shaq

The Boston Celtics

Last season, Boston's two biggest problems were age and injuries. Their offseason response was to get older and more injury prone with the acquisitions of Shaq and Jermaine "The Drain" O'Neal. Remember: The 2009-10 Celtics were only a few baskets away from winning Game 7 of the NBA Finals on the road against a pretty good Lakers team. So how seriously should we take the 2010-11 Celtics? Let me put it this way: Even die-hard Boston fans have to answer that question by saying, "If Shaq and/or Jermaine O'Neal can just..."

That's right. All it's going to take is for Shaq and The Drain the make an actual, basketball-related impact on their new team. Mind you, this is something they've utterly failed to do in each of the last couple stops of the NBA careers. Shaq sunk the Seven Seconds or Less Era in Phoenix before helping Cleveland lose LeBron James forever.

As for The Drain, he got passed around like a hot potato after the Pacers finally suckered somebody into taking his giant contract off their bloodstained hands, and he was declared legally deceased during Miami's one-round playoff run last season. Mind you, it was the Celtics are the team who eliminated the Heat, so they got to watch his playoff implosion up close. How bad was he? Well, he went 9-for-44 from the field, his PER was 2.5 and he finished the series with an Offensive Rating of 57. Oh, and in Miami's elimination game, he grabbed only two defensive rebounds.

But you know what? I don't see those shambling mounds as Boston's biggest problems. As a Celtics fan, I'm much more worried about the fact that Rajon Rondo still can't hit jump shots with consistency or knock down clutch free throws. Those two factors may very well have cost the Celts the 2010 NBA title. Speaking of things that may have cost Boston the title, how about Ray Allen's playoff shooting slump? Look, shooters slump, I get that. But Allen's have been getting worse, lasting longer and are becoming more critical because they're happening during the playoffs. Are these things going to get better by tacking on another year and more miles to his odometer? On top of those factors, now that Tony Allen is marinating in the Grizzlies locker room, who's going to hound the Kobes and LeBrons of the world?

And let's not forget the C's lost their defensive guru, Tom Thibodeau, to the Chicago Bulls.

Look, the Celtics are going to win their division. Mostly because the other teams in the Atlantic are the crappiest of the crappy crap (see below). And they'll definitely be dangerous come playoff time, assuming everybody remains relatively healthy. But the 2010 Finals proved that championships are won and lost by the slimmest of margins. The Celtics just have too many question marks and what ifs.

The New Jersey Nyets

Last season, the Nyets managed only 12 wins and needed a late-season run -- if you can consider five wins in their last 12 games a "run" -- to avoid becoming the worst team (in terms of wins and losses) in NBA history. Still, as horrific as the season was -- poor Brook Lopez has permanent handprints on his face from all the facepalming he did last year -- all the losing was supposed to have a happy ending. After all, New Jersey had stockpiled cap space for the summer's free agent bonanza and their record practically made them a mortal lock for the number one overall draft pick. If they could just win the draft lottery and select John Wall...

...only they didn't win the draft lottery. They got the third pick, which they used to select Derrick Favors, a kid with decent long-term potential but little chance of making an impact this season. Other key acquisitions include Travis Outlaw, Anthony Morrow, Troy Murphy, Quinton Ross, Jordan Farmar, Stephen Graham, Joe Smith's corpse and Johan Petro (for $10 million over three years...WTF?!).

I'm have absolutely no idea what kind of Frankenstein's monster new GM Billy King (a.k.a. the guy who once destroyed the Philadelphia 76ers) expects new coach Avery Johnson to build out of this freaky warehouse of scrap parts. But I can't wait to find out.

But you know what the best part is? After last year's near-record setting failfest, there's virtually no way the Nyets can't improve this season. Even a conservative estimate of, say, 24 wins would be an enormous improvement. So expect better days in New Jersey. Relatively speaking.

The New York Knicks

During the offseason, the Bricks spent $100 million on Amar''''''e Stoudemire. Which would be fine if Amar''''''e wasn't a total fraud.

