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PointGuardU03
10-30-2004, 03:49 PM
It's prediction time, everyone join in! I'll start.
Northwest Division:
Denver: Improved but Overratted. 6th in Confrence, another first round exit for Melo and co.
Minesota: Same team as last year, same result as last year. 2nd in Confrence, will get bounce again in confrence finals.
Portland: Still a few years away. 11th in confrence.
Seattle: I love Ray Allen, but this team blows. 14th in Confrence.
Utah: Have more talent then last year, as well as the best coach in the NBA. 8th in Confrence, bounced in first round.

Pacific Division
Golden State: Mike Montgomery won at Stanford with less talent, but he won't in GS, at least not this year. 13th in confrence.
LA Clippers: Brand and Maggette will put up great fantasy numbers! Worst team in the WC. Dead last in the West.
LA Lakers: Shouldn't have traded Shaq; Kobe gets to impersonate Paul Pierce and T-Mac from last year. Ugh. 10th in WC.
Phoenix Suns: Nash is back!!!! They'll have at least one top ten Sports Center play every game. 7th in WC, bounced first round.
Sacramento Kings: Will struggle early, more due to Doug Christie's injury the Vlade. C-Webb and Adelmen blow, Bibby maybe the best PG in the league. 5th in WC, bounced secound round.

Southwest Division:
Dallas: JT plays in his first meaningful game since '99. Mavericks actually have a center. 3rd in WC, bounced in 2nd round.
Houston: T-Mac and Yao will be unreal to watch, need a pg and a PF to get to the next level. 4th in WC, bounced first round.
Memphis: They have 37 wing players, and still don't have a true center. Plus they won't sneek up on people this year. 9th in WC.
New Orleans: In a whole lot of trouble in the west. 12th in WC
San Antonio: A fluke Derek Fisher shot away from going to for a three-peat this year. And Brent Barry will fit very nicely in SA. 1st in Confrence, Your NBA Champions, the San Antonio Spurs.

JMarkJohns
11-07-2004, 06:20 PM
After a week of play I'm ready to join in.

Pacific Division
1. Phoenix: Call me a homer if you will, but Phoenix, despite it's lack of a center is the best offensive team in the League. They can do everything. I've read in the Philly papers that the swarming defense the Suns employ is very good and with the addition of Bo Outlaw, should get even better. Have valuable trading chips (CJ, Zarko, Milos, Chi-lotto) for a big if needed
2. Sacramento: Chemistry was always their strong-suit. Now its their downfall. Peja wants out, Webber hates Miller, Jackson's always hurt and Divac difected to LA...Could be dangerous if they ever remember that basketball is supposed to be fun, if they don't they could fall further.
3. L.A. Lakers: When a team trades the most dominant center in the League for wing depth, then sign a 40-year old and trades for an underachieving stiff, signs point to mediocrity.
4. L.A. Clipper: They are the Clippers, but have very nice young players. Brand will ensure they don't finish last in the division.
5. Golden State: 40+ million for Foyle, 35+ million for Fisher, 60+ million for Murphy and 70+ million for Richardson says it all.

Northwest Division
1. Minnesota: Garnett and Cassell are enough to compete. Add Spreewell, Wally, Hudson and the rest and you've got a top-3 team.
2. Utah: Last year 42-40, added talent and Coach Sloan makes this team very dangerous, though they do lack athletisism after Kirilenko.
3. Denver: Like the team, but they have shown very little yet. Losing Leonard hurts. Have bigs to spare and could dangle Skitso and Nene or Elson to try and land a good SG. Chemistry problems will prolly get the best of this team.
4. Portland: Good talent, bad character and bad contracts with little room to improve or add much more talent. This team will be decent for a while.
5. Seattle: Seattle would rather watch coffee being made than this team.

Southwest Division
1. San Antonio: Duncan, Parker, Ginobli = contenders. Add the bench and you've got Champions.
2. Dallas: Good depth, good size, good shooting...this team will go as far as Dampier goes. Which isn't necessarily a good thing.
3. Memphis: Have started slow, bt have talent and a very good coach. Good depth and the fact they started slow last year will help team get back on track.
4. Houston: McGrady and Yao = the two most overly celebrated pair of players in the NBA today. McGrady can't guard his own shadow and Yao is scared of his (it's bigger than him, so he's intimidated)...weak bench and bad PG play will keep this team from acheiving their Title goals.
5. New Orleans: Owner George Shinn...enough said.

OVERALL
best record with playoff seeding in (parenthasis).
1. San Antonio (1)
2. Minnesota (2)
3. Utah (4)
4. Phoenix (3)
5. Dallas (5)
6. Sacramento (6)
7. Memphis (7)
8. Denver (8)

9. L.A. Lakers
10. Houston
11. New Orleans
12. Portland

13. L.A. Clippers
14. Golden State
15. Seattle

First round
(1) San Antonio def. (8) Denver, 4-1 - won easily
(2) Minnesota def. (7) Memphis, 4-2 - tight game
(3) Phoenix def. (6) Sacramento, 4-2 - back-n-forth games
(4) Utah def. (5) Dallas, 4-3 - could go either way

Second round
(1) San Antonio def. (4) Utah, 4-2 - Tight games
(2) Minnesota def. (3) Phoenix, 4-2 - Tight games

Conference Finals
(1) San Antonio def. (2) Minnesota, 4-2 - tight games, could go 7

NOTE: Subject to change due to injury/trade.

