Besides the Lakers, Thunder or Nuggets and Heat, Celtics or Magic which teams do you see in the Finals and who wins
I see a Spurs vs Bulls match up
Duncan, Ginobili, Parker, Jefferson, Splitter, Anderson, Hill, Blair, and McDyess
Rose, Noah, Boozer, Deng, Brewer, Korver, Bogans, Watson, Asik, Thomas and Gibson
They could surprise us all and go all the way.
so besides those 6 teams who has the best chance? I actually think the rockets, blazers and mavericks can all be better then the nuggets and thunder in the west and challenge the lakers. In the east, the only other team i see capable of making a run is the bulls.
I know they didn't have George Karl for the playoffs, but they lost in the first round to a Jazz team that was playing without its starting C and SF. And they're a Finals team this year?
Bulls vs. Spurs? I had never heard those two in the Finals...
Nice Bold Prediction.
Honestly, I don't think the Spurs are the best team in their division unless someone really steps up.
If the Rockets stay healthy they'll be top-two in their division.
& I think the Mavs are better then the Spurs too, I may be alone on that boat, but just my opinion.
& like LLPerez said, The Blazers are really good. Top 4 Seed IF they're healthy, big question marks around that team with the Rudy situation, Oden's health, & Aldridge's inconsistency. I think he has to become one of the Top PF's in West in order for them to compete for a title.
I don't see the Nuggets as a Champ. Contender anymore, 'Melo is going to be too much of a distraction.
As for the Eastern Conference, I think the Bulls have a legit shot, I expect them to play the Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals believe it or not. (Especially if they can bring in 'Melo)
Although the Mavs did steal Ian Mahinmi away from the Spurs I don't think they are the better team.
The Spurs added 2 quality rotation players in Anderson and Splitter, granted they are both rookies so its hard to know what to expect but if they perform it will address some of the Spurs biggest needs (another role player to consistently hit the corner 3 and front court defense) oh and Richard Jefferson should be a lot more comfortable in his 2nd year in Pop's system (I hope)
The Mavs added Tyson Chandler and thats pretty much it. Dominique jones could provide some spark off of the bench I guess.
But even if you rank both teams offseason acquisitions equal the Spurs are still the team that beat Dallas in the playoffs. IMO the Rockets will be a much tougher team than Dallas if they're healthy.
Thats an easy one IMO.
Houston Rockets vs Chicago Bulls
Both of these teams IMO are #1 and #2 in the Carmelo Anthony Sweepstakes.
Houston has a dominant C, who when healthy can only be slowed down and not stopped. Yao is the best C in the league when healthy. He completely dominates Howard when they are matched up. What Yao would do to Oklaholma's Centers, Utah's Centers, Dallas's Centers, and everyones C's in the West aside from San Antonio, LA, and Portland is downright scary. He would give any teams bigs fits. As soon as Yao is doubled they have shooters all over the place ready to drop bombs for an open look, and a body will have to be on Scola because if not he will get the offensive rebound, so the 3 point shooter will always be oopen on a double. The strategy is deadly, great defensive roles, the best C in the league, outside shooters, capable scoring everywhere, lockdown man defenders every position. Houston has a chance to be the best offensive team or the best defensive team in the league, whatever approach they wanna take (theyll take D). If you throw Melo into that mix they are just as good as anyone in the League.
The Chicago Bulls have an amazing PG, who by the playoffs should have a consitant 3. Rose excells his game to new levels in the playoffs, and has never had capable spot up shhooters (from 3 and in the post) like Boozer, Korver, Bogas, Watson and maybe Fernandez before. They got lockdown defender Ronnie Brewer who will play a Tony Allen type role. Also they managed to add Kurt Thomas who was an amazing post defender and rebounder for Milwaukee in the end stretch of the Season replacing Bogut.Chicago has really put their peices in play, and if they add Melo or not they are still risks to defeat anyone.
Minnesota Timberwolves. Darko is the next Vlade Divac ;)
All we would have to worry about is Wade takin Ridnour off the dribble...oh and the armageddon.
The Lakers remain the team to beat out West and whilst the Spurs and Mavericks have added some nice pieces they aren't getting any younger and come Conference Finals then I cannot see them turning over the Lakers if the Lakers have expected home court advantage.
The Thunder had a huge breakout season last year and this year everyone has a year’s more experience and they have added an extra defensive presence in Cole Aldrich but whatever Kevin Durant does this year anything above Conference Semi Finals would be a huge bonus.
Dallas had a winning season minus Yao and if he can return and play throughout the hole season and more importantly the play off run then they could get to the Spurs and Mavs level. Houston have a good mix of youth and experience across their roster which is one of the deeper in the NBA. Also with a full year of Kevin Martin alongside Aaron Brooks then this should help them to improve. My only concern is that they never really progressed in the play offs with a peak T-Mac and a developing Yao so can they do so now with Yao returning and having to watch his minutes and maybe having lost a bit of his speed.
Portland has a good mix of youth and experience and is further along than say the Thunder are, with Camby now in situ and if Oden can stay fit then they have 48mpg defensive cover to help match most frontcourt units. The team has proved it can win 50 plus regular season games but any play off run will depend on the big men staying sound. If they do I put them at the same level as Houston and pushing Dallas and the Spurs and ahead of the Thunder.
The Jazz will be as strong as last year and should make the play-offs but again anything beyond Conference Semi Final would be a stretch. Denver if everyone stays fit will be a play-off team but what mood will Melo be in, will Coach Karl be fit to return etc.
Phoenix minus STAT will fall back but can have a winning season and maybe sneak a play-off birth if Nash can still be effective and Turko rediscovers his Orlando form. Also they have a nice deep roster which can help to compensate against stronger starting 5’s.
Memphis may be around .500 but anything above this would require Gay, Mayo etc to take the next step to All Star level or Gasol or Thabeet making extra strides very quickly.
The Clippers will improve and could surprise a few teams if everyone stays fit but anything above .500 would be a stretch and not be near the play-offs.
Out East, the Celtics, Heat and the Magic are the obvious top 3 and would be from where the Eastern Conference Champions should come.
The Bulls can close that gap if Rose continues to develop and with Boozer giving them a 20/10 inside presence could get 50 wins and they have got the weakest division out East now by some distance so should get a top 4 seeding and be a good bet for a Conference semi final birth but beyond that it gets very difficult. But Noah is still improving and if Deng can play a full year and put up 18 to 20ppg then they could be nearer to the big 3 than anyone else thinks.
Atlanta are another likely 50 win team but have never gone beyond the Conference semis so unless someone on their roster has a breakout year or one of the big 3 teams get key injuries then I cannot see them going further.
The Bucks had a great team effort last year and with Bogut back, Jennings in his sophomore season and some nice depth added should have a winning season but again making the play offs may be their main achievement.
Cleveland minus LeBron fall back and will be in the mix for the later play off places with probably the Knicks who with STAT, Felton and several former GSW players should be near .500. Also Washington should be in this group if Arenas can gel with Wall and more importantly he doesn’t hit the destruct button again, they have made a few nice moves and have a good young roster but this year it will be about them all fitting into Coach Saunders’ system and finding their right mix to go forward with. Making the play offs will be a bonus for them.
Dallas had a winning season minus Yao?