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Predict the Eastern Conference Standings

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Post#1 Predict the Eastern Conference Standings
Thu Jul 26, 2012 2:33 pm by nate33

There have been a ton of moves this offseason, which will disrupt the status quo in the Eastern Conference. Can you predict the final standings at the end of the season?

Here's a breakdown of the major changes to help get things started:

LOCK TO MAKE PLAYOFFS:

Miami - added Ray Allen

Boston - added Jason Terry and Jeff Green. Sullinger may help as well. Lost Ray Allen. They might not finish as a top 3 team because Pierce and Garnett are going to take it easy during the regular season, but they'll surely make the playoffs.

Indiana - Swapped Augustin for Collison. Added Mahinmi and Gerald Green to bolster the depth. They have a balanced, deep, and fairly young roster that looked like the 3rd best team in the East last year.


LIKELY TO MAKE PLAYOFFS:

New Jersey - Williams, Johnson, Wallace, Humphries, Lopez is an extremely strong starting 5. Their only weakness is depth. An injury up front could derail them.

New York - Added Raymond Felton, Jason Kidd, Ronnie Brewer and Marcus Camby while losing Lin and Fields. While Melo and Amare aren't ideal teammates because both are no-D ball-dominators, their chemistry should improve a little with more time together. If Chandler gets hurt, their defense could suck bad enough to miss the playoffs. Otherwise, they'll make it.

Atlanta - lost Joe Johnson, Marvin Williams and Kent Hinrich. Added Lou Williams and Kyle Korver. They look a bit worse this year, but probably not so much worse that they'll miss the playoffs altogether.


ON THE BUBBLE

Philly - lost Lou Williams and Brand. Added Nick Young, Dorrell Wright, and Kwame. They went just 15-22 over the second half of the season after starting out 20-9.

Chicago - no Derrick Rose for most of the season. Thibs kept the team together with smoke and mirrors, but can he do it another year? Also, the injury prone Deng will endure more wear and tear during the Olympics, and they lost Asik, Brewer and Korver while adding a washed up Hinrich.

Washington - No need to rehash this in detail. The Wizards added Okafor, Ariza and Beal to a team that fared pretty well after the Nene trade.

Orlando - Lost Ryan Anderson. Added nobody of relevance. Howard is coming off of back surgery and his antics are a huge distraction. Nevertheless, any team with Howard is a fair bet to make the playoffs.

Milwaukee - Made the Bogut for Ellis trade last year and shored up their hole at center this offseason by adding Dalembert. The also drafted Doron Lamb who may be one of the few rookies to have an immediate impact. They lost Livingston.


LONGSHOTS FOR PLAYOFFS

Toronto - Added Lowry, Fields and Valanciunus. Lowry can play but I don't think the other additions will make all that much difference right away. Young bigs like Valanciunus rarely help a team win much, even if they post good numbers. Fields is an overrated role player.


NO CHANCE FOR THE PLAYOFFS

Detroit - Lost Ben Gordon. Added Drummond and Maggette who might hurt more than they help. Detroit is looking to make an impact next year so might eventually decide to tank once this season becomes a lost cause.

Cleveland - Kyrie Irving is good, but nobody else on their roster is.

Charlotte - They're still a long way away.
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Post#2 Re: Predict the Eastern Conference Standings
Thu Jul 26, 2012 2:55 pm by fishercob

Nice breakdown, nate.
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Post#3 Re: Predict the Eastern Conference Standings
Thu Jul 26, 2012 2:56 pm by Wallbeliever

1. Miami
2. Indiana
3. New Jersey
4. New York
5. Boston
6. Chicago
7. Washington
8. Atlanta

9. Milwaukee
10. Orlando
11. Toronto
12. Philadelphia
13. Detroit
14. Cleveland
15. Charlotte
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Post#4 Re: Predict the Eastern Conference Standings
Thu Jul 26, 2012 3:05 pm by fishercob

I have so much to learn when it comes to evaluating NBA players and teams.

