ESPN Releases Their Forecast For The East
Just released their 1-8 teams. The list is as follows:
1. Miami Heat 60-22
2. Chicago Bulls 55-27
3. Indiana Pacers 54-28
4. Brooklyn Nets 53-29
5. New York Knicks 48-34
6. Atlanta Hawks 40-42
7. Washington Wizards 39-43
8. Cleveland Cavaliers 39-43
Do you agree with this list?
What would your list look like?
Do you really think 3 teams in the playoffs are going to have sub-500 records?
That's way better then sub-500 team wtf!
You forget this is the East man.
Can't argue with the list though. The only thing that matters to me is the playoffs.
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Factor in injuries.
You left out Karasev, definitely not a player to forget about.
P.S. Knicks got rid of dead weight in Wallace, Camby, and other injured players. While acquiring a good defensive player in MWP, 3 point specialist Bargnani, solid back up PG Beno Udric, while resigning Kenyon Martin and Prigioni. Knicks are so underrated this year, esp. when they are way better then last years 54 win team.
Wizards should be around .500 with a healthy John Wall.
Heat and Pacers will win around 56-58 games since both teams got a lot better. Bulls have Rose back and this time around everyone is healthy and Rose has another dynamic defensive wing and explosive athlete in Jimmy Butler who might be the so called savior/ 2nd option to take some of the pressure off of Rose. The Pacers drastically improved their bench with the additions of Watson, Copeland, Scola and a healthy Granger.
This will be one of the most competitive seasons in a long time.
Barring any injuries in the upcoming season I don't think the Knicks will be good enough on defence to be better than the Pacers (1st in Def Eff http://espn.go.com/nba/hollinger/teamstats/_/sort/defensiveEff/order/false), Bulls (5th without Rose and Noah missing about 20 games) and Heat (7) while Knicks were tied with Houston at 16.
Their main competition seems to be the Nets who ranked only in at 18 but have gained their own defensive stalwarts in Kirilenko and Garnett as well as added scoring in Pierce and Terry while dropping the atrocity that was Gerald Wallace (.397 FG%, .282 3P%, 4.6 Rbs in 30.1 mins). So replacing Wallace with Pierce's/Kirilenko's offence can improve one that was ranked 8th in OFF EFF and adding Kirilenko/Garnett should improve the defence to close to a top 10 level at least.
So in comparison to a Knicks team who added the definition of a sieve (Il Mago who magically disappears on D) who's 3P% over the last 5 years has been trending down and is almost .100 lower than the actual 3P specialist they traded. Added Beno Udrih, a good backup PG who hasn't played a playoff game since 06-07, to an already solid backcourt. Just comparing retaining K-Mart and adding MWP to gaining Garnett and Kirilenko should show the difference in expected gain defensively. I personally think the top 8 of JJ/DWILL/Brook/Garnett/Pierce/Kirilenko/Terry/Teletovic is better than STAT/Melo/Chandler/Felton/Bargs/JR/MWP/Shump but we aren't talking a huge difference as reflected in the projections.
Going back to 08-09 the 4 and 5 seeds in the east over an 82 game season have averaged 49 and 46 wins respectively so 48 wins for the Knicks is actually respecting their current ability to be better than the average 5 seeds over the last 5 years. Some reasons they might drop by 4 games is the overall increase in talent/expectations for a Conference that has struggled to even have 8 legitimate playoff teams, better/healthier top end teams and a possible regression for such an old team with essentially the same core and thus same problems.
Sorry if its TLDR material, trying to have a respectful, supported argument.
I disagree with that list. The cavs made some major improvements and will definetly be a .500 team with or without Bynum. We have a deep bench led by 6th man contender Jarrett Jack and Earl Clark is an upgrade over Alonzo Gee at the 3.
The Cavs made MAJOR improvements and will make the playoffs with a healthy Bynum. But you are going too far by saying that they are a 500 team without Bynum. I dont believe that at all. I like the Cavs roster, with Bynum, but I wont jump the gun.
About Earl Clark being an upgrade over Alonzo Gee, Im not sure about that one. Earl Clark is tall and long, but I dont think he's that good, yet. Gee is not a great player either, but I think he has the upper hand on Clark, already being familiar with the system, being a better slasher, finisher, and defender. But that is strictly my opinion.
