Monday, October 13, 2008

NBA Preview, PT II

To pick up were I left off on Friday, I will finsih my preview for the upcoming NBA season.

The Vince Carter Division: These teams are like Vince, talented, yet fatally flawed. They should be good, but not good enough to compete for the title. There's Vince, grabbing the net for no apparent reason other than to prove that he can, probably during a disheartening loss.

14.Dallas Mavericks
Coach: Rick Carlisle
I believe Carlise is a solid NBA coach. I don't know, however, if he is enough of a change from Avery Johnson to make the difference that this team needs. I think Carlisle's defensive focus will not suit this team.

Roster: This team confuses me, I won't lie. They have a good team on paper with Kidd, Nowitzki, Howard, and a host of other talented role players, but just can't put it together on the court. Maybe now that the team has had some time to work out the kinks after the Kidd trade they will play much better. I doubt it. They won't be great because someone got in their heads and whispered the "D" word. Defense. This team was much, much, much better when they just tried to outscore you and play solid defense. If they can get back to that, they can play with anyone. With Carlisle at the helm, there isn't a chance in hell of that happening, so it should be a disappointing season.

Mobility: Downward
Waaaaay downward. Kidd is a shadow of his former self, Nowitzki seems to have lost his mojo, Josh Howard has leveled off. Jason Terry is fading. Other than maybe Brandon Bass, who is a freak of nature, there isn't a single other player on the roster who is improving. It is time to blow this thing up, Mr. Cuban.

13. Portland Trailblazers
Coach: Nate McMillan
This will be the truest test of McMillan's ability to coach. He has a team that is overhyped, and he will really have to do a hell of a job to get this team to play up to expectation levels. I'm putting this team pretty high, so it says something about what I think of McMillan as a coach. (I like him if that was too subtle, dumbass.)

Roster: These guys are fun to watch. These guys are solid and athletic all around. They are thin at the point, but Brandon Roy handles the ball enough that it doesn't seem to effect them that much. The biggest question is Greg Oden. He was just too good in college for me not to believe in him. If he can stay healthy and learn to avoid fouls, he can lead this team to the playoffs this year and anchor it for the next 15 years. I think he's that good. It's funny because I loved the Jail Blazers, and I love this team. I guess I just love Portland, despite never having been there. RIP Duckworth.

Mobility: Upward
5 years. Mark it down. Take a picture. I don't give a fu.

12. Orlando Magic
Coach: Ron Jeremy
Mr. Jeremy seems to be a fantastic lay. I don't watch much hard core, but I know that Mr. Jeremy is a legend. He was a good coach with the Heat before Pat Riley went all Benedict Arnold on him, and he did a good job turning the Magic around last year.

Roster: Dwight Howard is a bbb-beast. If this guy ever actually learns how to play the game rather than going off pure athletecism, watch out world. This is a solid, veteran team, with Jameer Nelson, who is okay, Rashard Lewis, who is good, Hedo Turkoglu, who is overrated but clutch. They picked up Pietrus, who I like and should help them defensively, where they lack a little. The bench is too thin here for any type of real contention, but they could fight for a middle playoff seed in the East.

Mobility: Downward
Other than Howard, no one is really improving, there is no cap space to bring anyone in, and no one valuable as trade bait. The Magic are stuck with this team, and it seems the other teams in the East are getting better, while they should just be about the same.

11. Toronto Raptors
Coach: Sam Mitchell
I'll be honest, I don't think Mitchell is a good coach. I don't think the Raptors think he is either, but they can't fire him because they owe him too much money and he has done a decent job with the team. Maybe I'm wrong. We'll find out this year, as he will coach his best team to date this year.

Roster: Let me just say, I loved the Jermaine O'Neal trade. The reasons are twofold. First, if Jermaine can stay healthy, he will be a huge aid to Chris Bosh and will help this team on both ends of the floor exponentially. Second, the trade frees up Jose Calderon to play 40 minutes a night without TJ Ford right behind him. Other than that, this team is mostly sharpshooters and role players, but you could do a lot worse than Jason Kapono as your sharpshooter.
The main problem here is toughness. I'm sorry, but when Kris Humphries is your toughest guy, you have problems.