Atlanta was 6th in the NBA in defensive rating last year.

Their top 5 players in terms of minutes were Smith, Teague, Johnson, Pachulia and Marvin Williams. Then Hinrich, Ivan Johnson and Wilie Green.

Collectively, they were very good on the defensive boards and did not foul much. 10th in Defg%. I'm impressed with all of those rankings given their personnel.
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Post#5 Re: Predict the Eastern Conference Standings
Thu Jul 26, 2012 3:09 pm by Knighthonor

Feel kinda sad for the Cats and Cleveland, because they going through the same junk the Wizards are.
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Post#6 Re: Predict the Eastern Conference Standings
Thu Jul 26, 2012 3:13 pm by Higga

1. Miami
2. New York
3. Indiana
4. Boston
5. Brooklyn
6. Atlanta
7. Milwaukee
8. Washington

Honestly after the top four it gets kinda muddled. I don't think Brooklyn is that good but Atlanta will be worse and I think Chicago without Rose will collapse.
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Post#7 Re: Predict the Eastern Conference Standings
Thu Jul 26, 2012 3:43 pm by FAH1223

1. Miami
2. Indiana
3. Boston
4. New York
5. Brooklyn
6. Chicago
7. Atlanta
8. Washington

9. Milwaukee
10. Orlando
11. Toronto
12. Philadelphia
13. Detroit
14. Cleveland
15. Charlotte

I don't see CHI falling out of the playoffs. I think Thibs manages to get them playing good defense with Captain Kirk back as the starter presumably. But they will be a lower seed most certainly.

I don't see ATL falling out of the postseason. They still have a lot of talent in Smith and Horford. I expect Teague to play into his own in his 2nd full season as a starter and in a contract year. Lou Williams is a scorer and they also got Devin Harris who can provide some scoring. Don't know about their SF situation... they do have a lot of shooters now on the wings with Korver and Murrow but defensively... thats a step back. :-?

WAS and MIL are interchangable 8th and 9th seeds IMO.

Toronto is also a sleeper if Lowry plays really well and makes that team better than they really are... TOR did improve defensively last year.

I think Boston has improved depth and will be better than the NYK execution wise but otherwise they are interchangable. Brooklyn will be a solid middle seed.
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Post#8 Re: Predict the Eastern Conference Standings
Thu Jul 26, 2012 3:49 pm by LyricalRico

fishercob wrote:I have so much to learn when it comes to evaluating NBA players and teams.

Atlanta was 6th in the NBA in defensive rating last year.

Their top 5 players in terms of minutes were Smith, Teague, Johnson, Pachulia and Marvin Williams. Then Hinrich, Ivan Johnson and Wilie Green.

Collectively, they were very good on the defensive boards and did not foul much. 10th in Defg%. I'm impressed with all of those rankings given their personnel.


But what happens when you swap out Johnson/Willliams/Hinrich for Harris/Korver/Lou? You also have to consider presumably having Horford back as an undersized C. Sure, he's a much better overall player than Pachulia, but he could still be a net-negative defensively.

But even if they are still solid defensively, IIRC a huge part of their offense was Joe Johnson bailing them out late in the shot clock. They won't have that anymore, and Josh Smith trying to fill that role would be a disaster IMO.

There's a lot of offseason left, but the moves they've already made make me think they will wait for the Dwight Howard situation to play out before doing much else. Assuming they don't end up with Howard at the deadline, I think they miss the playoffs.
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Post#9 Re: Predict the Eastern Conference Standings
Thu Jul 26, 2012 3:54 pm by fishercob

Rico, I forgot about Harris for Marvin. I would imagine they take a decent sized step back defensively, based on all the size they are giving up on the perimeter. I bet their Defg ranking worsens.
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Post#10 Re: Predict the Eastern Conference Standings
Thu Jul 26, 2012 6:01 pm by dangermouse

I don't think the Bulls are going to make it. I know they were good last year when Rose was down, but I remember their 2 backup point guards played some decent ball while he was gone. Those guys are gone now, I don;t think Klint Hinrich is good enough anymore to lead the team to playoff land. They'll be in no-man's land in that 9th, 10th position.