Plus/Minus final results
San Antonio (-1)
Minnesota (+1)
Utah (-2)
Phoenix (+1, -3)
Dallas (+1, -2)
Sacramento (+3, -3)
Memphis (+1, -2)
Denver (+2, -1)

L.A. Lakers (+3, -1)
Houston (+3, -1)
New Orleans (+2, -1)
Portland (+2)

L.A. Clippers (+2, -2)
Golden State (+1, -1)
Seattle (+2)

F Duke
11-10-2004, 07:06 PM
Horrible horrible analysis Jay Mark. Start off with Phoenix who are basically this year's Dallas. I hate to burst your bubble but Jake Voskuhl is not going to lead you to the promise land, no matter how much you pray. Secondly, McGrady has been an animal in Houston and the Rockets were already the top defensive team in the West last year. They will not miss the playoffs.

1) San Antonio - Best player and best coach with an improved bench.
2) Minnesota - They have to stay healthy.
3) Houston - If McGrady stays healthy, they are the top defensive team in the West again with 2 elite players. If Sura comes back healthy, they will be deadly. Don't ever underestimate a Van Gundy team.
4) Denver - Need another shooting guard and Carmelo to have better shot selection.
5) DallasImproved defensively but Dirk still chokes in the clutch and can't guard anyone.
6) Sacramento - Age and inner turmoil is bringing this team down.
7) Utah - This years Memphis. Lack of go to player limits them in playoffs.
8) Phoenix - Great offense but will struggle against big teams that play defense (San Antonio, Minnesota, Houston). Nash can't stay healthy for an entire season.
9) Lakers - Kobe and Rudy T will find ways for this team to win. Not good enough to get out of first round.
10) Memphis - Average defensive team with no real star. It's only a matter of time before the grumblings begin.

JMarkJohns
11-10-2004, 07:40 PM
Horrible horrible analysis Jay Mark. Start off with Phoenix who are basically this year's Dallas. I hate to burst your bubble but Jake Voskuhl is not going to lead you to the promise land, no matter how much you pray. Secondly, McGrady has been an animal in Houston and the Rockets were already the top defensive team in the West last year. They will not miss the playoffs.

1) San Antonio...
2) Minnesota...
3) Houston...
4) Denver...
5) Dallas...
6) Sacramento...
7) Utah...
8) Phoenix...
9) Lakers...
10) Memphis...


Houston no longer has the componants to be the defensive team of last year.

Francis and Mobley, two of the most athletic guards, are gone.
Cato, the starting PF and backup C is gone. He was the best defender on the team. He worked very well in the Van Gundy system and his toughness is going to be sorely missed.

Add McGrady, who has never played defense and is a known softy, aged Mutombo and Ward and NO depth and you've got question's galore.

Their PF spot is quite possibly the weakest defensive unit in the League. Howard and Taylor are known bums, who's sole purpose is to score. Niether rebounds well or blocks shots.

Defense will be an issue and don't give me opponants score per game as an argument, as that has more to do with Houston's slowed-down pace than actual defense.

As far as Phoenix struggling against Houston, The Suns won last year's season series 3-1, despite being a worse team and having even less size.


Denver has: Redundant talent
PG - Miller Boykens
SF - Anthony
PF - Martin, Nene, Camby

I know both Camby and Nene can play center, but both are PF's.

They have noone who can shoot from outside and noone with a postgame. No Shot and no post = mediocrity.


If you haven't noticed, Phoenix has shot the ball great. They score and defend. I understand their competition has been inferior, but so what. San Antonio lost to Seattle and Minnesota to Denver...

You can only beat who you play and currently, the Suns are winning by the second quarter.

I have the same concerns about the center-position, but Voskuhl, Hunter, Lampe and Vroman are 24 fouls, 20 rebounds, 15 points and 2-4 blocks per game.

Say what you will about my analysis, but I gave a plus/minus to compensate for my "horrible" post.

I think it thoroughly explains the many different scenerios.
---------------------------------------------
Plus/Minus final results
San Antonio (-1)
Minnesota (+1)
Utah (-2)
Phoenix (+1, -3)
Dallas (+1, -2)
Sacramento (+3, -3)
Memphis (+1, -2)
Denver (+2, -1)

L.A. Lakers (+3, -1)
Houston (+3, -1)
New Orleans (+2, -1)
Portland (+2)

L.A. Clippers (+2, -2)
Golden State (+1, -1)
Seattle (+2)
--------------------------------------------

By the way, T-Mac has nagging injuries. If it's not his back, it's his hip. If it's not one, it's both...Yao is still soft and Van Gundy might not be enough to overcome his players fear of contact.

Currently, The Suns and Utah are the best teams in the West. I doubt they'll stay there, but they have good depth (each team), a superstar (Amare) and a great coach (Sloan), so they should be better than expected.

