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Ball Don't Lie 10-11-2010 02:29 AM

Thriller's Around the NBA Daily (10/11 Edition with Full Team Previews)
 
Like the last edition, the team previews will be short and sweet but will give some insight on what the teams did in the offseason, and where they should be going this year. Here we go:


Southeast Division:

Atlanta Hawks-

Starters: Mike Bibby, Joe Johnson, Marvin Williams, Josh Smith, Al Horford
Rotation Players: Jeff Teague, Jamal Crawford, Mo Evans, Zaza Pachuilia

Key Additions- Jordan Crawford(only because of the Lebron Nike confiscation incident). In other words, the Hawks didnt do anything.

OUTLOOK: The Hawks decided to become a treadmill team by re upping Joe Johnson to a huge contract. They're not in that bad of a positon, but they aren't going anywhere but down. They had a tough choice to stand pat and be mediocre and maybe win a round a year or just blow it up and be in danger of having to move the team due to the lack of fan support, so logically they made the right move. The only difference this year is the starting point guard position being there for the taking with Bibby getting older. If Teague can show progression and maturity expect him to take the starting reigns from Bibby early in the season.



SEEDING:
6TH IN EAST


Orlando Magic

Starters: Jameer Nelson, Vince Carter, Quentin Richardson, Rashard Lewis, Dwight Howard
Rotation players: Chris Duhon, JJ Reddick, Mickael Pietrus, Brandon Bass/Ryan Anderson, Marcin Gortat

Key Additions- Chris Duhon, Quentin Richardson

OUTLOOK: The Magic added 2 solid rotation players who fit the style they play. Duhon is an upgrade from Jason Williams because of youth, and defence. Duhon can run the offence better at this point consistantly than JWill can as JWill turned it over a lot last year when teams pressured him. And QRich provides the consistant 3 pt shooting Barnes did not provide last year with the same rebounding numbers, but the downside is Q isnt as good of a defender as Matt is.

Although they added 2 solid rotation guys, the Magic still sit in the same position as last year really, with their hopes and dreams on VCs shoulders. With VC proving last year he couldnt carry them to the promise land, their only hope, yet again, is that Dwight improved his post game to a point where he's near unstoppable and needs to be double teamed even when going up vs the toughest teams and defenders. So essentially, they're going to win a round, and from there it's unlikely they go further unless they face a team besides Boston or MIA.



SEEDING:
2ND IN EAST


Charlotte Bobcats

Starters: DJ Augustin, Stephen Jackson, Gerald Wallace, Boris Diaw, Nazr Mohamed
Rotation players: Shaun Livingston, Gerald Henderson, Tyrus Thomas, Kwame Brown

Key Additions- None.

OUTLOOK: The Bobcats stood pat and are hoping that DJ Augustin with the opportunity will turn into a starting level PG. Their defence is good, but their bench is very shaky and their frontcourt is still awful. I can see this team blowing it up by the deadline and looking to deal Jackson and or Wallace(unless their GM goes in the opposite direction and makes a horrible mistake in trading draft picks to try and possibly win 1 round in the playoffs which isnt happening unless they can somehow get CP3 or something) They, like Atlanta, are on the treadmill, but Charlottes treadmill is of worse quality due to the lack of talent.



SEEDING:
9th IN EAST(if they keep the team together the entire year)


Washington Wizards


Starters: John Wall, Gilbert Arenas, Josh Howard, Andray Blatche, Javale Mcgee
Rotation players: Kirk Hinrich, Nick Young, Al Thornton, Yi Jianlian, Hilton Armstrong

Key Additions- Kirk Hinrich, John Wall, Yi Jianlian, Hilton Armstrong

OUTLOOK: The Wizards quietly re tooled their team and have one of the more interesting new lineups in the NBA. Their starting lineup looks promising, and their bench looks like one of the better benches in the NBA. The question will be the chemistry, with both Wall and Arenas in the backcourt, as well as having so many players playing together for the first time, and 8(9 if you count Yi which I dont yet) legit players who need minutes. Their best option is to deal Arenas early in the year after he shows his value, and hand the reigns over to Wall completely whichll also free up minutes for other people. I like the look of this team though and I think if Wall does show hes the real deal, and Blatche and Mcgee continue their improvement, then they have a very good shot at making the playoffs and being one of the more exciting teams to watch in the NBA. Their core is very very good.


