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Old 08-14-2013, 07:27 AM   #16
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Default Re: EC Final Standing ? Anyone willing to make bold predictions ?

^ D Rose is one of my favourite players, but his playing style is predicated on aggressive explosiveness, so I really don't know what to make of his 'return' - will he ever be able to be like he used to, slamming into everyone as he drives?

Thunder are my main non-home team, so I have the exact same worries with the very similar Westbrook
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Old 08-14-2013, 10:00 AM   #17
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Default Re: EC Final Standing ? Anyone willing to make bold predictions ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grey Dawn
^ D Rose is one of my favourite players, but his playing style is predicated on aggressive explosiveness, so I really don't know what to make of his 'return' - will he ever be able to be like he used to, slamming into everyone as he drives?

Drose questions is why I didnt put them higher. That team has all the parts and you know they know how to win Drose or not; but will he be tentative ? If he is they are at best 4 - 5
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Old 08-14-2013, 10:03 AM   #18
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Default Re: EC Final Standing ? Anyone willing to make bold predictions ?

I find it interesting that only Bluerap and I pick Toronto in the playoffs.

Wow change from last year.

Nobody here buys the fact that a 5 team improvement in D efficiency means playoffs in the east ?

Or is it purely talent assessment ??

I guess there must be doubts about Casey and staff ; but I really think casey has total reigns to run his coaching philosphy this year. Fits with MU style. Raptors wont start "o for 15 games begining of season" and that should account for 5 - 8 more wins over the season
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Old 08-14-2013, 11:56 AM   #19
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Default Re: EC Final Standing ? Anyone willing to make bold predictions ?

1. Indiana Pacers
2. Miami Heat
3. Brooklyn Nets
4. Chicago Bulls
5. New York Knicks
6. Toronto Raptors
7. Detroit Pistons
8. Cleveland Cavaliers

9. Atlanta Hawks
10. Washington Wizards
11. Boston Celtics
12. Charlotte Bobcats
13. Milwaukee Bucks
14. Orlando Magic
15. Philadelphia 76ers


Should we start a WC Final Standing thread next ?


EDIT - Explanations:

My pick for Indiana is that they are the most improved team in the off season and improved more than Miami. Miami also is probably going to have the fatigue factor, so they will probably try to rest guys even more so. I really do think this Raptors team could make a push for a 6th seed, a lot of the reasons like Jballer said + Jonas's making major strides. On the other hand, Cleveland and Detroit can also make these strides, but Cleveland has all sorts of injury riddles. Detroit doesn't seem to fit well in terms of their guard play, IMO.

The teams that won't make it, I think Atlanta and Washington will give a good run for the final seeds, but won't have enough. I think Boston has enough pieces to compete, just not bad enough to want to tank. Philadelphia is my choice finish dead last over Orlando, literally throwing away this season before it started and they just hired their new coach too.

My bold predictions are for the Raptors at #6 and Miami not finishing at #1.

Last edited by Legends66NBA7 : 08-14-2013 at 12:04 PM.
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Old 08-14-2013, 01:56 PM   #20
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Default Re: EC Final Standing ? Anyone willing to make bold predictions ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grey Dawn
^ D Rose is one of my favourite players, but his playing style is predicated on aggressive explosiveness, so I really don't know what to make of his 'return' - will he ever be able to be like he used to, slamming into everyone as he drives?

Thunder are my main non-home team, so I have the exact same worries with the very similar Westbrook

I like the fact that Derrick Rose hasn't returned early and that he can keep on rehabbing his knee. His team was 5th with him and if he plays at a fraction of his MVP year then the Bulls will take second IMO.
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Old 08-14-2013, 01:59 PM   #21
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Default Re: EC Final Standing ? Anyone willing to make bold predictions ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jballer
I find it interesting that only Bluerap and I pick Toronto in the playoffs.

Wow change from last year.

Nobody here buys the fact that a 5 team improvement in D efficiency means playoffs in the east ?

Or is it purely talent assessment ??

I guess there must be doubts about Casey and staff ; but I really think casey has total reigns to run his coaching philosphy this year. Fits with MU style. Raptors wont start "o for 15 games begining of season" and that should account for 5 - 8 more wins over the season

Theres talent on the roster, but I do not like the way the team is constructed. I hope they pound it with Val, but both Gay and Derozan can't hit a 3 for sh*t. I know they could improve, but until they do I'll place them outisde of the playoffs.

