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View Full Version : Sam Smith Ranks the Eastern/Western Conferences



JordansBulls
07-13-2009, 05:17 PM
http://www.nba.com/bulls/news/smith_090713.html




Free agency for the summer of 2009 is almost done with the occasional Millsap, Lee and Baby still hanging around. But most teams now seem pretty much set for next season with the exception of a few veterans who will fall through the cracks and be picked up to boost bench strength. So how'd everyone do? We'll know in about a year, but here's the first look at my projected Eastern and Western Conference standings for the 2009-10 season based on the offseason moves.

Eastern Conference:

1. Boston: Rasheed Wallace is declining physically, but it's an ideal situation for him since he can match up against reserves and isn't counted upon. Assuming Kevin Garnett is healthy, which seems likely, I expect the Celtics to win the East comfortably.

2. Orlando: They're coming in with a more traditional lineup with Brandon Bass at power forward and Rashard Lewis to small forward for Hedo Turkoglu. I think it hurts the great mismatch advantage they had given their unique style and I see them taking a step back with Vince Carter, who always is taking a step back when he shoots those bad threes. It's still unclear if they match on Marcin Gortat, who'll be a reserve if he returns.

3. Cleveland: They got a bit of a wakeup when their top targets like Ron Artest and Trevor Ariza passed, probably because of uncertainty on whether LeBron James will stay. The big move was the trade for Shaq, and while LeBron was for it, I see some issues with Shaq needing his touches. They got him to guard Dwight Howard. Maybe he does, but what about the Celtics? The Cavs prized defense will take a big hit. They settled for Anthony Parker, now 34. Well, he's better than Szczerbiak.

4. Atlanta: They quietly did a nice job this summer bringing back Mike Bibby and adding Jamal Crawford in his ideal role as a combo guard off the bench. They've got a terrific amount of athletic talent, but this will be the season coach Mike Woodson is on the hot seat and we'll see if it's a distraction.

5. Toronto: They had arguably the best offseason with Turkoglu bolting the 'Blazers to sign. Then they pulled off that complicated deal with the Mavs to retool their roster. They now have Antoine Wright, Devean George and Reggie Evans and have an offer out for Jarret Jack. Jose Calderon had an injury plagued off season, though we'll see if Chris Bosh's free agency distracts them. They say they are not trading him under any circumstances.

6. Washington: They are the mystery team of the East after Gilbert Arenas and Brendan Haywood missed last season. Arenas said he's done kidding around. We'll believe it when we see it. GM Ernie Grunfeld has been saying they are a potential East champion after moving their No. 5 pick for Mike Miller and Randy Foye and hiring Flip Saunders. I'm giving them the big benefit of the doubt here.

7. Bulls: I know. They lost their leading scorer in Ben Gordon, and that will hurt. I am convinced, though, Luol Deng will have a rebound season. Plus, John Salmons and Brad Miller for a whole season will do a lot to offset last year's slow start. It's a contract year for Tyrus Thomas and Joakim Noah seems serious, finally. We'll see. It is a lot of ifs, so they'll likely be locked in an April chase for playoffs like last season.

8. Philadelphia: Elton Brand returns, but after missing most of two seasons who knows. Andre Miller's fate is uncertain and lately the talk was a deal for Chris Duhon. They've been unsuccessful trying to deal Samuel Dalembert and seem to be on the playoff fence, as well.

9. Miami: If this does happen, the big free agent talk will center around Dwyane Wade. They locked themselves into a bad position with the Jermaine O'Neal deal and you see how much Toronto was able to do with Shawn Marion's free agency. They've left Wade with Michael Beasley and Mario Chalmers, both of whom didn't take things very seriously. It's hard to imagine Wade having another season to rival 2008-09. That team is too heavy to carry like that again.

10. Charlotte: They are a dangerous team because of Larry Brown. His teams usually make a nice jump the second season and you could see them coming the end of last season. You know Brown is going to pull off another deal at some point.