SEEDING:
7th in East


Miami Heat


Starters: Mario Chalmers, Dwyane Wade, Lebron James, Chris Bosh, Joel Anthony
Rotation players: Eddie House, Mike Miller, Udonis Haslem, Zydrunas Ilgauskas

Key Additions- Lebron James, Chris Bosh, Eddie House, Mike Miller, Zydrunas Ilgauskas


OUTLOOK: Expect them to be the most hated team in sports, and to create a new worldwide known chant of BEAT THE HEAT. They're also going to win a lot of games and be scary good. Their biggest question is defence and rebounding come playoff time as their center position is a big question, and if the centers dont play well its going to put a ton of pressure on Bosh on that end which he hasnt proven he can be that defensive anchor as of yet. But with others carrying the offensive load maybe he'll develop in to that kind of player, he certainly has the tools.


SEEDING:
1st in EAST


Central Division:

Chicago Bulls


Starters: Derrick Rose, Ronnie Brewer, Luol Deng, Carlos Boozer, Joakim Noah
Rotation players: CJ Watson, Kyle Korver, Taj Gibson, Kurt Thomas

Key Additions- Ronnie Brewer, Carlos Boozer, CJ Watson, Kyle Korver, Kurt Thomas


OUTLOOK: The Bulls made some very nice offseason moves getting Rose a very very good 2nd option in Boozer, as well as some solid complimentary pieces with Brewer, and the new bench pieces. The Bulls biggest questions going in to the year will be if they can keep themselves in the top 5 seeds until Boozer can come back, and obviously their perimeter shooting. Although I like Brewer, I dont like the fit with both him and Deng on the wings. Rose needs shooters around him so they can fully exploit teams on offence, and I think with both starting it really shrinks the floors with team being able to zone in on the pick and roll without any consequence on kick outs. They're going to be one of, if not the best rebounding teams in the NBA and they're pretty deep so they'll be a tough out come playoff time.



SEEDING:
4th IN EAST


Detroit Pistons


Starters: Rodney Stuckey, Rip Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince, Charlie Villanueva, Ben Wallace
Rotation players: Will Bynum, Ben Gordon, Austin Daye, Greg Monroe, (Jonas Jerebko)

Key Additions- Greg Monroe, (Tracy Mcgrady)

OUTLOOK: I think Joe Dumars has lost his damn mind and the Pistons are going to trade Rip and Prince finally this year. Theyre going to be awful.


SEEDING:
15th IN EAST



Cleveland Cavaliers


Starters: Maurice Williams, Anthony Parker, Jamario Moon, Antawn Jamison, Anderson Varajao,
Rotation players: Ramon Sessions, Daniel Gibson, Joey Graham, JJ Hickson

Key Additions- Ramon Sessions, Joey Graham

OUTLOOK: The Cavaliers lost their best player and now have a former Raptors duo manning the 3 spot. Yeah, they're not in good shape. Mo Williams and Jamison will shoot their way to some wins and their defence should still be decent, but they dont have enough talent and scoring in the halfcourt to win a lot of games.