East is tough this year. I agree with some people here that the Cavs are much improved this year, but it's not like 39 wins is that far off. They will be going against a lot of competition this year. I would put them at 38-43 wins this year and finishing 7th or 8th in the East. I'm not sold on the Hawks. I mean, do people really think that a lineup of Teague, Lou Will, Korver, Millsap, and Horford can make the playoffs? They always seem to out perform expectations, so I won't write them off. Outside looking in will be the Pistons. They are the biggest wild card in the East with all of the additions (Jennings, Smith, KCP etc). I'd love to see the Celtics make the playoffs, but I'm just not sure they can do it this year. Hinges on what happens with Rondo.
The Hawks were better than I thought last year but they could take a step back this year and maybe Detroit can sneak in. It looks good to me and after the top 5 it is pretty wide open for the teams competing for the last 3 playoff spots.
I am kidding. I like their young guys but they are going to struggle this year.
I just don't see Atlanta being that high. I also think both Cavs and pistons will be around the .500 mark, with the pistons taking the 8th seed. Cavs have Bynum who is no lock to play significant minutes due to his injury history, and Irving has had a few injuries along the way too. I know I'm biased towards the pistons but I really think they will make the playoffs this year.
Plus, I don't want to give a lottery pick to the bobcats... DAMN YOU BEN GORDON!!!
Raptors shouldnt be left out of the top 8, there roster is better then the Hawks and is just as good as the Wizards and Cavs.
FYI Muscala is playing overseas next season
The Hawks are going to be putrid defensively next season. Their frontline will be able to score and board- but none of those bigs are about to make any All-D teams.
The Raptors & Pistons are going to battle for the last seed, and I'll give the edge to Toronto just because I like their depth.
I will take the Pistons in the sixth spot. Wizards get in if healthy. I am not sold on the Hawks or Cavs. The Cavs need to stay healthy and they also have a lot of young guys to work in -- but it looks like the talent is there.
Not sure if the Pacers will finish behind the Bulls in the standings, but I have Indy as the second best team in the East. Better than last year with a healthy Granger and they also added Luis Scola. The Pacers give the Heat fits too and if any team in the East takes them down I would think it would be Indiana. The Bulls are good, too, especially if D Rose can return to MVP form.
Oh, and I can't wait for a possible Nets-Knicks first round matchup. That should be special! You could also have a first round matchup between Chicago (2nd or 3rd seed) and Detroit (7th seed or 6th seed) which should be a highly competitive series too. And, obviously, Heat vs. Cavs.
The East should be just as competitive as the West this year, with just as many title contenders too (Heat, Pacers, Bulls, and possibly the Nets and Knicks).
The last three teams in the East are certainly a toss up at this point and a lot will depend on how healthy the teams remain this season as well as how the new players mesh with team. I could see the Hawks, Wizards, Cavs, Raptors, and the Pistons each making the playoffs. Just for guessing sake I think I'd guess Pistons, Raptors, and Cavs in that order.
I also think it's ridiculous that three teams would make the playoffs in the East under .500. In my opinion it would likely be no more than one team under .500 who'd make it.
I think the Pistons will have very little team chemistry. Jennings loves to run, dribble around and shoot, Monroe is a half court type player, Smith can play either style, but in a half court offense he chucks a lot of terrible shots, and despite having a decent bench and a big defensive dude in Drummond, I don't know how that team comes together and does anything this year other than maybe win 35-40 games by just being a group of pretty good ball players. IF they can find some chemsitry they might be good down the line, but I don't expect much this year.
totally disagree, this team is going to get stops and pound it inside. People underestimate Josh Smith who will have a lot to prove this year. True chemistry is an issue for every team with new key players and Jennings and Smith do chuck it up, but lets focus on the positives and rebounding and getting defensive stops are going to carry this team into the playoffs. Jennings and Smith are both very good running pick and roll so at the very least there will be consistent scoring there. Buy Pistons stock now, sell Atlanta and Knicks stock.
I don't have a problem with the list. Like it was said above by 220, the last three spots are a toss up between a few teams and will depend on health, etc.
I'd switch the Pacers and Bulls, but I think the top five is solid too.
I believe that Raptors should be somewhere in the last 3. They had a .500 record ever since the Rudy Gay trade and near the end of the season they showed how much the chemistry had improved.
I am sure that a whole season as a crew with improved chemistry will guide the Raptors to the playoffs, whether they have a winning record or not.
They may be solid from 1 through 3 but their front court is a total mystery, Nene and Okefor and Serephin get stay healthy IMO, they did add some nice pieces but I think The Pistons, Raptors, Hawks and Cavs are better by a mile
John Wall gets a lot of love on this site and I too want to see him succeed but I don't think he makes the playoffs this year...
