Ball Don't Lie's Around the NBA Daily 2013-2014 Edition

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View Poll Results: Who will win the Larry O'Brien trophy this season?
Miami 24 41.38%
Indiana 13 22.41%
Chicago 2 3.45%
Brooklyn 1 1.72%
New York 2 3.45%
San Antonio 10 17.24%
Oklahoma City 1 1.72%
Los Angeles Clippers 1 1.72%
Golden State Warriors 3 5.17%
Houston Rockets 1 1.72%
Voters: 58. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-12-2013, 11:07 AM   #1 (permalink)
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With training camp right around the corner, and this board being dead as a doorknob, I figured I would post this a bit early to try and generate some good discussion about basketball again. Here is my 2013-2014 preview of the NBA:

Northwest Division:

Utah Jazz

Projected Starters: Alec Burks, Brandon Rush, Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors, Enes Kanter
Rotation players: John Lucas III, Alec Burks, Richard Jefferson, Rudy Gobert


Key Additions: Alec Burks, Brandon Rush


OUTLOOK:

This is year 1 of the Jazz' rebuild, as they have finally decided to strip down their roster and build from the ground up. We will see how good their frontcourt really can be this year, with all 3 projected to get as many minutes as they can handle, given their bench situation, which may be the worst in the NBA. They're going to be awful, but it'll be fun watching their frontcourt blossom and put up big numbers in the process.


Denver Nuggets

Projected Starters: Ty Lawson, Evan Fournier, Wilson Chandler, Kenneth Faried, Javale McGee
Rotation players: Andre Miller, Nate Robinson, Randy Foye, JJ Hickson, Timofey Mozgov


Key Additions: Nate Robinson, Randy Foye, JJ Hickson


OUTLOOK:

Denver once again has 12 quality players(Arthur and Hamilton look like the odd guys out, with Andre Miller possibly joining them given their additions this offseason in the backcourt) going into the season, but once again lack the star power to be able to take that next step as a franchise. With Iguodala gone, and Gallo not expected back until the new year, Ty Lawson will be relied upon even moreso to create offence, and we'll see if he can reach that next level as a PG, because that's the only way they're making the playoffs this year(unless Brian Shaw is able to give McGee a brain transplant, and somehow gets him to play 30 quality minutes in a starters role).


Portland Trail Blazers

Projected Starters: Damian Lillard, Wes Matthews, Nicolas Batum, LaMarcus Aldridge, Robin Lopez
Rotation players: Mo Williams, CJ McCollum, Dorrell Wright, Thomas Robinson, Meyers Leonard


Key Additions: Robin Lopez, Mo Williams, Dorrell Wright


OUTLOOK:

Portland quietly had one of the better offseasons in the NBA, as they were able to pick up all 3 of their key additions on really cheap, cap friendly deals, or in Lopez' case, in a salary dump during a 3 way trade. Their depth is much improved, but they have to stay healthy, and the Lillard/Aldridge tandem really needs to produce big for them to be a lower seed come playoff time. This is the year that Aldridge really needs to prove he can be an elite bigman, as he's going to have to be the primary rebounder on the floor now that Hickson signed with Denver, while still having to produce 20+ points per night.


Oklahoma City Thunder

Projected Starters: Russell Westbrook, Thabo Sefolosha, Kevin Durant, Serge Ibaka, Kendrick Perkins
Rotation players: Reggie Jackson, Jeremy Lamb, Perry Jones, Nick Collison, Steven Adams


Key Additions: No one


OUTLOOK:

OKC, like last offseason, chose to go the cheap route by not picking up any free agents. They're putting even more pressure on Durant and Westbrook to do even more, especially if Lamb or Jackson don't step into the 6th man scorer role effectively, as they'll have no one to consistently provide offence off of the bench, which will really hurt them against the elite teams in the NBA if one of them is having an off night. Usually in this kind of spot, with a team that's on the brink of something great(and also wanting to keep its superstar happy) I'd say they're likely to make a trade to bring in a veteran player to improve their scoring off of the bench, but judging by past history, that just isn't going to happen. OKC, welcome to 2nd round purgatory(if they're lucky) until their management decides to stop being cheap.


