Re: 2012-13 EC regular season prediction game
Not that this should change your mind but an interesting take.
Post Olympic Power ranking
25 Toronto Raptors
For the first time in a long time, the Toronto Raptors acquired talent worth acquiring.
By obtaining Kyle Lowry from the Houston Rockets, the Raptors not only showed that they are ready to move on from Jose Calderon, but they are also serious about competing and becoming a relevant team.
It's either that or get left way behind in a stacked Atlantic Division. It's a given that they'll most likely end up behind four teams that could make the postseason, but it's a positive that they'll actually feature some solid talent worth relying on.
Joining Lowry will be draft picks Terrence Ross and Quincy Acy, as well as Landry Fields, John Lucas III and Jonas Valanciunas, who was the Raptors' lottery pick from last year. Hopefully, the Olympics aren't a strong showing of what to expect next year, because Valanciunas didn't exactly impress anyone in his time with Lithuania.
Then again, it's not as if Linas Kleiza ever plans on transferring his expertise in the international game to the NBA.
Also, they gave Landry Fields $20 million. Sorry to bring it up.
24. Detroit Pistons
They're not exactly on par with their counterparts of the late-1980's or the mid-'2000's, but the 2012 Detroit Pistons can at least say they're on the right track to becoming a quality team.
Through an excellent draft where they took center Andre Drummond, power forward Khris Middleton and guard Kim English, the Pistons have surrounded a young, talented roster with even more talent that could potentially change the outlook of this team for the better.
You may not have noticed, but the Pistons started to look really good by season's end and will be looking to carry that momentum into the coming season.
While the Pistons didn't do much in terms of free agency, they're more reliant on the roster they have instead of pursuing players who could potentially make the team better. It's not that bad of an idea considering the team is sporting the likes of Brandon Knight and Greg Monroe.
However, the team did trade away Ben Gordon for Corey Maggette, and that's always a good thing.
21 Milwaukee Bucks
I can't believe I'm saying it, but who else is excited for Milwaukee Bucks basketball?
In recent years, the Bucks have been playing this incoherent and jumbled mess of a game on the offensive end. Even with Brandon Jennings running the point, the Bucks couldn't snap out of this offense that set a limit at 95 points as its max. They were a good defensive team, but their offense was too inconsistent to support the entire team.
That may change this season. Set to play in their first full season together, Jennings and Monta Ellis combine to form one of the league's most dynamic backcourts. Jennings' abilities as a shooter and Ellis' abilities to drive means that there should be little discrepancy between the two when it comes to finding their spots on the floor.
The Bucks will be coming out the gates with a slightly new roster with Samuel Dalembert set to replace Andrew Bogut and rookie John Henson looking to make his voice heard as the team's resident shot-blocker
20 Washington Wizards
Month by month goes by, and the Washington Wizards are appearing less like the laughingstock of the NBA and more like a team that's striving for relevance.
They took another step in the right direction this offseason. They utilized the draft to fill in a void at the two by selecting Bradley Beal and traded the contract of Rashard Lewis for Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza.
With Okafor and Ariza possibly joining Nene Hilario in the starting frontcourt next year, the Wizards suddenly don't look all that bad. Also, with the Orlando Magic losing a lot of ground and going into rebuilding mode, the Wizards could take advantage and become the third-best team in a division that may only have one postseason team.
The Wizards will continue to rely on young talent to get them to the next level, as they will also be continuing to keep a close eye on the development of Trevor Booker, Kevin Seraphin, Jordan Crawford and Jan Vesely.
Most of all, they'll be looking to John Wall to begin taking the next step