I also think Toronto will come in as a 7th or 8th seeded team. Adding Lowry and Val will make them a legit playoff team.
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Post#11 Re: Predict the Eastern Conference Standings
Thu Jul 26, 2012 7:54 pm by ST21

hmm other than Miami nobody in the east is really good.

i'd say boston and indiana are locks to make it but they aren't title contenders. then you have a bunch of teams that are somehwere between bad and mediocre.
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Post#12 Re: Predict the Eastern Conference Standings
Thu Jul 26, 2012 10:37 pm by Chocolate City Jordanaire

nate, your breakdown is great and I'll only comment on where I disagree. It's better than what I could come up with, but of course I have some different opinions here and there.

nate33 wrote:LIKELY TO MAKE PLAYOFFS:

New Jersey - Williams, Johnson, Wallace, Humphries, Lopez is an extremely strong starting 5. Their only weakness is depth. An injury up front could derail them.


There is only one basketball between Williams and Johnson, and Wallace only comes to play when he feels like it. Lopez is going to be a terrible contract IMO. He's overpaid and not a rebounder or a defender. Humphries is decent, but I think the Wizards will fare well against him with Nene, Howard, and Seraphin a well as with speed and length from Booker and Vesely when they come off the bench. I think the Wizards are better than the Nets, possibly.

New York - Added Raymond Felton, Jason Kidd, Ronnie Brewer and Marcus Camby while losing Lin and Fields. While Melo and Amare aren't ideal teammates because both are no-D ball-dominators, their chemistry should improve a little with more time together. If Chandler gets hurt, their defense could suck bad enough to miss the playoffs. Otherwise, they'll make it.


I see their chemistry being much worse. Kidd had a DUI and I bet his year does not go well. Camby at best is Chandler's sub and his role will be minimal, as he is older. Felton will run the ball up court to watch it stick between Carmelo and Amare, the latter player being close to done and in the Rashard Lewis stage of his career. I think the Knicks will stink. JR Smith is not good for chemistry and neither is Melo. Jeremy Lin will look better in hindsight. The Knicks will win 32 games, max IMO.

Atlanta - lost Joe Johnson, Marvin Williams and Kent Hinrich. Added Lou Williams and Kyle Korver. They look a bit worse this year, but probably not so much worse that they'll miss the playoffs altogether.


They look a lot worse IMO. They lost long players and leaders and added two gunners. The Hawks won't make the playoffs before the Wizards IMO.


ON THE BUBBLE

Philly - lost Lou Williams and Brand. Added Nick Young, Dorrell Wright, and Kwame. They went just 15-22 over the second half of the season after starting out 20-9.


Nick will help them to start 15-22 this season and Doug Collins will probably remember why he and MJ had problems with Kwame in the first place. I don't think Harkless or Moutrie will help soon enough. This team lost a lot of leadership and identity. Collins will have a tougher time than Wittman IMO.

Chicago - no Derrick Rose for most of the season. Thibs kept the team together with smoke and mirrors, but can he do it another year? Also, the injury prone Deng will endure more wear and tear during the Olympics, and they lost Asik, Brewer and Korver while adding a washed up Hinrich.


I think Morey is going to look really smart for snatching underrated Omer Asik. He and Brewer made this team tougher defensively, and Korver was efficient. Lucas III and CJ Watson made up for Rose being out in ways I don't think another PG will. I expect the Bulls will win 15-20 less games and will not make the playoffs.

Cleveland - Kyrie Irving is good, but nobody else on their roster is.

Charlotte - They're still a long way away.


