ESPN - Summer Forecast: East champs

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View Poll Results: Summer prediction: Do you agree with ESPN? Who is your pick for the East champs?
Cleveland Cavaliers 8 21.05%
Detroit Pistons 0 0%
Atlanta Hawks 1 2.63%
Boston Celtics 9 23.68%
Chicago Bulls 0 0%
Toronto Raptors 10 26.32%
Miami Heat 0 0%
Orlando Magic 9 23.68%
Washington Wizards 0 0%
Other 1 2.63%
Voters: 38. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-06-2009, 11:21 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default ESPN - Summer Forecast: East champs

Here's ESPN's early predictions for East champs based on their so-called "experts". Way to go out on a limb guys. Basically, this is what most on this forum could've guessed except maybe Boston and Cleveland switched.

Quote:
Summer Forecast: East champs
By Royce Webb
ESPN.com

Here are our picks for which team will wear the Eastern Conference crown next season:

Cleveland Cavaliers (32 votes)
This thing is Cleveland's to lose, says our panel -- or 60.4 percent of our panel, anyway.

It's no surprise to see so many votes for a team that has the reigning MVP and won 66 games last season. On the other hand, the Cavs had the same points in their favor in May, and were the heavy favorites to win the East at that time, too. But Orlando took care of Cleveland thanks to some amazing shooting and the dominance of Dwight Howard, and the Cavs were left licking their wounds.

After showing indecision in 2008-09 about taking on big contracts, Cleveland moved more decisively into win-now mode after its Orlando humiliation. Directly addressing its defensive weaknesses, Cleveland traded for Shaquille O'Neal, in part to face Dwight Howard -- Superman I versus Superman II -- in a potential playoff showdown, and also acquired wings Anthony Parker and Jamario Moon to provide the kind of length and defense the Cavs needed against the Magic. Whether the moves are too little, too late are what the 2009-10 season will be about, in large part.

Looming over it all will be the question LeBron James won't answer: What will he do when he can become a free agent in 2010? His freedom to walk next year has raised the stakes in Cleveland to a level seldom seen in the NBA, and could contribute to tensions along the way unless LeBron, Shaq and the Cavs can successfully merge their games and their goals: LeBron's first title, Shaq's fifth (putting him ahead of Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan) and Cleveland's hope of pleasing and keeping LeBron. And with the Cavs having added three rotation players to a 66-win team and probably demoting stalwart Zydrunas Ilgauskas in favor of The Big Disruption, it's not clear how chemically balanced they will be.

But this much we know: The past two Eastern Conference champs, after the Cavs' dramatic run to the 2007 NBA Finals, have been the Boston Celtics and the Orlando Magic, and while those two teams remain in the mix, most of our voters think it's Cleveland's turn again.

Boston Celtics (13 votes)
Rajon Rondo emerged, for much of the playoffs, as Boston's best player. So what does that mean for a team formerly known as the Big Three?

Here are three ways to see it:

1. The cup-runneth-over version of the story is that the Celtics now have a Big Four, and that Rondo will lead them back to the promised land.

2. The cup-half-full version is that while the Celtics have some issues to solve, they are still a very potent team just 15 months removed from winning it all. Sure, Celtics president Danny Ainge shopped Rondo and criticized him, and it emerged that Doc Rivers found him hard to coach. Sure, the C's need a healthy Kevin Garnett. Sure, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen have trouble bringing it every night the way they used to. But add it all up, and factor in a bench bolstered by the acquisition of Rasheed Wallace and Marquis Daniels, and the Celtics are ready to rock the East again, just as they did when they started 41-9 last season.

3. The leaky-cup version of the story is that, as dynamic as Rondo might be, it's all too telling that Boston needed him to play out of his mind to squeak past the 41-41 Chicago Bulls in the first round of the playoffs. In this version, KG is a 33-year-old with a bad knee, Allen is a 34-year-old shooting guard (a species not known for longevity) and Pierce is soon to be 32. What's more, Sheed will be 35 this month and isn't known for his commitment to conditioning or fitting in quietly.