SEEDING:
11th IN EAST


Milwaukee Bucks


Starters: Brandon Jennings, John Salmons, Corey Maggette, Luc Mbah a Moute, Andrew Bogut
Rotation players: Keyon Dooling, Carlos Delfino, Ersan Ilyasova, Drew Gooden, Jon Brockman

Key Additions- Corey Maggette, Keyon Dooling, Drew Gooden, Jon Brockman


OUTLOOK: The Bucks had one of the more confusing offseasons of any team in the league. The additions of Dooling and Brockmanmade sense because they're hard nosed defensive players who will fit in the system and style that Skiles likes to play, then they went out and got Maggette and Gooden, two players that are well known for their selfishness, lack of defence, and erratic play. This is definately one of the harder teams in the NBA to predict, because if
Skiles can somehow make it work and make those 2 new additions to play within the system, then they'll be an extremely tough out in the East, and one of the deeper teams in the NBA. I think by mid season, they'll have Maggette coming off the bench because I think it's unbalanced with too many guys needing the ball in the starting lineup as of now, and whether Maggette accepts that role will determine the fate of the team. I think Skiles is a good enough coach to make this work.



SEEDING:
5th IN EAST


Indiana Pacers

Starters: Darren Collison, Mike Dunleavy, Danny Granger, Jeff Foster, Roy Hibbert
Rotation players: TJ Ford, Brandon Rush, Paul George, James Posey, Tyler Hansbrough

Key Additions- Darren Collison, James Posey, Paul George

OUTLOOK: The Pacers improved their outlook by picking up Collison(and George in the draft, assuming he pans out), now he has a great chance to prove he's one of the better young point guards in the NBA. The problem is they didnt improve their frontcourt talent or depth at all and their wing positions are still very mediocre at best. Expect another long season in Pacer land, and after this year it wouldnt surprise me to see Grangers agent looking to have him shipped elsewhere.


SEEDING:
13th IN EAST


Atlantic Division:

Boston Celtics


Starters: Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Shaquille O'Neal(Kendrick Perkins)
Rotation players: Nate Robinson, Delonte West, Von Wafer, Glen Davis, Jermaine O'Neal

Key Additions- Shaquille O'Neal, Jermaine O'Neal, Delonte West, Von Wafer

OUTLOOK: Boston took a big risk in adding both O'Neals, as their season rests on the health of their bigs and adding 2 guys whohave had well documented injury pasts especially lately may blow up in their faces. If it does work they have the size to give any team in the league a ton of problems, and if it does work, they'll also have an issue with minutes as one of Shaq/Jermaine/Baby isnt going to play much. It'll be interesting to see who gets the shaft. I can see Doc Rivers using the O'Neals in small doses until the playoffs though to save them, which will be huge for them as long as the chronic problems dont occur anyway. I think with giving their old bigs rest during the regular season it may put their seeding down 1 to the 3rd spot instead of the 2nd spot, but come playoff time they'll be really tough to beat if they've gelled and can stay healthy yet again. There's the big variable of health with the Celtics, but they made it work last year and I think with their improved depth and their ability to integrate anyone into their system they'll be extremely dangerous come playoff time.


SEEDING:
3rd IN EAST


Philadelphia 76ers


Starters: Jrue Holiday, Evan Turner, Andre Iguodala, Elton Brand, Spencer Hawes
Rotation players: Louis Williams, Andres Nocioni, Thaddeus Young, Marreese Speights

Key Additions- Evan Turner, Andres Nocioni


OUTLOOK: The Sixers made some small moves and got a top pick in the draft. They have some nice young talent but the parts still don't fit. They still can't figure out if they want to be a quick up tempo team or halfcourt team, and in both styles of play they're not even that good. This will be a transition year for them, hoping that the Holiday/Turner backcourt works, and if it does, they can re tool next offseason around it because it has the potential to be one of the better backcourts in the NBA for a long time. They're going to have to make a decision on Iguodala and Youngs futures with the team and soon.


