Thursday, August 20, 2009

Preseason Power Rankings

Just for kicks, Zee and I decided to throw together an early preseason power ranking. We both picked our top 5 teams from each conference, based on the current rosters. Between now and the start of the season, I'm sure there will be some additional trades, injuries and free agent signings. So we'll be sure to update this list as the start of the season approaches. With that said, we present the first edition of our preseason power rankings. Let us know your thoughts.


Western Conference


Kay's Picks

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.
Zee's Picks

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.


Kay's Comments: The Lakers are the defending champions and arguably the most talented team in the league. Resigning Odom might have been the most significant move made during the offseason by any team. Swapping out Artest for Ariza has the potential to make them an even better team. There's no reason to think that they won't make the Finals again. And if Bynum can stay healthy... Yikes.

ZEE!: I have to agree with you 100 percent on this one. For you to give the Lakers such props must mean that they have a team (and possible dynasty perhaps?) to be reckoned with for several years to come. I for one can't believe the move that Trevor Ariza made in leaving a team you just won a championship with, to go play for a team you beat in your title run, who has lost arguably it's two best players in Yao and Ron Artest. In addition, you have T-Mac on the bench taking up space until possibly the middle of the season. Have fun playing wallowing in mediocrity. While the Lakers team you left, should they stay healthy, will make continuous runs at a title for the next few years to come.

The Spurs have reloaded their roster and look like the only team in the West that could challenge the Lakers. Jefferson and McDyess are huge upgrades over Finley and Bonner. And the return of Manu should help this team greatly as well. They have some nice young talent on this roster too: Hill, Blair and Mahinmi. Can they stay healthy?

ZEE!: Umm...what to say here....SMH @ Kay thinking the Spurs will challenge the Lakers. I'm gonna go ahead and circle Tuesday, January 8th, 2010 and look forward to the first meeting between the defending champs, and your San Antonio Spurs. FYI: Timmy and Manu aren't getting any younger/healthier.

The addition of Miller on the Trailblazers could push them to elite status. He'll bring some much needed leadership and experience to this team. Roy continues to be one of the brightest young players in the league. Aldridge is a star in the making. If Oden and Rudy can live up to their potential, this team could be downright scary.

ZEE!: I agree, the Trailblazers are solid from top to bottom. Had they been able to grab Hedo, wow. But even without Turkoglu, these young guys really should make some noise this season, and hopefully Brandon Roy will step out into national recognition for his game. TNT needs to book as many Blazer/Lakers, Blazers/Spurs matchups as possible for airing on T.V.

I like the changes that Dallas made to their team in the offseason. The addition of Marion and Gooden are huge improvements in their frontcourt. When you add them to the mix of Dirk, Terry, Howard and Kidd, you have a dark horse team. Young guns Beaubois and Barea have shown flashes of brilliance so far.

ZEE!: I really don't like this team, seriously. Cubes is spending money on players that really aren't gonna do crap this season. Jason Kidd basically passed up on a ring back in the day when he could have signed with the Spurs, and opted to go to Jersey. Now he's at it again, playing for a team with no shot, but he is steady cashing checks....pathetic. Anyhow, the breakdown for this team goes like this: Soft perimeter oriented team will shoot, shoot, and shoot. They will play no defense, they will not make it out of the first round. Mark Cuban will rip his hair out and grind those ugly yellow plaque crusted teeth of his as he realizes he wasted more money. But isn't that what he does best?

For the last spot, I went with Denver (over Utah or New Orleans). They were the surprise team of last year thanks to the addition of Billups. The loses of Kleiza and Jones will hurt this team's depth, but they should still be competitive next season. JR Smith is primed for a breakthrough. K-Mart, Birdman and Nene need to stay healthy.

ZEE!: Ahh the Nuggs. Thanks for that wake up call in the WCF fellas! This team is so talented, yet so primed to self destruct at any moment that it isn't even funny. Billups didn't look like himself in the playoff series vs the Lakers, and I wonder if he was just trying to do to much, or if he's starting to wear down. Anyhow, I expect a second round playoff exit from this ballclub come next season.