11. Detroit: I guess I'm not that impressed with their moves. They were the big team in free agency, but it's difficult to see how Gordon and Charlie Villanueva fit. They've turned from a traditionally tough team into a finesse, offensive team with another rookie coach. Kwame Brown is starting center and their other big is smallish Jason Maxiell. They missed on bringing back Antonio McDyess and there continues to be talk they'll try to move Richard Hamilton to create a starting spot for Gordon.

12. Milwaukee: Likewise, Scott Skiles usually makes an improvement his second season. They are blowing their team up and trying to start again. If Andrew Bogut returns and can play at a high level along with Michael Redd they have a chance to be a playoff team. It's probably too much to ask after off loading Richard Jefferson. Outspoken Brandon Jennings with Skiles could be worth the price of admission.

13. Indiana: I think Tyler Hansbrough will come in and help right away. It's unclear they match on Jarret Jack, though many projected them to pick a point guard because of uncertainty about that position. If Mike Dunleavy can return and give them something they, at least, can be competitive.

14. New Jersey: They've broken it up more quietly now after dumping Vince Carter. They have some nice young talent, though with their lame duck status and arena future unclear, it's difficult to attract free agents. They could be a bit of a surprise if their young guys come along.

15. New York: It's going to be all LeBron all the time. It's difficult to see why he'd go there no matter what happens with the Cavs season given the run of free agents passing on them. It's going to be an all-for-myself season with the team being broken up to accommodate free agency.






Western Conference:

1. Lakers: This is assuming they bring back Lamar Odom. They've been slow to do so given their high luxury tax status. Their big key has been their size, and Odom is a big part of that. I like the Artest move, though they'll have moments when they wondered why. Artest might be OK in the playoffs because the offense still will be about Kobe and Pau. If Odom balks, they fall to second.

2. San Antonio: They've made as good of moves as anyone with the steal of Richard Jefferson and luring Antonio McDyess. Finally, they again have a real three and four. And, yes, Duncan is a center. Assuming Manu Ginobili is recovered from his ankle issues, they are gearing for a last run and can challenge the next two seasons.

3. Dallas: Give them credit for being so creative with the deal for Shawn Marion. They brought back Jason Kidd, which is key to making Marion effective as Marion has no offensive game on his own. They figure to get a better season from injured Josh Howard and assuming they get Gortat, they have terrific versatility to go small or big as well as any team.

4. Denver: Their big home court advantage should carry them this far, but they may have caught a bit of lightning in a bottle last season. They took a lot of tams by surprise and Chauncey Billups had an amazing season. They'll be pushed to duplicate it.

5. Portland: Missing out on Turkoglu was a killer. He takes so much pressure off with his ballhanding. It's uncertain what they are up to now with their offer out to Paul Millsap. It's also curious why they've upset Brandon Roy in contract negotiations. We get to find out if Greg Oden is a bust. If he is this begins to fall apart.

6. Phoenix: That's assuming Amar'e Stoudemire returns and is healthy. Many forget they were on the way to 50 wins before Stoudemire was hurt. Steve Nash clearly will be happier with Shaq gone and they retained Grant Hill. They're back to running and say they have a bench this time and will use it. We'll see.

7. Utah: They're still the only team really in free agent flux with the offer on Millsap and trying to deal Carlos Boozer. They did bring back Mehmet Okur, but no one really knows what will happen and who'll they'll open the season with. Sloan and Deron Williams means playoffs, though.

8. New Orleans: They're in flux with constant talk they need to deal Tyson Chandler to save money. They've still got Chris Paul and David West, which might be good enough to make the playoffs and that's about it. It could be a season when Paul begins to lose patience, though. Watch for that.

9. Oklahoma City: They're going to be one of the most entertaining to watch. James Harden and Russell Westbrook in the backcourt is no point guard, but two guards. They'll score a lot and if they defend, who knows. With Thabo, Nick Collison and an improving Shaun Livingston they have some bench depth.

10. Houston: No Yao. Not much of a season. Plus, Artest gave them a terrific season. Trevor Ariza is going to find life is a lot tougher without defenses guarding Kobe and Pau. Tracy McGrady will hover over them as well. It was a small window that's closed.

11. Memphis: It now become a question from here on if which dysfunctional team emerges. Zach Randolph with O.J. Mayo and talk of adding Allen Iverson. Geez. We'll see if Hasheem Thabeet can play some defense as advertised.

