Preseason Rankings - Eastern Conference

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 4:46 am
Preseason rankings: Eastern Conference

By Kenny Smith, Yahoo! Sports
October 8, 2007

The Cavaliers were able to get through the Eastern Conference last season by really only playing one legitimate playoff series – the East finals against Detroit. That will not happen again this season. In fact, there will be a new conference champion.

Here's how I see the East as teams begin their preseason schedules.

1. Boston Celtics – With three unselfish stars in Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, and Kevin Garnett, the learning curve is shorter than most. They will dominate a conference with only three contenders (the others being Detroit and Miami).

2. Detroit Pistons – They are one of the few teams that can only beat themselves. That's why they always believe it's a fluke when they lose. Experience wins, and Detroit's veterans can still get the job done.

3. Miami Heat – Shaquille O'Neal and Dwyane Wade tasted the sweet smell of success two years ago and have the tools to get back to the NBA finals. With Alonzo Mourning leaving after this season, an aging Shaq gets one last real chance at another title before he's done.

4. Cleveland Cavaliers – LeBron James and the young Cavs shocked the world last season, but the surprise factor is over. They will have a big task learning to live up to expectations.

5. Chicago Bulls – The young and gifted Bulls are in trouble. When Garnett came to the East and didn't land in Chicago, it slowed their progress.

6. Toronto Raptors – They're a nice team, and that very well might be their problem in getting over the top. The Raptors might need someone to get a little nasty or trade for a pit bull.

7. New Jersey Nets – They didn't get better, but there's too much talent on the roster not to make the playoffs.

8. Washington Wizards – With Agent Zero (aka Gilbert Arenas), the Wizards are a playoff team, but with no consistent inside scoring, the Wizards will struggle this season.

9. Orlando Magic – Just not enough firepower. The Magic have a lot of very good players, but none is a 20-point man on a good team. (Sorry, Rashard Lewis.)

10. New York Knicks – Scandals, poor chemistry and a bunch of round pegs trying to fit in square holes. This once storied franchise is in disarray.

11. Indiana Pacers – Who's on this team again?

12. Milwaukee Bucks – Without sounding redundant, there's just not enough talent. The Bucks are potential driven which leads to losses in the NBA.

13. Philadelphia 76ers – They'll be searching for an answer all year! OK, OK, that was a cheap shot, but it will take a lot of practice, practice, practice! (I crack myself up.)

14. Charlotte Bobcats – The Bobcats are much too inexperienced at all positions, including coach, to make noise this season. That said, they still are my sleeper East team.

15. Atlanta Hawks – Dominique Wilkins, Doc Rivers and Spud Webb are rolling over in their basketball graves right now. The Hawks have become the 2008 Clippers.



_____________________________________________________________


Not bad rankings but I do think that Milwaukee might get 2nd last as they have some issues with who starts in a couple of positions that I think will undo them quite a bit. Also reckon Bulls will be better than Cavs (don't like Cavs much at all, just too untalented)
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 4:59 am
Looks alright on the top teams. It's awful on the bottom ones.

Philly might be the worst for this year, while both Atlanta and Charlotte have enough talent to be playoff contenders in the east. Milwaukee and NY are question marks and Indy will go as far as Jermaine can take them... and I expect him to be traded to accelerate the Pacers rebuilding during the season.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 5:28 am
TMC wrote:Looks alright on the top teams. It's awful on the bottom ones.

Philly might be the worst for this year, while both Atlanta and Charlotte have enough talent to be playoff contenders in the east. Milwaukee and NY are question marks and Indy will go as far as Jermaine can take them... and I expect him to be traded to accelerate the Pacers rebuilding during the season.



It can go many different ways. The Hawks might well falter yet another season and I can see that happening easily, they have a tradition of losing anyway. Bobcats look new and promising but they could fall to Earth from their high, as everyone expects them to contend for the playoffs but they still don't have a heap of talent, no more than most teams at least. Pacers don't look to be going anywhere but staying about lower four teams, some five to ten games out of the playoffs. The 76ers look pretty bad on paper but they seem to have a good mix of players that fit one another so I don't think they'll be last, one of the bottom four teams but maybe not last
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 5:35 am
migya wrote:It can go many different ways. The Hawks might well falter yet another season and I can see that happening easily, they have a tradition of losing anyway. Bobcats look new and promising but they could fall to Earth from their high, as everyone expects them to contend for the playoffs but they still don't have a heap of talent, no more than most teams at least. Pacers don't look to be going anywhere but staying about lower four teams, some five to ten games out of the playoffs. The 76ers look pretty bad on paper but they seem to have a good mix of players that fit one another so I don't think they'll be last, one of the bottom four teams but maybe not last


Looking at their roster, Philly has a rising star in Iggy, a savvy vet in Andre Miller and a promising center (who still hasn't played up to his potential) in Dalembert. The rest of their guys are either too young to contribute or suck (well, they also have two role players, Korver and Reggie Evans, who can do one thing well, but just one thing, shooting and rebounding respectively).

I think that roster is good enough for no more than 20-22 wins.

As for the Hawks and Bobcats, I think they're clearly better than Philly. And than Indy if Jermaine is not focused on playing. And probably better than Milwaukee with all the problems the Bucks have.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 5:47 am
TMC wrote:
migya wrote:It can go many different ways. The Hawks might well falter yet another season and I can see that happening easily, they have a tradition of losing anyway. Bobcats look new and promising but they could fall to Earth from their high, as everyone expects them to contend for the playoffs but they still don't have a heap of talent, no more than most teams at least. Pacers don't look to be going anywhere but staying about lower four teams, some five to ten games out of the playoffs. The 76ers look pretty bad on paper but they seem to have a good mix of players that fit one another so I don't think they'll be last, one of the bottom four teams but maybe not last


Looking at their roster, Philly has a rising star in Iggy, a savvy vet in Andre Miller and a promising center (who still hasn't played up to his potential) in Dalembert. The rest of their guys are either too young to contribute or suck (well, they also have two role players, Korver and Reggie Evans, who can do one thing well, but just one thing, shooting and rebounding respectively).

I think that roster is good enough for no more than 20-22 wins.

As for the Hawks and Bobcats, I think they're clearly better than Philly. And than Indy if Jermaine is not focused on playing. And probably better than Milwaukee with all the problems the Bucks have.



I see one or two of the sixers young guys coming through, not sure if they'll be that good this season but could be. Carney is one that could be a nice 6th man. Korver and Evans play roles well and I see the 76ers winning about 25-30 games, should be enough to not be last but you never know
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 9:07 am
Indiana Pacers – Who's on this team again?



:mrgreen: That made me smile. Dont sleep on Murphleavy. :wink:
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 11:54 pm
this one seems pretty whack to me - Miami is rated way too high. Shaq is done and the team is old. Toronto is better this year, and Orlando is rated too low. I also see Charlotte as a sleeper 8th seed possible if JRich pans out and they can get anything out of Morrison.
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