Minnesota Timberwolves

Projected Starters: Ricky Rubio, Kevin Martin, Chase Budinger, Kevin Love, Nikola Pekovic
Rotation players: JJ Barea, Alexey Shved, Corey Brewer, Derrick Williams, Dante Cunningham


Key Additions: Kevin Martin, Corey Brewer


OUTLOOK:

The only way Minnesota doesn't make the playoffs is if they don't stay healthy again. Otherwise, this is a very deep, very offensively potent team with a lot of players who are capable of helping them win games on different nights. Much like Aldridge, this is a big year for Love to prove he too belongs in the NBA's elite. The other question with this roster will be their wing defence, as Martin obviously isnt good, and Budinger is average, but their rebounding and scoring output should help combat that.


Pacific Division:

Los Angeles Lakers

Projected Starters: Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant, Wesley Johnson, Jordan Hill, Pau Gasol
Rotation players: Steve Blake, Jodie Meeks, Nick Young, Shawne Williams, Chris Kaman


Key Additions: Nick Young, Chris Kaman


OUTLOOK:

I don't think anyone has any idea what the Lakers starting 5 will look like on opening night, as there's a lot of questions to be answered in terms of Kobes health, whether D'Antoni wants to go super smallball with Meeks starting, or if they just want to go full offence mode and start Young. Either way, this roster is a mess, and they will likely be in the bottom 5 in terms of defensive efficiency. If Kobe isn't fully healed, expect LA to be out of the playoff picture by early 2014, unless Gasol and Nash find the fountain of youth, and D'Antoni magically becomes a good Head Coach.


Los Angeles Clippers

Projected Starters: Chris Paul, JJ Redick, Jared Dudley, Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan
Rotation players: Darren Collison, Jamal Crawford, Matt Barnes, Antawn Jamison, Byron Mullens

Key Additions: JJ Redick, Jared Dudley, Darren Collison, Byron Mullens


OUTLOOK:

The Clippers had a great offseason in adding consistent 3 point shooting into their starting unit, something they've lacked since Paul came to the team. The bench looks very good much like last season as well. This season will be all about Doc Rivers ability to coach, which is something I still question, as he's been able to hide behind the greatness of the Celtics the past 5 years. This team won 57 games last year, but it doesn't really matter how many they win this year, their success will be based off of their playoff performance, which will be directly based off of how Doc is able to coach Jordan, Griffin, and Mullens to become MUCH better defensively. Lastly, he has to help Griffin take his game to the next level on offence, as he needs to be a dominant post scorer come playoff time by making much quicker decisions, and using his unbelieveable quickness to his advantage. I hate to say it again, but see Love/Aldridge, with regard to Blakes growth as a player.


Phoenix Suns

Projected Starters: Goran Dragic, Eric Bledsoe, PJ Tucker, Markieff Morris, Marcin Gortat
Rotation players: Kendall Marshall, Archie Goodwin, Shannon Brown, Marcus Morris, Alex Len


Key Additions: Eric Bledsoe, Alex Len


OUTLOOK:

This is one really ugly looking roster, 2nd to only Philadelphia in terms of teams blatantly tanking. We will learn this year if Bledsoe is cut out to be a starting player in the NBA, and the other younger players(even Gerald Green) will have a lot of opportunities under new Head Coach Jeff Hornacek. Unless Hornacek is the second coming of Thibodeau, they should be in the bottom 5 with regard to defence, and team record(probably offence too in looking at their starting 2/3, and chuckers on the bench). Let the rebuild begin.


Golden State Warriors

Projected Starters: Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala, David Lee, Andrew Bogut
Rotation players: Toney Douglas, Harrison Barnes, Draymond Green, Marreese Speights, Jermaine O'Neal

Key Additions: Andre Iguodala, Marreese Speights

OUTLOOK:

The Warriors come back this year with an even better roster than last, which made the second round of the playoffs last season. Adding Iguodala will not only bolster their perimeter defence and allow them to play one of the most lethal smallball lineups in the league, but take pressure off of Curry early in games and 3rd quarters to not always have to create offence. Jack did well in this role off of the bench, but the main difference between him and Iggy in the same type of role on offence is Iggy won't play hero ball at the end of games like Jack often did, where Curry will now have to prove time and again that he is elite. If Curry and Bogut can go into the playoffs healthy again, look for the Warriors to take another step in terms of their progress, and make, in the least, the Conference Finals this season.