Eastern Conference


Kay's Picks

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.
Zee's Picks

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.


Kay's Comments: It's only fair that the defending Eastern Conference Champions start at the top of the power ranking. They've completed retooled their roster. Out go Turkoglu, Lee, Alston and Battie. And in come Carter, Barnes, Bass, White Chocolate and Anderson. I like their depth and talent on paper, but only time will tell if they are able to recapture the magic and chemistry of last year's team. Also don't forget that Nelson missed a huge chunk of last year.

ZEE!: I think this team was fortunate last year to not have had to play a healthy Celtics squad. This go round, if they want to prove that last season wasn't a fluke they're gonna need to completely destroy Boston and Cleveland, which I don't think is going to happen. Expect Van Gundy to be out as Head Coach in a couple of years. However, I am juiced to see if JWill still has it. Ill advised 3 pointers anyone?

Had KG not been injured last season, we could have been talking about a Lakers and Celtics rematch. The addition of Rasheed, Daniels and Williams should provide some necessary depth in the frontcourt. This will hopefully allow them to rest their Big 3 and ensure that they are healthy for the postseason. Rondo is on the verge of stardom; if he can keep his head straight. They need a backup PG, though.

ZEE!: The silly, grammatically butchered off season twitters from Paul Pierce about the Lakers vs Magic series were comical . And after an early post season exit the Celts have gotten desperate and picked up Sheed, so they could fulfill the possibility of having two maniacs on their squad at the same time. Now to the optimist, hope springs eternal that the Celts turn out to be as interesting on the court as they seem to be on paper. Only problem with this team thinking they are going to go all the way is Cleveland and Orlando, which have beefed up their respective squads, and are ready to go mano y mano with each other. Makes for great T.V. no?

The Cavs could finish anywhere from 1 to 3. The addition of Shaq is a big wildcard. Can he stay healthy and how will he affect team chemistry? He improves their offense, but he doesn't help their pick-and-roll defense at all. The addition of Parker, Powe and Moon are all underrated moves. This team doesn't look as intimidating on paper as the other Big 3, but they have Lebron James and play great defense.

ZEE!: Poor poor LeBron. Who does Danny Ferry think you are? Why does he seem content to surround you with average and past-their-prime players? Quote me, if this season produces nothing less than a finals win, LeBron is gone like the wind. No joke, even Stevie Wonder could see that. But hey if they do win, LeBron may just stay for another year or so. If Shaq can produce at a level on par with his time in Phoenix, then the Cavs may be on to something.

Pending the healthy of Arenas and Butler, this Wizards team is my dark horse pick. I expect them to make a huge turnaround this year. Arenas will be a beast. Let's not forget that Haywood missed nearly all of last year, too. The additions of Miller and Foye give this team even more firepower and depth. But the success of this team is pending on the development of Blatche, McGee and Young.

ZEE!: Gilbert Arenas, the first minute you come into camp, give back 1/3rd of your gaudy salary you were paid by the Wizards, learn to be a point guard, and shut up. That probably won't happen so Arenas and co (Butler, Jamison and ..... meh) are going to need to step it up from last years season, anything will be an improvement, but everyone on that team needs to focus on the next step. For goodness sakes, you play in front of the President of the United States!!

I had a tough time deciding on the 5th team, but I elected to go with the Bulls. I like them slightly better than either Miami or Atlanta. Rose will continue to develop, and the return of Deng from injury should help fill the void left behind by Gordon. To make it to the next level, however, they will need their big men to step up: Thomas, Noah, Miller and the rookies. Time will tell if last year was a fluke.

ZEE!: Derrick Rose, how do you fail the ACT 5 times?!?!?

1 comment:

sevendeu2u said...

DRose reminds me of my sister when she failed the same math class. 4 times. in high school. I kinda figured she would not be going to college after that.