SEEDING:
10TH SEED IN EAST


New York Knicks

Starters: Raymond Felton, Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari, Amare Stoudemire, Ronny Turiaf
Rotation players: Toney Douglas, Roger Mason Jr, (Kelenna Azubuike), Bill Walker, Anthony Randolph, Timofey Mozgov

Key Additions- Raymond Felton, Ronny Turiaf, Kelenna Azubuike, Roger Mason Jr, Anthony Randolph, Timofey Mozgov


OUTLOOK: I like what the Knicks did in the offseason acquiring a lot of solid role players(Turiaf, Azubuike when healthy, Mason) and some young talent with a lot of potential(Randolph, Mozgov). And of course Amare and Felton. I think the Knicks will come to find that they should start Randolph with Amare once Randolph proves to DAntoni hes ready and just play uptempo. I like the overall depth of this team, but I think them taking the first step in making the playoffs will come down to Randolphs progression and health. If he becomes the Lamar Odom clone everyone expects him to be and they can play DAntoni ball, I think
the Knicks will make their first appearance in a while in the playoffs.



SEEDING:
8TH IN EAST



Toronto Raptors

Starters: Jose Calderon, Demar Derozan, Linas Kleiza, Amir Johnson, Andrea Bargnani
Rotation players: Jarrett Jack, Leandro Barbosa, Sonny Weems, Ed Davis, David Anderson

Key Additions- Linas Kleiza, Leandro Barbosa, Ed Davis, David Anderson

OUTLOOK: The Raptors are in a rebuilding year with a big identity crisis. They're going to be awful this season, but we all hope they can show flashes, and that Demar Derozan can take his first step to superstardom, and Weems and Johnson as well as Bargs can take the next step in their careers as well. Improvement throughout the year is what we expect, and hopefully they'll be able to make it exciting along the way. Hopefully the defence isnt near last in the league again, and they play up tempo to keep it exciting as I expect we'll be one of if not the worst halfcourt teams in the NBA.


SEEDING:
14TH IN EAST



New Jersey Nets

Starters: Devin Harris, Anthony Morrow, Travis Outlaw, Troy Murphy, Brook Lopez
Rotation players:Jordan Farmar, Terrence Williams, Derrick Favors, Johan Petro

Key Additions- Jordan Farmar, Anthony Morrow, Troy Murphy, Derrick Favors, Johan Petro


OUTLOOK: The Nets added a good core of solid players and a promising rookie. With Troy Murphys expiring deal and already available cap space they have put themselves in a good position to make a big move for a key player at the deadline or in the offseason. Until then though, they'll be better than last season but they're still going to have a tough time on defence though their offence should improve a lot with the outside shooting they brought in. If Favors proves to be the PF of the future and they can get a key player at the deadline they could turn out to be a playoff team, but unless that happens they should still be on the outside looking in.


SEEDING:
12th IN EAST

Ball Don't Lie 10-11-2010 02:36 AM

Northwest Division:

Utah Jazz

Starters: Deron Williams, CJ Miles, Andrei Kirilenko, Paul Millsap, Al Jefferson
Rotation players: Earl Watson, Raja Bell, Gordon Hayward, Mehmet Okur

Key Additions- Al Jefferson, Earl Watson, Raja Bell, Gordon Hayward

OUTLOOK: The Jazz come back in to 10/11 with another solid looking lineup, and a different style starting lineup. With all the talk that they're going to start the two more skilled post players over the conventional lineup with Okur, the Jazz and Sloan are really trying something new and it should work so long as Jefferson fits in to the system and doesnt piss Sloan off by playing no defence. In saying that they're still stuck in the same position they've been in in years past. They dont have another playmaker at the wing position when teams slow down the pick and rolls, and they still dont have good enough defence to do anything come playoff time.


