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The West will be more competitve than last season


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#1 JeffA

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Posted September 22, 2008 - 10:55 AM

Obviously, the Lakers are better. So are the Rockets and the Hornets. Rockets added Artest and I think both Yao and TMac will be healthy for the whole season for the first time. Hornets' top three Paul, West, and Chandler are one year older, which is a good thing since they are all in their pre-peaking years.

The old dogs cannot be just denied. I mean the Spurs and the Mavs. They will still be as competitive as they were last season. A rested Duncan will be fresher than Kobe who spent the Summer training and competing in the Olympics. They are in their winning season again based on the pattern that they have had in the past 7 seasons (winning the title every other season).

We cannot underestimate the Trailblazers. I know that Oden is not tested yet. But he has the potential to replace Howard and Yao at the top center position in the NBA. They have a bunch of young guns that will be even better than last season. They are more dangerous than many of us think.

And now we have the Jazz. They were really competitive last season. I do not see why they would be less competitve this season.

And those who will fignt for the last playoff spot will play harder. This honor belongs to the Suns, the Nuggets, and the Worriors.

Even the Clippers somehow made themselves more compaetitive than last season ...

#2 GinzyVee

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Posted September 22, 2008 - 11:28 AM

Jazz arent gonna be bette.....we can easily beat them in 6....blazers have a good chance of killing everyone.....clipers....not so much....spurs are too old...and mavs are done.....
they need to rebuild

#3 Nak

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Posted September 22, 2008 - 12:49 PM

Some teams are rising (Blazers, Hornets, Rockets), others are going down (Mavs, Spurs, Suns). We will prevail once again.

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#4 fido

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Posted September 22, 2008 - 12:51 PM

For my money:

Pacific Division
Los Angeles Lakers: Much was said of their lack of acquisitions this summer, but when you look at it - adding a top 3 center who was on the brink of stardom to a team that was only 2 games from winning the ring without him isn't all that bad. The point guard situation is still shaky on the defensive end and it has yet to be seen if the bench will live up to last year's surprising performance. But when all is said and done, they're still the class of the West. Oh yeah, there's also this guy named Kobe who has a renewed hunger and passion for winning - that may help too, who knows.

Phoenix Suns: The loss of D'Antoni and the system that Nash and co. thrived in won't be so easily translated into Porter's defense first scheme. Nor will that kind of non-spotlight workhorse game go over well with Shaq or Stoudemire. Both are out for themselves more than the team and I think it will reflect on their record. Nash is Nash - the league's best point (in my opinion), but I can't see him having to slow down and grind it out on D being very conducive to him succeeding like he had before. Their bench is still laughable, but they should have enough to fight their way to the middle of the West's pack.

Los Angeles Clippers: The NBA's new halfway house for wayward NBA players, I can't see any of them meshing well in time to do any damage. No Brand completely changes the mental makeup of this team. With Baron at the helm, the scoring potential of this team being met via a quality passing game won't be simply done. Having to mesh so many new elements (many of them with a "me-first" mentality) quick enough to make a playoff run will be tough to say the least. Dunleavy has his hands full and should be getting ready for NBA coaching re-assignment after this ship runs aground.

Golden State Warriors: No Baron and a now exposed and over-burdened Ellis as the starting point will change this team drastically. Look I love Ronny, but I think come mid-season buyer's remorse will settle in and he'll wish he didn't sign on with this teetering building. Maggette alone isn't going to cut it. He'll be happy with his new found primary role and minutes, but the losses won't bring back that manic / optimistic feeling they had a couple years ago in Oakland. Besides, no matter who the players are, as long as Nelson runs his go-go offense / no-no defense schemes, the Warriors will go nowhere.

Sacramento Kings: A team on the serious rebuild (and to me a team looking to cut players and get ready for the move to Vegas). No Artest = no fire. We all saw what a team in Sacramento with little firepower and little passion (outside of Kevin Martin) can do - finish dead last in the division.

Southwest Division
New Orleans Hornets: Chris Paul will give a another great run, but I get the distinct feeling that the chunk of games the Hornets won last year by sneaking up on people will be cut this coming year. They're no longer a surprise team - others know what they bring to the table and that makes preparing to play them a touch easier than last year. Posey will help the D and bench, but I still don't think its enough to get them the #1 seed in the West. They're still an exceptional team, good enough to win their division, but otherwise....

Houston Rockets: Say what you want about their team on paper - and it is impressive at every position. Health is the one thing that's held and may still hold this team back. It's hard to have faith in the Rockets getting anywhere with Yao hurting himself slightly in the Olympics again, McGrady's back always an issue and now Artest's nuttiness in tow. They'll surely have a good regular season (as Adelman teams usually do), but when it comes down to it the playoffs are what this team needs success at. Will Battier be happy with his new bench role? Will Artest be sane? Will Yao and/or McGrady play more than 60 games? Will Adelman be able to manage the egos (unlikely)? There are too many questions for the first season together in Houston to put these guys in the Western Finals.