I think you also have to consider the Raps D efficency dropped last year with improvements on the offensive side of the ball. I think the O is not going to be so great this year.
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Old 08-14-2013, 02:00 PM   #22
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Default Re: EC Final Standing ? Anyone willing to make bold predictions ?

Its shocking that some of you guys don't think Miami isn't going to be first. They won the east by 12 games last year
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Old 08-14-2013, 02:35 PM   #23
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Default Re: EC Final Standing ? Anyone willing to make bold predictions ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kmart
Its shocking that some of you guys don't think Miami isn't going to be first. They won the east by 12 games last year

That's last year.

The Pacers, Nets, Bulls, and Knicks all improved... especially the Pacers, Nets, and Bulls. The Knicks could surprise, but I don't think they have right fit on that team.

Again, the Heat are going to worn down and are you going to rest more players. To me, it's Indiana's time to really get the top seed. Maybe even the Bulls could return to the top spot too, if Rose returns back to form.
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Old 08-14-2013, 08:50 PM   #24
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Default Re: EC Final Standing ? Anyone willing to make bold predictions ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Legends66NBA7
That's last year.

The Pacers, Nets, Bulls, and Knicks all improved... especially the Pacers, Nets, and Bulls. The Knicks could surprise, but I don't think they have right fit on that team.

Again, the Heat are going to worn down and are you going to rest more players. To me, it's Indiana's time to really get the top seed. Maybe even the Bulls could return to the top spot too, if Rose returns back to form.

Brooklyn will do worse in the regular season than the post season, just do to age.

I like D Rose a lot, but the Bull still aren't as good as the Heat. Even if Wade isn't healthy.

Luis Scola isn't going to change the landscape of the east at all, so forget about Indiana.

Lebron is head and shoulders above every one else in the league and that makes them the best team. Plus they also added Greg Oden, if he stays healthy for 20 minutes I think the rest of the league is in trouble. The Heat lets not forget just came off a season where they won 27 straight.
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Old 08-15-2013, 10:43 AM   #25
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Default Re: EC Final Standing ? Anyone willing to make bold predictions ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kmart
Brooklyn will do worse in the regular season than the post season, just do to age.

Maybe, but they will be a Top 3-4 team at worst this year, so there is a more potential to grab higher seeds.

Quote:
I like D Rose a lot, but the Bull still aren't as good as the Heat. Even if Wade isn't healthy.

Rose is going to be a major X-Factor. If he returns to some what of the form in his 10-11 and 11-12 seasons, the Bulls are on pace for 60+ wins just like they were in those 2 seasons.

The Bulls always play the Heat hard in the regular season and might return above the Heat again in the standings. However, like most, I don't think Rose returns to that form which is why I keep the Bulls under the Heat. This could possibly change, though.

I still think their another scoring wing away from being an actual contender, though.

Quote:
Luis Scola isn't going to change the landscape of the east at all, so forget about Indiana.

If it was just Scola, then maybe not. But with a healthy Danny Granger, who was their best player for years, Scola, and another 3 point threat in Chris Copeland... and you've got your potential #1 seed. Their offense will be much better and their defense was already #1 last year.

Hibbert/Mahinmi/West/Scola/George/Granger ? That's my vote for the best best front court this coming season, it's just so well-rounded at full strength.

I honestly don't understand how many people are sleeping on this team. They probably would have been in the Finals last year with Granger or even not for incompetence in Game 1 of that ECF. I think timing is perfect right now for this team to win the #1 seed and possibly win an NBA title too.

Quote:
Lebron is head and shoulders above every one else in the league and that makes them the best team. Plus they also added Greg Oden, if he stays healthy for 20 minutes I think the rest of the league is in trouble. The Heat lets not forget just came off a season where they won 27 straight.

Well, LeBron is the key for his and other teams fortunes (incase he does get that major injury). He does it all for that team, but I still think fatigue is going to be a factor for their team. Oden really got overhyped when they acquired him and I don't see how he impacts the game more when he's had a 3+ year layoff over a guy like Granger or Rose for their teams.