Irving is a better player IMO than John Wall, because he hits big shots from deep and with efficiency. However, he's not as durable. Varejao is as good as Nene IMO. Tyler Zeller is going to be a solid pro from day one. John Leuer bouncing from Milwaukee to Houston to Cleveland is a mystery to me. He's way better than Chris Singleton or Jan Vesely IMO. Leuer is probably a 15 ppg scorer and near starter in the league. His porous defense will be helped by players like Varejao, Alonzo Gee and Tristan Thompson, who are all strong defenders. nate, I see a lack of quality veterans on the Cavs. They have a lot of talent IMO, but just not proven talent. Zeller in transition will have an easy time scoring in the NBA game. Dion Waiters will struggle for them. He's their Jordan Crawford, however. He can score.

For Charlotte, I've posted about their additions and I know most disagree with me. Sessions started for the Lakers and did well in the regular season. Gordon shoots over 40% from three and is a very reliable shooter. Haywood struggled in Dallas but he is a reliable defender at 7 feet, and he'll be going back to Carolina. Micheal Kidd-Gilchrist is a charismatic, energetic, player who MJ is already comparing to Scottie Pippen. Biyombo is a shot blocker and rebounder. Him with MKG and Brendan gives a very solid defense. Henderson and Mullins have less pressure and both are competitive players. The Bobcats could go from 7 all the way up to 25-30 wins, or more. I also really like Jeffrey Taylor as an athlete and a defender for them. Honestly, I can see Charlotte being by far the league's most improved team if their new coach, Mike Dunlap is good.

I've been studying Charlotte and I LOVE their changes this offseason!

http://www.sportsnet.ca/basketball/2012 ... n_haywood/

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Brendan Haywood is returning home with a purpose.

Haywood, who grew up in Greensboro, made it clear he's coming back to the Carolinas with the goal of helping the Charlotte Bobcats turn things around after they finished with the worst record (7-59) in the NBA last season.

Claimed off waivers last week from the Dallas Mavericks, the 7-foot Haywood was introduced Thursday at a news conference along with free-agent acquisition Ramon Sessions, a point guard who opted out of his contract with the Los Angeles Lakers to sign with the Bobcats.

"Myself and Ramon will be great additions to this team," Haywood said. "We're looking forward to getting this thing started and help this team be better than it was last season."

Haywood still owns a home in Charlotte and has frequently worked out at the Bobcats facility in the past during the off-season.

He called returning to Charlotte "a blessing."

"My family and friends will have a chance to come to the games, and then playing with this organization is great for me, so it's the best of both worlds," Haywood said.

Sessions is also enjoying a homecoming of sorts.

He grew up in Myrtle Beach, S.C., about a five-hour drive from Charlotte.


http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/80777 ... head-coach

"After going through the process, we really felt strongly that this is the right guy to take us into the future," president of basketball operations Rod Higgins said.

The Bobcats interviewed 10 candidates for the post and brought back three for second interviews -- Dunlap, Indiana Pacers assistant Brian Shaw, and Los Angeles Lakers assistant Quin Snyder.

Dunlap, 54, spent last season as an assistant at St. John's and ran the program while coach Steve Lavin battled prostate cancer.

General manager Rich Cho said that Dunlap's work ethic stood out.

"Really, the three primary things we were looking for were player development, a teacher, and somebody to set the culture for this organization," Cho said. "If you look around the league, the best organizations have a certain culture and the first thing about the culture is to rely on hard work.

"The thing that really jumped out is that he's a big-time worker, the first guy in and the last guy out. He's just a crazy worker. That kind of stuff is infectious among the staff and the players, so that will set the culture for us. Mike's going to be very demanding. I know one thing, they're going to be in shape."


What I saw in the past was new NBA head coaches like Thibs and Volek finished near the top. Mike Dunlap has 32 years of coaching experience and a lot of wisdom. Like Randy Wittman, he's getting an opportunity late in life and I think he's ready to seize it. The Bobcats are going to be a LOT better.
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2. Game 3 needs to be a definitive statement game.
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Post#13 Re: Predict the Eastern Conference Standings
Thu Jul 26, 2012 11:09 pm by Kanyewest

Chocolate City Jordanaire wrote:I see their chemistry being much worse. Kidd had a DUI and I bet his year does not go well. Camby at best is Chandler's sub and his role will be minimal, as he is older. Felton will run the ball up court to watch it stick between Carmelo and Amare, the latter player being close to done and in the Rashard Lewis stage of his career. I think the Knicks will stink. JR Smith is not good for chemistry and neither is Melo. Jeremy Lin will look better in hindsight. The Knicks will win 32 games, max IMO.



