Originally Posted by Patrick27
That's exactly where I was going with my analysis. Despite Orlando's record, I think Cleveland is clearly the third most dangerous team in the eastern playoffs.
Agreed, Orlando is clearly a PG away from being an elite team. I love their Rashard Lewis signing over last summer. His outside shooting with Howard in the middle was a smart move. Add Hedo into the mix and they are definately solid. If they can make Nelson a backup PG and bring in a big time PG that will be able to handle someone like Billups and they would probably be the team to beat in the East and an elite in the NBA. Whether we like it or not there is going to come a time that Howard will win a championship but it isn't quite yet.
Detroit just doesn't have an answer for Lebron (not like most of the league does). I am hoping that adding Ratliff in the middle will help out with Lebron taking it to the lane on us whenever he wants. Other than that Ben Wallace doesn't scare me. Detroit knows all of his weaknesses. They will be able to stay on Wally outside. But with that said, I'd still rather see Orlando in the playoffs.
Patrick27, I disagree with you thinking the Mavericks could beat the Pistons. I actually think the Pistons could sweep them. I think Kidd is one of the great PG's in the NBA but..... with Harris the team could do so much more match up wise because he was so quick. Detroit doesn't have an answer for Harris' speed, although Harris certainly can't gaurd Billups because of his size advantage either. We never had problems with Kidd in the East and I don't think we will in the West. Rasheed can gaurd Dirk inside and outside. Tayshaun would lock up Josh Howard which would be the key to the series. Whenever Howard scores 20+ the Mavericks are tough to beat. Prince would lock him up and the series would be done. Rip would lock up Terry, there's no doubt about that. There's too much of a size advantage for Rip. I was in Toronto for work in December and watched the Mavericks play the Raptors. The Raptors killed them. Seeing Dallas play not on television I realized that team is not one of the elite but definately deserving of being in the finals discussion.
Be very afraid of the Lakers if Bynum comes back. That would create all kinds of match up problems. Detroits front line would have an extremely difficult time with Bynum and Gasol. I think Rasheed would lock down Gasol but that would leave Bynum to get his. Prince has a slight advantage over Ariza but make no mistake, Ariza is an underrated defender. Nobody on earth can stop Kobe so that isn't even a question. Of course the key for the Pistons would be Billups because LA doesn't have a PG that can gaurd him. Billups is too big for Farmar and better than Fisher. I think it would be a great series to see.
As for San Antonio I think Detroit would finally get their revenge but my conspiracy theory is the NBA would never allow for this to happen because the rest of the world (beside Spurs and Pistons fans) want to see this again. The rest of the world doesn't enjoy basketball the way it should be played. Seriously, I think the league would pull one of those tricks like they did when the Heat won it and there would be the sloppiest worst fouls called ever in the history of the NBA so this match up could not happen. Let's not joke ourselves, the Heat didn't win the championship a few years ago, the league gave it to them.
Phoenix doesn't scare me at all. Detroit knows how to gaurd Shaq too well. Nash can't gaurd Billups. Bell would be able to match up with Rip. Tayshaun has the advantage over Grant Hill at this point in his career. McDyess can match up fine with Amare although Amare would have an advantage. And Rasheed would gaurd Shaq although Amare would have to gaurd Rasheed otherwise Sheed would just rain 3's on Shaq all day long. Phoenix made a move to help them match up with teams better in the West to get into the finals, but they now can't match up with the two good teams in the East.
Hornets are just too young and definately don't have the talent that Detroit or even Boston has. They aren't winning a championship this year.
The Warriors I don't think anybody should even talk about.
The Jazz would be a very tough opponent. Deron Williams is a beast. In the East he would have been an allstar without a doubt. It would be all Chauncey could do to gaurd him for 7 games. Kirilenko has been underrated for the last couple years. Just because I'm bias with the Pistons I would call it a flush between Tay and him. Booser has been great too and we all know what Okur is capable of. I think Detroit is slightly deeper but I just don't like all the potential match ups on the court. It would go 6 or 7 but it's impossible to say in who's favor.
The Nuggets have a ton of talent and haven't done anything. They don't scare me.
The Rockets without Yao don't either. I don't care about how well they've played lately. Without Yao they are not an elite team.