The 27+ game win streak has happened only twice in NBA history. Going out on a limb that this next season Heat team won't approach that.
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Old 08-15-2013, 11:02 AM   #26
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Default Re: EC Final Standing ? Anyone willing to make bold predictions ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kmart
Brooklyn will do worse in the regular season than the post season, just do to age.

I like D Rose a lot, but the Bull still aren't as good as the Heat. Even if Wade isn't healthy.

Luis Scola isn't going to change the landscape of the east at all, so forget about Indiana.

Lebron is head and shoulders above every one else in the league and that makes them the best team. Plus they also added Greg Oden, if he stays healthy for 20 minutes I think the rest of the league is in trouble. The Heat lets not forget just came off a season where they won 27 straight.

Disagree Agree Agree...

Dont forget the the Nets 2nd tier talent is Lopez, Blatche, AK47, Plumlee, Jason Terry and "all hustle" Alan Anderson. That line up can play major minutes without a huge drop off from Pierce Garnett Deron. In fact they can contribute a lot of minutes I would suggest to give the vets an easy schedule regular season and still have legs for the playoffs. The big X factor in my mind is Jason Kidd and how (if?) he can plot XOs .

Scolia is not enough. Granger is the real X factor. Is Granger anything close to what he used to be ? Season will tell. I still think of them as 3rd due to mixing Granger / Scolia into line up.

Nuff said about Miami. They simply are.
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Old 08-15-2013, 11:08 AM   #27
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Default Re: EC Final Standing ? Anyone willing to make bold predictions ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kmart
I think you also have to consider the Raps D efficency dropped last year with improvements on the offensive side of the ball. I think the O is not going to be so great this year.

I think I agree with you here...

My take is Collangelo interfered and pushed a O scheme onto Casey at the expense of D efficiency ; as well as "coaches message loosing some effectiveness"...

This season it is all on Casey and I think he hand picked the staff and I think this team will be d first - o challenged. Agreed. But D first wins 5 more games - especially a few of the hairbrained close ones they could have pulled out last year vs Portland, Denver, Charlotte, etc...
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Old 08-15-2013, 02:45 PM   #28
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Default Re: EC Final Standing ? Anyone willing to make bold predictions ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Legends66NBA7
Maybe, but they will be a Top 3-4 team at worst this year, so there is a more potential to grab higher seeds.



Rose is going to be a major X-Factor. If he returns to some what of the form in his 10-11 and 11-12 seasons, the Bulls are on pace for 60+ wins just like they were in those 2 seasons.

The Bulls always play the Heat hard in the regular season and might return above the Heat again in the standings. However, like most, I don't think Rose returns to that form which is why I keep the Bulls under the Heat. This could possibly change, though.

I still think their another scoring wing away from being an actual contender, though.



If it was just Scola, then maybe not. But with a healthy Danny Granger, who was their best player for years, Scola, and another 3 point threat in Chris Copeland... and you've got your potential #1 seed. Their offense will be much better and their defense was already #1 last year.

Hibbert/Mahinmi/West/Scola/George/Granger ? That's my vote for the best best front court this coming season, it's just so well-rounded at full strength.

I honestly don't understand how many people are sleeping on this team. They probably would have been in the Finals last year with Granger or even not for incompetence in Game 1 of that ECF. I think timing is perfect right now for this team to win the #1 seed and possibly win an NBA title too.



Well, LeBron is the key for his and other teams fortunes (incase he does get that major injury). He does it all for that team, but I still think fatigue is going to be a factor for their team. Oden really got overhyped when they acquired him and I don't see how he impacts the game more when he's had a 3+ year layoff over a guy like Granger or Rose for their teams.

The 27+ game win streak has happened only twice in NBA history. Going out on a limb that this next season Heat team won't approach that.


I like Indiana too, but they are no Heat. They've got depth and lots of it, but they've got no superstar and no go to guy. Paul George is on the verge, but he's not there yet. A go to guy is crucial in the NBA IMO. It'll be interesting when they challenge the Heat again in the playoffs, my prediction? Heat in 7.

The argument can be made that Indiana was close, but I've found out through watching so much basketball over the years is that the best teams just find ways to win.

I don't really see Lebron fatigued either, he's probably been resting all summer long. I think we are also dismissing that Lebron hasn't had a serious injury, ever and the Heat are still relatively deep.
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Old 08-16-2013, 10:27 AM   #29
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Default Re: EC Final Standing ? Anyone willing to make bold predictions ?