Okay, okay. That's not fair. Stoudemire isn't a total fraud. The guy is a stud on offense, ranking 5th in free throw attempts (632), 7th in field goal percentage (.557) and 10th in points per game (23.1). However, most of those sparkling stats came at the end of an assist from Steve Nash. In Phoenix, Amar''''''e lived off the variety of dunks, layups and pick-and-pops that Nash created. Conversely, Stoudemire was at his absolute worst when trying to create offense on his own. Unless he could simply blow by his man and not encounter any help defense at the rim, the dude looked like a baby deer trying to run on ice skates. STAT isn't a creator, he's a finisher. What's he going to finish in New York? Other than the hopes and dreams of Knicks fans everywhere. Assuming those suckers have any hopes and dreams left.

Stoudemire cowers from defensive rebounds the way Ron Artest shrinks away from giant snake eggs. And his answer to "defense" is to either leap out of the way matador style or reach in with the awkward clumsiness of a teenage boy groping his first real breast, which is why he ranked 5th in personal fouls last season (281).

The point is: If Amar''''''e is the foundation of your team -- the unquestioned heart and soul -- then your team is officially f***ed. I fully expect Stoudemire to become this season's premier 20-10-50 guy.

Knicks hopefuls might want to point out that Donnie Walsh flipped David "All O, No D" Lee for Anthony Randolph, Ronny Turiaf and Kelenna Azubuike. I would remind those people that the team's starting point guard is Raymond Felton (a poor pick-and-roll player) and the team doesn't have much in the way of consistent, high-percentage three-point shooting. These things do not play to Stoudemire's strengths.

In other words: Expect New York's playoff drought to continue.

The Philadelphia 76ers

Year Two of The Elton Brand Era saw the Sixers win only 27 games and finish tied for the third-worst record in the Eastern Conference. According to the Pythagorean Wins calculated by Basketball-Reference.com, Philly was better than only the following teams: New Jersey, Minnesota, The Other L.A. Team, Detroit and Washington. That's a real rogue's gallery of suck, right there.

During 2009-10, the Sixers should have worn masks with question marks on them, because the team had no identity whatsoever. I mean, they were supposed to be a running team yet finished the season ranked 22nd in Pace and 23rd in PPG. Furthermore, they ranked 22nd in three-point percentage (.343) and their inside game was anchored by Elton Brand, who was granted Living Statue status by the world's leading statueologists. Basically, there really wasn't much of anything this team did particularly well. Other than lose, that is.

Now ask yourself this: Has anything of major significance changed from last season to this season? Flipping Sammy Dalembert for Andres Nocioni and Spencer Hawes makes the team...whiter...I guess. Number two overall pick Evan Turner was a summer league disappointment. And as for new coach Doug Collins, well, did you see his last two seasons as a head coach in Washington? He lost the trust of every player on that team not named Michael Jordan, and that was only because he was Jordan's Yes Man.

Which is why the quarterback battle between Kevin Kolb and Michael Vick is the only real ray of hope Philadelphia fans have right now.

Sorry, Philadelphia fans.

The Toronto Raptors

Last season, Chris Bosh ranked 6th in the league in rebounds per game (10.8), 7th in free throw attempts (590) and 9th in points per game (24.0). He was also 4th in Player Efficiency Rating (25.0), trailing only LeBron James (31.1), Dwyane Wade (28.0) and Kevin Durant (26.2). Of course, Bosh put together what was probably his best statistical season during a contract year while playing for a Raptors team that failed to make the playoffs. But those are just facts, so feel free to discard them.

(Reality check: Bosh ranked 7th in the league with 7.9 Offensive Win Shares, yet ranked only 19th overall with 9.6 Win Shares. For those of you who enjoy simple math, that means Bosh had only 1.7 Defensive Win Shares during his best statistical season. How is that possible? I'm sure it had nothing whatsoever to do with him gunning it on offense to improve his free agent standing.)
Anyway, even though Bosh was lighting it up -- at the offensive end, anyway -- the Raptors still floundered down the stretch and missed the postseason (thanks largely to an injury to Bosh). When Bosh decided to take his talents to South Beach, it was done to a massive chorus of "Good riddance!!" from Canadians everywhere. And yet...