One last thing, if Phoenix is the new Dallas and Dallas both finished with the best record in the West and advanced to Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals two years ago, then why is my 4th-place finish, second round exit worthy of being deemed HORRIBLE?

You know since Phoenix is currently

No. 1 in scoring per game (106.5) - Houston No. 22 (90.0)
No. 3 in opponants Scoring per game (83.5) - Houston No. 4 (90.2)
No. 1 in point differential (23.0) - Houston No. 17 (-.2)
No. 6 in FG% (.475) - Houston No. 12 (.441)
No. 1 in opponants FG% (.363) - Houston No. 6 (.405)
No. 5 in steals per game (9.5) - Houston No. 26 (5.6)
No. 12 in blocks per game (6.3) - Houston No. 24 (4.6)

Offense/Defense LINK: http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/statistics?stat=tmcompare&sort=tos&league=nba&season=2005&seasontype=2&avg=pg&order=false

Steals/Blocks LINK: http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/statistics?stat=teamstatmisc&season=2005&seasontype=2

F Duke
11-10-2004, 08:53 PM
Francis was a horrible defender. Just plain terrible. Everyone in Houston wanted him gone and is glad he's gone. McGrady is putting up 20+ points and nearly 10 assists a game with good shot selection and leadership. The difference is night and day.

Howard and Taylor are not the defensive liabilities you make them out to be. Yes, they're average at best but both are superior in the paint to Jake Voskuhl (even though they play different positions.) And don't forget Mutumbo. He dominated Memphis last week off the bench and is still good for 15 minutes a game.

As for Yao, I don't see why you think he's that bad. It's only his third year and he's continuing to show signs of improvement. Look at what he did to Sacramento this weekend (33 points, 12 rebounds). Outside of Brad Miller, there is not a better offensive center in the West.

As for Phoenix, I understand your optimism but defense wins in the NBA, not high powered offenses. Steve Nash has been an average defender at best throughout his career. I like the Suns but they will not continue this offensive dominance throughout the season. If McGrady has injuries throughout the year, the Suns will be better. If he's healthy, I'll take the Rockets. Teams will continue to double Yao and McGrady leaving someone open on nearly every position. No one on Phoenix requires a double team.

JMarkJohns
11-10-2004, 09:07 PM
I don't think Yao's bad...only soft. Phoenix's SF Marion averages more rebounds and simlier blocks that Yao, despite giving up 12" and 150 pounds...He also has a tendancy to only play well against good, or worthy competition...for every good game, it seems he has two mediocre ones.

Taylor and Howard are absolute jokes on defense. Voskuhl at least tries. I don't doubt Houston has talent and my plus/minus has them finishing as high as 6th. They don't have much depth and are old and slow, excluding McGrady.

They are a streaky shooting team as well.


I gave stats proving that Phoenix can disrupt the shooting percetages of their oppsing teams. They are number on in this reguard. I gave stats that they challange shots and deflect passes batter than the Rockets and most other teams...

They can play good defense or at least good enough. Sacramento and Dallas are two Western Conference teams built similer, but with even less defense ability than Phoenix, both advanced to the Western Conference Finals.

JMarkJohns
11-10-2004, 09:12 PM
I stopped reading, not seeing this phrase...

....No one on Phoenix requires a double team.

This is unadulterated bullcrap...

Stoudemire averages over 10FT a game and constantly is doubled and even triple-teamed...You have to, other wise he'll score every time he touches the ball.

Nash is routinely doubled on the break and Johnson, when he drives, recieves added attention enough for the open man.

Stoudemire is the key here though. His presense on the offensive end opens up everything for everyone else. Driving lanes, open jumper, 3-pointers...

F Duke
11-10-2004, 09:21 PM
The top teams will not double Stoudamire, Nash or Johnson. It doesn't mean much when Atlanta, New Jersey and Chicago, arguably the 3 worst teams in the league double team you.

JMarkJohns
11-10-2004, 09:29 PM
What do you mean the top teams?

The Timberwolves doubled him last year (career avareage of over 20ppg). Even Duncan can't guard him one-on-one (career average of over 20ppg)...

Stoudemire can't guard either one-on-one as well, but Amare will demand the double, no matter tha opponant.

F Duke
11-10-2004, 09:33 PM
Stoudamire is a stud, no doubt about it. I take back my double team statement. But no elite team will double Nash or Johnson.

JMarkJohns
11-10-2004, 09:45 PM
On the break they have no choice as both can finish with either hand, both has a good mid-range jumper and both can hit the transition three...

I do agree, however, that Stoudemire is the focal point of the offense. If he's not getting the ball, then he's not getting double-teamed, if he's no getting double-teamed, then he's not getting many free throws, his teammates aren't getting the open jumpers and the driving lanes will be closed.

The Suns halfcourt game is in Amare's hands and I'm just fine with that.

84Cat
11-11-2004, 02:23 PM
Did you guys watch the game last night? Once Stoudemire fouled out, the Suns totally fell apart. The Suns were outscored 33-14 in the 4th. It will be interesting to see how this game effects them. I'm not a huge Suns fan but it was painful to watch.