Chris Manix at SI Com
1. Miami Heat: The two-time defending champions return 12 of their 13 most-used players from last season (Mike Miller was amnestied), and stars LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh remain in their primes. Miami still has size issues, and the likes of Indiana's Roy Hibbert, Brooklyn's Brook Lopez and a healthy Andrew Bynum of Cleveland will be tough matchups. Enter Greg Oden, the snakebitten former No. 1 pick who signed a minimum deal this month. An NBA source said Oden likely won't be able to contribute much in the first half of the season. But if the 7-foot, 275-pound center can regain some of his defensive and rebounding form, he will be a valuable addition to Miami's front line.
2. Chicago Bulls: The return of 2010-11 MVP Derrick Rose, who missed last season while recovering from knee surgery, likely ensures at least one thing: regular-season success. The Bulls finished with the best record in the East in Rose's last two seasons, and the fact that players such as Jimmy Butler were force-fed more responsibility in Rose's absence should strengthen coach Tom Thibodeau's team. Can the Bulls unseat Miami or overcome Indiana or Brooklyn in the playoffs without a consistent low-post scoring presence? Who knows. But with Rose and another stingy defense, they will collect a lot of victories before they get there.
3. Indiana Pacers: The Pacers will miss Tyler Hansbrough's hustle and rebounding, but they picked up a more than adequate replacement in Luis Scola, who will inject some badly needed offensive punch into the second unit. Whether the Pacers trade Danny Granger or not, they will benefit from his return. With Granger, Indiana adds another offensive weapon, likely off the bench, as coach Frank Vogel may not want to mess with the starting lineup on the NBA's most efficient defensive team. And if the Pacers deal Granger, they may be able to acquire more help at point guard, which could be their only weakness.
4. Brooklyn Nets: Well, this should be fun. Kevin Garnett fills a gaping hole at power forward, Paul Pierce is a more consisting scoring option than departed small forward Gerald Wallace and both newcomers will teach a lifeless locker room how to hate Miami. But it's the signing of forward Andrei Kirilenko that irritated rival coaches the most. With Kirilenko, a long, experienced defender, the Nets have a weapon to deploy against James, Indiana's Paul George and Chicago's Luol Deng in the playoffs. Questions remain about Jason Kidd's coaching ability, the chemistry between so many alpha dogs and the age of some key players. But if the talent can come together, this is a scary bunch.
DOLLINGER: Challenges facing Kidd, other new coaches in East
5. New York Knicks: By acquiring Andrea Bargnani in a questionable trade that cost them a first-round pick and two second-round picks, the Knicks are going all in on Melo Ball. Bargnani is a floor-spacing shooter who will draw big defenders away from the basket, freeing up more room for Carmelo Anthony to operate. What he doesn't do is help a defense that deteriorated significantly after the first month of last season. New York's best chance to challenge the conference elite is if Amar'e Stoudemire can come back healthy and give the lineup offensive balance. But who wants to put their money on that darkhorse?
6. Detroit Pistons: With a playoffs-or-bust mentality, the Pistons went on a spending spree, signing occasionally erratic forward Josh Smith to a four-year, $54 million contract and acquiring more frequently erratic point guard Brandon Jennings on a three-year, $24 million contract in a sign-and-trade deal with Milwaukee. On paper, Detroit has more than enough talent to make the playoffs in a top-heavy conference in which a host of teams can grab one of the last three spots. But Smith plays a position (power forward) occupied by rising star Greg Monroe, Jennings is far from a pass-first point guard and top draft pick Kentavius Caldwell-Pope, the shooting guard of the future, may not be ready for significant minutes yet at a position of need. Again, this is a playoff team. But it doesn't look like one that will accomplish much in the postseason.
7. Cleveland Cavaliers: The Cavs are the wildest of wild cards. If Andrew Bynum comes back healthy; if Jarrett Jack can duplicate his play from last season, when he was a Sixth Man Award candidate; if Anthony Bennett plays like a top pick; if the Cavs' cluster of young talent (Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters, Tristan Thompson) can improve; and if coach Mike Brown can fix an abysmal defense -- got all that? -- then Cleveland is going to be very good. But Bynum has two bad knees and hasn't played in more than a year, Irving's injury history is a little scary and Brown isn't a miracle worker. One thing is certain: For the first time in a few years, it will be an interesting season in Cleveland.