Mobility: Upward
Barely. Bosh is 24, Calderon is 27, and Bargnan is 22, but other than that, this roster should be on the decline or the stay exactly the same. With some shrewed drafting and a hoodwinking of a retarded general manager (not hard to do in the NBA) these guys could be in line to be a nice team for years to come.

10. Philadelphia 76'ers
Coach: Maurice Cheecks
Mo Cheeks seems like a decent little coach. His teams play hard, he gets the most out of his guys. I don't think he's any sort of coaching genius, but he's solid and seems like a nice guy. Your team could do a lot worse than to have Mo Cheeks as the coach. Say, for example, PJ Carlesimo, or Stephen Hawking. (Ok, maybe Hawking would be a wonderful coach, so I take that back.)

Roster: Even with the addition of Elton Brand, this team is still not a true contender in my eyes. They are solid with Brand, Andre "Beavertooth" Miller, and Andre Iguodala, but after that, they get thin. Dalembert is okay, but has a low basketball IQ that gets him in trouble. There is some talent on the rest of the roster, but not enough to contend. People who are putting this team up with Boston or Detroit are on crack.

Mobility: Upward
Brand should be in his prime years, Iguodala is 24, Lou Williams 21 and improving, and Thaddeus Young could make the jump to a solid player in the next year or two, so I don't feel too bad about the nearly 10 million they will pay Andre Miller, who should start fading soon.

9. Cleveland Cavaliers
Coach: Mike Brown
Say what you will about his success, but Mike Brown is not a good coach. That offense Cleveland runs is atrocious. I mean, it makes my eyes hurt to watch the style this team plays. Brown has no feel for substitutions, and is just not a good coach. Did I mention he isn't good?

Roster: I really like the Mo Williams trade because it gives the Cavs a reliable second scorer and ball handler behind LeBron James. This team is solid defensively, but too one-dimensional still for me to think they have a real shot at the title. I don't think that Williams can be LeBron's Scottie Pippen, so the Cavs will just end up being a decent team, nothing more. The only thing I want to add is that with LeBron being as amazing team as he is, this team is a tough playoff out. I mean, really tough. Oh, and Mike Brown sucks as a coach.

Mobility: Upward
As LeBron goes, so go the Cavs. He seems to be getting better, so they will, too.

8. Phoenix Suns
Coach: Terry Porter
I can't believe that this was the best they could do in thier head coaching search. I mean, I'm sure Porter is okay, but they could have done better, couldn't they?

Roster: This team is built to run, but they have one hulking problem: Shaquille O'Neal. Shaq is still a good player, but he doesn't fit on this team at all. Maybe they will change how they play to suit him, but I doubt that will make them a better team. It's sad, but this team is no longer elite, and just can't hang with the big boys. The biggest disappointment has to be Boris Diaw. Can you belive they gave up Joe Johnson for this steaming pile o' poo? That has to hurt.

Mobility: Downward
The key cogs are aging and getting worse. Only Amare Stoudemire appears to be making progress. This team hasn't drafted well, and won't win a championship any time soon. Did I mention Mike Brown sucks? Bye.

The Boston Celtics Divsion: These teams all have a legitimate shot at winning the NBA title this year. It's pretty exciting when there are 7 teams that have a chance to be special. I can't wait for the season to start, baby. Look at the Celtics, with all their championship banners.

7. Houston Rockets
Coach: Rick Adelman
Adelman is a proven winner. His biggest problem is he's never taken a team to the title. This is his best shot since the Kings choked away a title to the Lakers. Oh, also the refs handed them that one game. That's water under the bridge, right Kings fan?

Roster: Yao Ming, Tracy McGrady, Ron Artest. Should be scary. For the training staff. Artest has never played a full season and went 57 last year, McGrady has never notched 82 and played 66 last year(66 of them hurt), and Yao Ming hasn't played over 60 games the last 3 seasons. On paper, this team is as good as any, but injuries will derail them. McGrady is already hurt. (knee) As an aside, adding Artest means I will definitely be watching more Rockets games, he's crazy as hell!

Mobility: Downward
McGrady is the oldest 29 year old alive, Yao is the oldest 28 year old, and Artest is too crazy to be reliable. Oh, and they have Skip-to-my-Lou at point. That can't be good in the long run.