SEEDING:
6TH IN WEST


Denver Nuggets

Starters: Chauncey Billups, Aaron Afflalo, Carmelo Anthony, Kenyon Martin, Nene
Rotation players: Ty Lawson, JR Smith, Al Harrington, Chris Anderson

Key Additions- Al Harrington


OUTLOOK: The Nuggets are coming back with the same team as last year, plus signing a talented yet erratic forward in Al Harrington. If the recent talks about Melo wanting out didnt happen you'd say this team is likely a top 3 seed again and one of the tougher outs in the NBA when healthy. But with all the Carmelo talk, and now with KMArt taking his time to come back and having his own issues with management, this season looks like a definite shit storm in Denver Like many I'm expecting huge changes come the deadline, thus the low seeding. And then it's only downhill from there, rebuilding for the rest of the season and having Al Harrington and JR Smith take a million shots and all of us laugh at Denver again like in the pre Melo days.


SEEDING:
9th IN WEST


Portland Trail Blazers

Starters: Andre Miller, Brandon Roy, Nicolas Batum, LaMarcus Aldridge, Greg Oden
Rotation players: Jerryd Bayless, Wesley Matthews. (Rudy Fernandez), Marcus Camby, Joel Pryzbilla

Key Additions- Wesley Matthews


OUTLOOK:The Blazers are the one team that can absolutely challenge the Lakers when healthy with their size and backcourt playmaking abilities. The problem is their health obviously. If they have a Celtic like 2010 season where everyone stays healthy for the most part, this team will show that they're a championship contender, but more likely at least one of their centers will go down again and their seed will fall, and then won't have enough depth come playoff time.




SEEDING:
4TH IN WEST


Oklahoma City Thunder

Starters: Russell Westbrook, Thabo Sefolosha, Kevin Durant, Jeff Green, Nenad Krstic
Rotation players: Eric Maynor, James Harden, Daequan Cook, Serge Ibaka, Cole Aldrich, Nick Collison

Key Additions- Daequan Cook, Cole Aldrich


OUTLOOK: The Thunder are coming off a great season and made a couple of minor additions to improve their bench. The main improvements will come internally though, with Russell Westbrook needing to take that next step to become an allstar PG, and Kevin Durant to become a better all around player with his playmaking and making others around him better. If their two best players do take those steps, which is very likely, and Ibaka continues to look like the next Mutombo(though a little undersized)the Thunder are going to be extremely tough to beat come playoff time. If they can't win a couple rounds this year though they need to look in to moving Green and re thinking their 4/5 starting positions to become a legit title contender.


SEEDING:
2nd IN WEST


Minnesota Timberwolves


Starters: Johnny Flynn, Corey Brewer, Michael Beasley, Kevin Love, Darko Milicic
Rotation players: Luke Ridnour, Wesley Johnson, Martell Webster, Anthony Tolliver, Kosta Koufos
Key Additions- Michael Beasley, Luke Ridnour, Wesley Johnson, Martell Webster, Anthony Tolliver, Kosta Koufos


OUTLOOK: I shouldnt even be writing an outlook for this team because everyone knows they're going to end up last in the West, and they have absolutely no idea what the hell they're doing with the team. The parts dont fit and a lot of the young talent hasnt proved much yet. Big years ahead for Flynn, Brewer, and Beasley to define the kinds of players they're going to be in this league.


SEEDING:
15th in West



Pacific Division

Los Angeles Lakers

Starters: Derek Fisher, Kobe Bryant, Ron Artest, Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum
Rotation players: Steve Blake, Shannon Brown, Matt Barnes, Lamar Odom

Key Additions- Steve Blake, Matt Barnes


OUTLOOK: The Champs got better in the offseason by adding 2 very solid role players in Blake and Barnes who will fit perfectly in to their systems on both sides of the ball. Both are very active on defence, and can hit the open shots on offence. Both will be huge especially during the regular season in keeping Fisher and Artests minutes down so they're fresh come playoff time, something that they couldnt do last year. The only question again with this team is the health of Andrew Bynum, because if he's out a long period of time there isnt ANY bench depth at PF/C for this team if Odom is starting as I dont think Theo Ratliff can be counted on to play more than 10 minutes a game effectively.