...Bosh's departure has made Toronto's roster one of the most depressing sights in the league. Their best returning players (Andrea Bargnani, DeMar DeRozan and Jose Calderon) strike fear in no one's heart (unless you count their fantasy owners). Their new additions (Leandro Barbosa, Amir Johnson, Linas Kleiza and draft pick Ed Davis) would be decent pickups for a team that was already pretty good. But the Raptors aren't pretty good. And this season, they might even be the worst team in the league.

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50 Comments:
Blogger Cortez said...
During my morning hoops review, I came across this nugget of wisdom at truehoop.com...

"The loss of Raymond Felton was far greater than a lot of people realize. According to Synergy Sports, Raymond Felton ranked 60th in the NBA in points per possession given up on the defensive end of the floor. He plays the pick-and-roll well and defends well off of screens. Offensively, he runs the pick-and-roll extremely efficiently as well. So losing Felton and replacing him with Augustin (who has struggled to show anything worthy of being a starting point guard in this league) doesn’t seem like a way to make the playoffs in consecutive years."

Then I read your analysis.

"I would remind those people that the team's starting point guard is Raymond Felton (a poor pick-and-roll player)"

This maybe "recall bias" but, you're right, Felton is a bum. Based on the games I've seen him play, college and pro, those Synergy statistics are being used to imply something that isn't remotely true.

Blogger Josh said...
Between the Atlantic and the Central, I think there's enough Bawful for the entire league.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
The scouting reports I read -- including one from ESPN's John Hollinger -- all said the same thing: average to below average pick and roll player.

As for the points per possession stats from last season -- and his shooting percentages, which likewise spiked upward -- he was playing for a contract. Plain and simple.

As you said, the guy's a bum.

But hey, Mike D'Antoni made Steve Nash. Maybe he can make Ray Felton, too.

Anonymous nickt1123 said...
hey the flyers are coming off the stanley cup season and phils are gonna win their 3rd NL pennant. But sadly, the sixers at best are gonna be .500 this year.

Blogger Will said...
"But sadly, the sixers at best are gonna be .500 this year."
Hey who says Philly fans aren't optimistic?
"But hey, Mike D'Antoni made Steve Nash. Maybe he can make Ray Felton, too." The only thing he's makin' them is a birthday cake.

Anonymous Barry said...
Imagine if Boston were no good.....this division would be Bawful to the bone.

I can't root against my beloved C's but that is a beautiful prospect.

Anonymous Hellshocked said...
I keep hearing that Felton is an underrated player but I've never seen it. He played for Larry Brown so he wasn't a complete waste on D, but he was hardly a stopper. He is a poor shooter, a mediocre passer and a terrible finisher inside. Also, the next teammate he makes better will be the first. That said, I wouldn't say he is so much a bad pick-and-roll player as a half pick-and-roll player. He can certainly make the pass off the pick but he can't hit the basket very consistently when he has to take the shot.

His stats will definitely go up under D'Antoni's system because he is sort of a point guard (which is already a huge improvement for NY in and of itself) but Charlotte will not miss him much.

Blogger stephanie g said...
I don't think anyone has posted this awesome Chinese-Brazil basketball brawl yet, but maybe I missed it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KAtbTiIn8bo

Anonymous Anonymous said...
rajon rondo isn't really that bad at shooting. remember the horse game against kevin durant where he made a bunch of 3 pointers and everyone tried to ignore it so they could still say that rondo can't shoot? it's just that most of his shots come when he's not even looking to shoot and then he realizes that he's so open that he better shoot it, and that's a pretty hard shot to make. he also has a pretty slow shot, so it's hard for him to get open. he can hit shots consistently, but he can't consistently get those shots. the results look the same (jump shots with no consistency), but he's a lot further along than someone who flat out cannot shoot.