12. Golden State: There's a big deal somewhere. Maybe. They supposedly were the leaders for Bosh and Stoudemire and nothing happened. So they draft Stephen Curry, another scoring shooting guard. This is the most bizarre organization in history. Nellie gets enough wins to pass Lenny Wilkens and bails about January or February.

13. Clippers: Getting rid of Randolph was huge for saving Blake Griffin's rookie season. Will Baron Davis play? Will Chris Kaman? There's still talent and loads of questions.

14. Minnesota: The thinking seems to be they were a mess so what's the big deal? They traded their best depth for the rights to Ricky Rubio and he'll stay in Spain. They'll play rookie Jonny Flynn and hope he doesn't run too fast and shoot before Al Jefferson sets up.

15. Sacramento: Poor Noce. This is the NBA kindergarten with all sorts of kids running all over the place. Noce will be shaking his head a lot and be in every trade rumor all season. Because he is Noce.

ZebraCity916
07-13-2009, 05:25 PM
Steve Smith is a loud mouth.

ManRam
07-13-2009, 05:28 PM
Steve Smith is a loud mouth.

This is Sam Smith...

Looks pretty good. What I take from this: the East got a LOT better. Teams 4-9 or 10 will all be very competitive. The top 3 teams are just as good as the top teams in the West.

Gonna be a great year!

J_M_B
07-13-2009, 05:29 PM
To early to rank teams, we are in the middle of the off season.

GSW fan
07-13-2009, 05:31 PM
Whos sam smith?

Chronz
07-13-2009, 05:33 PM
Its not Steven Smith, its Sam Smith, hes not a loudmouth but he is an idiot

madiaz3
07-13-2009, 05:40 PM
Must be easy to write a blurb about a team without making a mention of one player actually on the team. Really pulled some of this stuff out of his ***.

asandhu23
07-13-2009, 05:48 PM
sam smith who? :eyebrow::eyebrow::eyebrow::eyebrow::eyebrow:

Vidball
07-13-2009, 05:49 PM
He should stick to reporting on the Eastern Conference. Smith doesn't have the first clue what he's talking about with the West.

D Roses Bulls
07-13-2009, 05:54 PM
Must be easy to write a blurb about a team without making a mention of one player actually on the team. Really pulled some of this stuff out of his ***.

somebody is just mad cause hes right about the knicks.

cr00zi3
07-13-2009, 05:55 PM
I say anything is possible this up coming season. There are going to be alot of jaw droppers.

smuffins353
07-13-2009, 05:55 PM
rockets behind phoenix, NO, and OKC
people doubt Htown hard cant wait til the season starts then youll see

asandhu23
07-13-2009, 05:57 PM
I say anything is possible this up coming season. There are going to be alot of jaw droppers.

team chemistry will prove a lot. egos on these high end teams will collide.

Jamiecballer
07-13-2009, 05:57 PM
Seems kinda silly to be rating teams with so many players still available.

JWO35
07-13-2009, 06:01 PM
I don't know this guy, but it's way too early to throw out Predictions wait till the Pre-Season Starts...

thephoenixson28
07-13-2009, 06:15 PM
rockets behind phoenix, NO, and OKC
people doubt Htown hard cant wait til the season starts then youll see wouldn't you rank them lower. No yao, half a season mcgrady, only ariza is a good player but he isnt going to put them in the playoffs.

Dncehalldrug
07-13-2009, 06:18 PM
Who's Sam Smith?


http://i105.photobucket.com/albums/m210/d_julien/18e359fd46456e73e12e3a774877325cc5c.jpg

The fact that they confiscated the video makes it more embarrassing.:pity:

Bruno
07-13-2009, 06:19 PM
The league seems pretty deep, I really can't say there are a lot of bad teams.

Thatruth32
07-13-2009, 06:29 PM
warriors 12 its cool they can hate but we have alot of talent... beat dallas a few years ago in the playoffs then miss the playoffs with the highest win total ever 48 wins and miss the playoffs... then we were hurt all last year so everbody thinks we will be crap this year... just watch

naztrack
07-13-2009, 06:35 PM
this no body is an idiot, and yea i'm a knick fan but last in the east.......****** out of here. no way.

