcats.

(3) Washington Wizards - Prediction: The latest version of Allen Iverson’s 76ers

Gilbert Arenas is the new Allen Iverson. He’s incredibly talented, he’s an excellent player for your fantasy basketball team, and he’ll even drop a couple buzzer-beaters every year (to maintain the illusion that he contributes to his team’s success). In reality, these players only take their teams as far they can carry them. Iverson and Arenas can pick up Philly & Washington (respectively) and carry them deep into the playoffs, but they’ll never win the big one. This will be Washington’s final year in front of Charlotte, as the Bobcats (whose front office has proven to be patient and knowledgeable) will add a SG in the draft next year and propel Charlotte into the playoffs. Meanwhile, the Wizards will enter the draft lottery at least once by 2010. Count on it.

(4) Charlotte Bobcats - Prediction: No Rookie-of-the-Year… but best long term pick in the draft

People will find that most Adam Morrison doubters are the same guys who axed Jason Richardson from his (rightful) third Slam Dunk Title. They are fundamentalist; fans of the 80’s and 90’s game (when Bird, Jordan, and Magic were far more than NBA superstars… they were legends in the making). They don’t want to see the current basketball deities reincarnated… or, even worse, dethroned. But their blind emotion won’t stop the inevitable from taking place. In an offense that already features an inside force (Okafor), a midrange forward (May), and one of the league’s finest playmakers (Knight), Adam Morrison will thrive as the scorer. Although Charlotte will miss the playoffs this year (and probably next year, too), their time is coming… and the league better take notice.

(5) Atlanta Hawks – Prediction: Going nowhere… fast

A team that’s collecting wings/forwards (Sheldon Williams, Marvin Williams, Josh Smith, Josh Childress, ect) and nothing else. The addition of Joe Johnson is a great long-term move, but not if the Hawks can’t pair him with a decent point guard or center. Forwards are a dime a dozen in this league… and Atlanta has too many. Johnson will rot away on this forgotten team unless they turn it around quickly. Atlanta is the only team whose front office is in more disarray than Sacramento AND New York.

Western Conference

Northwest Division

(1) Denver Nuggets - Prediction: #3 Seed

This one is simple; Denver is going to manhandle a weak division with hardly any other threats in it. No other team is ready to make a push except for Seattle; whose hardly got the talent. Denver will be the #3 seed again behind another great Carmelo Anthony season. The health concerns of Camby and Martin mean that a chance at the NBA Finals is slim… but not impossible with all the pieces this roster has (when healthy). Anthony has too much support around him to average 30 points, but don’t mistaken think it’s because he lacks the talent.

(2) Minnesota Timberwolves - Prediction: In the hunt for the 8th Seed

Randy Foye is NBA-ready. That’s music to the ears of Kevin Garnett. Some fans mistakenly assume Garnett is out on an island in Minny, but the added firepower of Foye will be enough to boost the added help from Ricky Davis (who averaged a quiet 20 PPG next to Garnett last year). That trio is deadly… with the potential to run the floor, play the post well, hit from the outside, handle the ball, and all play defense. In the Eastern Conference, they’d be a lock for a playoff spot. Unfortunately, the Timberwolves are in a hungry Western Conference where more than 5 teams can rightfully lay claim to that 8-seed. I can’t see Foye boosting Minny to the playoffs this year, but the threesome of him, Garnett, and Davis is something to smile about for Wolves fans.

(3) Seattle Supersonics - Prediction: It’s time to rebuild

Ray Allen has still got at least 5 good, productive years left in him. If I’m Seattle, I’m looking for trades next season. A team like Miami (all the way on the other side of the country) could use another outside gun to go with Shaq... the problem is, Miami doesn’t have much to offer besides cagey veterans (Haslem would be underpayment – not to mention useless with the resign of Wilcox - and they won’t give up Wade). But, none the less, it’s time for Seattle to scrap this current core and rebuild around someone else. Allen could be useful trade barter for a younger, potentially great SG and a couple cheap big men. Seattle wants to hang onto their center projects (Petro and Swift), not to mention Luke Ridnoir (as a good point guard is hard to come by). But they won’t go anywhere with this current roster… and their only real trade pieces are Allen and Lewis (the current core).

