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ValanciunasFanboy 12-21-2011 08:21 AM

ESPN Eastern Conference Predictions
 
NBA -- Eastern Conference projected standings - ESPN

1. Heat
2. Bulls
3. Celtics
4. Magic
5. Sixers
6. Pacers
7. Knicks
8. Deers
9. Hawks
10. Nets
11. Wizards / Pistons
13. Raptors
14. Cavs
15. Pussycats

Quote:

13. Toronto Raptors (19-47)

Toronto has finally come to grips with reality. No longer are the Raps delusional about loading up on mediocre veterans with long-term deals, nor about winning games without bothering to play defense. With Toronto again last in Defensive Efficiency in 2010-11, the overmatched Jay Triano was finally shown the door. Replacing him is former Dallas zone defense maestro Dwane Casey, who now must upgrade one of the most pathetic defensive outfits in league annals.

Central to Casey's cause is center Andrea Bargnani, who is offensively gifted but remains one of the most clueless off-ball defenders in the game. He's mobile for his size though, and the Raps may experiment with playing him at power forward periodically now that they have some genuine size. Don't be surprised if 7-footers Solomon Alabi and Aaron Gray get a fair amount of run.

Alas, they also have to clear minutes for Ed Davis, a revelation as a high-percentage finisher a year ago, but one who needs to add strength to battle NBA big men. Ditto for Amir Johnson, who quietly had a strong season last year but like his frontcourt mates, suffers from a lack of lower-body strength at the defensive end.

In fact, Toronto's frontcourt looks pretty darn good going forward. First-round pick Jonas Valuncianas won't be coming over this season, but at only 19 years of age, he ranks among the best players in Europe and looks like a star in the making. He and Davis could be a fearsome combo in five years; Bargnani, whatever you think of him, would make for a pretty potent sixth man in that arrangement.

On the wing, DeMar DeRozan flashed some star potential as a scorer, but the rest of his game lies dormant; he needs to pass the ball once in a while and play some defense. Small forward looms as a huge weakness, although the talented but ridiculously mistake-prone James Johnson remains intriguing. And at the point, Jose Calderon is a flawless offensive operator and a traffic cone for opposing point guards.

Big picture, there are a lot of problems here beyond Casey's control -- team president Bryan Colangelo invested almost entirely in offensive players, so the result is again likely to be a decent offense paired with a hopeless defense. But if Casey can persuade his charges -- particularly Bargnani -- to compete and at least use their length as a deterrent, the Raptors' D should be less of an embarrassment.

ValanciunasFanboy 12-21-2011 08:24 AM

I'm surprised at low projections of Hawks and Knicks, tbh. While Sixers / Magic seem high-ish.
Obviously, Dwight trade could change everything here.
Sounds fair re Raptors. I think Cats are clearly the worst team. Raptors, Cavs, Wizards and Pistons could end up in any order.

Admiral 12-21-2011 09:04 AM

when have we been loading up on mediocre veterans with long-term deals? we only have like 1 or 2 of them each year, thats no more than any other team

Superjudge 12-21-2011 09:44 AM

the overmatched Jay Triano was finally shown the door.

Ridiculous.

Triano is likely just as smart as Casey. Basketball is science man.

The guy calls Triano over matched yet blatantly admits that BC loaded up on offensive guys that can't defend. Can't we move forward without having to throw dirt at people.

Anyhow, whatever, Triano is a close friend of a friend of mine. You'd be surprised to hear some of the things he talked about last year. It was sad actually.

As for the rest, this article is bang on. Period. Can't argue.

ValanciunasFanboy 12-21-2011 09:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Admiral (Post 589286)
when have we been loading up on mediocre veterans with long-term deals? we only have like 1 or 2 of them each year, thats no more than any other team

Lets see, Calderon, Kleiza, Turkoglu and Jarett Jack at the start of last season. Am I forgetting someone? No upside, no sense for a rebuilding team, no significant trade value.
Obviously, he's not comparing you to Celtics or Dallas, only to sensible rebuilding projects. You were Pistons-like, and now there's a visible smart direction.

Windex 12-21-2011 10:05 AM

Hawks should be over the Bucks and Knicks higher.

Scully 12-21-2011 10:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Superjudge (Post 589293)
the overmatched Jay Triano was finally shown the door.