6. Detroit Pistons
Coach: Michael Curry
Another head scratcher. Why give the keys to a porshce to someone who has never driven? Maybe he, like Indian Curry, will be spicy and awesome, but maybe, like Indian Curry, he will leave you with heartburn and nasty burps all day. Who knows?

Roster: Billups, Hamilton, Prince, Wallace and whoever else they put out there is pretty potent. Throw in McDyess, Stucky, and Amir Johnson and you have a true contender. This team has loads of talent, but is low on intensity come playoff time. You know what you are going to get here: 55-60 wins, and a loss in the Eastern Conference Finals. Here is the big question mark: Will they make a move? Stucky, Johnson, and one of the starters could land them somebody big. Would that be enough to put them over the top? We'll never know if GM Joe Dumars doesn't pull the trigger.

Mobility: Downward
All the main pieces are getting older. This team needs to make a move if they want one last legitimate run at the title before blowing this thing up. Signing Kwame Brown ain't gonna cut it, Joe D.

5. Utah Jazz
Coach: Jerry Sloan
I don't know if he is the best coach or not, but he is by far the most entertaining. Sloan looks like he might kill someone every minute of every game. The mics at Jazz games pick his cursing up every so often, and let's just say if they gave out a Turkey to a fan every time Jerry Sloan called someone a mother effing **cksucker, it would be like Thanksgiving Dinner for 20,000 people at every Jazz home game.

Roster: The Jazz are stacked. Deron Williams is a top 3 point gaurd, Ronny Brewer is underrated and emerging, Andrei Kirilenko is a great defender, a good passer, and an underused offensive piece, Carlos Boozer is a perennial All-Star, and Mehmet Okur could shoot with the lights off. Korver, Millsap and Harpring add depth off the bench. Jarron Collins waves towels. The biggest issue here is defense. The big guys can't gaurd anyone, and the second team fouls at prolific rates. If the Jazz can improve in those two areas, they could be losing to Boston in the Finals this year.

Mobility: Upward
Jazz fans are hoping Boozer doesn't pull a...,well,...Boozer and high-tail it after this year. If he does, Millsap fits in well and AK47 might return to his old form at his preferred power forward position. Williams, Boozer, Okur, Brewer, and Kirilenko are all under 30. There is talent on the bench. The future is bright for the Jazz.

4. New Orleans
Coach: Byron Scott
Byron Scott rode Magic's coattails to the NBA Championship in the 80's and he may ride Chris Paul's coattails to the NBA Championship in 2009. Say what you will about Byron Scott, but he knows how to pick the coattails to ride.

Roster: Chris Paul, Peja Stojackovic, Morris Peterson, David West, and Tyson Chandler is a great starting lineup. The bench is thin, but James Posey anchors it, and that may be enough to help this team jump the Lakers. Paul is amazing, is the best point gaurd in the league, and can make a case for being the most efficent overall player. I think this team might take a step back this year, but they should contend for the title for the next 3-5 years, barring catostrauphic injury.

Mobility: Upward
The core is young and improving. The core is Chris Paul. Keep an eye out on Julian Wright as well. Dude can play.

3. San Antonio Spurs
Coach: Greg Popovich
Pop is the best coach in the NBA right now. He never gets out coached, keeps it simple, and his players seem to love him. The refs respect him and his teams, and he has awesome pock marks on his face, leading my friend Jonny to call him Pockovich every time he says his name. What more can you ask for out of a coach?

Roster: Last year was an abberation. Bet on it. If Ginobili is healthy, he, Tim Duncan, and Tony Parker can lead this team back to the promised land. The biggest issue on this team is depth. Finley and Horry clearly are not what they were, but to address this, the Spurs went out and signed Roger Mason. I think he could fit in nicely. This team will rebound and could win another title or 2 in the next few years. Go ahead and doubt them.

Mobility: Downward
The Spurs aren't getting better. Age and injury have made them a lesser team than in years past, but they still have plenty of mileage in them in my opinion. Duncan, Ginobili, and Parker are 32, 31, and 26 respectively, and should continue to be good for the next 3 or 4 years.

