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NBA Basketball 2004-2005 thread


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#1 of 555 OFFLINE   Brandon_T

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Posted October 13 2004 - 03:27 PM

Well, pre-season has started, and people have had the summer to rest. I look forward to another year of debating, disagreeing and the such.

So what do you think of your teams chances. How many people are going to say that Detroit was a fluke? I think for the Pistons, adding McDyss and Delfino are huge, while the loss of Okur does hurt, he hardly played in the finals.

How about you Laker fans, what do you think about your team now and what are the prospects. Do you like the new make up? Denver looks to be a player, but San Antonio and Minny still are the strongest out west.


Brandon

#2 of 555 OFFLINE   James T

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Posted October 13 2004 - 05:43 PM

I'm really curious about the Raptors this season.

Last year, they got a new coach and had to deal with a disgruntled player who wanted out.
This year, they got a new coach and have to deal with a disgrunted player who wants out.
Ya, they got a new GM, but he hasn't really done anything groundbreaking yet, so who knows if this team goes anymore this year.

#3 of 555 OFFLINE   Lew Crippen

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Posted October 14 2004 - 12:24 AM

It will be pretty hard to assess the Mavs chances until at least mid-season. Eight or nine new players and limited practice obviously result in ‘no one knows’.
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#4 of 555 OFFLINE   Scott Merryfield

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Posted October 14 2004 - 01:02 AM

While Detroit may not end up repeating, I think they are a better team than last year. They return all five starters for the first time under Dumars, will have Rasheed for the entire season, McDyess (if healthy) is an upgrade over Okur, and rookies Delfino and Dupree should help off the bench. The only area they may be weaker is at backup point guard with the loss of Mike James. Other questions will be whether Rasheed will continue to behave himself now that he has a new contract and can the team stay healthy like last season.

One big advantage Detroit has over the teams from the West is that there are only a couple of good teams in the East for them to worry about, with Indy being the biggest concern. Miami will be competitive with Shaq, and Milwaukee should be a decent team. Who knows what will happen with the Knicks, and New Jersey is going to fall.

#5 of 555 OFFLINE   John Chow

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Posted October 14 2004 - 01:19 AM

It's all Rockets baybee. Tmac + Yao, 'nuff said. Ok, well, maybe not, but at least it'll be an interesting season for us Houston fans Posted Image

#6 of 555 OFFLINE   Casey Trowbridg

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Posted October 14 2004 - 05:27 AM

Quote:
How many people are going to say that Detroit was a fluke?

Certainly not me. I give them just as good a chance to repeat as I have to any other team these past few years.

As for the Lakers don't even get me started. I hope they don't win a damn game this whole season. Ok, so maybe that's a bit much but I hope that they perform to a level that will get the GM kicked right out of his job.

Never ever ever trade the big man. This team may as well be the Los Angeles Kobes and they'll go as far as he goes. I am a person that will admit that I bought in to the nice guy Kobe image. I wanted to believe he was a good person, but just too much information has come out from way too many different sources for me to like this guy.

As for this NBA season, I don't know what it is, but I could really care less right this minute. Usually, I take some of the summer off to get away from it, and then around this time of year I start reading all the team previews in the preseason and such, but not this year. Haven't read anything basketball related since the Olympics.

I think the NBA is a league with a lot of problems, mainly being the large gap between the haves and the have nots.

I'm not just talking about East vs. West like last year, there are a lot of bad teams out there. Although, I will keep my promise and not call the Eastern Conference the Leastern conference this year because of Detroit's win.

Although, should things get bad in the South East division with Orlando, Charlotte, Miami, Atlanta and Washington...I would like to be able to call it the South Least division if it becomes appropriate. Although maybe its the New York, New Jersey, Toronto, Boston and Philadelphia group that will submit the least deserving team to make the playoffs this year.

Your NBA finals prediction
Spurs over Pistons, but its close.

Well, I am ready for another round of jokes this year...assuming that the playoffs go long again, Stern says this won't be a problem but we shall see

The NBA thread was the most fun for me, and will probably be the source of a lot of my NBA interest this year.

#7 of 555 OFFLINE   Casey Trowbridg

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Posted October 16 2004 - 06:23 AM

ABC Sports would like Phil Jackson to be in the booth for the Christmas day game between the L.A. Kobes and the Miami Shaqs.

