How do the Jazz stack up against WC Contenders?

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Re: How do the Jazz stack up against WC Contenders? 

Post#41 » by Tom349 » Sat Jul 6, 2019 8:24 pm

Are the Clippers even close to being better than the Raptors? Sure PG is an upgrade over Siakim but every other spot on the floor and bench is a downgrade.
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Re: How do the Jazz stack up against WC Contenders? 

Post#42 » by Luigi » Sat Jul 6, 2019 8:28 pm

Tom349 wrote:Are the Clippers even close to being better than the Raptors? Sure PG is an upgrade over Siakim but every other spot on the floor and bench is a downgrade.


Their perimeter defense will be like the late 90s Bulls.

As far as how we stack up,

Beverly guards Conley
George guards Mitchel
Leonard guards Bogdanovic

Most of our scoring threat is neutralized, and outclassed on the other side of the ball (except for Conley). They are a significant matchup problem for the Jazz.
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Re: How do the Jazz stack up against WC Contenders? 

Post#43 » by dr0welf » Sat Jul 6, 2019 8:38 pm

Luigi wrote:
Tom349 wrote:Are the Clippers even close to being better than the Raptors? Sure PG is an upgrade over Siakim but every other spot on the floor and bench is a downgrade.


Their perimeter defense will be like the late 90s Bulls.

As far as how we stack up,

Beverly guards Conley
George guards Mitchel
Leonard guards Bogdanovic

Most of our scoring threat is neutralized, and outclassed on the other side of the ball (except for Conley). They are a significant matchup problem for the Jazz.


The most efficient shot in basketball is the dunk, who do they have to stop Gobert from dunking?
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Re: How do the Jazz stack up against WC Contenders? 

Post#44 » by Luigi » Sat Jul 6, 2019 8:40 pm

dr0welf wrote:
Luigi wrote:
Tom349 wrote:Are the Clippers even close to being better than the Raptors? Sure PG is an upgrade over Siakim but every other spot on the floor and bench is a downgrade.


Their perimeter defense will be like the late 90s Bulls.

As far as how we stack up,

Beverly guards Conley
George guards Mitchel
Leonard guards Bogdanovic

Most of our scoring threat is neutralized, and outclassed on the other side of the ball (except for Conley). They are a significant matchup problem for the Jazz.


The most efficient shot in basketball is the dunk, who do they have to stop Gobert from dunking?


Gobert will do well. Depends on how Harrell develops, and Zubacs, too. But he's not putting up 40 for us. The rest of the offense is going to struggle against that defense. We are pretty heavily outclassed on the perimeter.
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Re: How do the Jazz stack up against WC Contenders? 

Post#45 » by KqWIN » Sat Jul 6, 2019 9:07 pm

Tom349 wrote:Are the Clippers even close to being better than the Raptors? Sure PG is an upgrade over Siakim but every other spot on the floor and bench is a downgrade.


That's a good question, I'm not sure. What made the Raptors so good was that they could play 5 guys on the court who could all shoot, pass, and defend. It helped Kawhi get out of those double teams where he's not the greatest passer. The Clippers have a lot more one way players.

Think PG will have to turn another MVP level season to make it even with how good the Raps were last season.
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Re: How do the Jazz stack up against WC Contenders? 

Post#46 » by SwatLakeCity527 » Sat Jul 6, 2019 11:47 pm

Reading up to this point, it seems there is a lot Jazz bias in this thread (surprise).

Do yourselves a favor and quit setting the expectation so high before any games have been played. On paper, the Jazz are not the best team, sorry. But they are really good, and we all know how good Quin is.

Clips, Lakers, Rockets, and maybe Warriors are still a tier higher in my book. We'll have to prove we belong by beating those teams.
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Re: How do the Jazz stack up against WC Contenders? 

Post#47 » by SwatLakeCity527 » Sat Jul 6, 2019 11:49 pm

dr0welf wrote:
Luigi wrote:
Tom349 wrote:Are the Clippers even close to being better than the Raptors? Sure PG is an upgrade over Siakim but every other spot on the floor and bench is a downgrade.


Their perimeter defense will be like the late 90s Bulls.

As far as how we stack up,

Beverly guards Conley
George guards Mitchel
Leonard guards Bogdanovic

Most of our scoring threat is neutralized, and outclassed on the other side of the ball (except for Conley). They are a significant matchup problem for the Jazz.