(4) Utah Jazz - Prediction: Injuries will bury them

In the past two seasons, Andrei Kirilenko has played an average of 55 games a year. Carlos Boozer (since coming to the Jazz) has played an average of 42. And nobody else on the roster (Okur, Fisher, Giricek, ect) is a franchise-level player who can carry the team during their absence. DFish will be a nice tutor for Deron Williams, but the Jazz won’t make any progress this year with both their franchise players in street clothes for half the season. Because of his decreased trade value (due to frequent injuries), trading Kirilenko would be a bad move… so the Jazz can only hope that he miraculously plays close to a full season next year.

(5) Portland Trail Blazers – Prediction: Great draft… but not much else

The Blazers have exited the 2006 Draft with, arguably, the two best players available. LaMarcus Alderidge won’t get as much press as Brandon Roy or Randy Foye (because the media loves small players), but he was a candidate for the #1 overall pick prior to the Draft (as was Brandon Roy). However, aside from those two huge pieces to the puzzle, Portland is no better than it was last year. Zach Randolph, Darius Miles, and Jamaal Magloire all present legit motivation problems… and all are in the current starting lineup. Martell Webster is trash, Voshon Lenard is injury prone, and Joel Pryzbilla has been paid (so it’s safe to assume he’ll go back to his career averages instead of the previous surge he had last year). This Draft gave Portland hope where once was none… but they’re still a long way from where they need to be.

Pacific Division

(1) Phoenix Suns - Prediction: #1 Seed

Amare Stoudamire might not ever be the same again... but a 75%-80% Amare is still better than most (probably yielding 19 PPG, 9.5 RPG, and 1 BPG). Add that to last season’s Suns and you get the Western Conference’s official most dangerous team. Nash is still MVP-worthy, Amare is coming back (even if he’s not MVP stuff anymore), Marion has proved himself as a stud, and the entire D’Antoni system caters to players on the team (Diaw, Barbosa, Bell, ect) that would be average to poor in other lineups. Phoenix is hereby the favorite to win the West next year.

(2) Los Angeles Clippers - Prediction: #5 Seed

Sam Cassell got the contract he was looking for, so don’t expect another huge season from him. That might be troublesome; seeing as it’s not Livingston’s time to shine either (even though he’ll be everyone and their mother’s pick for Most Improved Player at the beginning of the season (like he is every year). Right now, Elton Brand is too good to let the Clippers fall off completely… but I wouldn’t expect as good a record as they had last season. The Clippers will be in the playoffs… but don’t expect them to hit the 2nd round again.

(3) Golden State Warriors - Prediction: #7 Seed

Chris Mullin made the best off-season move of any team in August when he fired Mike Montomery and brought back all-time great Don Nelson to coach the team. No other change in the league can guarantee an extra 8-15 wins in the regular season like that can. Golden State has had the talent for two years running… now it’s time to bring in the proper person to orchestrate all the pieces together properly. Nelly is that man. Expect a first-round exit for Golden State (unless they play the Mavericks… in which case, they may surprise the league and make it into the 2nd round).

(4) Sacramento Kings - Prediction: A single spark and the whole thing explodes

Combustible elements on the Kings include: the most controversial, insane player in the entire league, Ron Artest… a big-headed coach who managed to tick off even the melo likes of Jason Richardson… and a couple money-pissing children who are about ready to sell this ship before it flies apart under it’s own weight. One single issue next year (which is bound to happen) and the Kings tumble like a pack of cards. Oh… and not to mention, they lost their starting SG for nothing. In a tough division like the Pacific, they’ll be left behind.

(5) Los Angeles Lakers – Prediction: Phil’s final year

Kobe Bryant could lead the league in scoring again and it still won’t pull the Lakers out of the seller. They have a decent enough team, with plenty of young talent to compliment Bryant, but the division is just too tough for a team that seems to lack direction at the moment. They’ll slug it out with the Kings for last place in the Pacific.