As fun as it would be to have Phil taking cheap shots at Kobe all throughout the game, and going out of his way to praise Shaq, I think I'll stick with football.

Oh, and when I say "fun" I mean "fun" in the nails across the chalkboard sense.

That's one decision I'm glad was made, I never much cared for Phil Jackson just tollerated him, and I'm glad to have a head coach for the team that I root for that I actually respect.

#8 of 555 OFFLINE   John Gates

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Posted October 16 2004 - 04:46 PM

My team has always been the Trailblazers since I saw their championship in the 70's. They have sucked for the last 8 years or so. Woe is me!!

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#9 of 555 OFFLINE   Chris Farmer

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Posted October 16 2004 - 05:29 PM

This should be an interesting season. Out West the Spurs and the T-wolves are probably on top after the dismantling of the Lakers, and Detroit and Indy lead the East. Miami will be good, but if Shaq-Kobe couldn't beat Detroit or even be competitive, will Shaq-Wade be able to do it?

The interesting teams to watch though will as usual be the ones that made the biggest changes in the offseason. Dallas is looking very different then last year, and finally has a legit presence in the middle. Houston is an up-and-comer, but I'd say it will take at least a season for the Yao-McGrady thing to settle out. The Rockets will be good, but they're at least a season away from being full on contenders. Sacramento's window has probably closed by now, their locker-room lead is back where he started with the Lakers, and there seems to be plenty of tension in what's still there. The Lakers will make the playoffs on the sheer strength of Kobe's will alone (he knows how much hell he'll catch if the Lakers go from Finals to not even in the play-offs without Shaq, and he won't let that happen), but I doubt the advance past the first round.

On a wider note, while the conferences are more equal at the top, with two excellent teams over each conference (Spurs, T-Wolves, Pistons, Pacers), out East things have gotten far uglier. Miami gives the East three legit teams, but after that it's an abyss. If it wasn't for the greater scheduling of East vs. East teams vs. East-West, I could literally see only Indy, Detroit, and Miami being over .500 for the season, the rest looks that bad. Out West things are more competitive. SA and Minny are still the boys to beat, but the Rockets, Nuggets, and Jazz will all be even better this season then last after some significant upgrades, and the Kings, Lakers, Grizzlies, and Mavs will be interesting to watch for results as well, although I expect one of those three to flame out this season and strongly underperform. While not play-off material I don't think, I also like the direction the Suns and Blazers are moving, it's not there yet, but it's a decent start (especially Nash on the Suns, nice coup there for this season, although they'll be regretting it before the end of that massive contract). As it is, the West has eleven teams that could conceivably make the play-offs (and would if they were in the other conference), the East has nothing after you pass Miami.

As for predictions, I guess I'll say that Barry gives the Spurs the outside shooting they lacked in last year's play-offs, which opens the floor for Duncan, Parker, and Manu to work their magic, and they take the championship from the Pistons in a hard-fought series with a series combined score less then just the Mavs seasonal average for one game. Posted Image

#10 of 555 OFFLINE   Casey Trowbridg

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Posted October 16 2004 - 07:01 PM

The East is what it was last year, only with Miami in New Jersey's place.

I think that Indiana has improved, but I also think that Detroit has improved, which basically means that Indiana didn't really gain any ground on the Pistons, even if they themselves are better than last year. A lot of my reasoning for Detroit's improvement, basically comes down to that was Larry Brown's first year there, and they still have the core of the championship team which means strong chemestry, and if they get anything out of Darco or Antonio McDyess this year...they'll be even more difficult to beat.

Here's why I give the Shaq/Wade combination a chance against Detroit...it doesn't mean I think they'll pull it off, but just that I think that you can't compare it to Shaq/Kobe. The way Wade thrives in his game, and the way Kobe thrives in his game are not exactly the same. Wade doesn't need to shoot to be an impact, and he's not constantly looking to shoot first, which is certainly different than Kobe.


As for Shaq, he could have an MVP type season. You know he's more motivated than he has been since the first time he won a ring, and angry Shaq has been proven to be difficult to stop in the past...so why not again.