Sacramento Kings

Projected Starters: Greivas Vasquez, Marcus Thornton, Luc Mbah A Moute, Jason Thompson, DeMarcus Cousins
Rotation players: Isaiah Thomas, Ben McLemore, John Salmons, Carl Landry, Chuck Hayes


Key Additions: Greivas Vasquez, Ben McLemore


OUTLOOK:

I almost just copy pasted last years preview of this team, besides the part where I mentioned it was Tyrekes last year to prove himself, because they're coming into this year with almost exactly the same roster. They've upgraded their point guard depth with Vasquez, but they are still going to be abysmal defensively because they still have almost the same lineup as last year, plus Vasquez is nowhere near as good defensively as Thomas(again, even with Thomas in the lineup, they still sucked). Their bench unit has improved with Thomas and Landry being a nice pick and roll duo, as well as the addition of McLemore, but they're going to be in the cellar in the West for yet another season.


Southwest Division:


Dallas Mavericks

Projected Starters: Jose Calderon, Monta Ellis, Shawn Marion, Dirk Nowitzki, Samuel Dalembert
Rotation players: Gal Mekel, Vince Carter, Wayne Ellington, Dejuan Blair, Brandan Wright


Key Additions: Jose Calderon, Monta Ellis, Samuel Dalembert, Devin Harris(inj)


OUTLOOK:

The Mavericks decided to go with the Milwaukee Bucks rebuilding plan, in signing fringe starters to unmoveable long term contracts in the hopes of just making the playoffs. Although this team will score a lot of points, be a lot of fun to watch, and fight for the 8th seed, it won't be worth it because they've handcuffed themselves in terms of their financial flexibility for the future, assuming Dirk doesn't do Cuban a favor and take a lot less money on his next contract. They're going to be awesome offensively, and one of the worst defensively. Expect Rick Carlisle to lose all of his hair before the end of the season.


San Antonio Spurs

Projected Starters: Tony Parker, Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, Tim Duncan, Tiago Splitter
Rotation players: Corey Joseph, Manu Ginobili, Marco Belinelli, Matt Bonner, Tiago Splitter

Key Additions: Marco Belinelli


OUTLOOK:

The Spurs weren't active this offseason, nor should they have been, coming off of a season where they were one shot away from winning the championship. I love their addition of Belinelli, who will allow Ginobili to not only play a lot less minutes, but also lessen his role on offence in the playoffs due to his ability to handle the ball in the second unit. The Spurs are prime for another run at the title this season, so long as father time does not catch up to Tim Duncan. Kawhi Leonard will likely become more of an option now for the Spurs in the halfcourt offence, which should lessen the workload for Duncan in the regular season, allowing him to stay fresh for the playoffs.


Houston Rockets

Projected Starters: Jeremy Lin, James Harden, Chandler Parsons, Terrence Jones, Dwight Howard

Rotation players: Patrick Beverley, Francisco Garcia, Reggie Williams, Donatas Motiejunas, Omer Asik


Key Additions: Dwight Howard


OUTLOOK:

Houston had the best offseason in the NBA in adding Dwight Howard. They've also added veterans not listed in the 'rotation players' with Aaron Brooks, Omri Casspi, and Marcus Camby(they still have Greg Smith as well) who will all likely play throughout the year but won't be rotation players unless there's injuries. Harden and Dwight will likely lead this team to being the best offensive team in the league, but their success will come at the defensive end with Lin, Harden, and their Power Forward combination of Jones and Donatas having to dig in defensively if they're really going to have any success in the playoffs this upcoming season. They also have to figure out what they're going to do with Omer Asik, who likely won't fit as the starting 4 due to offensive spacing issues, but is far too good to come off the bench and only play 15 minutes per game, which could cause a problem for the Rockets at the start of the season. If they can gain chemistry early and at least be average on defence, they should win at least one round in the playoffs. Their best case scenario this year is a title contender, if everything goes right, because they definitely have the talent and supporting cast to make a big push this season.