Anonymous Patrick said...
I think Boston is made to be a grind-it-out, physical team, which is their best chance of beating Miami. Yes, Shaq and Jermaine O'Neal aren't very good: but they are still very BIG, and will be able to clog the lanes against the more talented Miami team. It will be difficult for Wade and James to get into the lane with the O'Neals and Garnett in the middle, and when they do, they're going to come away with a few bruises. Bosh's game will also be partly negated - again, not because the O'Neals are good, but because they take up a lot of interior space and can still physically punish people.

If you look at Boston's moves as an effort to beat Miami through physical play rather than basketball talent, bringing in some old big players makes sense. Surely, no team will out-talent Miami, so you can only hope to slow them down...

Anonymous Razvan said...
Wow, great post, if only we could be GM's and not give the drain a 100 mil contract... well then bawful would not have been the same.

Blogger Michael Hsu said...
Any chance of posting draft results from the Bawful league or making it public to view like Yahoo's Friends and Family league?

Blogger winnetou said...
Your evaluation of the Craptors and the fact that they managed to beat the Suns twice in preseason games regardless makes me dread that preview. I like the Suns, but am not really optimistic looking at this season; I doubt you are either.
But I noticed you didn't mention another of the Toronto departures who happened to end up in Phoenix as the other half of the Barbosa deal. Ball!
vw: swasup. so, wasup with that? ;)

Anonymous Stockton said...
One division per day?

Anonymous Stockton said...
let's not forget that the power shifted to the East (for the what, 10th year in a row?)!!!

I wouldn't be surprised if NY, Toronto, or even NJ would fight for a playoff spot until the end... even within the 40-50 victories box.

Anonymous Czernobog said...
There are quite a few indications that Toronto might actually play halfway decent D this season thanks to some addition by subtraction (Enjoy having Hedo on your team, AnacondaHL) and giving guys like Amir Johnson and Sonny Weems greater roles. And because really, there's nowhere to go from last season's defence but up.

That said, I expect our offense to crash and burn more often than not. It will be a sight to behold.

Word Verification: peenes. No lie.

Blogger Sorbo said...
For the Knicks, I think Gallinari will be the surprise for them this season. I just like how he plays. Now that A'''''mare'''''s on the team, more people might tune in to see Gallinari play. If he can get someone to teach him how to use his length on defense, Knicks might be okay. He's got a Kukoc-like game and could be a decent second option.

Sixers' record will be dependent on the health of Brand. If he's recovered from his injury from two years ago, and plays somewhat like he did before that injury, they might be okay. If he's not his old self, they're done.

Blogger Lord Kerrance said...
I was at the Raptors-Suns game yesterday and the new Raptors slogan is "Raptors + You". I think it's trying to deomnstrate the need for our (adminttedly fickle) fanbase to support the team through thick and thin, but the implication that they might need to grab someone out of the stands if Bargnani's having an off-night isn't too far off the mark.

Blogger Lord Kerrance said...
@Anonymous: so to recap, Rondo is a good shooter except when he has to shoot a quick release -- like in an NBA game, or perhaps my pickup league.

Do they give scoring titles for pregame warmups?

Blogger Cortez said...
"Do they give scoring titles for pregame warmups?"

Get this man a prize!

Anonymous Barry said...
I missed the Basketbawful Leftovers draft so now I'm stuck with the best players in the league.....any other league I'd be chuffed. Worst thing is that I can't drop them.

Blogger Sorbo said...
Waiting for Chris, as the countdown to the Raptors Mascot Fail video starts now...

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Maybe they should lower the ticket prices to raptors games that'll get people out.

Blogger Dan B. said...
Any chance of posting draft results from the Bawful league or making it public to view like Yahoo's Friends and Family league?

