Monday, November 5, 2012

NBA Western Conference

I'm cranking through the rest of the Western Conference since we're already a week into the season.  It's really only about the haikus for me.

Northwest Division

Utah Jazz

Token Mormon jokes
are really all I have here
*Peers into his hat*

PG Mo Williams, SG Gordon Hayward SF Marvin Williams PF Derek Favors C Al Jefferson

The Jazz add underrated Mo Williams as PG and have a front court overloaded with talent.  Wouldn't be surprised to see Millsap or Jefferson traded to make room for Kanter/Favors.  I'll take over 43.5.

Oklahoma City Thunder

The Beardless Thunder
Westbrook will be chucking it
Championship?  No.

The big pre-season move of Harden to Houston for Martin, Lamb and picks means that the Thunder are somewhat neutered after a decent run to the finals last season.  They are still very deep and Durant-Westbrook is one of the best twosomes in the league, but this team isn't better than least year's. Under 58.5.

Oooh, fishnets!

Denver Nuggets

Add Iguodala
Somehow Brewer still gets time
And Kosta Koufos!

I loved the addition of Iguodala for the Nuggets and Faried is a much better player than I expected to be (although through a couple of games he's getting a dubious amount of minutes).  The bigs are all athletic, but none are extremely physical and none are very valuable in the post.  So this is an outside-in type of offense.  Lawson and Iggy bring the speed and Gallo brings the 3s.  Under 51.5.

Portland Trailblazers

The Frenchy returns 
Weber State phenom gunner
Portland may surprise

You guys won't believe it because I wrote this too late, but I'm a big fan of Lillard and he's already turning heads with his early play through a couple of games.  I actually traded up for him in a nerd fantasy league, so there.  Portland has a well built roster and multiple options now with Lillard, Batum and Aldridge.  Really like the over 33.5 here

Timberwolves are at this link.

Pacific Division

Sacramento Kings

Rudderless Kings squad
Needs to grow up really fast
DeMarcus fouls out

This is a young team that is looking to rebuild around DeMarcus Cousins and Tyreke Evans/Marcus Thornton.  Cousins could be a #2 heavy on a squad and maybe has the upside to be a #1 guy, though I'm doubtful.  Thornton and Tyreke can score, but are limited players when you look at their all-around games.  They landed Thomas Robinson in the draft who is a nice player, but doesn't strike me as a perennial all-star type.  Jimmer Fredette is looking busty (not in a good way) and has bench sharpshooter guy written all over him.  Under 30.5.

Phoenix Suns

Nash era over
Adding Timberwolves cast-offs
Can't be the answer

Nash is gone, but they did re-land Goran Dragic who they probably never should have let get away.  He's solid.  Bringing in Beasley to chuck away may have the desired effect of losing enough games to get a very nice lottery pick.  Scola-Gortat-Markieff Morris are decent inside.  Under 31.5.

Golden State Warriors

Decently talented
Exceptionally crippled
Needs healing potions

The Warriors have a nice starting 5 with Curry, Klay Thompson, Barnes, Lee, Bogut; but Bogut and Curry are already banged up and are perennially battling injuries. (almost typed injustice there, lol) They're deep too, with a second unit featuring Jarret Jack, Brandon Rush, Festus Ezeli and Carl Landry.  Even with the given injustice, I like the over 36.5 here.

Los Angeles Clippers

Blake Griffin dunks
from CP3 alley oops
Lakers second best?

LA Clipper momentum is gaining.  Blake learned how to shoot a consistent jumper in the off-season, although it is slow and has a weird hitch in it.  He still can't shoot free throws.  Caron Butler and Chauncey Billups are healthy.  Lamar Odom may try again.  Jamal Crawford is in the fold.  This team is deeper than ever, but still relies heavily on CP3 and Griffin.  Over 49.5 wins.

I don't know...

Los Angeles Lakers

So, the SuperLakers are already in trouble with Nash out a month due to a fractured fibula.  His new short hair probably negated his Canadian super powers.  New acquisition Dwight Howard still isn't at full spryness due to a back injury.  Still, this is a solid team top to bottom and has a little bit of depth with guys like Antawn Jamison and Jodie Meeks to help keep them afloat.  The real question is how do Kobe and Nash co-exist since they both can't have the ball in their hand the whole time. The Lakers should really make use of resting those two in shifts so you have 20 mins a game where only one is on the floor.  I'll go under 56.5 wins.

Southwest Division

Dallas Mavericks

Nowitzki banged up
But Mavericks have more depth

Rodrigue Beaubois

Ok, so Dirk's knee is keeping him out another month or so, but in the meantime, there's plenty of depth for the Mavs.  Additions of Collison, Kaman, Brand and Mayo really offset the losses of Terry and Kidd.  I like how they got more physical and have multiple scoring options.  Kaman and Brand add legit post options which help Dirk when he's parked on the perimeter (Mayo too).  I definitely like the over 41.5.

San Antonio Spurs

Big three getting old
Are Kawhi and Green enough?
Tony Parker's single

The Spurs are back again with largely the same group.  Frenchy Boris Diaw is the only notable new guy.  The Spurs need to rely on Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green improving on their solid 2011-12 campaigns.  We'll likely see the team have their ups and downs during the year while they limit minutes for the old dudes and try to keep them healthy for the playoffs while still holding a home court advantage.  I'll go under 56.5 wins.

Memphis Grizzlies

The same team returns
With one minor difference

Hold the Mayo, please

I don't know if the Grizzlies did enough to improve in the off-season.  They're still solid, led by Gay, Conley, Gasol and Z-bo, but the depth doesn't blow me away.  They added a couple of backcourt guys in Wroten, Ellington and Bayless...I don't like the front court depth though.  Haddadi and Speights and pray for rain.  Under 48.5 wins...this one was a toss-up.

New Orleans Hornets

Cy-Brow is top pick
Gordon is acting bitchy
Lottery again

Anthony Davis will get a lot of minutes as will other youngsters Aminu, Vazquez and Austin Rivers.  Davis is a legit defender with an improving offensive game and awesome athleticism.  Rivers is a shooter they're trying to neuter and use at the point.  Vazquez is a nice backup PG option, but probably shouldn't be starting anywhere.  Aminu is another big time athlete that shoots the 3 too much but is very busy on the defensive end if not all that intelligent.  Under 27.5.

Houston Rockets

Green light for Beards
Lin now the second option

Donuts Motiejunas

The Rockets had 3 first round picks and took Lamb, Royce White's crazy ass and Terence Jones.  Lamb and Martin went to the Thunder in the deal for Harden.  While the Rockets gave a lot when you consider the picks, Harden is a legit scorer that also has a good all around game.  He can handle the ball, pass, rebound and defend with skill.  This is great for Lin as he doesn't have to take every big shot.  McHale has a bevy of bigs, depending on who makes the plane/bus that he can work on developing.  They'll probably eventually need to make another move because Patterson, Morris, Jones, White, Motiejunas and Asik  all can't play big minutes.  Speaking of Asik, this kid can rebound and defend and is active and I'm embarrassed to say I didn't think much of him before the year.  He can play.  Over 33.5.


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