NBA predictions for 09-10
In these slides I explain each teams situation, their ranking in their division, what they need to do to improve, and why their bad or good.
I answer such question as: Will the lakers repeat?
Will a healthy Garnett revive Bostons title contention?
Will Shaq and Lebron be a forceful or forceless duo?
Yes, this is an early time to predict, and their may be more trades and signings in the future, but with the way things are right now, these are sensible (and my) predictions.
I know I don't mention the rookies alot, but that's because I don't see most of them becoming an impact already. But for the rookies worth mentioning, I do bring up their cases. (Good or bad)
With this said, enjoy...
Atlantic DIvision: Boston Celtics 1
The Celtics don't need much rebuiding. Once Garnett is healthy, they will instantly be competetors. All they need is a little more depth in their backcourt. If the add Rasheed Wallace, it will only make them better, but he is not a must-get player.
Philidelphia 76ers 2
Jason kapono adds shooting range to a mediocre shooting team. If Eddie Jordan can get Elton Brand healthy, the sixers could be ranked high in the eastern conference.
Toronto Raptors 3
The Raptors finally got rid of the human-injury, Jermaine O'neal, mid-way through the season. It was too late and their season was destroyed. With the distraction of Chris Bosh's free agency, the Raptors need to re-sign Shawn Marion or ship Bosh out. The addition of Turkoglu adds depth and gives them the ability of releasing Marion.
New Jersey Nets 4
The Nets blew thaeir chances late in the season. The loss of Carter just weakens their roster but I don't see changes for a team eagerly awaiting the 2010 free-agent market.
New York Knicks 5
The Knicks could be in big trouble if they lose Nate Robinson and Jordan Hill doesn't provide the same athletisism that David Lee did in the frontcourt.
Southeast Division: Orlando Magic 1
Anyone who had been saying they weren't good enough, and coudn't succeed with the roster at hand, have all just been proven wrong. Howard is just 23, and will just refine his offensive game. A full season of Nelson will be hugely beneficial, and the absence of Hedo doesn't hurt that much now that they have Carter.
Atlanta Hawks 2
With the same starting 5 as last year, I view them as a team that can repeat their season sucess. If they want to move up one more level, I recommend getting rid of defensive minded Mike Woodson.
Miami Heat 3
I have no faith whatsoever in O'neal staying healthy even half a season, so I rank them below the Hawks. Wade will continue being an MVP candidate, but the Heat look to ready for the 2010 free angensy year rather than focusing on the season at hand.
Washington Wizards 4
They should at least have a chance of returning to the playoff race, recieving a healthy Haywood and Arenas. But they depend way to much on Gilbert when it actually matters. I would get rid of Jamison while his value is still high due to the fact that he's aging.
Charlotte Bobcats 5
They probably have the least productive offense in the league. With all their overated and overpayed players, the Bobcats haven't been progressing while other sub par teams have.
Central Division: Cleveland Cavaliers 1
Lebron alone will suffice for the Cavs to be in title contention, but the cast needs to improve (even with Shaq) if they want to win it all.
Milwakee Bucks 2
A healthy Bogut might be the key to success. He's shown flashes of brilliance and extreme potential on the court, but needs to be completely consistent. On the other hand, Redd's shooting ways are now to common in the NBA for it to have any significanse.
Chicago Bulls 3
Right now, I would release Gordon instead of paying him a huge amount, and take a blow just for next season, as the Bulls save up for the 2010 market.
Indiana Pacers 4
Until I see any mega changes made from the manager and the rest of his crew, they just aren't going to get any better.
Detroit Pistons 5
As an Iverson fan, I wasn't so mad about the trade, but after watching last season, it is apparent that this year won't be good to watch.
Western Conference: Northwest division: Denver Nuggets
Another year working together will just benefit them. Right now they should focus on signing birdman, dahtay jones, and linas kleiza.
Portland Trail Blazers 2
There's always some speculation saying that this will be the blazers year. They need to hustle and toughen up for to even be talked about while talking bout the title contention. Right now, they should focus on maturing Oden.
Utah Jazz 3
If you want to save up for an upcoming market, keep Paul Millsap and give up Boozer therefore saving huge amounts.
Minnesota Timberwolves 4
Al Jefferson is all star caliber. Letting Foye go hurt, but with the addition of Tyreke Evans, and possibly Rubio they might be decent in this season. Kevin Love and Ryan Gomes just need to step up their game a bit, but right now I wouldn't rate the Wolves as one of the worse teams in the league.
Oklahoma Thunder 5
Some possible skill and talent here including, Durant, Jeff Green, Westroob. But they still need to have one reasonably good big man and one reliable three point shooter.
Southwest division: Houston Rockets 1
If Yao and McGrady will both stay heatlhy, that would be huge, and their will power will be huge knowing that this may be their last oppurtinity. Setting that aside, their supporting crew could be one of the best in the league.
San Antonio Spurs
San Antonio Spurs 2
A lot of ending contracts this year. It's now nessecessary to take advantage of that while building a decent cast around Duncan, Parker and Ginoblie.
New Orleans Hornets 3
Paul is good enough to lead his team, but if they want to go far, they better build a supporting cast.
Dallas Mavericks 4
Got real lucky in the play offs while playing the spurs. If they want to take the title home, or atleast get back in title contention, I recommend getting rid of useless players who are just on the team due to crazy Cuban obsessions such as Kidd and Josh Howard.
Memphis Grizzlies 5
Mayo and Gay could mature into a dynamic back court but right now they just aren't good enough. And without a frontcourt, Warrick and Marc Gasol, I just dont see them going anywhere. Especially since I don't see Thabeet maturing soon enough.
Pacific Division: Los Angeles Lakers 1
Kobe. Enough said.
Phoenix Suns 2
Now that they got rid of the massive contract of O'neal, I woudn't be surprised to see them make a playoff run.
Golden State Warriors 3
Need to get rid of useless and bad players before returning into playoff contention though I do trust Curry to develop point guard skills and helping out this suffering squad.
Los Angeles Clippers 4
Same issue as the Warriors, meaning they have to many useless players who are just hurting their team. Blake Griffin will provide depth inside which is why I dont put them in last.
Sacramento Kings 5
This is a team that could develop and mature later on with such factors as Kevin Martin, Spencer Hawes and rookie Tyreke Evans. Their pick as coach, Paul Westphal was...wierd.