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Old 10-04-2006, 08:54 AM   #1
gregorius
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Exclamation East Rankings

1. Heat - 57-25. Winning the title will give them aded confidence but as you suggest they'll hold something back for the playoffs and not go all out in the reg. season. Being a vet team means thats a necessity. Shaq and co. are sure to miss some games with injury/wear and tear. But they'll still take the East and probably defend their title in the Finals.

2. Pistons - 54-28. Their still a regular season juggernaut. Don't write them off just yet. Despite our Bulls matching up very favourably with them now i still expect them to pip us to the Central title. They still have their four main scorers who all score inside more than our 4 main guys. Plus they've proved they can bounce back after disappointment e.g. last season's amazing reg. season after their Finals bad luck. There's a chance we may see a classic Bulls v Pistons 2nd rd matchup...probably with Det just edging us in 7.

3. Bulls 52-30. This is a tough choice for me. My heart says we'll take the #3 seed. But i'm maybe being naive. Cle and LBJ will probably edge us out...But the obvious improvements we've made should see hold us in good stead. We've addressed our lack of athleticism, improved our already strong D and added 3 veterans for a more cohesive locker room. There's still a lack of inside scoring unless (a) Sweets can contribute more as a natural low post threat or (b) Deng can develop a post game. Whatever happens we'll definitely improve on last year's win total....despite a tough start. If we're .500 come December time expext my prediction to ring true. Will make rd 2 of the playoffs for once.

4. Cavs - 51-31. LBJ will continue to carry this team with little or no help from others. Anderson may well continue his improvement and become starting PF, Z will be a year older and even slower than usual. But LBJ will continue to rack up crazy stats with the help of his godfather Stern. Lose to Heat in rd 2 of the playoffs.

5. Nets - 49-33. Same record as last year. Still a very decent team but their progress depends on the health of their perceived 'big 3'. I like their moves at PG bringing in the two Williams' as backups. Despatched by Cle in rd 1.

6. Pacers - 47-35. I like most all of their offseason moves though their still weak at PG if (or when) Tins goes down for half the season. If he (and J.O) plays most of their games expect 5 more wins and maybe a 4th seed. A very talented side but can they gel the new guys together quickly enough to affect a higher seeding? And will the loss of the unheralded Anthony Johnson be the one move they rue the most? A close loss to Chi in the playoffs, probably 7 games.

7. Wiz - 41-41. Same old same old. I see no real improvements from them this ofseason and consequently this reg. season. Arenas will still command the ball and put up nice stats. And they'll still lose in rd 1 of the playoffs. Crushed by Det in the playoffs, a sweep most likely.

8/9/10. Bobcats/Magic/Bucks - it'll be one of these 3 IMO. The Bucks look strong and will probably take the last spot. I liked the CV for TJ trade and the move of Bogut to C. They look a very athletic outfit now. The Magic made great strides late last year and will surely be there or thereabouts in April.

Charlotte have made some real nice moves this summer, a core of...

Ely/Brezec
Okafor/May
Morrison
Wallace
Felton/Knight


... looks pretty good to me. They also brought over this Argentinian Herrmann who's apparently a better scorer than Noc or Manu. I expect Morrison will score well, Okafor will actually play some games and Wallace will get even better. This may be a season too early for them to crash the party though i would'nt be surprised if they did.

so..

8. Bucks 41-41. That starting lineup of Williams/Redd/Simmons/Villanueva/Bogut looks stacked. Add Bell as 6th MOTY candidate and they'll surely sneak into the playoffs.

9. Bobcats 39-43. Next year it'll be the playoffs for them.

10. Magic - 39-43. Same as the Cats. Another year of growth for Howard and co.

11. Celtics - 36-46. Boston look loaded at PG (though i hear West may move to SG) with young Telfair moving to Beantown. Pierce will win them most of their games but his lack of support (and their youth) will be their undoing. They'll hopefully come good in a couple years while Pierce is still in his prime.

12. Sixers - 35-47. A down year for AI's crew. He's not gonna be able to carry them forever. Korver and Iggy should hope for breakout years but i can't quite see it.

13. Raptors - 33-49. Their still very young (maybe the youngest in the league at avg. age 23.8??) so this'll probably be another learning year for T.O. I'll be interested to see how Bargnani pans out...he has all the tools to be a major Dirk-like success story but thats been said before. I believe he has the best chance out of the previous guys given that tag (Raddy, Skita, etc)...if he can be half the guy Dirk is then he and Bosh will lead TO to the Atlantic title before long. Still weak at C but they have 2 pass first PG's in Calderon and Ford. Not many hold stock in that these days but i do.

14. NY - 32-48. Just behind their Canadian foes for Isiah's boys (literally given their youth). I see another transitional year for the mish mash of styles we know (and love?) as the Knicks. Apparently they'll be giving more PT to youth and in Frye they have a player most deserving of extra mins. They still have too many 'me first, need the rock to be effective' scorers (Franchise, Rose, Marbs) but will probably manage a slight improvement from last year. Isiah is'nt turning this around in one season as coach.