SEEDING:
1ST PLACE IN WEST



Los Angeles Clippers

Starters: Baron Davis, Eric Gordon, Rasual Butler, Blake Griffin, Chris Kaman
Rotation players: Eric Bledsoe, Al-Farouq Aminu, Ryan Gomes, Craig Smith, Deandre Jordan

Key Additions- Eric Bledsoe, Al-Farouq Aminu, Ryan Gomes


OUTLOOK: This team has a lot of very good young talent, probably top 3 in the NBA with Gordon, Griffin, Jordan, and now Bledsoe and Aminu who have both looked good in pre season. Their main issue is the Clipper curse and their leader coming in to camp fat again. Hopefully Baron works hard in the upcoming weeks and gets it together because this team, yet again, has a good chance of making the playoffs if he gets his ass in gear with all of their talent in the frontcourt. But it's the Clippers so it's almost for sure not going to happen sadly.


SEEDING:
10th IN WEST


Phoenix Suns

Starters: Steve Nash, Jason Richardson, Grant Hill, Hedo Turkoglu, Robin Lopez
Rotation players: Goran Dragic, Josh Childress, Jared Dudley, Hakim Warrick, Channing Frye

Key Additions- Hedo Turkoglu, Josh Childress, Hakim Warrick, Channing Frye


OUTLOOK: Unless Nash pulls a miracle this team doesnt have a shot in hell of making the playoffs. Starting Hedo Turkoglu at Power Forward to balance out the lineups is not a good idea, and neither is benching Hill to make the lineup more conventional so Hedo can start at the 3 so they won't have a bad situation on their hands with what they should be doing, which is bringing his fat ass off the bench. You know you had a terrible offseason when 2 of your acquisitions got signed to longterm deals worth 25+ mil and they're coming off the bench(Frye/Warrick) and your prize acquisition took a year off and has played his pre season like he played his entire year last year. Hopefully Nash gets traded, he deserves better.


SEEDING:
13th IN WEST


Golden State Warriors

Starters: Monta Ellis, Steph Curry, Dorrell Wright, David Lee, Andris Biedrins
Rotation players: Charlie Bell, Reggie Williams, Louis Amundson, ( Ekpe Udoh)Brandon Wright

Key Additions- Dorrell Wright, David Lee, Louis Amundson, Ekpe Udoh



OUTLOOK: Another transition year for the Warrriors and their fans. They'll be an exciting team to watch yet again, but with or without Nelson they're going to be a deplorable defensive team that needs to play uptempo to even stand a chance vs any team with half a decent frontcourt. Their bench is very weak and any injury to a main player will turn them in to a team that can compete on most nights in to a team where you can guarantee a win against them. Hopefullythe Warriors get good new management in place this year and they finally figure things out next offseason.


SEEDING:
14th IN WEST


Sacramento Kings

Starters: Beno Udrih, Tyreke Evans, Omri Casspi, Jason Thompson, DeMarcus Cousins
Rotation players: Francisco Garcia, Donte Green, Carl Landry, Samuel Dalembert, Hassan Whiteside

Key Additions- Demarcus Cousins, Samuel Dalembert, Hassan Whiteside


OUTLOOK: The Kings may have the most good to very good young players on their team in the NBA. They have too many guys that need minutes to grow though. This will be a good transitional year for them in finding out what they have and who will be in their future plans. Expect some moves at the deadline to shore up minutes for their core young players. I really like the look of this team though, as the Evans/Cousins duo could be one that will be talked about as one of the
better duos in the NBA come seasons end and going in to the future, and the players around them look promising as well.


