MHC EASTERN CONFERENCE PLAYOFF RANKING CONTINUED
8) Manhattan: Paul – L.Willaims – G.Hill – A.Davis – Pekovic
Key Bench Pieces: R.Jefferson & Odom
If your team was a woman, she would be………. Katy Perry
This is where I think the conference falls off a bit. The conference has 7 very good teams leaving the last playoff spot open to almost anyone in the conference. I chose Manhattan here because of one major advantage; having Chris Paul. Paul is capable of turning any group of ordinary players into good ones. Though Paul will likely be leaned on more to shoulder a bigger offensive load like he did in New Orleans with no real number 1 offensive option,. Paul leads an interesting group of characters that features a unique blend of young and old. Anthony Davis was a bit of a surprise selection in the 2nd round. Typically rookies do not fare very well in these games with voters and you likely could of grabbed him in the third or maybe fourth round. However, there is no denying his defensive potential and if people buy into his NBA potential as a defensive force, he is a great fit for this team. He serves as a great compliment to offensive minded Pekovic who is a talented low post scorer capable of going off for 20 points. Louis Williams provides some additional scoring to the team whole Grant Hill serves to be the team’s consistent presence on the wing defensively. As far as the bench goes it leaves much to be desired. Richard Jefferson is not particularly well respected on PSD these days and as is Odom. I had Odom in the mock off-season and man did I get ripped for it. He simply won’t get respect after what happened last year in Dallas. With that being said, with Chris Paul at the helm, anything is possible and with a few more moves, this team could be dangerous come playoff time.
9) Brampton Bolts: Rondo – JRich – Prince – Griffin – Pachulia
Key Bench Pieces: Beasley
If your team was a woman, she would be………. Rhiana
Well you opted to build around two very different players in Griffin and Rondo. In Griffin you have an underrated low post scoring machine and in Rondo one of the league premier playmakers and defenders. I look for a similar result between Griffin and Rondo as we saw with Paul and Griffin on the clippers. Rondo will find ways to maximize Griffin offensively to be the best of his ability. The other major thing going for you is Rondo’s PSD fan base who seem to worship the guy more than by own affinity for the sexy and delicious Sara Jean Underwood. That is always a great advantage to have. With that being said, the rest of the team has some question marks. Pachulia is a talented rebounder and a decent low post scorer but leaves much to be desired on the defensive end. Paired with Griffin and you have a defensive dup that is unable to guard the Eastern Conferences elite centers. What will be your answer to stopping Dwight, Hibbert, Gasol? This is an important question you have to address. I don’t mind JRich starting as he can be effective sometimes in his offensive role. Perhaps Rondo can make him more useful than what we saw in Orlando the last few years. He is also the only player on your roster capable of knocking down the outside shot. Prince and Beasley serve to be a decent option at SF and considering where you got them in the draft, both were good value. I like what you have begun to put together with your team and with a few more timely moves, you could easily see yourself in the playoff picture. Go Bolts!
10) Columbia: Nelson – R.Allen – Kirlenko – Bargnani – Bogut
Key Bench Pieces: Evans
If your team was a woman, she would be………. Sandra Bullock
I like what you tried to do in your last trade. You go rid of the much misunderstood character that is Kris Humphries and EG who is coming off an injury riddled season and replaced them with two players who suffered injuries that cost them a good chunk of last season. While you certainly gave up the best player in the deal, you did make your overall team better. I really like the Bogut and Bargnani frontcourt as they will fit nicely together. Bogut will do all the dirty work Barganni won’t do while Bargs will be more than happy to be what looks like the number 1 offensive option. If teams buy into Bogut and see him as being healthy, your team could move up a few more spots. I really like that you picked up Ray Allen and AK47. Both players are great role players to have on any team. The biggest question with this team however is with Nelson who struggled a great deal of time last season. Can he be counted on to get the ball to the plethora of offensive options you have? That is one question I don’t have the answer to but it is one many voters will ask. It was a good decision to move Evans to the sixth man position as he has all the potential to flourish in that role. I would likely try and move some of your assets to get a proven number 1 option if possible or find an PG alternative.