New Orleans Hornets

Projected Starters: Jrue Holiday, Eric Gordon, Tyreke Evans, Anthony Davis, Jason Smith
Rotation players: Brian Roberts, Austin Rivers,Al Farouq Aminu, Ryan Anderson, Greg Stiemsma


Key Additions: Jrue Holiday, Tyreke Evans


OUTLOOK:

For me, this is the hardest team in the league to predict. They have 4 really good players in their starting lineup who are capable of having a big game on any given night, and if they mesh together offensively, this could be a really good team even in the West because they have one of the best Head Coaches in the NBA, especially with respect to defence. You know this team is going to be in the top 10 defensively, not only because of Monty Williams system, but now you have capable, talented players throughout the lineup. The real question with this team, again, is how they're going to run their offence when their 1-3 positions are usually ball dominant players, though Jrue and Gordon have shown that they can play off of the ball effectively, and Tyreke really improved from the 3 point line this season. With Davis' improvement, and the defensive potential of this team, I like their chances of making the playoffs as a low seed in the West.

Memphis Grizzlies

Projected Starters: Mike Conley, Tony Allen, Quincy Pondexter, Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol
Rotation players: Jerryd Bayless, Mike Miller, Tayshaun Prince, Ed Davis, Kosta Koufos


Key Additions: Mike Miller


OUTLOOK:

The Grizzlies upgraded their roster a bit this offeason by swapping Arthur for Koufos, who will have a bigger imapct off of the bench, but more importantly it opens up minutes for Ed Davis at the 4, and 5 positions in smallball lineups. I expect the Grizzlies to start Pondexter this year to space the floor better, and bring Prince off of the bench. Overall, they have the same ceiling as last season, as a team that can win 1 round but doesn't have enough firepower to be a true contender.

Western Conference Standing Predictions:

1. SAS
2. OKC
3. LAC
4. GSW
5. HOU
6. MEM
7. MIN
8. NOH
9. DAL
10.POR
11.DEN
12.LAL
13.SAC
14.UTA
15.PHX
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Old 09-12-2013, 11:08 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Southeast Division

Atlanta Hawks-

Projected Starters: Jeff Teague, Kyle Korver, Demarre Carroll, Paul Millsap, Al Horford
Rotation players: Dennis Schroder, Lou Williams(inj), John Jenkins, Mike Scott, Elton Brand

Key Additions: Paul Millsap, Dennis Schroder

OUTLOOK:

Atlanta couldn't bring Dwight and CP3 together this offseason, so like Dallas, they brought in players who would help them stay compettitive, but they were able to do so by signing said players to much more cap friendly deals. They will still fight for the lower seeds in the Eastern playoffs, but I don't think they have enough scoring on their roster if Lou Williams isn't back at the start of the regular season.


Orlando Magic


Projected Starters: Jameer Nelson, Victor Oladipo, Aaron Afflalo, Tobias Harris, Nikola Vucevic
Rotation players: E'Twaun Moore, Moe Hawkless, Andrew Nicholson, Glen Davis, Kyle O'Quinn

Key Additions: Victor Oladipo


OUTLOOK:

The Magic only made one small free agent pick up in Maxiell who likely wont play much this season, as they're in year 2 of their rebuild. Their 1st year was a big success in terms of acquiring many very good young prospects in the Howard/JJ Reddick trades, and I expect them to move at least Afflalo and Davis, if not Nelson as well before the trade deadline ends, to open up more minutes to the slew of wing players and guards on their roster. The Magic are going to be bad again next year, but next offseason is when they're going to try and make their splash, and it should be a big one with cap space and another lottery pick being added to an already flush with young talent roster.


Charlotte Bobcats

Projected Starters: Kemba Walker, Gerald Henderson, Michael Kidd Gilchrest, Josh McRoberts, Al Jefferson
Rotation players: Ramon Sessions, Ben Gordon, Jeff Taylor, Cody Zeller, Bismack Biyombo

Key Additions: Al Jefferson, Cody Zeller


OUTLOOK:

The Bobcats finally brought in some frontcourt talent in adding Jefferson and Zeller. Jefferson should have another 20+10 season as the number one option in Charlotte, but they will struggle on both sides of the ball again this season due to their lack of interior presence on defence, and lack of wing scoring on offence. If MKG can break out this season, this would change everything for the Bobcats, who would have a shot then of making the playoffs, but his jumpshot still looks broken, and if it is, defences won't respect him enough on the perimeter to open up his underrated driving and passing ability because they'll be able to play so far off of him again.