Ovratd1up
07-13-2009, 06:41 PM
this no body is an idiot, and yea i'm a knick fan but last in the east.......****** out of here. no way.

Naztrack is just realizing what it means to be a knicks fan. :)

smith&wesson
07-13-2009, 06:46 PM
Sam smith is soo wrong its not even funny...

How does he have washington in the play offs and not miami ? Lol
washington ?? A team that really hasnt shown us a thing in 2 seasons. Cmon thats bull....

He has pheonix making the play offs in the west lol thats a joke.

To me it looks like he just guessing .... He isnt even looking at the off season and the moves made by teams making them better or worst.
Pheonix really sux... This guy sam really sux too.

rhaas74
07-13-2009, 06:48 PM
I love how he says the Cavs will take a big hit defensively. What have they done to take a big hit? Bringing in Anthony Parker to take Sasha's role? I see the defense being better with a force underneath.

drama1386
07-13-2009, 06:48 PM
its way too early to tell but i think its a pretty good assessment.

SB75
07-13-2009, 07:00 PM
His assessments are horrible. I love KG and Rasheed, But in know way did the Cavs take a step back. Shaq is not the Shaq of old but he is an upgrade over Big Z, offensively and defensively. The Cavs should still be #1. The Hawks and the Magic will fight it out for three and four. Washington? Washington?

JordansBulls
07-13-2009, 07:35 PM
He should stick to reporting on the Eastern Conference. Smith doesn't have the first clue what he's talking about with the West.

Why is this?

ElMarroAfamado
07-13-2009, 07:52 PM
atleast he is right about the spurs window
its 2 years
for them to even CONTEND anymore...
and ill call it contend since they are not winning anything the next two seasons......

WoodbridgeSkins
07-13-2009, 07:55 PM
Poor Knick fans

BlinkManJan02
07-13-2009, 08:00 PM
Its not Steven Smith, its Sam Smith, hes not a loudmouth but he is an idiot

lol, i havent heard of sam smith. i do like steven a smith tho. I only looked at the East, i would put Orlando at #1.

Ovratd1up
07-13-2009, 08:13 PM
Sam smith is soo wrong its not even funny...

How does he have washington in the play offs and not miami ? Lol
washington ?? A team that really hasnt shown us a thing in 2 seasons. Cmon thats bull....

He has pheonix making the play offs in the west lol thats a joke.

To me it looks like he just guessing .... He isnt even looking at the off season and the moves made by teams making them better or worst.
Pheonix really sux... This guy sam really sux too.

1) That's because Washington hasn't been healthy the last two years, and looks healthy now. Of course that can change. However, they do have much more talent than in years past (they were 5th, 7th, and 5th seeds before last year with much less talent)

2) There's no room for Miami, a team that won't get the same production from Wade.

3) How is that a joke? Amare and the Suns say they can't play with Shaq slowing them down so he leaves and they are out of the playoffs? It is the same team that had so many successful seasons without Shawn Marion and a deeper bench. You suppose Houston or OKC beats them?

4) He referred to offseason moves made plenty of times. I think maybe you should be a little more informed before guessing who is "better or worst".

smith&wesson
07-13-2009, 08:19 PM
its way too early to tell but i think its a pretty good assessment.

my fifteen year old neice could have gave a better assesment. seriously this guy sam does not know what he is talking about.

you think that chicago bulls who took boston 7 games and 8 overtimes is going to fall behind the wizards ? why because gilbert said on his web sight that he is healthy again lol cmon man.

how is milwaukee and new jersey not last in the east ?? look at theyre teams they really SUCK!!

in the west he has san antonio at 2 ?? why because they got rj ? im not convinced. that team is old, they are trying to ride duncan till his wheeles fall off and they just need to accept that has passed his prime. no way they finish 2nd.

dallas automatically surpasses denver, why because they got marion ? again im not convinced. denver has alot of chemistry, they are very athletic, they are coached well and they will finish 2nd again behind the lakers. why give dallas and sanantonio a big jump to 2 and 3, maybe sams from texas ??

he has phoenix in the play offs... not happening

i can understand if he was off here and there and opinions clash .. but this guy is just way way off.. im suprized he is employed by the nba .. .freal ..