11) Horneytown: Billups – Bradley – Gay – Jamison – Gasol
If your team was a woman, she would be………. Kristen Wig
Another team I would have liked to have put higher in the rankings but I struggled to get over the offensive inefficiency plaguing this team. I like Gasol and Gay together as Gasol is more than fine with deferring offense to another player. Gay is also capable of being a number 1 option though people either like him or they hate him. While Gasol is a great piece to build around, I am concerned you have surrounded him with the wrong kinds of talent. Rudy Gay and Jamison are both widely considered by many to be chucker’s which can hurt the overall opinion of your team. It is ok if you just have Gay but add in Jamison and it is simply too much. You can’t have both so you should probably choose one and move on. While I think Bradley and Billups is a solid back court pairing, Billups has very much transitioned into becoming a SG at this stage of his career. Can he still be an effective PG? I am not so sure. Bradley has the makings of being a defensive stopper and solid role player but he remains young and has a very small sample size for people to base his success off of. If you can find a way to get a more traditional PG and move Jamison for a starting center, your team would be in much better shape going forward and likely would be in the playoffs. I still like your team though as you have some great pieces, they just don’t fit together well. With a few moves you can be a playoff team.
12) Saint Joseph: Teague – Harden – Butler – Aldridge – R.Lopez
Key Bench Pieces: None
If your team was a woman, she would be………. Michelle Rodriguez
Many teams every redraft opt to build around two star players. Sometimes it works and sometimes it backfires. In this case it may have backfired. While I actually love the duo of Harden and LA, the rest of your team is holding you back severely. Jeff Teague simply went way too high in the draft considering the type of PG’s that went off the board rounds after him. Caron Butler is coming off a terrible season where he did nothing of any real value. Robin Lopez is coming off a year where he was sent to the bench and never really recovered. He only played 14 minutes a contest last season but here he will be expected to start when in reality he has not shown that he is deserving of such opportunity. It is too bad that you don’t have better players around your star talent as I do believe it is a very incredible duo. The issue is that you need to upgrade the other positions around them and you simply don’t have the assets at the moment to do it. You are likely going to be forced to move one of them to shore up the rest of your starting lineup. I am curious to see what your next major move will be but something has to give. I think you guys can turn it around because you guys are very capable GM’s. Best of luck.
13) Pittsburgh: D.Williams – DeRozan – TBD – Randolph – Jordan
Key Bench Pieces: None
If your team was a woman, she would be………. Helen Hunt
Much like Saint Joseph, you have two very good players surrounded by average level talent. Jordan is a great weak side help defender but can struggle to body up his man in the paint. DeRozan has had difficulty being efficient over the last few years and this is despite having an incredible ability to attack the basket when he feels like it. If only he had an outside shot. I would have actually had your team in the playoff picture but you are missing one starter. Being the fact that you are the only team without all their starters, this is a major concern. You simply went far too long without a draft pick and it is likely a trade is needed to put your team back in the picture. It is certainly going to be tough to compete with teams that have 6 players when you only have 4. I think you are one team that could benefit greatly from a trade and it could be something to consider shoring up the rest of the team. I like the duo of Deron and Zach but you simply need more good players around them to make it work. Good luck.
14) Flint: Rubio – Kobe – W.Chandler – K.Martin – D. Lee
Key Bench Pieces: K.Thompson & J.O’neal
If your team was a woman, she would be………. Rosie Odonell
Well what to say about Flint. I really like Rubio paired with Kobe in the backcourt as it takes a great deal of the pressure off Kobe to handle the ball. I like that you found a capable and strong low post scorer in David Lee to paid with Kobe but too bad he is out of position. David Lee is a PF and playing him at center is a mistake. If you can find a capable center that plays good defense to play next to Lee, you will be all set! I don’t mind Chandler starting on the wing as he is a good option there considering the lack of goo depth at SF these days. My biggest question for you is why did you take Klay? Your best back up is also backing up your best player. That does not make much sense for me despite the fact that I really like Klay Thompson. I would try and trade Klay for a capable starting center to help put your team in the right position to succeed coming voting. You have the pieces to make some trades, so I suggest you start sending the PM’s right away. With one or two moves you can become a playoff team, now get at it!
15) Vancouver: Westbrook – Afflalo – M.Willaims – Landry – McGee
Key Bench Pieces: Barea & Novak
If your team was a woman, she would be………. Rhea Perlman
Well it is always going to challenge building with Westbrook as he is stuck in Durant’s shadow. I wish that more people could see that you can build a successful team around Westbrook if given the right pieces to work with. You have done a nice job surrounding Westbrook with talent, the issue is that it is underwhelming. Nobody really jump off the screen at you. I would look to try and find a number 2 option to play along Westbrook that can make your team stronger overall.