Washington Wizards

Projected Starters: John Wall, Bradley Beal, Martell Webster, Emeka Okafor, Nene
Rotation players: Eric Maynor, Otto Porter, Trevor Ariza, Trevor Booker, Kevin Seraphin

Key Additions: Eric Maynor, Otto Porter


OUTLOOK:

The Wizards biggest improvement this year will come from their backcourt, and not so much from the good bench pieces they brought in to help bolster the roster(Maynor, Porter, Harrington). John Wall was one of the best point guards in the NBA when he returned in the 2nd half of the season, and I expect him to take his game to a pre injury Rose level this season. I believe Beal will take a big leap this year as well, becoming one of the leagues most lethal shooting guards. If they're able to stay healthy and build chemistry early as one of the highest scoring backcourts in the NBA, and their defence continues to improve as it did in the 2nd half of last season, then the Wizards should make the playoffs for the first time in 5 years.

Miami Heat

Projected Starters: Mario Chalmers, Dwyane Wade, Lebron James, Udonis Haslem, Chris Bosh
Rotation players: Norris Cole, Ray Allen, Michael Beasley, Chris Anderson

Key Additions: Michael Beasley, Greg Oden


OUTLOOK:

The Heat essentially stood pat this offseason, only adding two players who are low risk, high reward signings. If Beasley can stay out of trouble, and shed his lazy habits, he could be a very good pick up for Miami as a nice scoring option off of the bench for the Heat. The Heat are hoping Oden is healthy and able to play 10-15 minutes per game come playoff time for when they have to contend with Hibbert and Noah. Both players are unlikely to contribute to the Heat based off the past, but if they do, Miami will be even tougher to beat this season. If they don't end up contributing, then Miami will hope that Wade is healthy when it matters, as he is the teams X factor in terms of putting them over the top in the later rounds of the playoffs.


Central Division:

Chicago Bulls

Projected Starters: Derrick Rose, Jimmy Butler, Luol Deng, Carlos Boozer, Joakim Noah
Rotation players: Kirk Hinrich, Mike Dunleavy, Tony Snell, Taj Gibson, Erik Murphy


Key Additions: Tony Snell, Mike Dunleavy, Erik Murphy


OUTLOOK:

The Bulls had a really good draft in selecting Snell, and Murphy, two players who will contribute immediately off of the bench for them. Both players give the Bulls much needed shooting and energy off of the bench, to go along with the veteran play of Hinrich, Dunleavy, and Gibson. Ultimately, the Bulls season hinders on Rose's recovery and how good he can be coming back from major knee surgery. If he's 90+% of what he was pre injury, the Bulls will be legitimate title contenders, as they have finally found a legit starting shooting guard to pair with Rose who is a very good 2 way player. IF Rose is healthy again, I think they have the second best chance of knocking off the Heat this offseason, only behind the Pacers.

Detroit Pistons

Projected Starters: Brandon Jennings, Kentavious Caldwell Pope, Josh Smith, Greg Monroe, Andre Drummond
Rotation players: Chauncey Billups, Rodney Stuckey, Kyle Singler, Luigi Datome, Josh Harrelson


Key Additions: Brandon Jennings, Josh Smith, Kentavious Caldwell Pope


OUTLOOK:

The Pistons decided to scrap the rebuilding strategy, and try to emulate the formula that helped them win the championship in 2004, by acquiring unwanted players with a lot of talent, and hoping the talent meshes together. I don't believe the Josh Smith at Small Forward experiment is going to last long in today's NBA game which is all about spacing on the wings(which is why I think Pope will start over Stuckey), so they're going to have to decifer a rotation that works, which may end up being bringing Drummond off of the bench, and splitting the minutes at the power forward and center positions equally between him, Smith, and Drummond. The Pistons are essentially the Hornets of the East in terms of being unpredictable due to having a complete roster makeover, but I think that they will ultimately figure things out this season, and the renewed model of bringing in highly troubled, yet highly motivated players will work, as I think both Jennings and Smith will have good seasons, and help lead the Pistons back into the playoffs. If Jennings especially doesn't grow up this season, the Pistons will be in a lot of trouble not only this season, but the future as well since they are already tied up financially with Monroes extension upcoming.