Southwest Division

(1) Dallas Mavericks - Prediction: #2 Seed

They won’t make it to the Finals again, but they still can’t be counted out in the regular season. Jason Terry inked a new contract, so he’ll probably slow it down a tad. Dirk Nowitski is a question mark. After single-handedly blowing the NBA Finals for the Mavericks, he had a sub-par showing in the World Championships (shooting horribly, as we saw in the Finals). If Dirk’s lost his confidence, the Mav’s are in trouble. The smart bet is that he’ll have another year… but, at the moment, he doesn’t look too sharp. Should we expect a subtle, but sure drop in PPG & percentages next year (ala Peja Stojakovic on the Kings)?

(2) San Antonio Spurs - Prediction: #4 Seed

Last year’s roles will be reversed in the Southwest. The Mavericks and Spurs will slug it out for who gets the top seed, with Dallas ultimately winning, but San Antonio will go further in the playoffs. Expect a “Spurs vs. Suns” Western Conference Finals match up after another solid year from San Antonio. As long as Duncan can produce, the Spurs won’t fall off.

(3) New Orleans Hornets - Prediction: #6 Seed

The addition of Peja makes the Hornets more dangerous (as Chris Paul as another weapon to throw the ball to). Paul will continue to improve, Peja won’t have the bounce-back year everyone expects him to have (17 PPG at best), and David West’s numbers will take a slight drop. Overall, the Hornets will be a distant 3rd in their division, but will still squeak in front of Golden State for the playoff seeding.

(4) Houston Rockets - Prediction: #8 Seed

This #8 seed could very well go to anybody. I’m picking Houston because I don’t think Yao will have another unhealthy year and he tore it up last season. McGrady will need to play more games, but I doubt that will be a problem once Houston starts winning again *cough*. Battier is a more “effective-now” player than Rudy Gay would have been, so the Rockets made the right short term move by trading for him. The Timberwolves are Houston’s biggest threat next season. McGrady’s health will be the main thing that determines which of them gets the playoff spot.

(5) Memphis Grizzlies – Prediction: Pau’s foot injury knocks out their season

Let’s face it; without Gasol, the Grizzlies aren’t playoff quality. Hakim Warrick and Rudy Gay will both need more development, the loss of Battier will seriously hurt their perimeter defense (more than people realize), and Mike Miller will be given the starting role back… only to pull a Dunleavy and fail at it again. Eddie Jones is still solid, but has never been an A-list star (even in his prime). And don’t expect much from Stromile Swift when Memphis’ threats decrease. Gasol will be out until December, which will put the Grizzlies behind by a huge point in a very competitive division next year.

************************************************************************

Most Valuable Player: LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers
Defensive Player of the Year: Ron Artest, Sacramento Kings
Coach of the Year: Mike D’Antoni, Phoenix Suns
6th Man of the Year: Alonzo Mourning, Miami Heat
Most Improved Player: Mike Dunleavy, Golden State Warriors
Rookie of the Year: Brandon Roy, Portland Trailblazers

*

NBA Finals: Phoenix Suns over Miami Heat in 7
Finals MVP: Steve Nash

great thread, but do you really think the nuggets will be better than the spurs? the nba changed the rule that gave them the #3 seed this year
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2006 1:54 pm
Damn 32 you've got a 5000 post quota to pick up...

Why type nonsense novel length production when that amount of text could have contributed to at least 10 more posts..

Hurry up and break that 5000 plateau buddy.... i got 10 Grand riding on Vegas that it will be done within the next 7 days.

But to answer i think the Dubs are 2nd position in the PAcific. ahead of Clips easily.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2006 2:22 pm
tHe_pEsTiLeNcE wrote:great thread, but do you really think the nuggets will be better than the spurs? the nba changed the rule that gave them the #3 seed this year

No. I was unaware of the rule change. In that case, swap their playoff seeding.

And, to answer Pawno, the quality of a post means a lot more to me than how many posts I can crank out. You'll find most of my posts are pages long (not the one-sentence responses most high-number posters have). I've always thought that the opening of a thread should have a compelling case. I'm not going to butcher up my comments in order to his 5,000. Sorry, bro!
Last edited by 32 on Tue Sep 19, 2006 2:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2006 2:25 pm
:shock: Holy-f*cking-posting-whoring...

