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-   -   Where do we stand? (http://www.insidehoops.com/forum/showthread.php?t=272987)

franchize 07-30-2012 12:49 PM

Where do we stand?
 
As the season slowly approaches and teams start to round out their roster, it lead me to wonder where we stand in the Eastern Conference. I just wanted to know your opinions. I think we'll end up with the 5th seed with the standings as follows:

Heat- Reigning champs who got over the hump mentally. I think they come in focused, rejuvenated and are the clear cut favorite to win the east

Celtics- Yes, they lost Ray Allen. However, he was gradually getting phased out and they brought back KG and Bass. Plus, they got Jason Terry who is like fireworks off the bench. The brought in Courtney Lee who's a pretty good defender and Avery Bradley will be returning from injury. Not to mention, Jeff Green and Wilcox will be returning from heart ailments. I think they actually will be better than last year's team.

Nets- I know they're newly constructed. However, I think they were brilliantly put together. They, along with the Lakers, have arguably the most complete starting lineup in the NBA. I think that, coupled with Avery's coaching, will get them the 3rd seed. I think they may be an early out this year because Humphries and Lopez are poor defenders but regular season wise, I think they will be as advertised.

Pacers- They've become the new Hawks. I think they will finish just above us in the regular season standings but I think we'll meet and beat them in the playoffs. They just seem like a really good reular season team. I am impressed by their newly acquired depth. I didn't like them losing Collison, but they added Mahinmi and got Green and Augustin through free agency. I also see Lance Stephenson making strides this year after having a very impressive summer league playing both on and off the ball.

Knicks- I think we will have a few bumps in the road early on just because, once again, we have so many new faces. However, I see us making a strong surge after the allstar break and really gaining momentum going into the playoffs. I have us meeting the Pacers in a rough 4 vs 5 battle that will exude nostalgia for us long time Knicks fans. I see us pulling through however simply because we have stars and they don't. Come playoff time, that's what you need. Guys to take over games. I think Felton will have a solid year. Solid enough to make people say Jeremy who? I think it will be just what the doctor ordered. I think the keys to the season will be a.) Can Woodson maximize our talent and find a way for our starting lineup to coexist b.)How much can we get from the senior citizens we brought in this offseason.

76ers- I think, despite their downward spiral at the end of the regular season, Doug Collins did a really good job with that team. Losing Lou Williams and Elton Brand was significant but Nick Young isn't a bad alternative. Furthermore, I think Lavoy Allen will emerge as a solid young PF and will be in the running for a most improved player award. Also, Arnett Moultrie might be a sleeper pick for an All Rookie team. He can ball.

Hawks- Say what you will about his contract, getting rid of Joe Johnson for nothing doesn't immediately make your team better. In the long run, it will certainly help with cap room because let's face it...he was overpaid. However, cap room doesn't win you games (at least not directly). They also got rid of Marvin Williams, who I never really liked but was their SF. They replaced him with Devin Harris which baffled me. I see it as a salary dump move since Harris is an expirer. I think it will hinder Teague's growth though.

Bucks- Part of me wants to put the Bulls, Toronto or Orlando here. The Bucks are so streaky. I think they will sneak into the 8th spot because out of default for reason I've mentioned below. I think Ilyasova is the real deal. Tobias Harris looked really good in Summer League. He added muscle and refined his skills. I think if he can crack their lineup at the SF position, they could be a playoff team. Adding Doron Lamb for bench scoring was a nice draft pick.




Contenders for the 8th spot:
Bulls- while brilliantly coached and constantly overachieving, just lost way too much IMO. They're losing Rose for most, if not all, of the season. CJ Watson choseto go to the Nets instead of relishing in the opportunity to be the man until Rose gets back. JL III went to Toronto. They lost Brewer and Korver. Bellinelli doesn't fit their style IMO. If anyone can do it, it's Thibs, but I think these hurdles will just be too much. While they pride themselves on their defense, I don't think you can win enough games to make the playoffs when Luol Deng is your only scoring threat.

Orlando- As annoying as Dwight's free agency situation is, I have to applaud him for not quitting on his team last year. He may have thrown some guys under the bus but he still competed at a high level. Who know's what Jacque Vaughn brings to the table asa coach? :confusedshrug: At the time being though, they still have the best center in the league....for now:rolleyes:. That, at least, gives them an 8th seed shot.

Toronto- Were they dumbasses for giving Landry all that money? Absolutely. But they might have gotten a sleeper pick for ROY in Terrence Ross. This kid can play. I also think they upgraded their PG position by getting Lowry. They'll be a tough defensive team...at least in the backcourt. I'm hearing nothing but amazin things about this Valanciunas kid. If he's the real deal, him and Bargnani could be a nice 1-2 punch in the frountcourt. That's a big if though and I haven't seen enough of him to give him my certified stamp of approval.