Cleveland Cavaliers

Projected Starters: Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters, Earl Clark, Tristan Thompson, Andrew Bynum(inj?)
Rotation players: Jarrett Jack, CJ Miles, Alonzo Gee, Anthony Bennett, Anderson Varejao, Tyler Zeller


Key Additions: Andrew Bynum, Anthony Bennett, Jarrett Jack, Earl Clark


OUTLOOK:

The Cavaliers had a very good offseason, in adding one of the best 6th men in the NBA, and a lot of frontcourt depth and talent. They needed an infusion of talent in the frontcourt to be able to combat the inevitable injuries to Varejao, and likely many missed games from Bynum. Even if both players are out at the same time, they will now still have a solid 4 man rotation of Clark, Bennett, Thompson, and Zeller to be able to play solid extended minutes if need be. I don't think there's any doubt that this team will be in the playoffs this season with Kyrie leading the way, but their success in terms of what seed they'll be will determined by Waiters growth as a player, in my opinion, as he would make them a much better team if he would commit to the defensive side of the ball, and stop taking so many bad shots on offence. If he doesn't, I don't think Mike Brown will hesitate to play Jack 30+ minutes per game, but in doing so, Cleveland will suffer as teams will exploit their lack of height in the backcourt.


Milwaukee Bucks

Projected Starters: Brandon Knight, OJ Mayo, Caron Butler, Ersan Ilyasova, Larry Sanders
Rotation players: Luke Ridnour, Gary Neal, Carlos Delfino, John Henson, Zaza Pachulia


Key Additions: Brandon Knight, OJ Mayo, Carlos Delfino


OUTLOOK:

The treadmill rolls on.


Indiana Pacers

Projected Starters: George Hill, Paul George, Danny Granger, David West, Roy Hibbert
Rotation players: CJ Watson, Lance Stephenson, Chris Copeland, Luis Scola, Ian Mahinmi


Key Additions: CJ Watson, Chris Copeland, Luis Scola


OUTLOOK:

The Pacers have one of the best management teams in the NBA. They had one of the worst benches in the NBA, so this offseason they went out and got 3 very good role players to bolster their bench scoring, while also adding Granger back into the mix. They have had a fantastic offseason, and they are prime to beat the Heat this year.


Atlantic Division:

Boston Celtics

Projected Starters: Rajon Rondo(inj), Avery Bradley, Jeff Green, Brandon Bass, Kelly Olynyk
Rotation players: Courtney Lee, Marshon Brooks, Kris Humphries, Jared Sullinger,


Key Additions: Kelly Olynyk


OUTLOOK:

The Big 3 is finally gone, and Rondo is going to be out for the first month plus. The Celtics are likely going to be in the tank after the first month of the season, and all bets are off when Rondo comes back in terms of how he handles losing. It'll be very interesting to see which direction Ainge goes in if rumors begin about Rondo being unhappy once he returns from injury. Either way, they're going to be in the lottery this year.


Philadelphia 76ers

Projected Starters: Michael Carter-Williams, Evan Turner, James Anderson, Thaddeus Young, Spencer Hawes
Rotation players: Tony Wroten, Arnett Moultrie, Lavoy Allen, Nerlens Noel


Key Additions: Michael Carter-Williams, Nerlens Noel


OUTLOOK:

If any team was going to get fined for tanking before the year started, it'd be the 2013-14 Philadelphia 76ers. Their best player is Thaddeus Young. Think about that for a second. They may end up being the worst team of all time. They're going to have some games where only 4000 fans fill the stands this year.


New York Knicks

Projected Starters: Raymond Felton, Pablo Prigioni, Iman Shumpert, Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler
Rotation players: Beno Udrih, JR Smith, Metta World Peace, Andrea Bargnani, Amare Stoudemire


Key Additions: Metta World Peace, Andrea Bargnani


OUTLOOK:

I think one thing is for certain with this roster, is that their defensive efficiency is going to go down if both Bargnani and Amare are healthy, and playing at the same time(doesn't even have to be together). The good thing about their roster is they have a lot of talented players, but Mike Brown is going to have to show that he's a damn good coach to make it work to become title contenders this season. I still believe that their best chance of beating the top 4 teams in the East is to keep Amares minutes down this season, but have him play exclusively in lineups with Carmelo and Chandler so they can gain chemistry together, and when the playoffs begin, they can increase his minutes and that lineup will give them the best chance of beating the elite in the East. I think the Knicks are destined for a 5th seed finish and a 1st round exit this season, barring injuries.