The most efficient shot in basketball is the dunk, who do they have to stop Gobert from dunking?


Rudy doesn't set up his own dunks, so to me, this is a moot point. Good defense on the wings and guards will stop Rudy almost as much as actually stopping Rudy will.
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Re: How do the Jazz stack up against WC Contenders? 

Post#48 » by dr0welf » Sun Jul 7, 2019 1:43 am

SwatLakeCity527 wrote:
dr0welf wrote:
Luigi wrote:
Their perimeter defense will be like the late 90s Bulls.

As far as how we stack up,

Beverly guards Conley
George guards Mitchel
Leonard guards Bogdanovic

Most of our scoring threat is neutralized, and outclassed on the other side of the ball (except for Conley). They are a significant matchup problem for the Jazz.


The most efficient shot in basketball is the dunk, who do they have to stop Gobert from dunking?


Rudy doesn't set up his own dunks, so to me, this is a moot point. Good defense on the wings and guards will stop Rudy almost as much as actually stopping Rudy will.


You have 4 players besides Gobert who can toss the lob, so on the above guarding sequance you are telling me Ingles can't set up Gobert? Or that a good Gobert pick won't free up Conley, Mitchell, or Bogs? I think your point is moot as when Gobert sets that pick, do their defenders go over or under? Is their switching to cover if they go over or do they settle for our near 40% 3pt barrage? And if the bigs step up to stop the driver the dunk is on. If they don't step up, have you seen Conley use a floater before? Man we are going to embarass some teams this year.
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Re: How do the Jazz stack up against WC Contenders? 

Post#49 » by dr0welf » Sun Jul 7, 2019 1:47 am

SwatLakeCity527 wrote:Reading up to this point, it seems there is a lot Jazz bias in this thread (surprise).

Do yourselves a favor and quit setting the expectation so high before any games have been played. On paper, the Jazz are not the best team, sorry. But they are really good, and we all know how good Quin is.

Clips, Lakers, Rockets, and maybe Warriors are still a tier higher in my book. We'll have to prove we belong by beating those teams.


I think you are underselling our team, and that's fine. And yes we are Jazz fans, we are going to be biased towards the Jazz, and yes we see the possibilities before us. But if you think the Lakers or Warriors are on par with us this upcoming year then I have to disagree and let you live in your life of misery. It's time to be excited as a Jazz fan and hell no I won't temper my expectations as I enjoy being excited about the possibilities before us. It might be an overhype but atleast I will enjoy the ride.
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Re: How do the Jazz stack up against WC Contenders? 

Post#50 » by sipclip » Sun Jul 7, 2019 2:00 am

dr0welf wrote:
SwatLakeCity527 wrote:Reading up to this point, it seems there is a lot Jazz bias in this thread (surprise).

Do yourselves a favor and quit setting the expectation so high before any games have been played. On paper, the Jazz are not the best team, sorry. But they are really good, and we all know how good Quin is.

Clips, Lakers, Rockets, and maybe Warriors are still a tier higher in my book. We'll have to prove we belong by beating those teams.


I think you are underselling our team, and that's fine. And yes we are Jazz fans, we are going to be biased towards the Jazz, and yes we see the possibilities before us. But if you think the Lakers or Warriors are on par with us this upcoming year then I have to disagree and let you live in your life of misery. It's time to be excited as a Jazz fan and hell no I won't temper my expectations as I enjoy being excited about the possibilities before us. It might be an overhype but atleast I will enjoy the ride.
To think the Lakers and Warriors aren't on par with us is crazy to me. The Lakers have 2 of the top players in the world and just added a 20-10 big as well as a few solid role players. If we had added Cousins and Green to our team everyone would be super stoked but since it is the Lakers people are downplaying it. Then you have the warriors who add an all star caliber guard in Russell who we all would have loved to help offset the loss of Durant as well as bringing in a solid big in Cauley Stein and bringing Looney back. I expect Curry to be mvp again next year and Draymond to be as motivated as ever. They are still a force to be reckoned with as long as Curry and Draymond are there and I bet Klay is back around February.

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Re: How do the Jazz stack up against WC Contenders? 

Post#51 » by dr0welf » Sun Jul 7, 2019 2:22 am

sipclip wrote:
dr0welf wrote:
SwatLakeCity527 wrote:Reading up to this point, it seems there is a lot Jazz bias in this thread (surprise).