North Yorker
07-13-2009, 08:26 PM
Is this the guy on NBA TV?? Or is that another Steve Smith?

Duncan = Donkey
07-13-2009, 08:31 PM
Sam smith is soo wrong its not even funny...

How does he have washington in the play offs and not miami ? Lol
washington ?? A team that really hasnt shown us a thing in 2 seasons. Cmon thats bull....

He has pheonix making the play offs in the west lol thats a joke.
To me it looks like he just guessing .... He isnt even looking at the off season and the moves made by teams making them better or worst.
Pheonix really sux... This guy sam really sux too.

your a moron. Phoenix will make the playoffs comfortably.
they nearly made it last year, when they completly changed there system to suit shaq, they had amare and barbosa missing for a good part of the season and steve nash missed some ames as well.
this year houston and NO have gotten weaker. and Phoenix are returing to run'n'gun. they will be 6-8 seed.

smith&wesson
07-13-2009, 08:47 PM
1) That's because Washington hasn't been healthy the last two years, and looks healthy now. Of course that can change. However, they do have much more talent than in years past (they were 5th, 7th, and 5th seeds before last year with much less talent)

2) There's no room for Miami, a team that won't get the same production from Wade.

3) How is that a joke? Amare and the Suns say they can't play with Shaq slowing them down so he leaves and they are out of the playoffs? It is the same team that had so many successful seasons without Shawn Marion and a deeper bench. You suppose Houston or OKC beats them?

4) He referred to offseason moves made plenty of times. I think maybe you should be a little more informed before guessing who is "better or worst".



how do you figure miami wont get the same production from wade ?? because Sam smith doesnt think soo ?
wade could have easily been mvp this year whos to say he wont be next year ?
they finished 5th last year with the exact same team. and they might even get better if they add players. which they can very well do.

i never said houston or okc would finish ahead. did i ? no i didnt

and theres no need for you to take a personal attack at me homie. why are you taking offence anyways ? are YOU sam smith ? or are you just his girlfriend. chill man.. i just dont agree with his predictions i think they are pretty off.

B_Rad01
07-13-2009, 08:50 PM
hes got tha warriors at 12th??? that aint rite watch us make tha playoffs this year

smith&wesson
07-13-2009, 08:50 PM
your a moron. Phoenix will make the playoffs comfortably.
they nearly made it last year, when they completly changed there system to suit shaq, they had amare and barbosa missing for a good part of the season and steve nash missed some ames as well.
this year houston and NO have gotten weaker. and Phoenix are returing to run'n'gun. they will be 6-8 seed.

why you calling me a moron ? dont call me anything ... it sure is easy to be brave behind your little computer screen eh...
its my opinion.. im here to DISCUSS basket ball.. not to attack you verbally or for you to do it to me. dont be ignorant. its my opinion. if you dont respect it thats fine. i like ppl who have theyre own minds. but for you to call me a moron.. id kick you right in the face if you were brave enough to say it infront of me coward.

keep it basket ball related and watch your mouth. ill respect you if you respect me.

ThEaIrUpThErE
07-13-2009, 09:02 PM
i dont really agree with these ranking... also i agree wit everyone else, much too early to be ranking teams

Duncan = Donkey
07-13-2009, 09:21 PM
why you calling me a moron ? dont call me anything ... it sure is easy to be brave behind your little computer screen eh...
its my opinion.. im here to DISCUSS basket ball.. not to attack you verbally or for you to do it to me. dont be ignorant. its my opinion. if you dont respect it thats fine. i like ppl who have theyre own minds. but for you to call me a moron.. id kick you right in the face if you were brave enough to say it infront of me coward.
its not even true
keep it basket ball related and watch your mouth. ill respect you if you respect me.

your a moron, beacuse of the way you speak about teams.