For 25 percent of our panel, the Celtics' cup runneth over. The other 75 percent disagree.

Orlando Magic (8 votes)
At the moment, the big issue in evaluating the Magic seems to be what you think of Hedo Turkoglu and Vince Carter.

We know opinion is divided on these two, because we asked our panel and they both showed up on the lists of Best and Worst Newcomers.

If you are in the school of thought that had Turkoglu as Orlando's true MVP last season, and you saw him as a matchup nightmare and the main ingredient in the Magic's special sauce, then you probably would agree with the 84.6 percent of our panel who think Orlando can't repeat its magical run to the NBA Finals -- and you might agree with the half of our panel that sees Turkoglu's new team, Toronto, making the playoffs.

On the other hand, if you think Turkoglu was Orlando's fourth-best player and overrated, then "So long, Hedo," right?

Likewise, if you agree with those who point out that Carter's statistical record shows him to be a better player in almost every way than Turkoglu, and you think he'll fit in well in Orlando, then you probably think a little Vinsanity is exactly what the doctor ordered. After all, replacing a 0-time All-Star with an 8-time All-Star is a no-brainer, right?

Then again, if you think VC's track record in Toronto and New jersey makes him more poseur than player, you probably think that Orlando outsmarted itself.

There are other factors to consider, of course. Orlando had the league's best defense last season, on a per-possession basis, and it has an emerging superstar in Howard plus three recent All-Stars -- VC, Jameer Nelson and Rashard Lewis -- and a deep bench surrounding D-12. And the Magic did, after all, beat the Celtics and Cavs on their way to the Finals.

But you know what? All of this, including Hedo versus Vince, might be moot, because according to most of our panel, Cleveland or Boston gets the last word.
Link: NBA Summer Forecast: Eastern Conference champs - ESPN

Last edited by Torontosaurus; 09-06-2009 at 11:28 AM.
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Old 09-06-2009, 12:22 PM   #2 (permalink)
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healthy Boston or Orlando
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Old 09-06-2009, 12:26 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Boston or Orlando

BTW, who voted Toronto?
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Old 09-06-2009, 12:33 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Boston or Orlando

BTW, who voted Toronto?
You guys take things way to seriously.
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Old 09-06-2009, 12:35 PM   #5 (permalink)
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You guys take things way to seriously.
Wasting your vote on Toronto for Eastern Conference Champs is not funny. I think you're trying too hard.
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Old 09-06-2009, 12:45 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Wasting your vote on Toronto for Eastern Conference Champs is not funny. I think you're trying too hard.
Its just a predict, don't have to get your knickers in a knot.
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Old 09-06-2009, 12:48 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Its just a predict, don't have to get your knickers in a knot.
There not in a knot. I just wonder if people that do this, and there's at least one with every pole...think that it's funny? Doesn't matter either way, but i always wonder about the reason behind it.
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Old 09-06-2009, 12:50 PM   #8 (permalink)
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There not in a knot. I just wonder if people that do this, and there's at least one with every pole...think that it's funny? Doesn't matter either way, but i always wonder about the reason behind it.
This is like my first or second time. The others is not me.
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Old 09-06-2009, 12:51 PM   #9 (permalink)
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No one voted Cleveland?
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Old 09-06-2009, 01:01 PM   #10 (permalink)
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No one voted Cleveland?
It's early. But seriously look at the depth on Boston/Orlando and i really don't get the Cleveland suppport anyway.They're a good team, but probably 3rd. But to each their own as they say?

Plus ESPN is often wrong anyway with their seeds predictions. Last season they picked us to get 4-6th and they chose Boston to win the Conference again oh and they said that Detroit would be in the mix at 4th-6th with us. None of that came to fruishion.
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Old 09-06-2009, 01:05 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Old 09-06-2009, 01:08 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Wasting your vote on Toronto for Eastern Conference Champs is not funny. I think you're trying too hard.
it's not a waste. i actually couldn't choose so then i closed my eyes moved the mouse up and down and then thjought this is stupid, opened them and picked cleveland.
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Old 09-06-2009, 01:09 PM   #13 (permalink)
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it's not a waste. i actually couldn't choose so then i closed my eyes moved the mouse up and down and then thjought this is stupid, opened them and picked cleveland.
It's a 3 team race, not that difficult.
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Old 09-06-2009, 01:30 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Still not understanding the whole love affair with Cleveland. I really feel that Shaq is going to make things harder for Lebron down low, and that Big-Z is a much better fit for Cleveland's offense.