Rameek 07-30-2012 02:05 PM

Re: Where do we stand?
 
I think the Knicks should be playoff bound based on the inadequacies of other teams but not by the Knicks on merit/talent.

Nothing that the knicks have done gives me the confidence they are better than an 8th seed at this point. Nothing acquired or subtracted has significantly put the knicks in a better position for success. Basically its a sideways summer that has to be proven on the court its better.

The reason being, I dont think this coaching staff is smart enough or quality enough to solve the biggest issue on the knicks which is how can Melo and Stat can play together where they influence the game on both ends of the floor. Also, its hard to say that players are going to be better from last year to this year.

This is only a primilary assessment though. Lets see what happens to teams as rosters gets finalized and they get into camps.

bluechox2 07-30-2012 02:39 PM

Re: Where do we stand?
 
we are probably in the middle of the pack in regards of standings. i hope we get our first season where the knicks actually do some dominating of their own instead of hoping for other teams to play dead for them. we need to play with some fire instead of expecting to be a great team but not playing like one.

Sarcastic 07-30-2012 06:12 PM

Re: Where do we stand?
 
Anything less than a 3 seed is a bad season.

Clutch 07-30-2012 06:17 PM

Re: Where do we stand?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sarcastic
Anything less than a 3 seed is a bad season.

I pretty much agree. We need to get that homecourt advantage and play against a beatable opponent in the 1st round.

Rameek 07-30-2012 06:28 PM

Re: Where do we stand?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sarcastic
Anything less than a 3 seed is a bad season.

Maked me a believer....

knickscity 07-30-2012 06:38 PM

Re: Where do we stand?
 
Outside of Miami, no one is definitively better.

This might be the first season in a while that the team goes into a training camp with actual pieces at each position with proper depth that should be able to play off each other, and with cohesion.

A good mix of offense surrounded by guys who defend and rebound.

If they aren't battling for 2nd seed, something is definitely wrong.

Bano114 07-30-2012 08:27 PM

Re: Where do we stand?
 
Agree for the most part with the OP but I expect more from the Bulls and less from the Nets. I see us getting the 4th spot with the Heat first, Boston second and the Pacers third.

Rameek 07-30-2012 10:46 PM

Re: Where do we stand?
 
still waiting for why the hopes so high?

knickscity 07-31-2012 05:26 AM

Re: Where do we stand?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Rameek
still waiting for why the hopes so high?

Not a hope, rather an expectation.

Two of the top 5 highest paid on the same team, anchored by a DPOY?

I'm sorry...... HCA in the first round, combined by a second round knockout is a waste of a season.

These guys wanted the big money, time to play for their checks.

Clutch 07-31-2012 06:00 AM

Re: Where do we stand?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Rameek
still waiting for why the hopes so high?

Because we have a really deep team with 2 stars/superstars. Also D'Antoni is no longer here,Knicks will play hard every night instead of taking a night off against weaker opponents like it was the case with Mike D'Antoni.

Jasi 07-31-2012 06:30 AM

Re: Where do we stand?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by knickscity
Not a hope, rather an expectation.

Two of the top 5 highest paid on the same team, anchored by a DPOY?

I'm sorry...... HCA in the first round, combined by a second round knockout is a waste of a season.

These guys wanted the big money, time to play for their checks.


That was the case last year as well.
Sure we also had Dumbtoni.

But still, I'm not a huge believer.
I even liked our off-season move so far. But the thing is, I still think that the "Melo + Amare" duo is just lower than the sum of its parts.
I hope I'm wrong.
4th seed, 2nd round, ECF tops. Definitely not a contender.

knickscity 07-31-2012 07:25 AM

Re: Where do we stand?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jasi
That was the case last year as well.
Sure we also had Dumbtoni.

But still, I'm not a huge believer.
I even liked our off-season move so far. But the thing is, I still think that the "Melo + Amare" duo is just lower than the sum of its parts.
I hope I'm wrong.
4th seed, 2nd round, ECF tops. Definitely not a contender.

Yup, and the consensus was that the team underachieved.

At some point there has to be an actual ownership to playing up to what your paid or honestly they can gtfo.

Just curious though, if they made the ECF, they wouldn't be considered a contender?

Jasi 07-31-2012 07:29 AM

Re: Where do we stand?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by knickscity
Yup, and the consensus was that the team underachieved.

At some point there has to be an actual ownership to playing up to what your paid or honestly they can gtfo.

Just curious though, if they made the ECF, they wouldn't be considered a contender?


I don't see them reaching the ECF as legit contenders for the EC title, let alone for the NBA title.

knickscity 07-31-2012 07:38 AM

Re: Where do we stand?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jasi
I don't see them reaching the ECF as legit contenders for the EC title, let alone for the NBA title.

Outside of Miami, I don't see a better squad in the East either.

They'll make it by default at worst case.


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