2. Los Angeles Lakers
Coach: Phil Jackson
Phil is one of the greatest coaches of all time. Is he annoying and smug? Of course. Does he whine like a mule about the refs? Absolutely. He also knows how to get the most out of his players and has made numerous role playing slobs into household names.

Roster: Without Andrew Bynum, this team went to the finals last year. With him, they may just win it. I mean, think of Bynum, Gasol, and Odom as your front court, with Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher as your gaurds. That is one big ass team. I still don't think they match up that well with Boston. Rondo v. Fisher is clearly for Boston. KB24 v. Ray Allen goes to La, but Allen is no slouch. Pierce v. Odom is a massacre for Boston, KG v. Gasol is clearly in Boston's court, and Kendrick Perkins v. Bynum way lean towards LA, but isn't a for sure thing until we see how Bynum has recovered from injury and fits in with this team. These guys should be fun to watch. Except Vujacic. I hate that little puto.

Mobility: Upward
Once KG, Pierce, and Allen start fading, this will clearly be the team to beat in the NBA for years to come. Only Byrant and Fisher are over 30, so there is a lot of room for growth, which is a scary thought.

1. The Boston Celtics:
Coach: Doc Rivers
Much maligned by me, I can finally start calling him Doc now that he has led the C's to a championship. (I have called him Glen exclusively during his tenure as coach.) I think I could have led this team to a championship more smoothly than Doc, but hey, I'll give credit where credit is due.

Roster: Stacked like Pam Anderson. Before last year, people were telling me the C's would be 6th in the East. I told them they would win it all. Are you kidding? Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, me, and your grandmother would have had a fighting chance at the title last year. Rondo is a star in the making and Perkins knows his role and plays it to near perfection. The bench is thin, and got even thinner with the loss of James Posey, but let's be honest. The Celtics didn't win the championship because of James Posey. They won it because of chemistry, defense, and the new Big 3. Let's get number 18 up, boys.

Mobility: Downward
Who cares? This team is only going to get older and probably worse, but they have a 2-3 year window to win championships and that is worth 20 bad years after that, if you ask me. And before you call me a homer Celtics fan, just remember, this team won the championship last year, fairly easily, so this is a solid pick in my book, wether I am a fan or not.

Whew! That took a long time. I'm such a nerd, I had fun writing that. Hope a few of you enjoy reading it.



Rob said...

The Celtics did not win the championship easily last year. 7 games against the Hawks (the 8th seed), 7 games against the Cavs, 6 games against the Pistons and 6 games against the Lakers. That was not easy. They lay an egg in either of those game 7s and their season is a disaster.

If you want to see a team who won the championship easily, look to the Lakers of '01.

Boyd said...

Good point, but it was easy enough.

It was easier than it may have appeared. First, the Hawks are a tough matchup for the C's for some reason. They are more athletic than Boston at every position and that seems to cause the C's some problems. Also, the C's were hurt by the fact that the last month of the season, they basically sat their stars. I don't think they'll do that again.

Against the Cavs, Ray Allen was just off. If he plays even normally, they win the series easily.

As for the Pistons and Lakers, you just saw them get better and better as the playoffs went on, and they took both series with relative ease.

Of course, the 01 Lakers just steamrolled everyone. That's got to be one of the better teams of all time.

Rich said...

Nice use of the word puto in reference to Vuja-bitch

Anonymous said...

I know that the Hawks were an 8th seed last year, but they played stress free and without any pressure against the Celtics (who's buttholes were puckered because they knew they had to beat the Hawks to live up to the preseason expectations and not end an otherwise storybook season with a loss to the "lowly" Hawks).

Just for the record, the Hawks are very athletic and were 3-1 vs. the C's during the regular season. They also went 1-1 vs. the Suns, the Rockets, and the Nuggets who were all western conference playoff teams and 2-0 against the Warriors who just missed the playoffs in the "superior western conference".

The Cavs and the Pistons would have taken any Western Conference playoff team to 6 games including the Lakers.

In the end the only thing that matters is scoreboard and I believe the final score of game six of the NBA World Championship was Celtics 131 Lakers 92 (an epic ass kicking by any standards). In the beginning the C's were pressing, they played well in the middle, and they played awesome at the end.


P.S. Vuja-bitch is not a "little" puto, he's a 6 foot 7 inch puto.