Ridiculous.

Triano is likely just as smart as Casey. Basketball is science man.

The guy calls Triano over matched yet blatantly admits that BC loaded up on offensive guys that can't defend. Can't we move forward without having to throw dirt at people.

Anyhow, whatever, Triano is a close friend of a friend of mine. You'd be surprised to hear some of the things he talked about last year. It was sad actually.

As for the rest, this article is bang on. Period. Can't argue.

I think jay was over matched. Not only by other coaches but by this raptor team. He had no answer for a team that just didn't give a shit. It wasen't just the Defensive end either, it was every thing. Some of the worst offensive sets I have ever seen, it was like pick up.

DDUnreal 12-21-2011 10:20 AM

They're really underrating the Knicks...Magics are going to be worse this year for sure. I think the Bucks can be that high, Hawks are so hit or miss. Passed that its really going to be close for who can tank hardest. Oh and cavs are going to be better than the Raps..:sigh:

Scully 12-21-2011 10:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Windex (Post 589299)
Hawks should be over the Bucks and Knicks higher.

The hawks are going to suck. The Bucks with Captain Jack and Bogut back will be a playoff team. The Knicks are so low because they have zero depth and it going to be difficult for them to through a season with multiple 7 games in 9 day stretches. They are going to be fighting for the playoffs.

Edit: There is no way the Celtics are going to be in the top three. Unless they find some front court solutions.

Superjudge 12-21-2011 10:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Scully (Post 589301)
I think jay was over matched. Not only by other coaches but by this raptor team. He had no answer for a team that just didn't give a shit. It wasen't just the Defensive end either, it was every thing. Some of the worst offensive sets I have ever seen, it was like pick up.

There was so much more going on.

the guys is a fucking encyclopedia of hoops. he had zero efficacy because he was usurped by his GM. Trust me man, I heard some shit. Basically, he knew way early in the year he was gone. Colangelo had him way under the bus, and of course the whole team knew it as well. The same shit you are hearing Casey say and do, Jay was doing and saying... problem is, he had zero back up. You can't give a person accountability without authority in any business environment, you are setting them up to fail (write that down ala Van Wilder)

So, was Triano over matched...hmm...not really, but he was definitely operating in a no win environment. most coaches are once it starts going South, save a few that have gained significant clout, and there about 3-4 of those league wide max.

So now Colangelo, well he's Jay now, now his ass is on the line, so you're seeing the calls made that SHOULD have been made three years ago. Sadly Jay got fucked by it all but he's getting his pay so thats good. still though, it's frustrating for him.

thats the biz though, he knew it going in.

Scully 12-21-2011 10:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Superjudge (Post 589305)
There was so much more going on.

the guys is a fucking encyclopedia of hoops. he had zero efficacy because he was usurped by his GM. Trust me man, I heard some shit. Basically, he knew way early in the year he was gone. Colangelo had him way under the bus, and of course the whole team knew it as well. The same shit you are hearing Casey say and do, Jay was doing and saying... problem is, he had zero back up. You can't give a person accountability without authority in any business environment, you are setting them up to fail (write that down ala Van Wilder)

So, was Triano over matched...hmm...not really, but he was definitely operating in a no win environment. most coaches are once it starts going South, save a few that have gained significant clout, and there about 3-4 of those league wide max.

So now Colangelo, well he's Jay now, now his ass is on the line, so you're seeing the calls made that SHOULD have been made three years ago. Sadly Jay got fucked by it all but he's getting his pay so thats good. still though, it's frustrating for him.

thats the biz though, he knew it going in.

Traino was not saying and doing the same as what Casey has been. I have watched almost every interview with Casey from training camp and that mentality was not apart of the teams make up last year. And I am not slamming Jays knowledge base, he was a coach in the NBA, olympics, etc..etc.. But he did not project authority to his squad, if want to goat BC for the make of the team, that's your opinion. If want to say traino was victim of plot to undermine his presences in front of the team, i am not going persuade you other wise. But if it where that bad Traino should have walked at the allstar break, not taking a hand out front office job.

carp 12-21-2011 10:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Superjudge (Post 589305)
There was so much more going on.

the guys is a fucking encyclopedia of hoops. he had zero efficacy because he was usurped by his GM. Trust me man, I heard some shit. Basically, he knew way early in the year he was gone. Colangelo had him way under the bus, and of course the whole team knew it as well. The same shit you are hearing Casey say and do, Jay was doing and saying... problem is, he had zero back up. You can't give a person accountability without authority in any business environment, you are setting them up to fail (write that down ala Van Wilder)

So, was Triano over matched...hmm...not really, but he was definitely operating in a no win environment. most coaches are once it starts going South, save a few that have gained significant clout, and there about 3-4 of those league wide max.

