A look into the Eastern Conference and the Knicks
Most of the East teams have collected their cores of players for the upcoming season already, so an early look can be held.
Barring an injury to LeBron, expect to see Miami in the finals again.
But who's second, third, fourth, fifth, and so on?
I'll start with the Nets...
While I do think they will win more than 50 games, I can see them taking rest breaks during the season for KG and Pierce especially, and making a pretty good playoff push, but it will all come down to Deron Williams...he plays to his capability, the Nets could be facing Miami in the ECF.....I have them pegged at the third seed.....max win total of 54
Chicago, imo is much worse, but will be getting Rose back, only issue is the amount of time it normally takes a player to get back to norm after an injury such as his....I have them pegged at 5th seed....47 wins...max, with their usual high effort to win more than they should.
Indy is a weird team to gauge, they play championship level defense, but their offense is so poor is literally holds them back, they need balance and i doubt they can find it, unless they implore Granger as a sixth man or trade him for a reliable scorer......but overall, I think they'll win 52-55 games on their defense alone, and claiming the 2nd seed, will be a tough out in the second round, with the Nets the likely opponent.....
So where does this put the Knicks? Really hard to predict because I dont know what they are.
They have a good mix of offense and defense on an individual basis, and should be able to win games in the regular season from anywhere of 50-60..... but their issue is rarely talent...it's health and willingness to do what is needed to get the win, and trusting and playing as a team.
Woodson will have to trim guys minutes lower than where they prefer to hopefully take away the nagging injuries which keeps them fresh, and to get everyones confidence up to be able to contribute when called upon.
From a playoff standpoint until they address the rebounding, inefficient offense, moments of lacking effort, and defense..... I cannot see them beating anyone beyond the second round....I have them pegged at being either the 2nd seed as a high at 60 wins max, and a low of 4th seed with 50 wins....Should they address those key points, they very well could be playing Miami in the ECF
The bottom four I really see as maids to the top four...
Cavs if healthy can be that 5th seed....but that is a huge key for them.
Bynum Kyrie, Verajao especially...big question marks there.
I love what the Wizards have and i can see them finally enjoying some playoff action.....500 gets them in in the east....6th seed for them.
7th seed may very well be the Pistons, and pending them keeping that frontcourt, they very well could win 40-44 games with that trio of Monroe Drummond and Smoove.
8th seed? Really doesnt matter as they'll get smoked by Miami, but I the Raptors with 38 wins securing that spot by default of being the best of the worst.
So with an early guess, my seeds for the 2013-14 season....