Do yourselves a favor and quit setting the expectation so high before any games have been played. On paper, the Jazz are not the best team, sorry. But they are really good, and we all know how good Quin is.

Clips, Lakers, Rockets, and maybe Warriors are still a tier higher in my book. We'll have to prove we belong by beating those teams.


I think you are underselling our team, and that's fine. And yes we are Jazz fans, we are going to be biased towards the Jazz, and yes we see the possibilities before us. But if you think the Lakers or Warriors are on par with us this upcoming year then I have to disagree and let you live in your life of misery. It's time to be excited as a Jazz fan and hell no I won't temper my expectations as I enjoy being excited about the possibilities before us. It might be an overhype but atleast I will enjoy the ride.
To think the Lakers and Warriors aren't on par with us is crazy to me. The Lakers have 2 of the top players in the world and just added a 20-10 big as well as a few solid role players. If we had added Cousins and Green to our team everyone would be super stoked but since it is the Lakers people are downplaying it. Then you have the warriors who add an all star caliber guard in Russell who we all would have loved to help offset the loss of Durant as well as bringing in a solid big in Cauley Stein and bringing Looney back. I expect Curry to be mvp again next year and Draymond to be as motivated as ever. They are still a force to be reckoned with as long as Curry and Draymond are there and I bet Klay is back around February.

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That's fair, I just don't think the Lakers are even in the competition. Cousins is not the player he used to be by a long shot. Lebron has lost a step and his body is starting to ache from the mileage he has put on it. AD is a great player but even then through an 82 game season I don't see them as a top 4 team. I see them fighting to get to the 6th seed in the west. I think the Lakers are exremely overhyped based on memories of the names. Lebron is a great player and if he is able to be limited to 24 minutes a game he could have a large impact on the games, but with their team he's going to have to play 32+ per game and father time is catching up.

I actually hard to predict how good GSW will be, as it is hard to predict how good D'Lo and Curry will be together especially on the defensive side. Dramond is going to play selfish this year as he is in a contract year. If Thompson was there for the full season I would say yes they are with us, but even if he comes back in February it will take some time to get his game back on par. And by that time they will be behind in the standing enough to make it hard to catch up to the top tier teams. I don't think GSW are that deep and Cauly Stein isn't a plus in my books, servicable big but lackluster effort from him on a regular basis. He has all the potential to be a good center, and maybe Kerr can work his magic and make him so. Also, the loss of Iggy and Durant were big losses and especially on the defensive side. I would have ranked Durant, Iggy, Thompson as their best defenders last year and none will be playing to start the season.

I think LAC, UT, Por, Den, Hou are all better then those 2 teams. I think GSW, Lakers, SAS, Dal, Minn, Sac will be fighting for those last 3 playoff spots.

I also remember last year everyone saying the Lakers were top 3 and they didn't even make the playoffs. Which I took a bit of crap last year for suggesting the possibility of them not making the playoffs before the season started.
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Re: How do the Jazz stack up against WC Contenders? 

Post#52 » by sipclip » Sun Jul 7, 2019 2:41 am

I think this Lebron has lost a step and is breaking down talk is premature. I hope it is the case but I don't think it is. He still put up monster numbers last year and he should be the most well rested that he has ever been going into this season. Getting injured and missing the playoffs may end up being the best thing that ever happened to him because he can finally give his body a break for the first time in over a decade.

As far as Cousins goes he was started to shake off the rust prior to his quad injury and he should finally be completely healthy and extremely motivated when the season gets here. I expect him to get back to being a dominant 20-10 big from the get go this year. I would also put money on him slimming down a decent amount this offseason to help reduce the wear and tear on his body.

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Re: How do the Jazz stack up against WC Contenders? 

