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IndyFan
08-11-2008, 10:02 AM
Saw this and thought you might like to see it.

Ranking the West - Hoops World


There have been some changes made in the Western Conference this summer, and there will likely be some more before it's all said done. Here's a look at the way the conference shapes up today with the rosters as currently constituted.

1. Los Angeles Lakers
2. San Antonio Spurs
3. New Orleans Hornets

4. Utah Jazz - The boys from Salt Lake City were nearly unbeatable last season after acquiring Kyle Korver. This summer, the team re-upped Deron Williams and also acquired a veteran back-up in Brevin Knight to spell him during the 82-game grind. Utah is probably just one piece away from being the class of the West. If the Jazz can find a way to move Andrei Kirilenko and acquire a piece like Luol Deng, Utah could be a major threat to win it all next season.

5. Houston Rockets
6. Dallas Mavericks
7. Phoenix Suns
8. Denver Nuggets
9. Portland Trail Blazers
10. Los Angeles Clippers
11. Golden State Warriors
12. Sacramento Kings
13. Memphis Grizzlies
14. Minnesota Timberwolves
15. Oklahoma City TBA's

hoops world ("http://www.hoopsworld.com/Story.asp?story_id=9604)

:)

Lo Porto
08-11-2008, 01:13 PM
I'd say that's a fair assessment. I think Utah, Houston, N.O. and San Antonio will be fighting it out for the 2-5 seeds all year. They all 4 have unique strengths and weaknesses, but all are about the same overall.

Even hoopsworld thinks we should deal Andrei.

jimbobjarree
08-11-2008, 01:53 PM
I think we should easily have the 4th seed locked up again, but we should be looking to improve on that

Rylz
08-11-2008, 03:27 PM
Nothing short of serious injury will keep the Jazz falling any further than fifth, but I'd say they have as good a chance of anyone to gain the number 2 spot, maybe even the top seed.

bw2893
08-11-2008, 07:12 PM
"Nothing short of serious injury will keep the Jazz falling any further than fifth, but I'd say they have as good a chance of anyone to gain the number 2 spot, maybe even the top seed."

I think you're dreaming a little. L.A, N.O, SA, had better records last year than we did and they have (unlike us), significantly improved their team this year- Bynum, Posey, Mason, and maybe Pargo. Ok, SA hasn't SIGNIFICANTLY improved their team, but they are still the team to beat for the jazz. And Portalnd? I would be scared of them this year if I were the jazz. There is no way with the line-up we have now that we will be first or second in the west. And by the way, this ranking by hoopsworld was done BEFORE the rockets acquired Artest, and that is a different ball game altogether now. With the line up right now, we will be scratching and clawing to make 4th at best. Because we are no different than we were last year, except for Knight...woopie. A year of maturity is not going to bump us up seeds in the west. The west has done nothing this off season but make itself more stronger and competitive. Have we? I don't think so.

Lo Porto
08-11-2008, 08:29 PM
bw - you are right. The other teams have improved. I'm not sure the amount of improvement for the Hornets if they lose Pargo and gain Posey, but it's a slight upgrade. SA is about the same but Kurt Thomas will improve. Rockets are way up and L.A. should be up by getting back Bynum.

However, I do believe Utah is up too. We had a top 5 youngest roster last year and made dumb mistakes on the road. Brewer, Millsap, and Miles should only get better and Korver should make a huge leap with an offseason under his belt. Knight is a substantial upgrade over Hart because we can actually trust him. I don't think we are leaps and bounds better, but I think we improve by 5 wins if we stay healthy.

bw2893
08-11-2008, 09:43 PM
"However, I do believe Utah is up too. We had a top 5 youngest roster last year and made dumb mistakes on the road. Brewer, Millsap, and Miles should only get better and Korver should make a huge leap with an offseason under his belt. Knight is a substantial upgrade over Hart because we can actually trust him. I don't think we are leaps and bounds better, but I think we improve by 5 wins if we stay healthy."

You're right and I agree with you. I may have implied a little too much negativity towards the jazz, but only time will tell if we are good enough to get five wins out of teams who have made greater improvements than we have.

I guess I'm being blindly negative of the fact that I don't think the jazz will make any moves this summer to improve their roster enough. When I say enough I mean a championship. The jazz aren't good enough at all to win it all this year, but I do believe they really are one move away. Have the jazz tried to make that move? I don't know, but the jazz are a smart team and are consistently good, just not good enough. But I think that is also their achilles heel, they have the attitude of just making better with what they have, but aren't willing to maybe take a risk and switching up the roster a bit that may or may not be the move the would take them all the way.