I maintain and I said this in the old thread that Detroit did the smartest thing you could possibly do in that finals series. They chose to try and stop Kobe, because they knew that Kobe could be stopped. They let Shaq get his, because they pretty much knew that Shaq was gonna get his no matter what they did. I think if they had made the focus of their gameplan stopping Shaq, it wouldn't have been as fruitful. Not that it would've changed the outcome of the series, but merely slowing Shaq down and not concentrating on Kobe would've made it more than a 5 game series IMO. Knowing that Shaq was going to be Shaq anyway, and seaking to not let Kobe be Kobe as well was the perfect strategy. Because of a slaughter that was that series I think it is forgotten that Shaq did play pretty well including a 36 and 20 game, and tossing around Ben Wallace who is no slouch like a bag of laundry a couple of times.

Which brings me to why ultimately even though I think Wade compliments Shaq so well, it isn't going to happen for this team. If it were to come down to Detroit and Miami, Shaq would still get his, and Wade's not a great scorer anyway...but after that, its worse than what you had in L.A. last season. There's not a Derek Fisher...or even a Karim Rush who can get hot from time to time on that team, unless I'm missing something.

I did figure out what would be the NBA's worst nightmare for this season. All of the hype is around Shaq and Kobe, and it is the centerpiece game this year, the evening slot on Christmas day. But watch how meaningless that game would become if either one got injured and missed that game.

I agree with Chris, which is why I pick Spurs over Pistons this year, although I think it will be close. The presence of Barry makes it harder for the strategy that the Lakers used to be successfully implimented again.

I like the Nuggets, adding K-Mart to that team was huge.

Your top 4 teams in Each conference.

East
1. Detroit
2. Miami
3. New Jersey
4. Indiana

(before Seth jumps all over that one, this is going by the idea that the division winners will get the top 3 spots in the playoffs, and I think that Detroit, not Indiana wins that division; but I think that the Pacers will have a better record than the Nets for sure and probably the Heat as well) New Jersey will not be that good, but they still have Jefferson and should have Kidd for a good part of the year which gives them just enough in a division that doesn't look very strong.

West
1. San Antonio
2. Minnesota
3. Los Angeles Lakers
4. Denver

Denver is my sleeper pick to do well this year, although they had a lot of buzz off of what they did last year so I guess they're not much of a sleeper.

I pick the Lakers to beat out Sacramento, the Clippers, the Suns, and the Warriors. The Kings are the only real threat, and I've got a funny feeling that the Kings are just aching to fall apart this year. The absense of Vlade in the locker room will hurt. I don't know it just seems to me like they're primed to have some bickering between stars this season, plus I'm no big fan of their coach. That's the worst of the Western divisions.

On 1 other note, I got to watch the 2 NBA Dynasty series DVDs this summer for the Lakers and Bulls, and it really makes me sad to think of where this league has gone. I was more captivated by games where I already knew the result than a lot of the NBA games I saw last season. Watching some of those games from the 80's is when the problems of expansion and the salary cap and what they do to a team's depth really hit home.

#11 of 555 OFFLINE   Seth Paxton

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Posted October 16 2004 - 07:48 PM

I have my XMas day tix already. Neither Detroit nor Indy were flukes, but I'm not as sold on the idea that the Pistons are better than they were. Effectively the team they put on the floor will be identical IMO.

The Pacers on the other hand have 2 very critical improvements, they added Jackson and Fred Jones made a step up to a higher level of confidence in the playoffs (before getting hurt). So the 2 spot that looked so weak by the East Finals is actually a bit stronger than the 3 for them now.

I am not sold that Bender will improve significantly at this point and he will continue to play a role only. It would be nice to have a bit more strength at the backup 1 spot, but Tinsley is back at full health. I think you might see a lot of Fred Jones with Stephen Jackson on the floor together.


Miami has Shaq's health issues. When he is in they will be good, but I don't know about great. I mean this will be a very different team and might not work as well with Van Gundy's system, its hard to know until you see it. But to me the Heat are built at this point for the post-season. They might lose games when Shaq is out, but all they need is in the postseason, and in the East that shouldn't take much.

Rest of the East doesn't look very good at all, although it will be interesting to see if the Magic can make some progress with Francis going back to being the main scorer and if a 2nd year James can improve the Cavs any more. The Nets look to be pretty bad at this point.