I don't have the time to answer point by point to the first post, #32. I'm just going to post my standings and get into detail tomorrow:

WEST

Pacific:

Phoenix
Clips
Warriors
Kings
Lakers

Northwest:

Seattle
Denver
Minny
Utah
Portland

Southwest:

San Antonio
Dallas
Houston
Memphis
New Orleans

EAST

Southeast:

Miami
Washington
Orlando
Charlotte
Atlanta

Central:

Cleveland
Detroit
Chicago
Milwaukee
Indy


Atlantic

New Jersey
Toronto
Philly
Boston
NY
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2006 2:28 pm
TMC wrote::shock: Holy-f*cking-posting-whoring...

Dammit! I can't satisfy anybody!

Pawno gets on my ass for NOT posting enough... then TMC calls me a post whore. This article took me 4 f'n days to write and all anybody can talk about is how long it is!

Goddammit. :banghead: :mrgreen:
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2006 3:24 pm
How many hours did you spend on it? And I pretty much agree, except for I think the T'Wolves are in the playoffs.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2006 4:16 pm
John Patrick wrote:How many hours did you spend on it? And I pretty much agree, except for I think the T'Wolves are in the playoffs.

I spent probably a total of 3 or 4 hours on it. Just me and Microsoft Word for a half hour every morning and evening for 4 days.

And Minnesoda has an excellent chance to reach the playoffs. Like I said in the article, it's either them or Houston... but I don't think a healthy combination of Tracy McGrady and last year's Yao Ming (key words: last year's!) can be denied the playoffs. Prior to his injury, Yao was playing like the best all-around center in basketball. If he can do that again this year, the Rockets will be tough (especially with Battier... a very underrated pickup, in my opinion).
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2006 7:42 pm
Correct, but they both have shaky health, and it's favorable that one is going to get injured, I agree.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2006 9:42 pm
If it's Yao, the Rockets can kiss the playoffs goodbye. If it's McGrady, I think they got a serious shot.

Regardless, if either player is injured for a huge amount of time (25 games or more), they'll have no chance.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2006 10:02 pm
Ah, have the tides turned in the pacific. Just how many years ago, it was LAL and SAC on top. Now we picture LAC, PHO, and GSW battling for the top.

WEST

Pacific:
PHO - Led by the comeback of Amare and last years squad, this team is ready for a deep playoff run/championship. I think we're finally ready to crown these guys as champs.
LAC - As long as Elton and Sam play like last year, they'll be fine.
GSW - New life, new start, new coach, and all refreshed. This team is ready to break that playoff drought under a new/old coach and a fast paced year on the court. Get ready.
LAL - They could be higher since the names Kobe Bryant and Phil Jackson are on the team. But if you look at who they got, this team is no where near the word playoffs. I rank them higher than the Kings because Kobe and Phil seem to make a difference.
SAC - This is not going to be the year for them. Even though I agree, every team should start fresh again after a coach is there for a long period of time, I really do not think Mussleman is the guy for em. Unless he's one of those Warriors junk coaching turned to the Kings gold, then this team will not see playoffs even if they have some decent guys.

Northwest:
DEN - The way Carmelo played overseas, there's no doubt in my mind he's ready to step up. Nene will be returning, Camby must stay healthy, and the PG's must perform to ensure this spot. But with the talent below them, I doubt this ship will sink.
MIN - Led by KG, Davis, and James, this team will be seeking the last spot. Unless some miracle happens, I think they'll just come up short of that 8th seed.
SEA - They're record could be close to MIN but they still have a long way to go. This team only has Allen and Lewis running the team. Coaching was a problem last year, the PG is average, and the center is still an issue. This team is a mess, but they're still up there.
UTA - Injuries will kill them again. Unless a miracle happens and Boozer and AK stay healthy, then this team will stay here again.
POR - Love their draftees, but too young. I like their future though. In line for Oden. IF they get him, this team is set for years under McMillian.

