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phlp_bj
08-03-2008, 08:13 PM
Falling:

Dallas Mavericks: The Mavs have been one of the most dominant teams in the entire league this decade. They have won at least 50 games each and every season this millennium. However, it appears as though Dallas may currently be cascading down the wrong side of the bell curve. …Flash back to June 13th, 2006. It is Game 3 of the NBA Finals, and Dallas leads the series 2-0. With six minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, the Miami HEAT are trailing by 13 points, when Dwyane Wade goes crazy. Wade finished with 42 points and 13 rebounds, carrying Miami to an unbelievable comeback victory. The HEAT would go on to win the next three games in succession and captured the NBA title in shocking (and somewhat controversial) fashion, after it was widely reported that Dallas had already began mapping out parade routes. For the Mavericks, who were looking to capture their first ever NBA championship, it was a crushing defeat. The very next season Dallas would go on to win a league-best 67 regular-season games behind MVP Dirk Nowitzki. They once again carried championship aspirations into the postseason, but were bounced in the first round by the upstart Golden State Warriors. Last season, the Mavs took another step backwards, finishing and 4th in their division. Struggling in the season's second half, they made a risky move by trading Devin Harris and draft-picks for an aging Jason Kidd. The move backfired, as the Mavs wound up getting pounded by the Hornets (4-1) in the first round, while J Kidd was embarrassed by Chris Paul. The Mavs are just 3-14 in the postseason since leading Miami 2-0 back in 2006. They have lost eight straight playoff road games. This offseason, the Mavs one big acquisition was inexplicably deciding to fork over $31 million to DeSagana Diop, which amounted to arguably the worst free-agent signing this summer. Diop's career averages are 2.1 PPG and 3.9 rebounds. He has never scored more than 11 points in an NBA game and he has a grand total of two double-doubles in his eight-year career! And, unfortunately, the Maverick that has been in the news most often has been Josh Howard. Howard, after admitting to marijuana use earlier this year, was arrested for drag racing in North Carolina. Clearly, things are not looking up in Big D.

Atlanta Hawks: Three months ago, the high-flying Hawks were the talk of the NBA. After sneaking into the playoffs, Atlanta came out of nowhere to shockingly force the Boston Celtics to a winner-take-all, seventh game in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. The Celtics eliminated the Hawks in Game 7, but it appeared the feisty Hawks had taken a huge step forward. They had a roster teeming with young, talented athletes and, after years of ineptitude, it seemed they were coming together as a team. However, that momentum may have grinded to a halt as Atlanta management has bumbled negotiations with key players. Last month, Josh Childress took the unprecedented step of signing with a team on a different continent (Olympiacos in the Greek League.) Josh Smith, an ultra-talented, productive, and exciting forward is a restricted free-agent and still has not been signed. It is unclear if Atlanta will pony up and sign Smith to a long-term contract. Following the 2008-2009 season, Marvin Williams will become an restricted free-agent, and Mike Bibby will be unrestricted. In the summer of 2010, superstar Joe Johnson's deal expires. At some point, the Hawks have to decide what type of organization they want to be perceived as. Either they will be content with mediocrity, or commit to keeping vital pieces in Atlanta. With so many other teams in the East improving, Atlanta will have a difficult task qualifying for the postseason going forward. The Hawks should be a team on the rise; instead they appear headed in the wrong direction.

Denver Nuggets: Any time you dump one of the best defenders in the entire NBA, solely to slash salary, and receive absolutely nothing in return – that is not a good message to send to your fan base. Yet that is exactly what the Nuggets did when they sold Marcus Camby to the LA Clippers. The Nuggets also lost enforcer Eduardo Najera to the Nets, who offered more money. Denver was considered an up-and-coming contender the last few seasons, but now will have a very difficult time even making the playoffs in '08-'09. After getting swept by the Lakers in the first-round, the Nuggets have only won a grand total of 4 playoff games in since 1994. And now a poor defensive team has to figure out how to replace an All-NBA defender.