I believe AnacondaHL is working on it. You will bang your head on a desk when you see the team I ended up with. I haven't played fantasy basketball before and don't really know what kinds of players get you the best results, so I decided my best chance is to gamble on rookies and so forth, but there are still some inexcusable pickups I got from letting the computer autodraft while I was away for the draft.

Anonymous Marc d. said...
I'm going to have to agree with Czernobog. While losing Bosh may have done some serious damage to the Raptors offense, getting rid of Hedo and Bosh (a totally overrated defender. Bargnani consistently has had more BPG than Bosh, and that says volumes) has the potential to greatly improve their defense.

I'd say there are still 4-5 teams in the East that are worse than the Raps. They may not make the playoffs, but they will not be dead last.

Blogger chris said...
Lord Kerrance/Sorbo:

You asked for it! :D

Blogger Leland said...
http://sports.espn.go.com/los-angeles/nba/news/story?id=5690795

Ron Artest has lost his mind...again. Apparently he's raffling off his ring to generate money for charities that support mental health awareness.

Reminds me of Dumb and Dumber when Lloyd sells the shagon wagon for that mo-ped.

"just when we thought ron artest couldn't be any zanier...he goes and does something like this, and completely takes it to a new level."

Anonymous Toby said...
Rondo needs to work on his shooting form, which will help the quickness of his release. His doesn't tuck his right elbow, it's sticking out to the side. He also brings the ball to the side of his head instead of above. Some guys can get away with an unorthodox shooting form like Jason Terry, his right elbow sticks out–but the best shooters like Ray Allen, Steve Nash, Dirk Nowitzki all have pretty much textbook form.

And the idea that his hands are just too big for him to be an effective free throw or jump shooter is a little far fetched. It may have a small impact but certainly isn't a complete excuse.

Blogger senormedia said...
I missed the Leftover league draft (I had cleared time for it on Saturday, but it got moved to Sunday and I was busy) so I ended up with actually good players, and not the players that I used in my pre-draft rankings. I had a whole thematic thing going on that was spoiled.

Anonymous JJ said...
I really don't understand why Western conference teams are vastly superior year after year. It must be because of the owners. Almost everyone else in basketball gets hired/fired/traded/etc so quickly that it seems like the owners and the culture they breed are the only constant factors in most franchises. I think the owners don't get enough credit (or blame) in most cases. I'm not necessarily a fan of underdogs, but it's depressing to see the same franchises suck year after year.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
You sure about the 20-10-50 about Amar'''''''''''''''''''''e? He never averaged at least 10 rpg in his career.. I doubt he'll get the 10 in the 20-10-50..

Blogger Wormboy said...
I'll tell you why the Celtics will do worse than last year.
1) You know that little white crap you get in the corners of your mouth when you're really gassed? I saw it in Pierce's mouth 4th quarter, game 7. I knew right then that the Celtics were going to lose. It was a long-ass season, and Pierce spent too much of it trying to carry his team with a lamed Garnett, a flaky Rondo, a streaky Allen, and a fat Sheed. Guess what? They're one year older and gimpier.

2) Who would you rather rather have in the NBA Finals 2011, 2010 Sheed or fat O'Neal+fat and dumb O'Neal? It almost makes me weep to say 2010 Sheed. If that ass had been in shape by the end of the season, I'm convinced the Cs would have won the title again.

Aside: does anybody here remember the D&D monster the Ettin? A two-headed fat and dumb giant? Picture Shaq and Jermaine....

Yeah, I just admitted I played D&D. What of it? I'm older than most of y'all, and played in the late 70s when it first came out. I'd say I was in before it was cool, but, err, it NEVER became cool. :(


Amar'''''e: This is his referendum year, the second one for a Nash teammate. We saw what happened to Shawn Marion, now let's see what happens to Stoudemire. He could surprise us all, but I very much doubt it. I expect some nice personal stats, enough to get him into the All Star game and keep morons thinking he's the shit, but the Knicks are going to have a modest improvement this year, if any, and STAT won't make any of them better. Oh, and no D. Sigh.