Post#53 » by SwatLakeCity527 » Sun Jul 7, 2019 5:47 am

dr0welf wrote:
sipclip wrote:
dr0welf wrote:
I think you are underselling our team, and that's fine. And yes we are Jazz fans, we are going to be biased towards the Jazz, and yes we see the possibilities before us. But if you think the Lakers or Warriors are on par with us this upcoming year then I have to disagree and let you live in your life of misery. It's time to be excited as a Jazz fan and hell no I won't temper my expectations as I enjoy being excited about the possibilities before us. It might be an overhype but atleast I will enjoy the ride.
To think the Lakers and Warriors aren't on par with us is crazy to me. The Lakers have 2 of the top players in the world and just added a 20-10 big as well as a few solid role players. If we had added Cousins and Green to our team everyone would be super stoked but since it is the Lakers people are downplaying it. Then you have the warriors who add an all star caliber guard in Russell who we all would have loved to help offset the loss of Durant as well as bringing in a solid big in Cauley Stein and bringing Looney back. I expect Curry to be mvp again next year and Draymond to be as motivated as ever. They are still a force to be reckoned with as long as Curry and Draymond are there and I bet Klay is back around February.

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That's fair, I just don't think the Lakers are even in the competition. Cousins is not the player he used to be by a long shot. Lebron has lost a step and his body is starting to ache from the mileage he has put on it. AD is a great player but even then through an 82 game season I don't see them as a top 4 team. I see them fighting to get to the 6th seed in the west. I think the Lakers are exremely overhyped based on memories of the names. Lebron is a great player and if he is able to be limited to 24 minutes a game he could have a large impact on the games, but with their team he's going to have to play 32+ per game and father time is catching up.

I actually hard to predict how good GSW will be, as it is hard to predict how good D'Lo and Curry will be together especially on the defensive side. Dramond is going to play selfish this year as he is in a contract year. If Thompson was there for the full season I would say yes they are with us, but even if he comes back in February it will take some time to get his game back on par. And by that time they will be behind in the standing enough to make it hard to catch up to the top tier teams. I don't think GSW are that deep and Cauly Stein isn't a plus in my books, servicable big but lackluster effort from him on a regular basis. He has all the potential to be a good center, and maybe Kerr can work his magic and make him so. Also, the loss of Iggy and Durant were big losses and especially on the defensive side. I would have ranked Durant, Iggy, Thompson as their best defenders last year and none will be playing to start the season.

I think LAC, UT, Por, Den, Hou are all better then those 2 teams. I think GSW, Lakers, SAS, Dal, Minn, Sac will be fighting for those last 3 playoff spots.

I also remember last year everyone saying the Lakers were top 3 and they didn't even make the playoffs. Which I took a bit of crap last year for suggesting the possibility of them not making the playoffs before the season started.


I don't think I am underselling the Jazz at all. I'm just being realistic. I would rather be realistic now and then be surprised if they overachieve, rather than overselling now and feeling like the season is a bust if we don't get to the finals, which is highly likely.

The Warriors and the Lakers both have pretty stacked rosters when you look at it objectively. They will both have weaknesses, though, but so do we. I hope we match up well enough. As far as last year goes for the Lakers, they were top 4 when Lebron was playing, so it's not like they weren't contending with just Lebron. Now they replaced the scrubs on that team with some all-nba talent and a bunch of great role players. They're going to be good.

I wouldn't be surprised if they are a top 4 seed, both of them. However, I would be very surprised if they were struggling to pass the Mavs and Minn for the playoffs...
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Re: How do the Jazz stack up against WC Contenders? 

Post#54 » by Inigo Montoya » Sun Jul 7, 2019 2:51 pm

stitches wrote:
Inigo Montoya wrote:
stitches wrote:Yep, don't leave... just apportion your time more prudently... :)

That's right. Just assume the Jazz are a playoff treadmill team for the next 5-7 seasons or so. This will save you a lot of time to do more important things. :D

So you really have zero hope whatsoever that we might make a run?

I'll move it over here to avoid derailing the other thread.

Everything is possible, but my hopes are very low in that regard. Maybe if we luck into a very favorable seeding situation and then the teams-to-beat will have a plague of injuries after they knocked each other out of the playoffs and the last team standing had a lot of injuries, like what happened to the Warriors. But realistically, no, I don't.

Like I've said before, making a "run" means what, exactly? That instead of a 2nd round exit we make it to the WCF, where we'll be sent packing by a much better team? That means nothing to me, just like the Blazers' run to the WCF means nothing to me. They lucked into good matchups that let them go all the way to the WCF. Realistically, they weren't that good, and an injured Warriors team made sure to let us all see it by sweeping them.

In the end, I think we remained in the same tier we were before. It doesn't mean we didn't improve (I think we may have, but not enough to break out of where we were before), but those improvements don't mean much if the rest of the competition also improved--we ended up in the same place.