I don't know how you bet against a healthy Orlando. They clearly outclassed Cleveland in the playoffs last year and have added Vince.
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Old 09-06-2009, 01:39 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Still not understanding the whole love affair with Cleveland. I really feel that Shaq is going to make things harder for Lebron down low, and that Big-Z is a much better fit for Cleveland's offense.

I don't know how you bet against a healthy Orlando. They clearly outclassed Cleveland in the playoffs last year and have added Vince.
Exactly. Orlando with the additions of Vince, Barnes, Bass are a much deeper team then Cleveland and so is Boston with the additions of Rasheed and Daniels to their already deep lineup. But time will tell.
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Old 09-06-2009, 01:42 PM   #16 (permalink)
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LETS GO RAPTORS!!!!!!!! But realistically its going to be the NBA champs, Cleveland. Lebron+Shaq>Shaq+Kobe
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Old 09-06-2009, 04:05 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Wasting your vote on Toronto for Eastern Conference Champs is not funny. I think you're trying too hard.
'wasting your vote' implies that there was some value in it in the first place. it's all in fun jeff...
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Old 09-06-2009, 04:23 PM   #18 (permalink)
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LETS GO RAPTORS!!!!!!!! But realistically its going to be the NBA champs, Cleveland. Lebron+Shaq>Shaq+Kobe
lol... how old are you?

shaq and kobe won 3 straight finals together, out of the WESTERN conference.

i'll bet my life that lebron and shaq won't do the same thing from the EASTERN conference. actually i'm willing to bet my life that they won't even win ONE.
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Old 09-06-2009, 04:58 PM   #19 (permalink)
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lol... how old are you?

shaq and kobe won 3 straight finals together, out of the WESTERN conference.

i'll bet my life that lebron and shaq won't do the same thing from the EASTERN conference. actually i'm willing to bet my life that they won't even win ONE.
Kobe needed Shaq to help him win those rings. Lebron had a chance to win the championship a few years ago with an awful team. This year he has a much better team. Personally, I think Lebron is a much better player than Kobe. Shaq is still dominant mostly because of his size and the fact that he's still in good shape. Shaq's size can make big picks and open and close the lane at will. Lebron and Shaq will win the championship this year. Oh did I mention Shaq also said this is the first time he's going to be playing as a sidekick and he wants to help bring a ring to the king. (that rhymes) Shaq and Kobe weren't the greatest duo or team. I believe that the Spurs recent championships outshine the Lakers three straight. Times have changed. The East is better than the West. The King is better than the Black Mamba. Lebron will be MVP and he will win a ring. That I am certain of.
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Old 09-06-2009, 06:16 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Kobe needed Shaq to help him win those rings. Lebron had a chance to win the championship a few years ago with an awful team. This year he has a much better team. Personally, I think Lebron is a much better player than Kobe. Shaq is still dominant mostly because of his size and the fact that he's still in good shape. Shaq's size can make big picks and open and close the lane at will. Lebron and Shaq will win the championship this year. Oh did I mention Shaq also said this is the first time he's going to be playing as a sidekick and he wants to help bring a ring to the king. (that rhymes) Shaq and Kobe weren't the greatest duo or team. I believe that the Spurs recent championships outshine the Lakers three straight. Times have changed. The East is better than the West. The King is better than the Black Mamba. Lebron will be MVP and he will win a ring. That I am certain of.
Shaq is going to slow down the team... he's not like what he was during his time with the Lakers.

Once he got the ball within 10 feet of the net is would be a dunk.

He doesn't have that athletic ability anymore, all he would do is clog the paint with Varejao and Ilgauskas.

Boston is taking the conference.
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