Detroit: Much like the Mavericks, the Pistons have been dominant this decade. Remarkably, they have advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals six seasons in a row. But for the last three seasons, they have been eliminated in the sixth game of the ECF. Now their nucleus is aging, and the rest of the East is steadily improving. GM Joe Dumars replaced Flip Saunders with first-time head coach Michel Curry. Will that be enough to push the Pistons back into the Finals? Most likely not, and Dumars is well aware that this team may need to be remodeled on the fly. Rumors circulating around Motown intimated that Dumars offered Chauncey Billups and Tayshaun Prince to Denver in exchange for Carmelo Anthony and others. The deal was rebuffed by the Nuggets, but Dumars may not be content just standing pat. We shall see if he has any other major moves planned for a team that appears to have peaked, and may start to regress…

*****

Rising:

Portland Trail Blazers: Despite all the rain and overcast weather, the future is bright out in the great Northwest…really bright. The Blazers are positioned to become a one of the league's better teams over the next 10 years. Thanks to GM Kevin Pritchard, they have a roster overflowing with highly-touted youngsters. Every year it seems they add at least three quality draft picks to an already stacked roster. Last year they finished 41-41 and barely missed the playoffs. Now, studs Brandon Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge welcome former #1 overall pick Greg Oden into the mix. And the scary part is some analysts believe he'll have to battle for this season's Rookie of the Year award with Spanish import Rudy Fernandez. (Jerryd Bayless is an explosive scorer, as well.) Moreover, Portland is going to be far enough under the cap to be a major player in the free-agent market next summer, where there will be some special players up for grabs. Pritchard has done a terrific job assembling an up-and-coming roster, now he just needs to prove he can consolidate a few of those young, valuable pieces into an established veteran than can help lead the neophytes to the next level.

Philadelphia 76ers: The Sixers were one of the league's hottest teams over the second half of the '07-'08 season. They started the season by losing 30 of their first 48 games, but caught fire after the All-Star break and streaked into the playoffs. Once there, they took a 2-1 series lead in the first round before a veteran Detroit team got the best of them. Things were looking up in Philly, but the roster still had some holes; namely they needed a bruising, post-up power forward that could score on the low-block and defend the paint. And while the Sixers were one of the few teams with plenty of money to spend this summer on a free-agent, it didn't appear there would be any available that fit the bill. But then, to surprise of everyone, Elton Brand opted out of his contract in LA. It was a dream come true for the Philly faithful. Once Brand signed his name on the dotted line, the Eastern Conference had another contender for its crown. The 76ers recently re-signed Louis Williams (although they may have given him too much money), and assuming they are able to re-sign Andre Iguodala (obviously essential to their future), a starting five of Andre Miller, Iguodala, Thad Young, Brand, and Sammy Dalembert is undeniably impressive.

New Orleans Hornets: You can't help but be excited about the future if you are a Hornets fan, simply because you are going to get to watch the Chris Paul in his prime. With CP3 signing an extension this summer, the Hornets locked up the most dynamic point guard to come into the NBA since Magic Johnson two decades earlier. It is difficult to overestimate the impact Paul has on a game, and although he is just 23-years-old, he is already one of the league's premier players. Paul finished the 2007-2008 NBA season averaging 21.1 points, 11.6 assists, 4 rebounds, 2.7 steals, and 1.2 made three-pointers per game. He shot 48.8% from the field and 85% from the free-throw line. Somehow, he played even better in the postseason, where his team took the Spurs to seven games in the second round. But is not just a one-man-show; Paul also has some talented running mates in New Orleans. David West (locked up at a very reasonable salary) is already one of the NBA's best power forwards and is getting better every season. Tyson Chandler, who the Hornets stole from the Chicago Bulls, is a spirited defender and a frequent recipient of Paul's perfectly-placed alley-oops. Peja Stojakovic appears to finally be healthy, and will always be a lethal shooter. And this summer, the Hornets added veteran James Posey, whom they hope will be one of the final pieces to a championship puzzle. Although his numbers will never overwhelm you, Posey is one of the best perimeter on-ball defenders in the entire league, he hits big shots in big games, and he is also a terrific teammate that contributes those indefinable intangibles to the mix. Posey also brings that championship pedigree (two rings) to the table, which is important for a team looking to take that next step.


http://www.hoopsworld.com/Story.asp?story_id=9670

SAVAGE CLAW
08-03-2008, 10:13 PM
They should add up to the Declining list the names of Phoenix suns, San Antonio Spurs and Cleveland Cavs.