Toronto Raptors

Projected Starters: Kyle Lowry, Demar Derozan, Rudy Gay, Amir Johnson, Jonas Valanciunas
Rotation players: DJ Augustin, Terrence Ross, Landry Fields, Steve Novak, Tyler Hansbrough


Key Additions: Tyler Hansbrough


OUTLOOK:

I'm not going to go with the cautiously optomistic prediction this year, as I've taken off my rose tinted glasses. A lot of things need to go right for us to make the playoffs this year. First of all, our defence needs be improve drastically from last season. Second, Casey needs to impliment an entirely new system on offence, that hopefully does not involve either Demar or Gay trying to create shots starting behind the 3 point line(hopefully he plays to their strengths and posts them up, or screens for them to catch the ball in the 15-18 foot area EARLY in the clock). Also, Jonas needs to be a lot more involved in the offence, as he should be used in a lot more pick and roll plays, and high low opportunities with Amir, who is an underrated passer. Third, someone from our bench needs to step up and be a high volume bench scorer, which will likely come down to either Buycks, who I expect will unseat DJ for the backup point guard position before Christmas, or Ross. If that doesn't happen, then our bench will be awful, and we'll have no chance of making the playoffs, where we had a small chance previously. In conclusion, if all of these things happen we can retain the 7th or 8th seed, but the odds of that are very, very low. Tank nation commence!


Brooklyn Nets

Projected Starters: Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Brook Lopez
Rotation players: Shaun Livingston, Jason Terry, Andrei Kirilenko, Mirza Teletovic, Andray Blatche


Key Additions: Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Andrei Kirilenko


OUTLOOK:

The Nets are all in the next 2 seasons, and they have an extremely talented roster from top to bottom. When Reggie Evans is your 11th man, you're doing something right. The key to Brooklyn winning the championship this season is Brook Lopez. He needs to be a sponge this year, and go into training camp with an open mind. He needs to learn from Garnett and Kirilenko, in terms of where to be on rotations in every scenario, and to be their anchor in the paint on both offence and defence. If he elevates his game and becomes a complete player, Brooklyn is going to be extremely difficult to beat in the playoffs with their size, length, veteran savvy, and depth. I expect Deron Williams to have his best year as a Net as well with all of the open space he'll have with the talent surrounding him, but ultimately the Nets fate lies in Lopez' hands.

Eastern Conference Standings Prediction:

1. Miami
2. Indiana
3. Chicago
4. Brooklyn
5. New York
6. Cleveland
7. Washington
8. Detroit
9. Atlanta
10. Milwaukee
11. Toronto
12. Charlotte
13. Orlando
14. Boston
15. Philadelphia
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Old 09-12-2013, 02:42 PM   #3 (permalink)
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There's no -other- vote

You know who I got

They did it before, they can do it again. Shake up the world Trailblazers!
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Old 09-12-2013, 03:04 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I think Miami will win again, but I would want Indiana or Golden State to win it. These are my two favorite teams atm other than Raptors obviously.
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Old 09-12-2013, 10:05 PM   #5 (permalink)
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1. Miami
2. Indiana
3. Brooklyn
4. Chicago
5. New York
6. Washington
7. Atlanta
8. Cleveland
9. Toronto
10. Detroit
11. Milwaukee
12. Boston
13. Orlando
14. Charlotte
15. Philadelphia
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Old 09-13-2013, 12:21 AM   #6 (permalink)
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1. Miami
2. Indiana
3. Brooklyn
4. Chicago
5. New York
6. Washington
7. Atlanta
8. Cleveland
9. Toronto
10. Detroit
11. Milwaukee
12. Boston
13. Orlando
14. Charlotte
15. Philadelphia
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Old 09-13-2013, 09:53 AM   #7 (permalink)
is pounding the rock!