West - Lakers are in trouble, remember that they just lost Phil Jackson too. Now you have what is sounding more and more like a spoiled star type surrounded by role players who are to some degree redundent to Kobe. If the Jazz make more strides I can see LA being out of the postseason. Remember Pippen without Jordan? Now imagine if Phil had left too.

Spurs, Kings, Mavs, Griz, T-Wolves, Nuggets will all be strong again. Houston has questions, like if T-Mac's game really fits with Yao any better than Stevie Shooters game did.

#12 of 555 OFFLINE   Scott Merryfield

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Posted October 17 2004 - 02:06 AM

Quote:
A lot of my reasoning for Detroit's improvement, basically comes down to that was Larry Brown's first year there, and they still have the core of the championship team which means strong chemestry, and if they get anything out of Darco or Antonio McDyess this year...they'll be even more difficult to beat.

Detroit will get nothing from Darko again this year -- his summer was a complete loss due to a broken hand suffered in the final minute of Game 5 vs. the Lakers. However, if he remains healthy, McDyess will be a big improvement over Okur, who couldn't play inside. Also, getting rid of Corliss Williamson will eliminate 5 missed layups per game Posted Image. The keys for Detroit will be (1) staying healthy, (2) Rasheed continuing to be a good teammate and keeping out of trouble, and (3) getting quality minutes off the bench from new youngsters Delfino and Dupree to replace the minutes lost with Williamson. If those three things happen, the Pistons will be better than last season. I see their starting lineup only getting better as Hamilton and Prince continue to develop.

#13 of 555 OFFLINE   Seth Paxton

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Posted October 17 2004 - 05:54 AM

Where I disagree is that Williamson (and Okur) were useless. They weren't big scorers but they did give you a big man that could step out a little bit which helps in matchups. McDyess COULD get back to his old level and that would be a nice pickup, but 3 of the last 5 years he has failed to play 70 games. I think at this point you look for him to fill the void more than improve the team.

Delfino is the one wild card, but its not like he is coming off an impressive Olympic performance. Potential is not the same as performance (hey, I just said Bender does look to really improve anymore). With Rip as the main shooter, I don't see what Delfino really does for this team early on.

In fact just consider how the Pacers went with youth/potential in a similar manner to Detroit back in the late 90s. Indy was a top team with vets entrenched in the playing time slots, so they went with Harrington and Bender as picks. Both took a long time to cook, and in the end neither has become a major force. Harrington is a solid guy, but not a star, and it took years for him to get to this point. Darko, Delfino, these are guys that could really turn out to be similar projects taken with a similar mindset of "we have what we need for now, let's get something for the future too".


To me the one way in which Detroit improves is in maturity as a team. You have seen the system work and should have everyone bought in. Not that they weren't before, but you still add confidence with success. Of course you lose hunger with it too.

I just don't see how the Pistons really addressed any weaknesses. It felt more like their offseason was about maintaining, which it seems like they probably did barring McDyess going out with injury. The Pacers on the other hand did directly deal with a major problem, shifting 3 spot depth to improve shooting at the 2 spot. Jackson has looked very nice shooting the outside shot up to this point, and that is a tangible, usuable improvement over last year's roster. You don't have to buy into my Fred Jones opinion, although I would point to his pre-injury playoff numbers as a reason to expect 8-10 PPG from him this year.

#14 of 555 OFFLINE   Scott Merryfield

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Posted October 17 2004 - 06:29 AM

Quote:
Where I disagree is that Williamson (and Okur) were useless. They weren't big scorers but they did give you a big man that could step out a little bit which helps in matchups.

We'll have to disagree here, Seth. Neither Williamson nor Okur contributed much in the playoffs. I think Utah really overspent on Okur, who plays very small and soft for such a big man. Detroit would have kept Williamson, but Dumars needed to free up some cap space in order to sign Prince and Ben Wallace in the next two offseasons. The choice between keeping Corliss and all his missed short shots and possibly losing either Prince or Ben is a no-brainer. McDyess came at a low price, and could end up contributing more than either Okur or Williamson.

I do agree that Delfino is a wildcard. He will not be asked to do too much, though, just provide some rest for Prince and Hamilton.

