Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Smuve J: Questioning the 08-09 Season - Part III of VI

We have a Guest Blogger for Part III of our season preview. At first, when he sent me the writing, I was doing a lot of editing, mostly because I didn't agree with a bunch of what he wrote. Then I remembered, we never agree on anything. So he'll say his piece, but you better believe I'll be leaving some comments down below.

If you would like to be a Contributor for BDTG - please go to this website. I joke, I joke. Just email me.

Ladies and Gents...Smuve J

The Eastern Conference: Southeast Division

Obviously Dwight Howard has emerged as THE big man in the league, and he continues to improve every aspect of his game (minus free throw shooting). Last season, the Magic got a breakout performance by Hedo Turkaglu, winner of the Most Improved Player Award, even though based on salary, it should have been Rashard Lewis to have the big year! The big concern for the Magic, is their backcourt. When will they give up on Jameer Nelson? To me he’s nothing more than a 6th man, to come off the bench and rack up some points. Youth can only be an excuse for so long. Now is the time for the Magic to capitalize on Dwight Howard insane abilities and challenge the top teams in the East. Can they take the next step? Let’s not forget, this team won 52 games last year.

With the emergence of their big three; Antwan Jamison, Caron Butler, and Gilbert Arenas; the Wizards could be considered among the best teams, not only in the Eastern conference, but also in the league. But there has been one problem that has plagued and continues to plague the Wizards going into this season: THE INJURY BUG. Coming off the teams 4th consecutive playoff appearance, this season’s outlook is unsettling to say the least. Fresh off signing a $111 million dollar contract, Arenas is sidelined for at least the first month of the season, recovering from knee surgery (his third operation in 2 seasons). Is the Agent Zero we’ve come to love, gone forever? The return of Etan Thomas is important, but on the flip side, Brendon Haywood is out. Andray Blatche has shown in stretches that he can be a versatile big man, but he also lacks the focus to show that he can bring it every night. The Wizards have enough talent to get into the playoffs again this year, but they need to step it up and position themselves as a player in the East. When they do get to the playoffs, Will they have to face the Cavs, again!?

The Atlanta Hawks could be extremely good, or just awful, depending on motivation and if things don’t go their way early. The starting five that took the World Champion Celtics to 7 games is returning, and this team is loaded with talent and players with exceptional potential. Just off potential, the starting five of Mike Bibby, Joe Johnson, Marvin Williams, Josh Smith, and Al Horford should put a scare into most East teams. But it’s not the starters they’re worried about. How much will it hurt, to lose Josh Childress to the Greek Club, Olympiacos? The bench could be somewhat shady with Zaza Pachulia, Flip Murray and Acie Law as the most notable contributors. They’ll need to improve their defense and their half-court offense drastically. It was a down year for the East last year, hence the Hawks making the playoffs with just 37 victories. How many wins will get you an 8th seed this year?

To watch the Heat go from NBA Champions, to winning only 15 (!) games last season, was unreal. I expect this team to win A LOT more games this year. If any team in the league is set for a rebound, it’s the Heat. D-Wade and Shawn Marion have had an off-season to practice together, and the addition of Michael Beasley and Mario Chalmers means impact IMMEDIATELY! One huge question will be rookie head coach, Erik Spoelstra. How will Coach Spo do in his rookie campaign? I can tell you one thing…I bet they win more than 15 games! The biggest factor in the Heat’s success is simple. Is Dwayne Wade back? D-Wade has only played 102 games over the past 2 seasons, so you don’t want to expect too much. However, watching him this summer in the Olympics, was [expletive] awesome. Expect Wade to have an MVP caliber season and to re-establish himself as one of the premier players in the league once again.

The Bobcats have been a dismal team since their inception in the 2004-2005 season. The addition of Larry Brown as head coach could either be a gift or a curse, depending on who ask. Brown has shown that he can take a team with talent but an inability to win, and at least make them competitive. Will we see the Brown with the Pistons, or will we see the Brown who was ineffective with young talent in New York? Emeka Okafor, Gerald Wallace, and Nazr Mohammed make a formidable frontcourt, and Jason Richardson and Raymond Felton should be an explosive combination in the backcourt. Did Michael bring together the right pieces for a playoff caliber team?

Leave comments below!

Smuve J


D.Miz said...

My man, thanks for contributing. In the spirit of constructive debate....

Glibert Arenas out for a month? Psh, you wish guy. There goes $111 million down the toilet. I got the Wiz missing the playoffs, and same with the Hawks. Those final two spots are going to be tough to grab. In fact, i think the Bobcats have a better chance then both of those teams! How could you possibly blame Larry Brown for the mess Isiah created in New York??

Marcus said...

Yo you all are missing a big point and that is the improvement of the Wizard's bench. With Nick Young, Dominic McGuire, and Javale McGee, and Andray Blatche improving we will have one of the strongest benches in the eastern conference.

James said...

As you both know, I am extremely biased towards the Wiz. I think they are going to be much better than people think due to the fact that Caron really shines when Gil is out, and the bench is much deeper like Marc said than people think. The Bobcats will again be disgraceful. Let's not get started on Larry Brown. One of the most overrated head coaches in the NBA over the last 20 years, period!

David said...

how bout some fantasy sleepers?

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