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1. Miami
2. Chicago
3. Indiana
4. New York
5. Brooklyn

6. Washington
7. Toronto
8. Cleveland
9. Milwaukee
10. Detroit

11. Atlanta
12. Boston
13. Orlando
14. Charlotte
15. Philadelphia
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Old 09-13-2013, 10:57 AM   #8 (permalink)
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1. Miami
2. Chicago
3. Indiana
4. Brooklyn
5. New York
6. Atlanta
7. Detroit
8. Cleveland
9. Milwaukee
10. Toronto
11. Washington
12. Boston
13. Orlando
14. Charlotte
15. Philadelphia
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Old 09-13-2013, 04:30 PM   #9 (permalink)
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1. Miami
2. Indiana
3. Chicago
4. Brooklyn
5. New York
6. Atlanta
7. Cleveland
8. Detroit
9. Toronto
10. Washington
11. Milwaukee
12. Boston
13. Orlando
14. Charlotte
15. Philadelphia
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Old 09-13-2013, 10:00 PM   #10 (permalink)
is all bout dat life

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1. Indiana
2. Miami
3. Chicago
4. Brooklyn
5. New York
6. Cleveland
7. Washington
8. Detroit
9. Toronto
10. Atlanta
11. Milwaukee
12. Boston
13. Orlando
14. Charlotte
15. Philadelphia

1. San Antonio
2. Oklahoma City
3. Golden State
4. LA Clippers
5. Memphis
6. Houston
7. Dallas
8. Minnesota
9. LA Lakers
10. New Orleans
11. Denver
12. Portland
13. Utah
14. Sacramento
15. Phoenix

I think Dallas is going to do better then most people think with their veteran team. Also, I think the Pacers will come on top of the East. We are talking about team that took Miami to 7 and now with a healthy Danny Granger, Luis Scola, CJ Watson, and now with a lot more experience they will take it to the next level. Expecting George and Hibbert to be sure shot All-Stars.

Last edited by Nites; 09-15-2013 at 08:26 PM.
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Old 09-19-2013, 12:16 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Paul George has publicly said he will sign a long-term extension with the Indiana Pacers.

“(A long-term contract) is going to get done,” George said. “There will be a deal signed and sealed on the table before the season. We’re (George and Pacers management) on the same page.”

George would become a restricted free agent next offseason if he doesn't sign an extension.

During the summer, George told ESPN radio that it would be difficult not to come to the Los Angeles Lakers, his hometown team, if Kobe Bryant recruited him personally.

“Honestly, I love it here," said George of remaining with Indiana. "I want to be here. It’s a great place. There are no distractions. I can stay focused. It’s all about basketball here. I can stay focused and do my job.”
Paul George Says Hell Sign Extension With Pacers - RealGM Wiretap
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Old 10-05-2013, 07:23 PM   #12 (permalink)
is praying Ross makes us forget Drummomd so people stop whining

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Old 10-05-2013, 08:01 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Rose is so fast. Good to see him back
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Old 10-05-2013, 08:03 PM   #14 (permalink)
is praying Ross makes us forget Drummomd so people stop whining

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Rose is so fast. Good to see him back
He looks great
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Old 10-05-2013, 08:15 PM   #15 (permalink)
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He looks great
Ye, was rusty in the beginning, but it was expected. He is getting better as the game goes on. The bulls D is just on another level
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Old 10-05-2013, 08:17 PM   #16 (permalink)
is praying Ross makes us forget Drummomd so people stop whining

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Ye, was rusty in the beginning, but it was expected. He is getting better as the game goes on. The bulls D is just on another level
what knee was injured? when he got knocked over by hibbert and landed on his right leg I wondered. lol
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Old 10-05-2013, 08:19 PM   #17 (permalink)
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what knee was injured? when he got knocked over by hibbert and landed on his right leg I wondered. lol
I think it was acl on the left leg. Not 100% sure
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Old 10-05-2013, 08:24 PM   #18 (permalink)
is praying Ross makes us forget Drummomd so people stop whining

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I think it was acl on the left leg. Not 100% sure
Quote:
During Game 1 of the first round of the playoffs against the Philadelphia 76ers, Rose injured his left knee while trying to jump. He was immediately helped off the court. The injury occurred when the Bulls were leading by 12 points with 1:22 left to play.[81] An MRI later revealed that Rose tore the ACL in his left knee and would miss the rest of the season.[82] Rose had surgery performed on May 12, 2012, with an estimated recovery period of 8–12 months
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Old 10-05-2013, 09:11 PM   #19 (permalink)
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ah I got it haha
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Old 10-05-2013, 09:11 PM   #20 (permalink)
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LMAO solomon hill with the fail
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