Of course the talk is all about moving AK, he's a great player and I would love to see the jazz work it with him, but then who or what is the piece that the jazz need? I think moving AK is necessary to keep other players who will be as good as gone next year if he stays, or are those the player(s) that need to be made rid of? I don't really have a strong opinion anymore.

Utahjazzfan18
08-11-2008, 09:45 PM
I actually think a year of maturity for us is alot more significant then for most teams. Brewer and Miles could both make huge strides this year. As far as the other teams are concerned, I'm not that worried. The only team we can't beat with our current lineup imo is the Lakers.

джаз
08-11-2008, 11:52 PM
That assessment is pretty spot on. I believe the Jazz had the second best record after the all star break?? Could be wrong on that. The Jazz don't need to do much to improve. Another year under their belt will help alone. But they should always be trying to improve.

This season could be the one chance this group has to win it all. Around half the team will be free agents next year and I highly doubt Miller will go over the salary cap to keep them all, which he will have to do if they all stay.

Could be a good thing to have so many players on a contract year. I am expecting great things from this team this year, barring any major injuries.

kurtismurray
08-12-2008, 09:57 AM
"Nothing short of serious injury will keep the Jazz falling any further than fifth, but I'd say they have as good a chance of anyone to gain the number 2 spot, maybe even the top seed."

I think you're dreaming a little. L.A, N.O, SA, had better records last year than we did and they have (unlike us), significantly improved their team this year- Bynum, Posey, Mason, and maybe Pargo. Ok, SA hasn't SIGNIFICANTLY improved their team, but they are still the team to beat for the jazz. And Portalnd? I would be scared of them this year if I were the jazz. There is no way with the line-up we have now that we will be first or second in the west. And by the way, this ranking by hoopsworld was done BEFORE the rockets acquired Artest, and that is a different ball game altogether now. With the line up right now, we will be scratching and clawing to make 4th at best. Because we are no different than we were last year, except for Knight...woopie. A year of maturity is not going to bump us up seeds in the west. The west has done nothing this off season but make itself more stronger and competitive. Have we? I don't think so.

I do think you are right about not really making the moves to improve our roster. However, we are a really young team. Look at last year for example. I honestly DO NOT think this will happen again. Losing on the road against Atlanta, Charlotte, Miami, Clippers, T-Wolves twice, Bulls, New Jersey, and losing to Portland 3 times (POR is good but, we shouldn't lose 3 times to them), Sacramento, Knicks. I guess what I'm trying to say is... we lost to some pathetic teams. Look at the month of December. 5-11! I don't think that will happen again barring some injury. I think the Jazz are capable of EASILY winning 55-60 games! If we would have beat T-Wolves on the road and Bobcats, Hawks, Heat, Knicks... We're looking at 60 wins last season. Jazz just need to bring the energy of playing the Clippers like playing the Celts. On the road atleast, we are untouchable at Energy Solutions Arena. GO JAZZ!

Lo Porto
08-12-2008, 10:14 AM
You guys are all correct. We should be better this year than last year. The only players not getting at least slightly better are Collins and Harpring due to age. We will be better barring injury.

However, I agree with bw. I don't think the current team can win a title with the current chemistry. Watching both sides of the floor, AK just looks misplaced. Offensively, he's a liability. Other teams don't even care if he shoots outside the lane. Defensively, our bigs seem to rely on him too much. He is a good defender, but he can't guard the quick SG's of the West like Kobe, McGrady, Manu, etc. If we were to trade AK, I think everyone would re-emphasize team defense with the realization that AK is gone and team, not individual, defense wins titles.

The trade opportunity is sitting right in front of us. Memphis desperately needs a young PF to put with Conley, Mayo and Gay. They tried to get Josh Smith but Atlanta matched. They have the cap space to make it happen now so Utah can save money for next summer.

jimbobjarree
08-12-2008, 12:01 PM
You all make good points, but I'm still staying positive that now CJ has got his big long term deal, he is going to knuckle down and improve. Remember, he did a good job when starting for us, if he can improve he can be a great bench player, and that shot could come in useful, and if Brewer can improve his long range shot more that would be priceless to our title charge.

still, we really should get 4th place, Portland are good, and I can see us battling them for many years for our division, but we should win the NW meaning we're 4th whatever, and the Nuggets will be awful without Camby, he was the only one defending against us last season, and we still beat them by like 20 points.