"phoenix really sux",no need for that, especially beacuse its not true. it makes you sound like an 12 year kid.

smith&wesson
07-13-2009, 09:35 PM
did i hurt your feelings ?? awww im sowwy ... didnt know you suns fans were soo sensative. it must be because the OWNER of the sunds is MORON for giving up all these players for money. he is more concerned with money then he is with building a compatitive team. your a suns fan you should know this.

and here just so know you i used to love phoenix i actually think its really sad what the owner has done with the suns.

again. no need to call names man honestly whats wrong with you ?
chill homie. id be pissed to as a suns fan. but you should channel it to your crappy managment.

RaysFan
07-13-2009, 09:51 PM
What stuns me is that Boston gets more credit for adding Rasheed Wallace as a backup player than Cleveland gets for adding Shaq. Shaq is the better player and he will be starting so he will have the most impact.

To me it seems like many NBA writers feel like Cleveland would of been better had they kept Ben Wallace

Unec
07-13-2009, 09:54 PM
EAST...

1.BOSTON
2.MAGICS
3.CAVS
4.HAWKS
5.WIZARDS
6.SIXERS
7.HEAT
8.RAPTORS/BULLS

WEST....

1.LAKERS
2.SPURS
3.DALLAS
4.PORTLAND
5.DENVER
6.SUNS
7.UTAH
8.HORNETS/GRIZZ


I think thats how it will play ouit, but i agree it is too early too predict. But if i had to then i would make it like that!!

Reyes6
07-13-2009, 09:59 PM
How are the Thunder over the Rockets? Even if the Rockets lost Scola and Ariza they would be better than the Thunder.

cowboyz180
07-13-2009, 11:21 PM
why are the heat #9?

heyman321
07-13-2009, 11:41 PM
Lol anyone who thinks Orlando should be #1 is clearly misinformed. Boston would have easily beat Orlando two months ago had Kevin Garnett been playing. I'm sorry but it's the truth. If Garnett is healthy this year, I'd say Celtics have a good chance of winning the title.

and NO, I'm not a Celtics fan. GO RAPTORS!!!!

JordansBulls
07-13-2009, 11:58 PM
Lol anyone who thinks Orlando should be #1 is clearly misinformed. Boston would have easily beat Orlando two months ago had Kevin Garnett been playing. I'm sorry but it's the truth. If Garnett is healthy this year, I'd say Celtics have a good chance of winning the title.

and NO, I'm not a Celtics fan. GO RAPTORS!!!!

Nelson didn't play at all in that series either.

SB75
07-14-2009, 12:08 AM
STEVE SMITH is to smart to make such predictions. SAM SMITH wrote it.

KaganRS
07-14-2009, 12:37 AM
Why make predictions in the middle of the offseason when the rosters aren't really finalized yet ?!!? thats ridiculous ..........but still he has the pistons in the right spot .... sad but true

smith&wesson
07-14-2009, 12:54 AM
Lol anyone who thinks Orlando should be #1 is clearly misinformed. Boston would have easily beat Orlando two months ago had Kevin Garnett been playing. I'm sorry but it's the truth. If Garnett is healthy this year, I'd say Celtics have a good chance of winning the title.

and NO, I'm not a Celtics fan. GO RAPTORS!!!!


agreed :clap:

oh and hell yeah, go raps. we can take the hawks in a7 game series. beleive that.

JordansBulls
07-14-2009, 07:57 AM
East will be a dogfight all year between the big 3 as each will fight for that #1 seed. Simply put none of those 3 wants to see each other in the 2nd round and ECF that is why the #1 seed will be critical.

IBleedPurple
07-14-2009, 01:14 PM
He should stick to reporting on the Eastern Conference. Smith doesn't have the first clue what he's talking about with the West.

Agreed. LOL at the Suns ahead of Hornets and Jazz

JordansBulls
07-30-2009, 10:28 PM
Why make predictions in the middle of the offseason when the rosters aren't really finalized yet ?!!? thats ridiculous ..........but still he has the pistons in the right spot .... sad but true

Pretty much set now.

tland22
07-30-2009, 11:22 PM
Its not Steven Smith, its Sam Smith, hes not a loudmouth but he is an idiot

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

that guy thought it was Steven A Smith somehow...HAHAHAHA


and I agree PURPLE: LOL at the SUNS ahead of the Hornets and Jazz