And in the Upside List , add Lakers, CLippers,Bucks,Bulls

phillyphan4ever
08-03-2008, 10:17 PM
u post threads too much :p

phlp_bj
08-03-2008, 10:27 PM
just trying to keep the psd nba forum active

Lakersfan2483
08-03-2008, 10:42 PM
Good Thread, I think the Mavs have some serious issues they will have to face in the near future as do the Denver Nuggets. I don't understand the decision to trade Camby for very little in return. Another team that will be facing major issues in the near future, the phoenix suns. They traded Marion for an aging Shaq and Steve Nash is also getting up in age. Grant Hill was their starting small forward and he is past his prime as is Raja Bell. The Suns have some serious issues they will be facing soon.

Lakersfan2483
08-03-2008, 10:46 PM
Teams on the rise: Portland (great young talent on their team), New Orleans (solid core of young talent), Rockets, and the Lakers ( Bynum is only 20, Kobe is 30, Gasol 28), great core group of players. All of the teams mentioned have positioned themselves to make a run at the title for yrs. to come. As far as the east, teams like Philly and Orlando have good young talent. Cleveland needs to get Lebron some help.

daleja424
08-03-2008, 10:48 PM
what about a wade beasley + another big name next season growing together for the heat?

Vinny642
08-04-2008, 01:48 AM
Sux for the Mavericks maybe if they didn't trade Devin Harris they wouldn't be there. Yea them Hornets are up there as they should be so should Portland and Philly.

GspLAL
08-04-2008, 04:50 AM
I dont think the spurs are declining just yet, they need to some fresh legs on their bench and theyll be back.

hockeypro68
08-04-2008, 05:19 AM
Good Thread, I think the Mavs have some serious issues they will have to face in the near future as do the Denver Nuggets. I don't understand the decision to trade Camby for very little in return. Another team that will be facing major issues in the near future, the phoenix suns. They traded Marion for an aging Shaq and Steve Nash is also getting up in age. Grant Hill was their starting small forward and he is past his prime as is Raja Bell. The Suns have some serious issues they will be facing soon.

Agreed. Suns are in deep shh!t. I feel bad steve nash will probably never win a championship, but 2 MVPs will have to do.

hockeypro68
08-04-2008, 05:25 AM
I dont think the spurs are declining just yet, they need to some fresh legs on their bench and theyll be back.

I also don't think Spurs are declining yet either... they're still a freaking powerhouse and a top 4 seed at the least next season. You may say Duncan is getting older but look what he did last season and during the playoffs...20, 15, 3, 2, 1 for 17 games. He might be 32, but he's still a baller. Ginobili is only 31, he's still got a few solid years left in him. And Tony Parker is only 26. Thats a championship contending team for at least 3 more years to come.

DaddyCool
08-04-2008, 07:40 AM
u post threads too much :p

As long as they praise the Sixers, I'm cool. :)

Rapthug
08-04-2008, 11:37 AM
I'm with you guys who feel the Suns are about done. The reign of Steve Kerr is not off to a great start. The Shaq trade, to this point, has been a bust mind you they did get rid of a terrible contract in Marcus Banks. They are a very old team and in between styles....are they a half court or running team? I think they will be lucky to get the 8th seed as I can see them missing the playoffs all together. The one thing that helps them is that the teams that suck in the West, suck a lot: G's, OK, Sota, and Sactown.

JordansBulls
08-04-2008, 11:51 AM
It's kinda amazing that the Mavs have won 50 games each year this decade like the Spurs. They seem like they will end up like the Jazz or Sonics of the 90's but not as good.

dre1990
08-04-2008, 11:52 AM
i think detroit still has some years left and ATL are on the rise............But i agree with denver but i tink they will make a big trade before the season

Jay22Redd
08-04-2008, 12:02 PM
Portland should of been the first team to be mentioned on the rising list.

philsphan28
08-04-2008, 01:23 PM
Portland should of been the first team to be mentioned on the rising list.

uh, they were. :confused:

JordansBulls
08-04-2008, 03:08 PM
i think detroit still has some years left and ATL are on the rise............But i agree with denver but i tink they will make a big trade before the season

Detroit is still a contender in a way, but like the Jazz they are still missing something.