8. Washington Wizards: The Wizards made some curious financial decisions this summer, giving point guard John Wall a five-year, $80 million extension a year before they had to and doling out a four-year, $22 million deal to small forward Martell Webster despite drafting Otto Porter just days earlier and already having Trevor Ariza. But this team should be fun to watch. A healthy Wall will steer what should be a potent up-tempo offense that will also feature shooting guard Bradley Beal, who improved as his rookie year progressed before a leg injury ended his season in early April. Washington went a respectable 24-25 when Wall returned from a knee injury last season. If Wall stays healthy (and shoots a little better from the perimeter), the Wizards should make the playoffs.
9. Atlanta Hawks: General manager Danny Ferry's rebooting of the Hawks is nearly complete: Only Al Horford and Jeff Teague remain from the team that lost to Boston in the 2012 playoffs. After striking out in the Dwight Howard/Chris Paul sweepstakes, Atlanta replaced Smith with Paul Millsap and added an aging Elton Brand. The Hawks also drafted Brazilian center Lucas Nogueira (who will remain in Spain this season) and German point guard Dennis Schröder. Mike Budenholzer is a solid young coach whose shot at a head job is long overdue, but he will be hard pressed to make the playoffs with a roster that lacks a true center and much depth.
10. Toronto Raptors: New general manager Masai Ujiri's thoughts on this season, per the Toronto Star: "We might have to let this thing sit, let it ride and see what you have." Indeed, Toronto didn't do much in Ujiri's first few months on the job, save for signing Hansbrough and a few other free agents to modest deals, trading Bargnani and amnestying Linas Kleiza. Second-year center Jonas Valanciunas remains an impressive prospect, and Kyle Lowry (who is in a contract year), DeMar DeRozan and Rudy Gay are quality starters. But the Raptors are perilously thin and coach Dwane Casey will need to fix a defense that declined significantly in his second season. Toronto will be challenged to end a five-year playoff drought.
11. Boston Celtics: Depending on when Rajon Rondo returns from an ACL injury -- and Celtics officials continue to publicly suggest that opening night is a realistic possibility -- Boston could finish as high as ninth or as low as 14th. Rondo is special when he's on his game. He can make modest talent better, and even after excising its aging stars, Boston still has Jeff Green, Avery Bradley, Jared Sullinger, Gerald Wallace and rookie Kelly Olynyk, who impressed in summer league. Rondo's ability to control a game on his own is worth more than a few unexpected wins. But if he suffers a setback or sits because, well, the Celtics have no reason to want to win this season as they look to the future, it could get ugly at the Garden.
12. Milwaukee Bucks: GM John Hammond took a two-by-four to a roster that, frankly, wasn't winning anything anyway. Replacing Brandon Jennings, Monta Ellis and J.J. Redick with O.J. Mayo, Brandon Knight and Luke Ridnour isn't an upgrade, no matter how little you liked the Jennings-Ellis backcourt. What the Bucks do have is a rising star in center Larry Sanders, a power forward who intrigues them in John Henson, a solid forward in Ersan Ilyasova and a fascinating point forward prospect in Giannis Antetokounmpo. A youth movement was probably the way to go in Milwaukee, but it could have some painful consequences this season.
13. Charlotte Bobcats: Al Jefferson gives the Bobcats a legitimate offensive option on a front line that had none last season. (It should be noted, though, that Jefferson's three-year, $40.5 million contract was significantly more than Millsap's two-year, $19 million deal even though the former frontcourt partners in Utah put up comparable per-36-minute numbers last season.) New coach Steve Clifford gets high marks from peers for his player-development ability, an important attribute on a team trying to improve second-year forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist's shooting, help No. 4 pick Cody Zeller establish himself, get third-year point guard Kemba Walker to take the next step and tease more from third-year big man Bismack Biyombo. Will the Bobcats exceed last season's 21-win total? Yes. Will they crack 30? That will be tougher.
14. Orlando Magic
15. Philadelphia 76ers
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Old 08-16-2013, 11:10 AM   #30
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Default Re: EC Final Standing ? Anyone willing to make bold predictions ?

^@ Jballer - Can you separate the sentences, please ? That's hard to read.
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