San Antonio Spurs: They made a couple additions to their roster, but nothing that would throw open their closing window of championship runs. They've had a more than amazing run for a long while, but I think this is the season the doom and gloom predictions come to fruition. With Ginobili hurt again, Bowen showing that he's lost a step or two and Duncan having to do more and more as Oberto fades into the background (instead of stepping up), I can't see these guys fulfilling their every other year ring habit. They should have gone hard after Maggette but instead still lack the strong slasher and youthful bounce in their step to keep level with their lofty standards.

Dallas Mavericks: Between Howard's insanity coming to fore, Nowitzki having to find his role in an entirely new system and Kidd still not looking all too comfortable in Dallas, the good times Dallas had a couple years ago choking the ring away won't return this year. Something about this team feels amiss, as if they've fallen off-kilter a bit and it may take a drastic move to recondition them. Their bench is still, meh, and their attitude is always in question. Carlisle is a good coach for these guys, but they've played deflated since losing to the Heat the way they did. Not enough mental toughness and too little drive get this team another uneasy 7 or 8 seed.

Memphis Grizzlies: There's just no fire power here outside of Gay to get anyone thinking they're nothing more than the division cellar dweller they have been the last couple of years. Marc Gasol has 3 years before he does anything significant and without Miller to pull defenses out of the middle, it'll be even tougher for the Grizzleis to generate any kind of inside strength. It'll be fun to watch Mayo run, but the losing will take away from anything coming of it.

Northwest Division
Utah Jazz: The old adage holds true - "Never count the Jazz out until Sloan retires." They're a tough team that should be tougher, but the big problem here is a lack of offensive go-tos. When it comes down to it the Jazz tend to pass the ball around hoping someone will step up, rather than being able to count on someone stepping up. Kirilenko still plays and looks like a man without a definitive role and that doesn't help a team that still looks like they're trying to figure out where to be on the court sometimes. The rebounding and toughness inside (between Boozer and Millsap) will keep this team afloat (that, and another assuredly incredible year from Williams at the point). However, the lack of an inside tandem on the offensive end will make it rough for the Jazz to force opposing defenses to leave shooters/slashers open or under exploitable single coverage.

Portland Trailblazers: The lack of strong competition in this division should allow the Blazers a fairly easy playoff spot / second place division finish. Nobody knows what to expect from Oden, but really if its a mere 10 / 8 the Blazers will turn from the looking into the playoff picture from the lottery to a team that nobody wants to see in the 1st round. If Roy can recover from his off-season aches and pains, the Blazers have enough power at every position (and almost 2 deep) to be a contender really soon. Aldridge, Bayless, Fernandez, Frye, Outlaw, Pryzbilla, Webster, etc. shouldn't be counted out. Experience will most definitely play against them, but the Blazers will still be a tough out.

Denver Nuggets: They'll finish 3rd in the division, and lose their playoff spot to the Blazers. This is a team in disarray. As far as I'm concerned any team where Carmelo is your "leader" and go-to guy is in trouble - so the nuggets are in trouble. Iverson is there, but it won't amount to much as the rest of the team has played disinterested (Carmelo being the biggest perp on that one) for years now. Some lies at Karl's feet and some lies at the team's, but either way they'll be all be lying on a beach watching the playoffs take place without them.

Oklahoma City Thunder: A new city and a new injection of enthusiasm from fans should carry the Thunder to a better finish than last year's underwhelming swan song in Seattle. Durant will hopefully look to bring more than offense this year. Green, Mason, Collins, Wilcox and Wilkins should help, but in the end they're not a team with any kind of oomph that can bowl anyone over. Its long way to go for Oklahoma fans (man that sounds weird).

Minnesota Timberwolves: Another season of futility awaits Jefferson, Love and company. Kevin Love will help, but a couple more years in college would've really pushed him into a better starting position for NBA life. Jefferson will need more help (a lot more) to get anything going team wise for the Wolves, but he should have a productive season personally. Miller will be alright but with the lack of an inside game to speak of; open looks will be tougher to come by.

Predicited Western Conference Playoff Standings:
1) Los Angeles Lakers (62-20)
2) New Orleans Hornets (57-25)
3) Houston Rockets (56-26)
4) San Antonio Spurs (53-29)
5) Utah Jazz (50-32)
6) Phoenix Suns (46-36)
7) Dallas Mavericks(45-37)
8) Portland Trailblazers(44-38)

#5 ファイナルファンタジ

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Posted September 22, 2008 - 02:09 PM

Wouldn't you think that the records would all be closer and more teams with higher records? Like the Nuggets last year finished with 50 wins and had an 8th place seed.

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#6 JeffA

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Posted September 22, 2008 - 02:47 PM

I was thinking that the Lakers would be the only team with a runaway total number of wins: 70-22, and the rest of the west would be around 52-30 with a couple of games up and down.

#7 lakerswiz

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Posted September 22, 2008 - 02:54 PM

I think that the Lakers are seriously going to dominate a large margin of teams and be in 1st place by 5-10 games.