#15 of 555 OFFLINE   Neil M

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Posted October 17 2004 - 11:18 AM

I think the Pistons have a really good chance to repeat this year but the road will probably be a lot more difficult this time around. While I was upset with losing Okur, I know that keeping Rasheed was more important. It also looks like Darko will see the same amount of playing time as last season. Delfino is going to be a major bench player. He'll be an outside threat which the Pistons need from their bench.

Their main competition will be Indy again. I'm not sold on Miami yet as a contender. We still need to see them in action.

In the West, it looks like another great year of competition. San Antonio is my early pick for winning the West.

Looks to be a great year of basketball.

#16 of 555 OFFLINE   Brandon_T

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Posted October 17 2004 - 01:32 PM

I agree alot with what Seth said, however, I think the very thing that could really give Indy trouble is Ron "I should have been the MVP, cus I was the best player on the best team" Artest. I am not sure in the teams confidence in the young man, but we all know he has plenty of confidence in himself...

Brandon

#17 of 555 OFFLINE   Chris Farmer

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Posted October 17 2004 - 02:24 PM

Detroit does have a great chance to repeat, but ironically, what will make it hardest is the one thing that makes life far easier for the West, that is the dismantling of the Lakers. While a deserving champion, and I'm not gonna take anything away from them at all, Detroit was very lucky in getting the Lakers as an opponent in the finals last season, who they matched up with far better then many other teams out West. The Pistons woul dhave had more troubel with the Spurs or Timberwolves then the Lakers I would say, because both those teams could distribute the ball far better. The Pistons simply let Shaw and Kobe get theirs while shutting down everyone else, because after that (especially with Malone injured), the talent dropped precipitously, and Shaq-Kobe, good as they are, can't win two on five. The Spurs, with Duncan, Parker, and Ginobilli as all legit threats, and Minnesota, with Garnett, Sprewell, and Cassell (if he was able to recover) would have been able to better distribute the ball, and also play a stronger, more up-tempo game. Nobody can say who would have won, but either of those two match=ups would have gone longer then five games and wouldn't have been the rout last year's finals ended up being. Now that the Lakers are gone, the Pistons will have to go through either a strongly improved Indiana (I REALLY like the addition of Stephen Jackson, he's gonna add a lot to the Pacers) or an angry Shaq Miami, or both, and still face either the Wolves or Spurs in the finals (most likely), both of which will put up far more competition. While still very good, the Pistons are gonna have to fight a lot harder this season then last if they want to repeat.

#18 of 555 OFFLINE   Casey Trowbridg

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Posted October 17 2004 - 04:34 PM

Chris, I don't have any problem saying that I think that Minnesota would've provided a much tougher opponent than the Lakers simply based on the matchups, and the fact that Minnesota had more than 2 players who could shoot the ball.

However, what killed San Antonio against the Lakers, would've killed them just as badly against the Pistons. We discovered, that San Antonio really couldn't shoot, there is a reason Brent Barry was brought in to town. So while I think a Minnesota/Detroit series, maybe the winner isn't as clear cut, I still give it to Detroit...but in the Spurs/Pistons potential series I'd still take Detroit.

Edit: I'd hardly say that the Pistons let Shaq and Kobe get theres...well, at least the Kobe part. They ran 2 or 3 guys at him that whole series, that's hardly letting him get his.

You know with the Lakers are dead talk, I'd laugh hard if they did something this year, I really would. Well, until the tears started flowing when I would come to the realization that L.A. doing something means Kupchak keeps his job.

Note: Doing something does not simply mean winning a title.
I personally don't think they'll do a whole lot but I'd hardly call them "dead"

#19 of 555 OFFLINE   Casey Trowbridg

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Posted October 21 2004 - 01:45 PM

Carmello Anthony got busted for Marijuana posession. What an offseason/preseason he's had.

Lebron still seems to be handling himself well with the spotlight and such.

#20 of 555 OFFLINE   Scott Merryfield

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Posted October 22 2004 - 01:16 AM

Quote:
Carmello Anthony got busted for Marijuana posession. What an offseason/preseason he's had.

He was just trying to be 'mello. Posted Image


...sorry, but someone had to say it. :b


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