Southwest:
SAS - Duncan is older now, but he still has the game to lead them along with Parker and Ginobili. I like their chances again, but the Suns and Mavs seem too much for them. That center is an issue.
DAL - They're out for revenge. They want that championship. This is the year to completely manhandle each team down to the dirt. If they face the Warriors in the playoffs, their championship hopes could sink this year.
MEM - Depending on how Gasol will be, this team is in trouble for at least til Pau returns. Look for a mid-season, late-season playoff run.
NO - They have a leader, and his name is Chris Paul. This team though is just not there yet. In a few years, they will, and that'll be the year you see the Spurs down here in the standings.
HOU - Yao is pretty much the only guy one this team. Battier is nice on defense, Tmac's back seems to be like Taft's, this team has really gone no where. H-Town doesn't look in good shape.

EAST

Southeast:
MIA - Well, they'll be defending the title in my mind no doubt. But they're older now. Shaq and Alonzo are old, start planning for the future Miami. This team has the players, but can they pull it off again? For me...no.
WAS - Arenas and Jamison will be looking for another run again after last years meltdown against LeBron. But this team could be lower than last year.
ORL - They actually have a nice chance for a playoff spot. After last years finish, this team will actually be a playoff invitee. Howard and Nelson lead this team.
CHA - Nice long run team, but not here yet. Give em couple years, they'll be higher.
ATL - Yeah, well I'm not sure where drafting forwards over and over again is a good thing for the long run. I'll just say that they'll be picking in the top 5 again, top 3 most likely. They'll be battling Portland in the NBA Finals...of the lottery.

Central:
CLE - They looked very impressive against the Pistons last year. Shocked most analyst with the fight they put up. They could go rep the finals. LeBron needs help though from Z and Gooden.
CHI - They'll be more dangerous than last year, but it doesn't seem it'll make a difference. They'll put up more of a fight, but this team won't go any higher than the 2nd round.
DET - They could be ranked lower because after the best season MIN had, they went downhill. This team could result in the team way. This is not a good sign for them. Tayshaun is young and on the rise, but the others are old. This team won't be the team to beat in the east.
MIL - They could go into the 2nd round. I like their chances with Bogut and Redd along with Villanueva and Mo Williams.
IND - I don't see how bringing Al will help them. This surely will hurt Danny's development too. He was going to become a very good player.

Atlantic
NJ - This will be the year for them to do their thing. I'm really pulling for Kidd anyway.
BOS - Pierce is the only guy there. Telfair is decent, but is more of a "should've went to college" player than a high school superstar.
PHI - Webber is done. AI will be mad. This team is gone. Iguodala and Dalembert deserve more than this.
TOR - They'll turn out to be the Suns. The only thing I don't like about them is that they have a PG issue and drafting Bargnani seemed like a mistake.
NY - Nah, nah, nah, nah. Nah, nah, nah, nah. Hey, hey, hey. Goodbye. Isiah Thomas, you're FIRED! This team is going no where either.

NBA FINALS: Cleveland Cavaliers vs Phoenix Suns...PHO wins 4-3.
FINALS MVP: Amare Stoudemire, Shawn Marion, or Steve Nash.

MVP: LeBron James, CLE Cavaliers
DPOTY: Ben Wallace, CHI Bulls
COTY: Scott Skiles, CHI Bulls or Don Nelson, GS Warriors
6th MOTY: Earl Boykins, DEN Nuggets
MIPOTY: Mike Dunleavy Jr., GS Warriors
ROTY: Brandon Roy, POR Trailblazers or Randy Foye, MIN Timberwolves


Sorry about the last couple teams. This took a longggg time to do so I got a lil lazy with the last couple ones.[/b]
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2006 1:14 am
#32 wrote:
TMC wrote::shock: Holy-f*cking-posting-whoring...

Dammit! I can't satisfy anybody!

Pawno gets on my ass for NOT posting enough... then TMC calls me a post whore. This article took me 4 f'n days to write and all anybody can talk about is how long it is!

Goddammit. :banghead: :mrgreen:



Dude i respect your feedback... your posts are always ingenuitive and TMC don't even know the definition of post whore. someone who whores is Migya all up in the shiznit with his emoticons and Dunleavy's mum is a whore comment.

