Lets pretend tonight's giant suck-fest against the Suns didn't happen. Unfortunately for me, I cannot pretend spending money on tickets didn't happen. To get your mind off of things like 1-21 from the arc, and Curry/Chandler's total ineffectiveness, I will instead do an Eastern Conference preview.
Ok, this won't be involved as last season's preview, and not nearly as well-done as the one done by Shaddax. This'll just be to try and compare it to the actual results at the end of the year. Away we gooo..
15 - Charlotte Bobcats - I considered putting some team behind them in the rankings, but I just can't see any 'established' team winning less games than an expansion one. And if they did they should be ashamed. I didn't realize this until last week but owner Bob Johnson named the team Bobcats in part to honor him. That is so cool it almost makes up for the fact that it sounds like they should be a girls' softball team.
14 - Atlanta Hawks - ...well the Hawks *could* lose more games than the Bobcats. Like the Bobcats they are hording cap space so that future free agents can ignore it or waste it. Whereas the Bobcats have no veteran contributors, the Hawks at least have Jon Hollinger whipping boy Al Harrington, Antoine Walker, and Tony Delk to compliment young players like Josh Childress and Boris Diaw. They should at least win a few games, but the real test is to see what they do at the trading deadline, as they can use their cap space to broker some deals and accumulate more 'pieces'.
13 - New Jersey Nets - They will be terrible until Kidd comes back, and then when Kidd does come back they will trade him. I don't fault them for not giving Kenyon Martin the max contract he was asking for (and from the looks of it so far Denver will regret obliging). But they shouldn't have subsequently over-paid for Richard Jefferson. Anyway, that's an issue for the future, for this year they will be bad, unless they can get some willing players for Kidd and not just lame-duck players that will come off the cap soon.
12 - Milwaukee Bucks - Who knows if and when TJ Ford is coming back, and even if he does they overachieved last season and I have a notion that they will come back to earth. In a related story, my 'notions' are based on nothing substantial and shouldn't be taken seriously.
11 - New York Knicks - They should be called 'the Eddy Curry 5', since none of them play defense or rebound. They do have a nice rotation of overpaid yet productive talent, but Allan Houston's absence will cause for a start too slow for Isiah's liking. By Christmas expect a trade of Michael Sweetney, a future first rounder (they may have one left in 2008), and Moochie Norris for Wally Szcerbiak.
10 - Washington Wizards - This team has the talent to get home-court in the first round, but I think injuries will be the catalyst to another season in lottery-land. They're the Wizards, after all, and they always manage to screw things up. Kwame Brown will be traded for Mitch Richmond after the season.
09 - Chicago Bulls - Well, I tried to put them in the playoffs, I really did. (note: I also did this before going to the game tonight. But like I said, that game didn't happen)
08 - Orlando - If Grant Hill goes down they will slip somewhat. For some reason I bought into the preseason hype about his future health. This happens every year.
07 - Boston Celtics - They'll win enough games just by outscoring the other team with a plethora of offensive-minded guards. Maybe up a few spots if Mark Blount isn't a fluke, Raef LaFrentz's legs are still attached, and Tom Gugliotta is proven to still be alive. And am I the only one rooting for Al Jefferson to go through the same growing pains of worthlessness that Curry and Chandler have been in?
06 - Toronto Raptors - Maybe its Raptorblog.com poisoning my mind with Raps optimism, but this team isn't bad. You can't say they have no point guard anymore because Raefer Alston is big upgrade over Alvin Williams. They still have no center, but then again who does anymore. They like to run, which will help mask the deficiencies in the frontcourt. Vince and Bosh are a pretty good inside-outside combo, and with actual NBA players (see coming from a Bulls fan this is a rarity) like Marshall, Peterson, Alston, Rose, MoPete, Murray adding some depth they will be fine. No?
05 - Philadelphia 76ers - A similar team to Toronto, but with better personnel. Another team that will run, but should be better defensively under new coach Jim O'Brien. I also like Kenny Thomas, for some reason.
04 - Cleveland Cavaliers - I love those new Lebron commercials. Those Drew Gooden commercials for Nair aren't bad either.
03 - Miami - Shaq will be out for 20 games, but even without him they can get a win here or there over the worse teams in the East. When the big fella is in the lineup they are very very good.
02 - Detroit - Larry Brown is a jerk. And when jerks like him and Rasheed Wallace get together, the team will eventually be bogged down in jerkdom. This wont cause many losses though, but they will not be the favorites going into the playoffs.
01 - Indiana - Deep enough everywhere to win a ton of games. Throughout these ranking I never considered which teams were essentially better than the other, but moreso who will win the most games this year. And I think a team like Indiana can use their depth to win nearly all their games against the bad teams in the league, and that will give them the #1 seed. Now as the playoffs go I still have doubts they can hang with Detroit or Miami.
Ok, so lets never mention this awful waste of blog space until the end of the
season. Then we can all laugh at my predictions.