I feel like we as Jazz fans have become so conditioned by the FO/ownership that had touted longevity and internal growth or whatever for years, and has been very "conservative", shall we call it, when making roster changes. We've all been accustomed to the Jazz only making small changes, that when they finally make big changes to the roster, we suddenly feel like "now it's for real, we're serious and we're going to the next level!" even though those moves only cement where the Jazz have been all along. Yes, we got new players and it's exciting. I get it. But I feel we're getting blinded by the moves and don't see that we ended up where we already were. And now people are hailing those moves as a "win now" play, when in fact, it only helps the front office get away with rolling out the same playoff treadmill team for the next 5-7 years. We have Conley for one or two seasons. That's it. After that, we don't have money to bring anyone else next to DM's max and Gobert's supermax. While we still have him, we still face better\much better teams. We had to let a 27 year old Favors go to get 30 year old Bojan for 4 seasons. In the end, we made all these moves to end up where we were before we made them in terms of how far we can go, only now the FO has an excuse for the next 5 years after Conley leaves about why we're still stuck in playoff purgatory--because they "went for it," even though what they did only shuffled the roster while keeping the team in the same tier. We didn't really go for it, we did the lame Jazz version of pretending to go for it, and this is without even discussing the Conley trade itself in terms of what we gave up, when it was clear the Grizzlies were desperate to move him.
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Re: How do the Jazz stack up against WC Contenders? 

Post#55 » by stitches » Sun Jul 7, 2019 3:00 pm

Inigo Montoya wrote:
stitches wrote:
Inigo Montoya wrote:That's right. Just assume the Jazz are a playoff treadmill team for the next 5-7 seasons or so. This will save you a lot of time to do more important things. :D

So you really have zero hope whatsoever that we might make a run?

I'll move it over here to avoid derailing the other thread.

Everything is possible, but my hopes are very low in that regard. Maybe if we luck into a very favorable seeding situation and then the teams-to-beat will have a plague of injuries after they knocked each other out of the playoffs and the last team standing had a lot of injuries, like what happened to the Warriors. But realistically, no, I don't.

Like I've said before, making a "run" means what, exactly? That instead of a 2nd round exit we make it to the WCF, where we'll be sent packing by a much better team? That means nothing to me, just like the Blazers' run to the WCF means nothing to me. They lucked into good matchups that let them go all the way to the WCF. Realistically, they weren't that good, and an injured Warriors team made sure to let us all see it by sweeping them.

In the end, I think we remained in the same tier we were before. It doesn't mean we didn't improve (I think we may have, but not enough to break out of where we were before), but those improvements don't mean much if the rest of the competition also improved--we ended up in the same place.

I feel like we as Jazz fans have become so conditioned by the FO/ownership that had touted longevity and internal growth or whatever for years, and has been very "conservative", shall we call it, when making roster changes. We've all been accustomed to the Jazz only making small changes, that when they finally make big changes to the roster, we suddenly feel like "now it's for real, we're going to the next level" even though those moves only cement where the Jazz have been all along. Yes, we got new players and it's exciting. I get it. But I feel we're getting blinded by the moves and don't see that we ended up where we already were. And now people are hailing those moves as a "win now" play, when in fact, it only helps the front office get away with rolling out the same playoff treadmill team for the next 5-7 years. We have Conley for one or two seasons. That's it. After that, we don't have money to bring anyone else next to DM's max and Gobert's supermax. While we still have him, we still face better\much better teams. We had to let a 27 year old Favors go to get 30 year old Bojan for 4 seasons. In the end, we made all these moves to end up where we were before we made them in terms of how far we can go, only now the FO has an excuse for the next 5 years after Conley leaves about why we're still stuck in playoff purgatory--because they "went for it," even though what they did only shuffled the roster while keeping the team in the same tier. We didn't really go for it, we did the lame Jazz version of pretending to go for it, and this is without even discussing the Conley trade itself in terms of what we gave up, when it was clear the Grizzlies were desperate to move him.

I think you are overly pessimistic. I think we improved a lot at PG both quality and fit-wise. I think Bogdanovic is worse player than Favors, but the fit is great. I think this is the best fitting team Quin has ever had. At least in the starting lineup. I think we are much closer to the top of the league now than last season. I didn't think we had a shot last year. I think we do now.

When I say "make a run" I mean - both make it deep in the playoffs and have an actual chance at winning it all. I think we have that chance now.