You lay down the truth. If Chris Mullin was to write a Warriors book of gospel. Yours would be the Book of John...

Meanwhile Migya's Warriors Gospel hands down has got to be the book of Judas. ( MA'FUQIN DUNLEAVY HATER - YOUR LUCKY THERE'S A DESERT AND A BIG RED ROCK SEPERATING US FOOL OTHERWISE I'D BE OVER IN PERTH BEATING YOU DOWN RIGHT THIS MOMENT! )
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2006 1:37 am
WESTERN CONFERENCE



PACIFIC DIVISION

1. Phoenix Suns (57-25) (2nd in West) - If and that is IF Amare is healthy, plays at least 75 games or so and is at least 80% of what he was, the Suns are capable of being the best team in the nba. I figure that he will be and that the Suns will be 2nd in the West behind the mighty Spurs. Nash will be what he has been the last two seasons, Diaw will be even better, Marion's numbers likely will drop just a little due to Diaw and Amare and the suns will be similar to last season, maybe a little better. They'll compete with the Warriors for most entertaining, run and gun team in the nba!

2. Golden State Warriors (50-32) (5th in West) - Yea so I'm thinking with the heart a little than with the brain but the team has the talent and now possibly the coach to win 50 games! If and that is IF Nelson gets the team to run and gun properly, the defense is decent enough, rebounding is good and the lineups are not bad (ie. dun at PF and Murphy at Center can't be the lineup for too long), the team could perhaps even win more, though very unlikely. Other teams have not gotten much better if at all and the Warriors have gotten alot better!

3. LA Clippers (48-34) (6th in West) - Still a strong team and should still be better than the rest of the teams that are playyoff contenders. Brand must stay healthy or it's curtains for the Clips because they feed off of Elton. Kaman must do what he did last season and help out Brand. Cassell is more of an X factor than anyone else on this team. If he plays like he did last season, the Clips get similar success, if he drops off like he did in the TWolves, the Clips could drop similarly to how the TWolves did. Maggette being healthy could make them a contender for top three in the West because he adds a very good scorer that can make this team that much better.

4. Sacramento Kings (39-43) (11th in West) - Hard to judge team because they could rise up to being how they were in the best days of Webber some 5 years ago, or they could plummet like fat blimp. Artest would have to be great and Bibby and Miller back to their best for anything great to happen to the Kings and that is highly unlikely. Kings will be decent but not capable of making the playoffs because the West is tough with teams that have gotten better where the Kings have gotten worse losing Bonzi. Artest could chuck a tantrum with Mussleman also.

5. LA Lakers (33-49) (13th in West) - Fuk I hate the Lakers! I just hate the cunnts! Haven't improved a wink and they overachieved last season. Odom may get frustrated with that ballhogging fool Kobe and might just get into a fight with the turd. Just not much talent in the Lakers and none of their young guys can make a significant difference for this team to improve like most teams in the West did. Ohil Jackson won't stick around if they go backwards either so - FUK YOU KOBE, YOU'RE NO WINNER!


NORTHWEST DIVISION

1. Denver Nuggets (52-30) (4th in West) - This team fell so far from what they did when Karl took over the season before! I reckon they'll get back to how they were but injuries are the factor. Camby must be healthy and it would be nice for Martin to be as well but Nene would benefit from him not being so often. The inside game is great with Camby, Nene and KMart, the defense is above average and the offense should be quite good, with Andre Miller running the show better than most PG and Carmello Anthony becoming one of the best scorers in the nba! Outside shooting is the big weaknees and has been for a couple of seasons now. Just can't believe they did get anyone, ANYONE, who can play at least 20mins a night and shoot some threes well! They should've thrown someone for Peja! Very well coached team that is athletic, tall and should be hungry to get back to what they were two seasons ago