So now Colangelo, well he's Jay now, now his ass is on the line, so you're seeing the calls made that SHOULD have been made three years ago. Sadly Jay got fucked by it all but he's getting his pay so thats good. still though, it's frustrating for him.

thats the biz though, he knew it going in.

I see what you're saying, but Jay just seemed overwhelmed too.... he didn't have the ability to lay down the hammer. I think being promoted from an assistant didn't help him here. Jay is a smart guy, but he didn't do a good job of being a hard ass.

Superjudge 12-21-2011 11:11 AM

Scully, its part of the game he signed up for, its a regular occurrence in the NBA nd it's how they do things. It's for this reason (Carp) that he didn't leave. You just accept your future and ride it out.

he didn't have the "hammer" because he wasn't given a Hammer.

I'm not saying he's Red Auerbach, I'm saying, the concepts and approach the new guy have aren't so different, you are just allowed to do things different when you have the Authority to do so.

Now, if you wanna compare, Casey has a ring. Period. Players seem to like that and so culturally they will respect it. So ya, Casey is gonna get a bit more cooperation and thats a VERY good thing for us fans.

carp 12-21-2011 11:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Superjudge (Post 589314)
Scully, its part of the game he signed up for, its a regular occurrence in the NBA nd it's how they do things. It's for this reason (Carp) that he didn't leave. You just accept your future and ride it out.

he didn't have the "hammer" because he wasn't given a Hammer.

I'm not saying he's Red Auerbach, I'm saying, the concepts and approach the new guy have aren't so different, you are just allowed to do things different when you have the Authority to do so.

Now, if you wanna compare, Casey has a ring. Period. Players seem to like that and so culturally they will respect it. So ya, Casey is gonna get a bit more cooperation and thats a VERY good thing for us fans.

True.... but one other point to see is this.... Triano is now apart of the management team in some capacity, and it's likely that he knew he would be. Either Colangelo respects his pedigree, likes him as a man or felt sorry for him, it's likely that Triano didn't want to do anything controversial to disrupt his future position/career path as well. If that's the case, he failed himself.

jeffb 12-21-2011 11:35 AM

Sixers 5th? I doubt it.

Superjudge 12-21-2011 11:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by carp (Post 589317)
If that's the case, he failed himself.

I dunno Jeff, he's a Niagara boy, working for the Raps is a Dream job. He's getting great coin to stay home and work.

Scully 12-21-2011 11:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jeffb (Post 589321)
Sixers 5th? I doubt it.

Have you watched them play yet. Evan Turner dropped 13 pts, 9 rebounds and 4 assist last night. Doug Collins has them running at pretty good click. Thay are deep and young. With Celtics and Knicks looking really thin and old don't be surprised if they're in the mix for the Atlantic title.

jeffb 12-21-2011 12:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Scully (Post 589329)
Have you watched them play yet. Evan Turner dropped 13 pts, 9 rebounds and 4 assist last night. Doug Collins has them running at pretty good click. Thay are deep and young. With Celtics and Knicks looking really thin and old don't be surprised if they're in the mix for the Atlantic title.


Naah, I don't buy it. I think the Knicks will be in the 5th-6th spot. Philadelphia isn't deep either. "Running them at a good CLIP".....it was one pre-season game against a shit team. I like their young players, namely Turner & Young but they aren't that deep.

Scully 12-21-2011 12:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jeffb (Post 589332)
Naah, I don't buy it. I think the Knicks will be in the 5th-6th spot. Philadelphia isn't deep either. "Running them at a good CLIP".....it was one pre-season game against a shit team. I like their young players, namely Turner & Young but they aren't that deep.

They had a very good playoff run last year.

Windex 12-21-2011 12:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Scully (Post 589334)
They had a very good playoff run last year.

They won a game :police:


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