"But hey, Mike D'Antoni made Steve Nash. Maybe he can make Ray Felton, too."



BWAHAHAHAHAHAhahahahahahahahahah...hehe...hee...hee....

Ah.

Blogger Wormboy said...
PS Look at poor Doc's face! Makes me said. He knows what's in store....

Blogger Fishy said...
"Of course, Bosh put together what was probably his best statistical season during a contract year while playing for a Raptors team that failed to make the playoffs. But those are just facts, so feel free to discard them."

It's lines like these that make me coming back here. Love it! Can't wait for the rest of the previews.

Blogger Sorbo said...
Real quick. I may have just heard the bawful quote of the day.

During the ESPN NBA Roundtable, from Chris Broussard in regards to "super teams": "In the nineties, you didn't really have great teams...with all due respect to Michael Jordan."

With all due respect, Mr. Jordan, your six championships in eight years and your 72-win team were shit.

Blogger Japes said...
As a Raps fan, I'm only hoping that we're not the worst team in the league this year. However I'm still kinda glad that we no longer have Bosh. Willing to live out a couple of crappy years to get a higher ceiling than first round fodder every year.

Anonymous Arouet said...
Firstly: Sigh. Imagine if the Knicks had taken Ty Lawson instead of Jordan Hill in that draft. Blazingly fast in the open court, great three point shooter, the perfect point guard to do a reasonable impression of Nash in the SSOL offense. Give that team Lawson instead of Felton and they're a sleeper for 50 wins. Let's just say Walsh is a really overrated GM and leave it at that.

And secondly: In Shaq's defense, I do like Simmons' theory that Shaq took so little money to play for the Celtics when he could have just gone to Europe because he was enraged by Kobe bragging about having one more ring than The Big Journeyman. If that's the case, he's about 100% more likely to actually give a crap this year, which bodes well for the Celtics.

Anonymous Joe said...
One big reason the West is so good is the coaches. Name your top 5 best coaches in the league and you will see names like:

Phil Jackson
Jerry Sloan
Gregg Popovich
Rick Adelman
Don Nelso (just kidding)
Nate McMillan

In the East you have Stan van Gundy. Doc Rivers could get some love, but then so should Rick Carlisle and others I left off the West.

There are some good coaches in the East, but the cream of the crop are in the West. Also, it seems that all the ones who have more than 5 years with the same team are in the West.

That's one thing the owners in the East (and Mark Cuban/the Maloofs in the West) could learn from.

Also, I'm sure someone will say something like, "What about . You didn't mention him." That's true. The point isn't that there are no good coaches in the East, just that for every one in the East you have two or three in the West.

Blogger lordhenry said...
Bawful is sandbagging. I don't buy the whole "C's don't have a chance" thing. They are really well-suited to rip Miami apart.

First, Bosh is a non-factor against the Celtics. I just don't see him muscling around with KG and Shaq to get boards, or even to play defense against them.
No, Bosh stays at the free-throw line, where he can watch the moshpit from afar.

Second, Rondo is a way better point guard and is a big part of why the big three get nice looks. Miami doesn't have the personnelto stop Rondo in the open court.

Third, I saw KG finish above the rim during preseason. If he is closer to his 2008 form, then the Celtics become overall much better.

Add two dumb giants to flank the Celtic of War and you have a recipe for a very tough frontcourt to score on.

We shall see on Oct. 26, or as the Celtic of War says,

"THERE WILL BE BLOOD"

Blogger lordhenry said...
Deep in the Mountains of L.A., in the Citadel of Minas Mamba, on a throne of frozen tears imported from Cleveland, sits the Dark Lord, Darth Mamba, Kobe "Bean" Bryant, he of the gimpy finger, surgically repaired knee, 5 NBA titles, 2 Finals MVPs, 1 season MVP, and a partridge in a pear tree.