2. Utah Jazz (46-36 (7th in West) - I've always thought that this Jazz team had enough pieces to be a good playoff team but most of those pieces are always hurt! Kirilenko is one of the best players in the nba and he really effects a game! He is perhaps the best defender in the nba and he can score in a number of ways as well. Boozer is no franchise player but he can be a very good 2nd or 3rd option, like he is on the Jazz with AK and Okur. Both AK47 and the Boozer must play at least 70 games for the Jazz to be what they can be. Deron Williams was a disappointment last season and he has to be something like a proper team leading PG if the Jazz are to do well. Fisher should teach or at least push Deron a bit and he was a good addition that could make the difference in winning games for them as well. Wonder how long Sloan will hang around

3. Minnesota Timberwolves (35-47) (12th in West) - There has been improvements in the TWolves but how much difference will they make. Foye hasn't played a game yet but looks like he will make a difference but he might not even start as Mike James (the so called huge FA signing) is likely to be the starting PG but really should be SG with Foye PG. Things just seem not to go smoothly for the TWolves and this season should be the same (and hopefully the last there for KG). Garnett, poor bastard, must be close to having enough of this lackluster career of relative losing! Maybe Eddie Griffin and Rashard McCants can play real good and the TWolves can squeek a playoff spot :mrgreen:

4. Portland Trailblazers (29-53) (14th in West) - This team improved alot in the offseason but alot of it is longterm. Magloire gives a good, solid Center that could make way for the trading of Randoplh and Miles for a younger prospect PF or a package of players. If Randolph acts up, he must be traded (hello Knicks :mrgreen: ) because the development of the group of players will be hindered, same with Miles (um, hello Knicks :mrgreen: ). I don't think that trading their PG for another SG was smart at all as there is now a hole at PG and they should trade for a good one using either Randolph or Miles or both. Hey, at least McMillan is the right sort of coach for this situation

5. Seattle Supersonics (28-54) (15th in West) - Really think this team is rather talentless and in need of proper coaching! Ray Allen is a star, Lewis is a semi star that has never becoame as good as I thought he would be and the rest of the sonics are young and yet to prove themselves as good players. Things have to click on all cylinders for this team to win some games. They should focus on being a swarming defensive team as that would help them to run and gun a bit more. Wilcox won't be huge but they would love it if he was!


SOUTHWEST DIVISION

1. Dallas Mavericks (60-22) (1st in West) - I'll go with the Mavs getting a better regular season record than the spurs but the Spurs will out do them in the playoffs. This team should only be better for going to to the finals! Dirk has to maintain what he has been doing the last two seasons, Terry the same, the Centers the same (be good if Dampier actually tried) and The time has come for Josh Howard to be the allstar type that he has been growing into becoming. The same team, should be close to the same result

2. San Antonio Spurs (58-24) (2nd in West) - Same old winning team with a proven success. Duncan will do his thing, as will Parker but Ginobili should do more than last season's slight regular season decline. They still have a great bench and are well organised. Should go to the finals but at least Conference finals

3. Houston Rockets (45-37) (8th in the West) - Could be better than 8th but TMac will likely still have some issues with his back. Battier makes them instantly better and Yao is better than ever. Guys like Alston and Head should be improved with another year of nba experience. They need a PF as soon as possible!

4. Memphis Grizzlies (43-39 (9th in West) - Gasol being injured for at least the first month is huge! The Grizz will lose the majority of their games as it all revolves around him now. Gay and Warrick need to give what they can and Eddie Jones and Mike Miller could still make this team a playoff caliber on. What do they have at Center = Garbage!

5. New Orleans Hornets (42-40) (10th in West) - This team just took everybody by surprise last season and it shouldn't be repeated. They have improved with a couple of rookies and Peja but this may not make much of a difference. They'll have to run and gun because the defense is not there, especially with Peja. Could be a very good team but quite inexperienced





EASTERN CONFERENCE



ATLANTIC DISION

1. New Jersey Nets (47-35) (5th in East) - They have three very good players that can keep then ahead of the pack but this team is not a serious chance of winning the East. Kidd isn't getting younger! Nothing really good inside so another season of perimeter orientated offense. Same as last season

