Forecast the the standings in the eastern and western conferences this coming season based on transactions so far this summer. Here's mine.
1. Heat - Big 3
2. Celtics - Anyone who says they haven't improved this offseason hasn't looked at the Celtics all that closely.
3. Pacers - I reckon they could top the Celtics but I'm going with expirence over explosiveness. They've added depth and kept a strong starting 5.
4. Nets - Argueably the best backcourt in the NBA with a healthy Brook Lopez and a great coach spells trouble for teams in the east. Chemistry could be a problem early on though.
5. Knicks - If the Knicks can put all their pieces together they could push for a top 4, with Anthony as their number one option, a new and hopefully improved Stoudmire and many more assets that could easily be possible.
6. 76ers - They've got the best Centre in the east but the loss of Iggy will need someone to step up and take a leadership role. 6 may be the floor for them this season.
7. Bulls - Will be on the fringes for most of the season imo, then Rose will come in late and boost them into the playoffs.
8. Hawks - Without the elite scoring ability of Johnson they'll struggle to make the playoffs, even though he was overpayed he was the teams go to option and Smith will have to step up big time and dominate for the Hawks sake.
9. Cavs - Will just miss out due to inexpirence.
10. Wizards - A breakout season from John Wall won't be enough to propel into the playoffs, but if others can step up they could be dark horses.
11. Bucks - Excitng backcourt will just fall up short because others have made bigger strides this offseason.
12. Pistons - So many high ceiling players this season it'll be almost unfair a couple of seasons from now if they can do a "Thunder" and get their lottery picks to stay and thrive and guide them deep into the playoffs.
13. Raptors - The Raptors have some pieces, but not enough for a playoff run. The high lottery pick could arguably be more helpful anyway.
14. Magic - Not horrible but pretty weak with the loss of Dwight. They'll struggle but they could get into the top 10 in the conference if they get over having no elite talent at all in the big men spots (calling Glen Davis elite is a stretch imo).
15. Bobcats - What can I say that isn't obvious? No surprises here.
1. Thunder - Durant, Harden, Ibaka, Westbrook. The guys in second place will be the only team within touching distance.
2. Lakers - Dwight is in. So is Nash. The Lakers aim to stay constantly competitive.
3. Spurs - They've retained nearly their entire roster so they'll still be up there.
4. Clippers - Setting the bar at 50 wins will be reasonable for the still rising Clippers. They'll be disapointed the Lakers got Dwight as they'd have been striving to go atop of LA.
5. Nuggets - Iggy and Chandler are welcome editions, expect the nuggets to make some noise this year.
6. Grizzlies - Another year of improvement will keep the Griz in the playoff picture. Losing Mayo's ego is helpful.
7. Timberwolves - If Rubio stays healthy the playoffs will be beckoning for the T'Wolves. High lottery absolute worst imo.
8. Warriors - Again, keep men healthy will dictate whether they get this spot. A nice mix of expirence and youth could make them quite successful though.
9. Jazz - A growing core of guys should let them push into the playoffs in the next couple of years..
10. Mavericks - Expect them to get just shy of .500, but they have to accept they're past there prime and should start the rebuild soon.
11. Trail Blazers - improvement for the Blazers, but not enough to get into the playoffs, they'll holding their breath with Leonard after what happened with Oden.
12. Rockets - It'll take awhile to turn this into a playoff side, at least they don't have the 14th pick for the billionth time in a row tohugh.
13. Suns - The loss of Nash will hurt, their star is Scola and he is an aging guy who is small in his position. In the packed west they won't be making many headlines.
14. Hornets - Despite their edition they are still a young team with not alot of depth, they'll be fighting to not finish bottom in the west. Gordon is going to hopefully stay healthy and win them a few games though.
15. Kings - I can't believe these guys are last. I just couldn't find a higher place to fit them. I guess they don't have many stand out guys by any means and as I said above: the west is packed. If Evans can bring some magic from his rookie season we could be looking at a different story though.
I can't help but think I've missed something here, but I'll be interested to see everybody elses opinions.
I think people underestimate what can bring ariza and okafor (2 defensive experienced players) to a team like washington.
IF (big IF) Wall make a standout season, Néné is ON the court, and Beal is good enough to start they will beat the Hawks and be a PO team.
I also think Portyland with Lillard and freeland should perform well and Dallas got solid players. They will be higher than expected.
I don't believe GS will be able to be the 8th team even if the roster is attractive.
The Wizards could be in a good position cap wise in July. They have options on John Wall, Kevin Seraphin, Jan Vesely and Jordan Crawford that will bite into their space, but they should have enough room to add a significant player or two. The Wizards won’t likely be massive cap players by choice, but they have the means to be aggressive if they want to try and make a splash. It’s more likely that the Wizards are prudent with their future space as they are going to have to give John Wall a monster payday soon and the message out of DC is to build a sustainable team.
First, as far as starting his five-year countdown to enshrinement in basketball's Hall of Fame, it's definitely going to happen—just not in the near future.
"(Nash and Bryant) know how to play basketball," Howard said after practice."Being the guards, they understand how the offense has to run, and Steve has done an excellent job in finding the open guy. We're just going to play off that.
The Lakers' fans shouldn't worry. Their big stars expect to be out of street clothes and back in uniform very soon - and for much bigger games than an exhibition in the Inland Empire.67867
“He has to earn it like anyone else, but don’t look at a preseason game, this was scripted way in advance,” Frank said. “He will play a lot tomorrow, but like anyone, everyone has to earn it. That’s how it works.”
Smith played the majority of last season with a trade demand looming in the air, but according to several teammates, the forward is comfortable with the direction the Hawks are heading after the hiring of president of basketball operations and general manager Danny Ferry. Shortly after being hired, Ferry traded six-time All-Star guard Joe Johnson to Brooklyn and longtime starting small forward Marvin Williams to Utah in deals which netted the team close to $30 million in salary cap room next summer.vsafd232323
“It’s huge,” Teague said of the NBA’s impact in China. “They love basketball over there. I didn’t think they were going to know me. I got off the plane and people were screaming my name. I didn’t think they would have a clue who I was.”
“They love basketball,” Teague continued. “They asked me about Tracy McGrady. They love Tracy McGrady over there. It was a lot of fun.”get4r34
Green led the Celtics with 13.9 points in 29.3 minutes per night. He rebounded well (4.9 rebounds per game), played good defense (1.0 blocks per game and .5 steals per game) and kept his fouls in check (1.9 per game) while playing both small and power forward.