Considering the Knicks finished 7-3 without Jeremy Lin, I still think they are a playoff team.


Chocolate City Jordanaire wrote:They look a lot worse IMO. They lost long players and leaders and added two gunners. The Hawks won't make the playoffs before the Wizards IMO.


The Hawks in theory also added Al Horford who missed most of last season with an injury. I'm not sure what to make of them.

Chocolate City Jordanaire wrote:
Philly

Nick will help them to start 15-22 this season and Doug Collins will probably remember why he and MJ had problems with Kwame in the first place. I don't think Harkless or Moutrie will help soon enough. This team lost a lot of leadership and identity. Collins will have a tougher time than Wittman IMO.



It will be interesting to see how much a playoff run helped with any of their players development especially young ones like Evan Turner and Thaddeus Young. They still managed to take the Celtics to 7, although I wonder if any of that had to do with not taking Philly seriously.



Chocolate City Jordanaire wrote:Bunch of stuff on Charlotte.


I think they are improved. But they were on pace to win only 8 to 9 games last season with an 82 game schedule. Even if they win 30 more games (which is highly unlikely) they would still be on the outside looking in.
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Post#14 Re: Predict the Eastern Conference Standings
Fri Jul 27, 2012 1:58 am by willbcocks

I would get rid of the "likely to make the playoffs" category, put the hawks as a bubble team, and put the Knicks and Nets as playoff locks. Of course they could fail to make the playoffs if they sustain a major injury, but you could say the same about Boston. Barring a terrible injury, they're all in.

Atlanta has no good guards and no first or second option on offense. They might be better than us, but they might not, it's hard to tell.

Charlotte, I think, will be terrible.

Detroit fans keep hyping their guys, but I don't see it. I really dislike the construction of that team. They'll win 30-35 games every year until time ends.
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Post#15 Predict the Eastern Conference Standings
Fri Jul 27, 2012 8:46 am by TheKingOfVa360

1.Miami
2.New York
3.Boston
4.Chicago
5.Indy
6.Brooklyn
7.DC
8.Bucks
9.Philly
10.Raptors
11.Atl
12.Cleveland
13.Detriot
14.Orlando
15.Charlotte
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Post#16 Re: Predict the Eastern Conference Standings
Fri Jul 27, 2012 9:05 am by nate33

Chocolate City Jordanaire wrote:nate, your breakdown is great and I'll only comment on where I disagree. It's better than what I could come up with, but of course I have some different opinions here and there.

nate33 wrote:LIKELY TO MAKE PLAYOFFS:

New Jersey - Williams, Johnson, Wallace, Humphries, Lopez is an extremely strong starting 5. Their only weakness is depth. An injury up front could derail them.


There is only one basketball between Williams and Johnson, and Wallace only comes to play when he feels like it. Lopez is going to be a terrible contract IMO. He's overpaid and not a rebounder or a defender. Humphries is decent, but I think the Wizards will fare well against him with Nene, Howard, and Seraphin a well as with speed and length from Booker and Vesely when they come off the bench. I think the Wizards are better than the Nets, possibly.

There's too much talent there CCJ. They are essentially adding Johnson, Wallace and Lopez to last year's squad. The pieces fit together pretty well with Wallace and Humphries making up for Lopez' defensive softness and lack of rebounding. On offense, Lopez is one of the best centers in the game. They also have Marshon Brooks off the bench.


Chocolate City Jordanaire wrote:
New York - Added Raymond Felton, Jason Kidd, Ronnie Brewer and Marcus Camby while losing Lin and Fields. While Melo and Amare aren't ideal teammates because both are no-D ball-dominators, their chemistry should improve a little with more time together. If Chandler gets hurt, their defense could suck bad enough to miss the playoffs. Otherwise, they'll make it.


