Monday, October 20, 2008

Questioning the 08-09 Season - Part II of VI

The Eastern Conference: Central Division

Without a doubt, we know the Pistons are contenders. We know the potential they have and we know this core group of players has done it before, so they can do it again. Besides handing the keys over to Michael Curry, this off-season was supposed to bring in some new faces to the roster. Instead, they're keeping their core and letting the young guys add some fresh legs to the mix. Check out the job Joe Dumars is doing in DE-TROIT. How many execs can keep their team a contender and rebuild at the same time? Let me count - None. Even the Spurs, you get the feeling they're going to have a few slow seasons coming up. But the Pistons have three youngsters that are total beasts. Amir Johnson, Rodney Stuckey and Jason Maxiel make for the deepest bench in the league. This is probably the last year for Sheed, Chauncey, Rip and Tayshawn doing it together, so hopefully they take it seriously, like they did for LB. If the Pistons do that, then they are most definitely in it to win it. But are they too late, and the opportunity passed?

The most boring team in the East, just got a lot quicker. TJ Ford finally brings to the Pacers a full-time point guard. Last season, JO and Jamal Tinsley were hurt almost the entire season, and they wound up missing the playoffs by one game! The trade of JO for TJ Ford doesn't just give the Pacers a solid option at the point (as long as he doesn't get taken off the court in a stretcher...again), but also has the last of the three main faces from 'The Brawl' leaving the team. Does this start a new era for Pacer Basketball? Danny Granger is a flat out stud. Last season, Mike Dunleavy played out of his mind. However, the departure of JO leaves a gaping hole in the post. Who exactly is even playing the 4 and 5 in Indiana? They have Jeff Foster, Troy Murphy and Rasho Nesterovic. Wow. Good luck with that. They better pray this guy Hibbert out of GTown is the real deal (or at least a decent deal).

When is Lebron James going to stop exceeding expectations? No, seriously, this is nutso. When he was in high school, most hyped player ever, no problem. Rookie, again. Took his team the playoffs, took his team to the FINALS! Last year, the Cavs almost went back, but lost to the eventual champs in a playoff perfect, defensive battle, in Game 7. You can pick any WNBA team, add LeBron James, and they’re a contender. Does Mo Williams push them over the top? I think he does, but I'm worried about Z's knees. Last year he played a lot more than usual, so we shouldn’t expect the same this year. Besides that, the Cavs are more of the same. It's amazing to watch Coach Brown focus almost entirely on Defense and see this team advance in the playoffs. This is the perfect example of how defense, slowing the game down, playing half-court ball are essential to playoff basketball. Offense comes and goes, but consistently solid defense can be dominant all the time.

Before the start of last season, people had high hopes for the Chicago Bulls. In fact, they were favored by many a sports writer to win the east. We don’t know if it was the Kobe trade talk, or the over-hyped expectations, or the fact that they tuned out their coach after years of tough practices and 100% effort. Do the Bulls redeem themselves from last years disappointing season? While they weren’t the worst team of the season last year, they wound up drafting like one. With the #1 pick in the 2008 draft, the Bulls select: Derrick Rose! How good can Derrick Rose become? I don’t quite see him winning the Rookie of the Year Award, but in a few years, this kid might turn into a total beast (See: Williams, Deron). The contract negotiations with Ben Gordon fell short of an agreement, but that just means Benny G is playing for a contract this year. They should see some production from him as first off the bench, as usual.

I’m not quite sure what they’re doing in Milwaukee. You have to think they lost out in the Yi Jianlian deal, strictly for the reason that the interest from China will no longer be there. In return, they got Richard Jefferson, who with Michael Redd could give the Bucks one of the best 2-3 combos in the game. This should allow Michael Redd to get some set shots, instead of having to create his own. Did the Bucks get good enough to make some noise? I still don’t think Andrew Bogut is going to be a solid center in this league. He simply seems too short to play that position. He gets crushed on the D-Boards (while funny enough putting up decent numbers on the O-Boards). He’s a great passer, but I just don’t see him matching up with the Elton Brands, Chris Bosh, JO, KG, etc, of the Eastern Conference. Are the Bucks too thin in the frontcourt? For now, it’s a sure thing. They have Dan Gadzuric as their backup big. Who??



heywillie said...

Hold the Mayo?

hey Dmiz,, whats oj gonna do,,?

your thoughts?


D.Miz said...

Mayo is disgusting and i won't ever eat it. Same goes for Mustard.

For OJ - Lotta points, horrible FG% and wins Rookie of the Year (See: Durant, Kevin)