You know I didn't like the path they chose when they traded for Conley, but once they did it I thought - if they are doing that they better go all the way rather than half-ass it. And they did it... at least to our ability to attract FAs. The big FAs just will never come to Utah. Zero chance! So, I guess... what I mean is - once they chose that path, I thought the rest of the off-season was good.
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Re: How do the Jazz stack up against WC Contenders? 

Post#56 » by Stern Fixer » Sun Jul 7, 2019 6:24 pm

I totally love our chances this year. No, we didn't get any of the "so called" top tier "superstars", but we addressed all of our shortcomings in every single position. Firstly, we have a (All Star caliber) point guard that can spread the floor and create. We have a starting three, backup four that's one of the most dangerous deep threats in the league, AND can also beat you off the dribble. We have a backup three in Ingles that was wearing way to many hats before and can now concentrate on what he does best without breaking down physically. We have a starting four that can do a little bit of everything, including a respectable .347 from three, and who D.Wade admonished for signing one year crap contracts (former lottery pick). (Stats are better than Crowder's across the board for last season). We have a backup combo (another lottery pick), big body durable guy that can beat you in Oh so many ways -again just what we needed with Exum's injury woes. We got a backup center/four that's one of the best cleanup glass men in the game. Watched him come in and right the ship on so many occasions last season when Allen was struggling. Mitchell, Oneale and Niang with another year under their belts. And don't laugh but I expect to see some surprise spot production out of Bradley and a rookie second rounder or two.

Doris is picking us over the Clippers and Lakers. Said we shot the most catch and shoot threes of anybody last season but couldn't hit a good percentage and now are loaded with top-shelf three point snipers. And Kawhi helped us by making the LA teams wait to fill out their rosters. We got the cream for our role-players, they got the sour milk. And Toronto? Forget about it, probably out of the playoffs now. At least they accomplished a miracle in their short rental season, and with an unproven coach. They got one, nobody thought it was possible, sounds a little bit like us. Is it our turn next?
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Re: How do the Jazz stack up against WC Contenders? 

Post#57 » by Catchall » Sun Jul 7, 2019 7:48 pm

stitches wrote:I think people massively underestimate GSW. They are still among the contenders if they can stay healthy and Klay returns by playoff time.

I think we are underdogs against HOU, LAC and GSW. But I think we have a shot against all of them. I like our chances against every other team in the conference.


I don't think they're contenders. Losing KD makes them much more guardable. Losing Iggy and Livingston hurts their switchability on defense and their depth. I doubt Klay has much of an impact this year. They'll be too far behind in the standings by the time Klay comes back in March, if he comes back at all.
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Re: How do the Jazz stack up against WC Contenders? 

Post#58 » by Catchall » Sun Jul 7, 2019 7:53 pm

Lakers are still one of the worst shooting teams in the league. They have one guy in Danny Green who shoots 3s over 35%. The Lebron/AD pick and roll could be unstoppable if there's space on the floor and shooters to kick out to. Unfortunately, the Lakers blew free agency. Imagine if they had Bogdanovic or Vucevic instead of the guys who were left to sign. Lakers win 48 - 52 games this year and claim a top 4 seed, if they don't lose too many games to injury.
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Re: How do the Jazz stack up against WC Contenders? 

Post#59 » by Catchall » Sun Jul 7, 2019 8:00 pm

The Clippers are a real problem. They have enough shooting and defense to go along with their two star wings. Kawhi, PG and Lou Williams gives them a virtual 'Big Three,' though Williams will need to improve his shot selection. Their interior defense is a bit lacking, and Lou and Shammet are limited defenders, but otherwise they don't have many weaknesses. The key for them is health. PG had surgery on both shoulders this offseason. Kawhi needs 20 games off, and he was still was hobbled during the Finals.

Quin is going to need to outcoach Doc Rivers like he's done in the past.
Catchall
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Posts: 8,873
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Re: How do the Jazz stack up against WC Contenders? 

Post#60 » by Catchall » Sun Jul 7, 2019 8:04 pm

Portland's season depends on how engaged Hassan Whiteside is. They're missing Nurkic for the bulk of the season, and they've replaced their long, athletic wing defenders in Aminu and Harkless with Rodney Hood and Kent Bazemore. They could easily take a step back this year and end up a 6th seed.

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