#8 fido

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Posted September 22, 2008 - 10:44 PM

You mean 60-22? There's only 82 games in the regular season.

The Nuggets will be terrible. No Camby means even less defense, Carmelo is still Carmelo and a continually disinterested Iverson. Along with a me first JR Smith, no Najera off the bench and a coach who looks like he could care less at the moment.

I agree lakerswiz, that's why I had them by 5 winning the regular season West.

#9 popo

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Posted September 22, 2008 - 11:57 PM

The Clippers if healthy could give a good fight for one of the last playoff spots. There bench has experience and alot of scoring Tim Thomas, Jason Williams and Ricky Davis plus youth in Paul Davis, Eric Gordon and wild card DeAndre Jordan.

Edited by popo, September 22, 2008 - 11:58 PM.

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#10 fido

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Posted September 23, 2008 - 03:52 PM

There won't be enough time for the ragtag team of the Clippers to get their junk together to get that last spot. Names on paper doesn't mean they'll mesh and this team is FULL of me-first players.

#11 popo

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Posted September 23, 2008 - 04:14 PM

There won't be enough time for the ragtag team of the Clippers to get their junk together to get that last spot. Names on paper doesn't mean they'll mesh and this team is FULL of me-first players.


Thats true, Thomas, R. Davis, J-Will and Mobley are all chuckers.
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#12 insert coin here

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Posted September 23, 2008 - 04:31 PM

The Clippers if healthy could give a good fight for one of the last playoff spots. There bench has experience and alot of scoring Tim Thomas, Jason Williams and Ricky Davis plus youth in Paul Davis, Eric Gordon and wild card DeAndre Jordan.

Jason Williams is garbage... Tim Thomas sucks until next contract year... Baron, Ricky Davis,and Camby are not enough to replace Brand, Magette, and Cassell...
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#13 We Believe

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Posted September 23, 2008 - 06:05 PM

I was thinking that the Lakers would be the only team with a runaway total number of wins: 70-22, and the rest of the west would be around 52-30 with a couple of games up and down.


70-22 what leage are you in lol. :rock:

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#14 L.A.K.E.R

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Posted September 23, 2008 - 08:11 PM

Obviously, the Lakers are better. So are the Rockets and the Hornets. Rockets added Artest and I think both Yao and TMac will be healthy for the whole season for the first time. Hornets' top three Paul, West, and Chandler are one year older, which is a good thing since they are all in their pre-peaking years.

The old dogs cannot be just denied. I mean the Spurs and the Mavs. They will still be as competitive as they were last season. A rested Duncan will be fresher than Kobe who spent the Summer training and competing in the Olympics. They are in their winning season again based on the pattern that they have had in the past 7 seasons (winning the title every other season).

We cannot underestimate the Trailblazers. I know that Oden is not tested yet. But he has the potential to replace Howard and Yao at the top center position in the NBA. They have a bunch of young guns that will be even better than last season. They are more dangerous than many of us think.

And now we have the Jazz. They were really competitive last season. I do not see why they would be less competitve this season.

And those who will fignt for the last playoff spot will play harder. This honor belongs to the Suns, the Nuggets, and the Worriors.

Even the Clippers somehow made themselves more compaetitive than last season ...


What are the chances that Yao Ming is going to be healthy, Tracy Mcgrady not having back spasms or any other injury, and Ron Artest not going crazy? Not very good. The Rockets D will be amazing, but the chances of them having their Big Three intact for the whole season is not very good.

We can't underestimate the Traliblazers, but neither can we overestimate them. They're still a very young team and Oden hasn't shown us yet what he can do against NBA level talent. Not to say that he won't be a force in upcoming seasons, but I doubt he'll be a major impact player, along with Bayless and/or Fernandez, in their rookie seasons. The Blazers are a team to watch out for, but not in the upcoming season.

The Jazz are very competitive, but they won't be able to handle the Lakers. They have no answer for Kobe, they can't match both Pau and Bynum down low, and Fisher is very familiar with Williams' game and has had success against him in our previous outings. Don't forget, Kobe hurt his back during the series with the Jazz which is the only reason it dragged on for 6 games.

The Warriors won't make playoffs this year with Ellis, their current franchise player, sidelined in the beginning of the season with an injury. Stephen Jackson missing in their first couple of games last season cost them a playoff berth, I'm sure Ellis' absence will have an even greater effect on their record.

The Suns and Mavs will not be competitive as they were in previous seasons with Dirk and Nash getting on in age and with superior competition in the West as compared to a few years ago. 2-3 seasons ago, the Lakers, Hornets, Jazz and Trailblazers were not seen as threats to them. In addition, Josh Howard has become unruly, and Jason Kidd is very old. The Suns are not capable of playing a traditional offense, and will not fare well under Terry Porter in the upcoming season.

I honestly think that the Clippers can manage to grab the eighth seed with the competition in the West having faltered in the past season. The Spurs are still going to be in the playoffs, but shouldn't make very much noise in the face of the Lakers.




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