2. Boston Celtics (35-47) (9th in East) - Plenty of young talent but not enough playing time for them all! Three or four of these young guys have to be chosen as the ones to be starters for the future. Al Jefferson and/or Kendrick Perkins could breakout this season but unlikely until the end of the season if at all yet. Nothing huge will be seen out of Green because Wally and Pierce are ahead of him. Should be improved but not by a big amount

3. Philadelphia 76ers (31-51) (10th in East) - Nothing much different with the sixers and I'm actually picking a slight Iverson injury that keeps him out for some three weeks, making them lose more games. The young guys have to develop and make a contribution if this team is going to win anything. The draft is the best for them

4. Toronto Raptors (28-52) (11th in East) - Could be better but they haven't got alot better and they don't have a whole lot of talent yet. Bargnani would have to be a star right away for anything good to happen

5. New York Knicks (15-67) (15th in East) - Fuk I hate the Knicks, just hate the cunnts! A disgrace of an organisation that really deserves no pitty! A bunch of players thrown together that will not do shitt! I'd trade three or four of them for lottery picks


CENTRAL DIVISION

1. Detroit Pistons (57-25) (2nd in East) - Don't think there will be much of a drop off as McDyess is a very good player and Mohammed is solid. Prince should only get better and the defense should not get a whole lot worse as all five, not just Ben Wallace, were very good defensively. They will probably run more this season

2. Cleveland Cavaliers (53-29) (3rd in East) - Bit of an improvement but not a heap. LeBron should get better but he can't get a whole better!

3. Chicago Bulls (48-34) (4th in East) - Should improve a fair bit but won't be a top team. Many young players still need to develop and there could be a bit of a logjam at most positions

4. Indiana Pacers (37-45) (7th in East) - Don't see them getting better as other teams have improved and they have only slightly. Harrington will play what SF or PF. Granger on the bench is not good to have but will be likely. Could be better but their PGs still stink!

5. Milwaukee Bucks (36-46) (8th in East) - Villaneuva is better than Joe Smith but they are thin at PG! Just don't see them winning but if Villa and Bogut and form a tough inside duo (unlikely) then the Bucks could be more highly ranked


ATLANTIC DIVISION

1. Miami Heat (59-23) (1st in East) - Should perform better in the regular season. Wade will get even better but guys like Walker and Payton could get injured. Very experienced and that is always a good thing! Should get to the finals again. Wade could get MVP!

2. Washington Wizards (38-44) (6th in East) - Nothing really different from last season! Won't bother the top teams and should be out in the first round again

3. Orlando Magic (34-48) (9th in East) - Just development and not much different from last season. They got nothing with their draft pick (except a good shooting college player that won't be anything in the nba and is a drink driver :mrgreen: ). Howard and Jameer just need to improve

4. Charlotte Bobcats (29-53) (12th in East) - Don't see them doing a whole lot better, not yet at least. If Okafor and Gerald Wallace are healthy (don't think is likely), this team could even fight for a playoff spot. Very young and promising in two years

5. Atlanta Hawks (21-61) (14th in East) - Another shiit team with only a couple of starlike players (jj and Smith) so another shiit season! The loss of harrington will likely not be covered enough so this team will go backwards a bit



NBA FINALS = SPURS V HEAT

MVP = DWAYNE WADE

ROY = FOYE

6TH MAN = DENG OR NOCIONI

COACH = DON NELSON!

MOST IMPROVED = MCDYESS

DEFENSIVE = KIRILENKO
Last edited by migya on Wed Sep 20, 2006 1:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
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migya make the ring fall on ya
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2006 1:45 am
#32 wrote:
TMC wrote::shock: Holy-f*cking-posting-whoring...

Dammit! I can't satisfy anybody!

Pawno gets on my ass for NOT posting enough... then TMC calls me a post whore. This article took me 4 f'n days to write and all anybody can talk about is how long it is!

Goddammit. :banghead: :mrgreen:


Come on, it was meant as a funny compliment... I just forgot to add the :mrgreen: at the end...
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2006 2:08 am
Good pick up Migya!

I'm gonna back #32 idea of most improved player... but McDyees could get it at the 2nd spot cause with the departure of Ben Wallace . McDyees is a dude who can fill those shoes.
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