I see their chemistry being much worse. Kidd had a DUI and I bet his year does not go well. Camby at best is Chandler's sub and his role will be minimal, as he is older. Felton will run the ball up court to watch it stick between Carmelo and Amare, the latter player being close to done and in the Rashard Lewis stage of his career. I think the Knicks will stink. JR Smith is not good for chemistry and neither is Melo. Jeremy Lin will look better in hindsight. The Knicks will win 32 games, max IMO.

There is no question that the Knicks are not a well-built roster. Their pieces don't fit, the chemistry is bad, and the total is not as good as the sum of the parts. But they still have a ton of talent. I agree that there is a chance that things fall apart (which is why I didn't put them in the "lock" category) but I think the odds are pretty good that they make the playoffs.
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Post#17 Re: Predict the Eastern Conference Standings
Fri Jul 27, 2012 10:42 am by fishercob

I don't think Charlotte will be very good. But they'll be improved -- how could they NOT be improved? They'll improve more on D than on O with the additions of Haywood, Sessions and MKG. 20-25 wins.
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Post#18 Re: Predict the Eastern Conference Standings
Fri Jul 27, 2012 7:03 pm by The Consiglieri

Tier 1
1. Miami

Nobody's close

Tier 2:
2. Indiana
3. Boston
4. Brooklyn
5. Chicago
6. New York

I don't expect a lot of separation between these squads. They are all essentially somewhere between above average and below very good. They all look like a mix of 45-52 win squads. All have weaknesses, none have a chance in hell of winning the title, but all seem strong contenders to make the playoffs without too much stress.

Tier 3:
7. Milwaukee
8. Atlanta
9. Philadelphia

While many have us in this tier, I do not. I think Milwaukee is nearly finished building a slightly above average team that will never win squat, and while Atlanta has lost some key pieces while they make their move towards greatness in the future (unloading that horrible johnson contract was pure genius, they were never going to win squat as constructed), i still think they're essentially a .500+ team, while Philly is a confusing team, really looked like they turned a corner, then stumbled, then had an iffy offseason. I think they could easily trump Milwaukee and Atlanta, and climb to as high as 5-6 if everything went right. In my view, Phillys floor is lower than Milwaukee and Atlanta's, but their ceiling is higher.

Tier 4:
10. Toronto
11. Washington
12. Cleveland

3 teams that have been struggling to rebuild for several years with middling success, all have squandered key high draft picks with suspect selections and/or trades, but all three teams are ahead of the game compared to Dumars' Pistons, and Jordan's Bobcats. I am wishy washy about where we slot in amongst the 3, I think we could finish anywhere between 9 and 12 next april, i definitely do not think we're playoff bound, i think our ceiling next year is 36-37 wins. Toronto could be a good site better, and I think Cleveland is one more year away from being a playoff contender.

Tier 5:
13. Detroit
14. Orlando
15. Charlotte

Orlando screwed the pooch last summer/winter when they didn't get rid of Howard at the first scent of trouble. They never should have kept him, should have moved him while he was worth something, now he has all the power, and they have none other than to make him miserable for 1 more year. They aren't going to get squat in a trade and will be worse than Charlotte in '13-'14. Detroits basically a bug slamming into a window, but were unbelievably lucky to land Drummond at their slot. That was the steal of the draft in terms of value versus slot. Charlotte is screwed till '14-'15 but they made the right pick.
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Post#19 Re: Predict the Eastern Conference Standings
Fri Jul 27, 2012 9:16 pm by gesa2

^^^^^
I agree with Consiig's analysis, but might have tried "squadoosh" or "zilch" or even "diddley squat" to mix things up a bit. (-:
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Post#20 Re: Predict the Eastern Conference Standings
Fri Jul 27, 2012 10:56 pm by closg00

Waiting to see if John really has a jump-shot and if Mason will be back. We still need another attacking combo-guard or other scorer.
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