SEEDING:
11th IN WEST


Southwest Division


Dallas Mavericks

Starters: Jason Kidd, Caron Butler, Shawn Marion, Dirk Nowitzki, Brendan Haywood
Rotation players: Rodrigue Beaubois, Jason Terry, Tyson Chandler

Key Additions- Tyson Chandler


OUTLOOK: Expect Beaubois to take over either Kidds or Marions starting spot when he returns to the lineup. The Mavericks need a jumpstart to their starting 5 and something that will give them a chance to be more than 1st rd team this year, and right now Beaubois growth is the only thing that gives them that chance. Overall the team lacks bigtime in depth in the frontcourt as Chandler cant be counted on and there's no one else besides him to backup the 4/5. This team will still make the playoffs and win a lot of games but they'll be out in the 1st rd unless they make a few changes to their lineup at the deadline.


SEEDING:
3rd IN WEST


San Antonio Spurs

Starters: Tony Parker, George Hill, Richard Jefferson, Antonio Mcdyess, Tim Duncan
Rotation players: Manu Ginobili, James Anderson, Dajuan Blair, Tiago Splitter

Key Additions- James Anderson, Tiago Splitter


OUTLOOK: The Spurs made an uncharacteristically terrible mistake in re upping Jefferson longterm when he looked like a really bad fit last year, but besides that they got a steal with Anderson in the draft, and Splitter finally comes over from Europe. I dont expect that their starting lineup will stay the same for long, as either Blair or Splitter is likely to take Mcdyess' spot to give the Spurs a newer look and likely improve their starting 5, and I wouldnt be surprised if Anderson made his way into the starting 5 before seasons end as well. The Spurs like the Mavs dont look like they're going anywhere this year, but they at least have more than 1 guy that can grow in to something special and maybe help catapult them into a longer unsuspecting run this season.


SEEDING:
7th IN WEST


Houston Rockets


Starters: Aaron Brooks,Kevin Martin, Shane Battier, Luis Scola, Yao Ming
Rotation players: Kyle Lowry, Courtney Lee, Chase Budinger, Jordan Hill, Brad Miller

Key Additions- Courtney Lee, Brad Miller


OUTLOOK: The Rockets have one of the deeper benches in the NBA with the good offseason acquisitions of Lee/Miller and of course getting Yao back to ensure that no one is playing more minutes than they should. The key to their regular season is keeping Yao healthy with his 24 mpg limit, as well as their backcourt figuring out how to play together. Adelman is one of the better coaches in the NBA and has had extremely deep teams before, so I expect the Rockets will figure things out. Come playoff time, no one will want to play them if Yao is healthy with all of the talent, depth, and backcourt quickness around him.


SEEDING:
5TH IN WEST


New Orleans Hornets


Starters: Chris Paul,Marcus Thornton, Trevor Ariza, David West, Emeka Okafor
Rotation players: Marco Belinelli, Peja Stojakovic, Quincy Pondexter, Aaron Gray

Key Additions- Trevor Ariza, Marco Belinelli, Quincy Pondexter, Aaron Gray


OUTLOOK: The Hornets come in to this season with a better starting 5 then last season, but their bench depth is awful and their overall talent level just is not good. Paul should reclaim his unanimous top PG in the league status this year, but I dont think there's a chance in hell this lineup makes the playoffs despite Pauls play.



SEEDING:
12th IN WEST


Memphis Grizzlies

Starters: Mike Conley JR, OJ Mayo, Rudy Gay, Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol
Rotation players: Tony Allen, Xavier Henry, Sam Young, Darrell Arthur, Hasheem Thabeet

Key Additions- Zavier Henry, Tony Allen


OUTLOOK: The Grizzlies come in to this season with the same starting lineup which is a very good step in the right direction as their starting 5 was one of the better units in the NBA last year. The key for them is internal growth and meshing as a unit on the defensive side of the ball as this team is more than fine in the scoring and rebounding department. They still need to figure out who gets touches in certain situations and making sure everyone gets enough touches and minutes(which leads me to believe they'll make a couple of trades to balance out their lineup), but the main thing that will decide whether this team makes the playoffs is their play on the defensive side of the ball. EDIT: As my surprise pick, I'll slate em in for the 8th spot as they look to have all the ingredients to make the playoffs in a weaker West this season.