Assembled before him are the Sith, or the Lakers if you prefer. Here is Darth Balls, AKA Derek Fisher, there lurks Darth Vega, Pau Gasol, looming behind Gasol is Darth Shotkiller, Andrew Bynum (Although some Sith wish to change his name to Darth leg-dragger) and of course, Darth Crazy, Ron Artest, accompanied by Darth Sweet Tooth, Lamar Odom.

Looking over all is the Mandarin Phil Jackson, he of the ten rings, and leader of the Lords of the West.

Anonymous Czernobog said...
@Lordhenry: I hate to say it, I honestly do, but Wade guards Rondo and he disappears. Completely. The Celts become reliant on Allen's ability to score on a smaller guy, and Pierce's ability to score on LeBron. Their offense will suffer, a lot. Can their D contain Miami? It's possible. Especially if the Marriage made in bawful heaven starts cracking during the season.

Right now I consider the heat to be a huge question mark. The Celts are good on paper as long as everyone holds up. But quite frankly, I consider the Magic to be the team to watch in the east. And the Bucks will be the dark horse.

Anonymous Adrià said...
stephanie g's link: Fuck China's bastketball team. They suck. I used to think they were bad at basketball but had something called self-control. It's a shame.

BTW, good post, bawful style, keep it going.

PS: I miss the lacktion reports, so... The season starts in a week. The day before I'll be missing a facepalm pic, sure.

Anonymous kazam92 said...
Have to say, your knick assessment was way too harsh. Its preseason but Amare has looked better than ever, they're young, and for the first time since the Ewing days, they have people who can block a shot (Randolph Turiaf)

Blogger lordhenry said...
@Czernobog

If they sacrifice Wade's defense on Rondo, then I think that is what the Celtics want---Rondo will not shoot from outside, and Wade spends a lot of energy on defense chasing him. Allen, as you say, is matched up with a smaller defender, which makes things easier.

I just think the Celtics role players will play better defense than the hodge-podge of guys Miami has surrounding their big 3, and I think this is a battle of chemistry over talent, and the C's definitely have more chemistry.

And I am not convinced you get the same production from Wade, Lebron, and Bosh, as you do from Garnett, Pierce, and Allen.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Oddly, I think it's the Nets that will end up in 2nd place in the division. Getting rid of CDR and adding the sharpshooter Morrow were nice. Now if they are smart and bench Terrence Williams, I say they make 8 seed.

BTW I'm writing up the draft results now, I'm just being kinda lazy about it. Also, I've made my final predictions for the season adding the final trades and SCHOENE into consideration.

Anonymous kazam92 said...
Celtics, Celtics, Celtics. You guys are nuts. That team was BLESSED to have been relatively injury free through those 82 games.

They will NOT make it out of this season without a major bump or bruise. Those guys are a year older, and a year worse. Don't understate Shaq's presence limiting Rondo ala Nash in 08

Magic are the biggest threat because quite frankly, Joel Anthony is awful. Admirable, but awful. Ilgauskus is the stiffiest of stiffs. Don't sleep on Dexter Pittman though. Thats a big motherf*cker

Blogger Steve said...
I didn't understand why Shaq stuck around for the minimum salary. I never thought he would take a 90 percent reduction in salary and still think it was worth playing. Now that I've seen him savor the spotlight and mingle in a new place, I think I understand why: it feeds his media appetite. As long as he's playing, he has the forum to do commercials and make Shaq Vs. Once he retires, those opportunities are going to dwindle, much like they have for every retired player not named Jordan or Barkley. If he had retired, I guess Shaq Vs might have still been produced but leaving its merits aside, it's much less captivating with a retired Shaq. I guess he might do various media stuff after retirement but his monotone, however funny, is much less suitable in a studio setting than a show where he's the star.