If Kyrie, Bynum and Varejoe stay healthy the Cavs could be the 5th seed, i see them no lower than the 8th or 9th seed if one of the bigs goes down...I'd like to see them Miami in the playoffs, the entire world would be rooting them to end Lebron's 3 peat, it would be a little bit of basketball karma too...
The Raptors did play well down the stretch, Rudy and Kyle Lowry have a huge chip on their shoulders and Derezon/Ross/Aamir Johnson and Jonas Valencuanas are going to continue to get better, i see them as the 7th seed, Rudy Gay vs Paul George would be fun to watch in a series...
The Hawks will live and die with Milsap and Horford, Teague and Williams cannot ignore them on offense, but if the duo of Paul and Al stays healthy and play well together they could get the Hawks into the playoffs as a 6th or 7th seed...
The Pistons are wierd team to pick too, hard to Imagine them not fighting for a spot too, they have upgraded the Pg and Sf/Pf with Jennings and smith for better or worst, they got Billups and Monroe who are too good to not be successful, and then you have the freak that is Drummond reeking havoc down low, if Andre stays out of fouls trouble they could be very good, Jonas Jerebko and Kyle Singler should see a lot of minutes too, someone has to spread the floor for Smith/Monroe and Drummond, if they click, they could be the 6th/7th or 8th team in the east...
To me its laughable the celts are not in the playoff mix. You get rid of two good but older players with one easily replaced by jeff green. No doubt kgs lost goes beyond his ind stats vs intagibles but if the celts can replace 80 percent of what he brought with sully, olynyk, humphries there is a chance.
On top of this bench is deeper and a healthy rondo is ready to comeback.
For me as long as cavs have irving and wiz have wall as their pgs there is nothing sure about how these teams will play. Wall for example is a classic ball hog and ive seen him dance around guys, not make the ez pass and shoot contested jump shots. Also he doesnt bring jt defensively consistently.
Celts have also 8 gyys witg playoff experience and are a defense focused team.
The Celtics are a big question mark because of injuries and unproven players. I mean how good will Rondo be when he comes back? When will he even be expected back? Not knowing the status for your best player certainly makes things challenging seeing as the Celtics just traded 2 of the 3 best players. Also Jared Sullinger who had a good start to his NBA career before going out with back surgery. I haven't heard any news on him and don't know what his status is or when he'll be available to play.
Jeff Green had some amazing games this season, but he also had a whole lot of average games as well. He's now the Celtics second best player thanks to the trade and hopefully he consistently plays great thanks to his increased opportunity. Green is still a question mark in my mind though at this point.
Then there are the unproven players like Olynyk who is likely to see big minutes this season He looked good in summer league and hopefully for the Celtics that will extend into a great rookie year.
You mentioned Kris Humphries as well. Humphries is a good rebounder and will score well from put backs but he's a poor defender.
There are a lot of if's to the Celtics currently, but it certainly wouldn't be shocking to see them in the playoffs next season. A lot of that will depend on Rondo's health and Green's consistency.
Sullinger is cleared for physical contact already and rondo should be ready by start of the year. Olynyk imo will contend for roy
Celts bench is hump, bass, wallace, lee, brooks, pressey. Solid bench depth. I agree green has to bring consistentcy. But indication is he will. 2nd part of 2nd half he was avg 17-18 and on fire some games like 43 pt vs heat
Don't forget that team was coached by Doc Rivers. Hes not the guy running the show there anymore and I dont think the new coach will be as good as Rivers unless it was like Phil Jackson or Sloan
I think the Celtics will be a tough out if they keep Rondo, I think he could be dealt at the deadline in order to get into the top 5, Danny Ainge is a crafty GM and he might look at the team's outlook in February and decide he wants a shot at Wiggins, Randle or Parker...If Rondo wants out and he's relatively healthy he will be traded for picks and prospects...
So the Celtics are harder to place, but if they keep them team intact they could be a playoff...
The Raptors/Cavs/Hawks/Pistons and Celtics will be fighting for 3 spots, any combination could get in...
I pick the Heat, Pacers, Bulls, Nets, Knicks, Pistons, Raptors and Cavs to make it in that order, Hawks and Celtics finish 9th and 10th, the Wizards 11th, the Bucks 12th, Bobcats 13th, Magic 14th and the 76ers at the bottom of the conference standings...