SEEDING:
8th IN WEST


Thrillers NBA Finals Prediction:

LAL over MIA in 7. I hate both teams, and it sucks that this Lakers team who would be by far the worst 3 peat team of all 3 peat teams in history does it, but it'd hurt me more to see Lebron piggyback his way to his first title...so...go the rest of the NBA. Beat the Heat.

Yuksek 10-11-2010 04:11 AM

One thing that caught my attention was your comment about Dumars. I could not agree more, the man does not have the same basketball brain he had before. He built a team with good contracts, balanced line ups and young hard working players (sheed was old, yes). Now he has horrible contracts and no balance in the line up what so ever.

Windex 10-11-2010 04:16 AM

I think Jerebko is out for a majority of the season, so CV or Monroe would start

Windex 10-11-2010 04:29 AM

FYI - in the west, you have 2 teams in 10th, 2 in 11th and none in 3rd and 12th place

LX 10-11-2010 09:18 AM

great job Thriller:yeah:

jeffb 10-11-2010 10:23 AM

LAL.

Spurs are gonna struggle this season. No way they contend, let alone win it all.

Dark Knight 10-11-2010 12:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Yuksek (Post 442587)
One thing that caught my attention was your comment about Dumars. I could not agree more, the man does not have the same basketball brain he had before. He built a team with good contracts, balanced line ups and young hard working players (sheed was old, yes). Now he has horrible contracts and no balance in the line up what so ever.

John Hammond was behind all those moves. Dumars just took all the credit. Now Big Joe is getting exposed because he doesn't know how to build a good team by himself.

Windex 10-11-2010 01:23 PM

That dude is at Milwaukee I think

Dark Knight 10-11-2010 01:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Windex (Post 442674)
That dude is at Milwaukee I think

Now he is, but before he worked for Detroit.

Windex 10-11-2010 01:33 PM

Yup

Ball Don't Lie 10-11-2010 01:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Windex (Post 442589)
FYI - in the west, you have 2 teams in 10th, 2 in 11th and none in 3rd and 12th place

Thanks, should be fixed now. I also updated Detroits lineup, and added Paul George as a key addition/rotation player for the Pacers. Hopefully I didnt miss any other key rookies/lotto rooks.

INSIDER 10-11-2010 01:48 PM

:yeah:

Nites 10-11-2010 03:39 PM

Hey, you forgot about Matt Bonner and Garrett Temple in the Spurs rotation.

js12 10-11-2010 09:22 PM

Good job man.

I think the Lakers will three-peat. Miami has the Big 3, but defense wins games and LA Lakers have plenty of players to shut them down (Artest, Bryant, Gasol, now Barnes).

Ball Don't Lie 10-11-2010 09:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 007nites (Post 442716)
Hey, you forgot about Matt Bonner and Garrett Temple in the Spurs rotation.

Temple played for 3 teams in his rookie season. He's an end of the bench short contract guy.

And I doubt Bonner is going to play over Mcdyess, Duncan, Splitter, and Blair.

thought 10-12-2010 10:47 AM

LAL

by "worst three-peat team ever" do you mean to say the lakers are your least-favourite three peat team, or that they're the weakest three-peat team from a basketball point of view

Acie 10-12-2010 10:51 AM

We all owe thriller a big thanks for taking the time to do this and for his very insightful and informative game previews throughout the year.

Claudius 10-12-2010 11:07 AM

Thriller, this is awesome. Thank you.

Someguy again 10-12-2010 05:51 PM

I just have a stong feeling Belinelli will step up his game in NOH with the consistant minutes he will get behind thornton, Paul might make marco look like a future 6th man, plus when paul goes down there be even more time to shine at the point because hell no that strawberry can run the point.

No mention of stephenson for the pacers? and Avery was a solid draft for the celtics because of his promising defense in college and would be a great factor coming off the bench


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