15. Hawks - 29-53 - I sound like a broken record but their still 'very young'. They've addressed their needs at PG (though is'nt Claxton out injured for ages?) and their less weak at C with Zen Wright alongside Pachulia. They've drafted Williams as a low post scorer and have one of the more athletic and impressive corp. of swingmen in the NBA (Smith, Johnson and Childress) but you feel their still lacking something. They may get their in the end (landing Oden would be nice) but not at least til 2009 IMHO.
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Old 10-04-2006, 02:58 PM   #2
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here's some more reasons as to why we'll get 11 more wins than last year..
  • An increased veteran presence
  • Close games. With the addition of Ben and PJ helping lock games down late we surely can't lose as many close ones this year. Last year we seemed to lose every close game and were often leading in the last 60 secs, 30 secs or the last 5 secs only to be denied (v Cle, Utah, etc). I doubt we'll have as many late game brainfarts this time.
  • Our core are all a year older and wiser and better defensively.
  • Our new additions bring a veteran presence we lacked last year.
  • Deng has had a full offseason to train unlike last year.
  • Fouls. I doubt we'll foul as much as the insane rate from last year. Kirk's added respect from the media (and consequently the refs) should help bring this down. Plus (again) our vets should foul less.
  • Opp FT's. Last year opps. shot a crazy 77.7% at the line v Chi. Thats over 3% higher than the league avg. and 2nd worst in the NBA. If that stat returns to approx the league avg. it'll be good for 2/3 more wins. Not sure why this happened, it can only be put down to bad luck.
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Old 10-04-2006, 11:30 PM   #3
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i think the Pistons will fall from 2nd seed and Bulls should be a little better...The Raps should have a good year also, they have a good core of players
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Old 10-05-2006, 12:10 AM   #4
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I totally agree, the bulls with their core players of last year (Ben Gordon, Kirk Hinrich, Andres Nocioni, Luol Deng) will play nicely together this season since they've played together for atleast two years. Adding three more veterans, all with playoff experience, one with a championship, while another played in the Finals last year really is a strong upgrade to a young team. This season if they start off on the right foot the Bulls will have an image of a contender, but they must prove it first. Don't forget the rookies Tyrus Thomas and Thabo Sefelosha they will also be a spectacle to watch, these aren't your average players. Tyrus Thomas may possibly become an all star in the near future. I'm confident the Bulls will win at least 50 to 52 games this season. The Bulls had an up and down year with not having Eddy Curry, Darius Songaila missing a lot of games due to injury, Chris Duhon having some issues with inconsistancy and injury, and Tyson Chandler often under achieving. The Bulls will definatley do better than last years 41 wins and will probably surpass their 47 win season of 04/05. There is no reason for them not to win at least 50 games this season, they are better than they were in the last two seasons, especially now that they've added some good players to the mix and now have more experience.Things are looking great in the windy city. The Bulls will have a great season. Those who think other wise can kiss my a**.

Go Bulls!!!
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Old 10-06-2006, 12:11 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregorius
13. Raptors - 33-49. Their still very young (maybe the youngest in the league at avg. age 23.8??) so this'll probably be another learning year for T.O. I'll be interested to see how Bargnani pans out...he has all the tools to be a major Dirk-like success story but thats been said before. I believe he has the best chance out of the previous guys given that tag (Raddy, Skita, etc)...if he can be half the guy Dirk is then he and Bosh will lead TO to the Atlantic title before long. Still weak at C but they have 2 pass first PG's in Calderon and Ford. Not many hold stock in that these days but i do.

I think Toronto will be alot better than everyone thinks they will. If Bargnani pans out him and Bosh will be a nice 1-2.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gregorius
10. Magic - 39-43. Same as the Cats. Another year of growth for Howard and co.

If and this is one huge as Mount Killimanjaro IF, Darko can do what the Pistons drafted him for, but in Orlando, Him and Dwight Howard will be scary, add to that Jameer Nelson and J.J. Reddick and Hedo Turkoglu, Orlando could be back in the Playoffs. I think the Magic may make a trade, because Grant Hill is going to eventually retire and they will want a backup small forward to replace him or a small forward who can start now.

The Bulls have enough to take the Central. More so if Paxson pulls another trade out of his hat, and I'm sure he has one more up his sleeve, to make the Bulls legit contenders this season and thensome.

Last edited by BullsBigMan29 : 10-06-2006 at 12:15 AM.
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Old 10-06-2006, 08:35 AM   #6
gregorius
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BullsBigMan29
I think Toronto will be alot better than everyone thinks they will. If Bargnani pans out him and Bosh will be a nice 1-2.

As i said i like that combo but i feel this year is at least a season too soon for them to make that big a jump straight away.


Quote:
If and this is one huge as Mount Killimanjaro IF, Darko can do what the Pistons drafted him for, but in Orlando, Him and Dwight Howard will be scary, add to that Jameer Nelson and J.J. Reddick and Hedo Turkoglu, Orlando could be back in the Playoffs. I think the Magic may make a trade, because Grant Hill is going to eventually retire and they will want a backup small forward to replace him or a small forward who can start now.

The Bulls have enough to take the Central. More so if Paxson pulls another trade out of his hat, and I'm sure he has one more up his sleeve, to make the Bulls legit contenders this season and thensome.


I have the Magic only 2 games out of a playoff place. They'll be in the hunt all season long, i'm not impressed with their depth however. Thats why i have others slightly ahead.
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Old 10-06-2006, 12:57 PM   #7
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#1 da bulls
#2 da bears
#3 who cares
#4 who cares
dis year we'll see da suprizing emergence of a very special team into da n b a
-da bears
coached by none other than da legendary himself
iron mike ditka
da rode to da finals dis year for da two best teams in da leage will be an easy 82 -0
with an average points a game of six hundred thirty two to zip
da finals i'd have to say would be taken by our very own chicago bulls
mainly becouse they play more basketball den da bears

go bears go bulls
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