I guess he could also love playing basketball and doesn't want to quit while he can still play. I don't want to sound too snarky. I'm liking him on a personal level so far. On the court, the Celtics defense has looked bad with him out there. A lot less rangy. It's been a noticeable change when Davis has subbed in. That said, it's also been nice to have a big man who can finish from underneath the basket after seeing so much futility from Perkins and Davis from that spot last year. I'm really looking forward to seeing them control the boards much better. It was torture seeing Rasheed and Davis, two of the worst defensive rebounders in the league, be paired together for long stints. It brought back painful memories of Mark Blount and Antoine Walker (mostly for his Rasheedesque three-point shooting).

The pre-season's gone alright. It's only fair that there should be many unknowns from a team so old. From my TV set, most of the players look the same. Pierce still has a quick enough first step to get to the rim so he looks unchanged. He actually looks as quick as he did in 2008. Ray Allen's still moving like usual. Garnett looks spry like reports indicated. The key indicator is going to be with the rebounds. Playing on leg, or hesitantly on one leg, he went from an elite rebounder to an average one and that really hurt. If his rebounding returns, that would be a huge development. Rondo looks the same, the same obsession with throwing alley-oop passes and still overthrowing long passes like I've rarely seen but dazzling too. He was also 12/15 from the FT line against Toronto. Pre-season or not, that's promising. Less promising is that it looks like the ball is going to be in Rondo's hands at the end of quarters again. I might change the channel at the end of quarters if the Celtics have possession so I don't curse up a storm after seeing Rondo fling an jumper at the end of the quarter while Pierce stands off to the side.

Blogger Gökhan said...
great reviews. you made my day once again.

Anonymous caseta said...
This maybe "recall bias" but, you're right, Felton is a bum. Based on the games I've seen him play, college and pro, those Synergy statistics are being used to imply something that isn't remotely true.

Felton is a mediocre player. There a few back-up PGs that are better than him and a few starters that are worse.

Jameer Nelson stole his lunch and impregnated his sister during the playoffs, and Felton couldn't do anything about it - although he tried.

If you put him on a good team, he'll look better, but if you expect him to Nash it out with Amare, fuggedaboutit.

"Of course, Bosh put together what was probably his best statistical season during a contract year while playing for a Raptors team that failed to make the playoffs. But those are just facts, so feel free to discard them."

It's lines like these that make me coming back here. Love it! Can't wait for the rest of the previews.


As if there was any doubt Bosh would get anything less than max offers. That in the end he agreed to less so he can get better team-mates, it was by choice.

Let's just say Walsh is a really overrated GM and leave it at that.

I've been saying that for quite some time. How many championship teams did he build ? NONE. His team (Pacers) got to the finals once cause the East was disgustingly weak.

On the other hand any half-decent GM is bound to look like a genius to NY fans after Layden and Isiah.


While losing Bosh may have done some serious damage to the Raptors offense, getting rid of Hedo and Bosh (a totally overrated defender. Bargnani consistently has had more BPG than Bosh, and that says volumes) has the potential to greatly improve their defense.

Homeristic fans are funny.

The Raptors' defense sucked not because of Bosh, but because they're coached by Triano, who sucks.

First, Bosh is a non-factor against the Celtics. I just don't see him muscling around with KG and Shaq to get boards, or even to play defense against them.

More butthurt fans ?!

Garnett is NOT a banger down low - never was, and getting around Shaq is quite easy these days. Kinda like getting around a tub of lard.

Garnett also lost a lot of his athleticism - he's getting only 7 rebounds per game, compared to the nearly 14 per game he was getting before. And Shaq might be WAY bigger, but he's a worse rebounder. If the ball doesn't fall on his head, he's not moving to get it.

Bosh can probably defend Garnett pretty well these days (he never was an offensive juggernaut anyway, even before losing all that athleticism), and Shaq can be easily defended by Magloire one on one.


If the Heat use their athleticism on D to get easy transition baskets, they can then use their 3p shooters for scores in the half-court. No need to penetrate every single possession, as the old Heat or Cavs would HAVE to do.

Also, you would-be poet: Phil has 11 (ELEVEN) rings.

Blogger IsaacOlson said...
i'd like to point out that the sixers actually lost 2 more games than the clips.. so they were even worse than you thought

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