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Gibby
11-24-2009, 04:37 PM
Five teams that aren't as bad as they seem

5. Toronto: You know that old stereotype about foreigners and how they can't play defense? Well, the Raptors aren't exactly shattering that perception. Team United Nations is giving up points at a rate that's embarrassing for a playoff-contending team, and yes, despite the losing start, the Raptors will still be playoff contenders. Notice we didn't say "championship contenders" because, in addition to their lack of a certified A-list franchise player (Chris Bosh hasn't led his team anywhere special, unlike Kobe and LeBron and D-Wade), the Raptors will not go far without issuing a little more D. It's not that they haven't applied themselves on defense. They can't play defense.

But, please. Toronto will not finish under .500. There's too much variety on offense, too many decent veteran players to prevent a disaster from happening. Plus, Toronto will play the Knicks and Nets eight times. That helps.

Losing on the road to Dallas, San Antonio, Phoenix, Denver and Utah is no shame. Toronto will turn it around. No such guarantees for the defense, though.

4. Utah: Opened the season 2-6 and had some bad losses to Houston and Sacramento, but that appears to be history. Carlos Boozer has decided to forget his perplexing summer and just play. Lately, he's looked like the old Boozer, collecting double-doubles and taking the scoring load from Deron Williams (tough almost every night). Oh, and there's been an Andrei Kirilenko sighting. He's still coming off the bench, but his minutes are up and so is his production. This might be the most confident AK-47's been in years.

As long as rookies Wes Matthews and Eric Maynor continue to improve in the scattered minutes they're getting, the bench will give Utah extra benefits as the season, and their win total, moves forward.

3. Los Angeles Clippers: Everything's on hold until Blake Griffin is good to go. If the rookie is solid from the jump, he and Chris Kaman will push this team up. If not, then Mike Dunleavy better not check his inbox.

2. Detroit: They had a brutal West Coast trip and missed Rip Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince for virtually the entire first month. Once the Pistons get their two best players back, and find a way to rotate in their 297 guards, they'll be better than a basement dweller. Figure around break-even.

1. San Antonio: Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili have all missed time. Now you know.
Five teams that aren't as good as they seem

5. Oklahoma City: Could be wrong about a team that has already beaten the Spurs and Magic. Kevin Durant is obviously the real deal, Jeff Green is shaping up nicely in a Scottie Pippen role and if Russell Westbrook trims his turnovers, look out. Still, it's hard to imagine OKC improving by so much so soon. Are they really poised to crack 40 wins? And press for a playoff role? That's what they're on pace to do.

4. Phoenix: This is no reflection on Alvin Gentry, a player's coach. Or Nash. Or Amare. Or even Channing Frye, an early season revelation. And yes, the Suns did well on their Eastern trip, winning four of five. But they can't keep making half their shots, can they? The ball's gotta stop falling at some point. The Suns deserve all the applause they're getting, and yet there's the nagging suspicion that this is the best Phoenix can play.

3. Milwaukee: Look, everybody loves what the kid is doing. Remarkable stuff. But this is a mirage. Not Brandon Jennings. The Bucks. Unless you really think they're gonna win 50-plus games and the division. True, Michael Redd is back and Andrew Bogut is playing the best ball of his life. They won seven of eight but only one was over a decent team (Denver). Let's see what the next few weeks bring (Magic, Cavs twice, Lakers, etc.). You saw what happened in San Antonio on Monday.

2. Sacramento: Started cold, then went hot, now it's chilly again. That's what happens when you put such a young team on the floor. The schedule is soft for the rest of the month, then look out. As a whole, the Kings do have intriguing young talent and will be genuinely better in the spring than they are now, when they get more consistency from Spencer Hawes, Jason Thompson and Tyreke Evans.

1. Miami: They started 6-1 but the last few weeks have been more representative of where the Heat really stand. The schedule toughened up and so did the chance for wins. This is still a team of role players led by a superstar. For the most part, nothing's changed since last season, when Wade carried the club. Must give some respect, however, to Jermaine O'Neal. He's averaging roughly 16 points and six rebounds, bounce-back numbers for someone long believed to be finished as a productive player. Still, how much longer can he keep this up? The Heat are still waiting for Michael Beasley to break out. So far, he hasn't.

http://www.nba.com/2009/news/features/shaun_powell/11/24/false.starts/index.html?ls=iref:nbahpt1

do you guys agree? i agree with raptors, spurs, and jazz will get better. i also think bucks and kings will take a step down.

Kyle N.
11-24-2009, 04:41 PM
I can agree with the Kings. They're young. They'll have good nights and bad nights. As long as they make every game competitive I guess I can't ask for much more, the wins will come and go. I think they'll pick it up again shortly but honestly it sucks with Martin and Garcia out, a lot.

Ballah0liC1
11-24-2009, 05:02 PM
holy **** the rockets werent bashed

J_M_B
11-24-2009, 05:08 PM
I agree with the rankings for the most part, but Miami isn't as bad he this writer believes. When Miami got off to their 7-2 start they were playing great basketball. They beat Denver, kept it close with Cleveland, and were leading the entire game against Phoenix until Steve Nash turned on.

After the first 9 or 10 games, Miami lost Udonis Haslem and Quetin Richardison to injuries, both who playing about 30+ minutes a game.

I'm not trying to be a homer, but Miami is still a second tier play-off team IMO.

pebloemer
11-24-2009, 05:16 PM
Just read this article recently actually.

As a Raptor's fan, it was validating to hear. The strength of the schedule certainly plays into early starts or slumps.

To add to this quote: "Losing on the road to Dallas, San Antonio, Phoenix, Denver and Utah is no shame. Toronto will turn it around. No such guarantees for the defense, though."

- two more of our losses came to Orlando. Been a very rough schedule. Add in the fact that their are nine new faces to start the season, and I have to agree that the team's record should improve.

Regarding other teams; I was surprised to see Utah's poor start. I also expect them to have a better record than they are showing off. Hard to see San Antonio remaining on this pace. Detroit should get a lift when Hamilton and Prince return.

I think OKC will continue their pace and I can see Phoenix having an excellent regular season if they stay healthy. Those are the two picks I disagree with most. But overall, it is a good list IMO.

links136
11-24-2009, 05:25 PM
milwakuee will fall back down to earth, hard. So far they have had the easiest schedule in the nba, and by a huge margin as well. Consider this. The sos between the 15th and 29th new jersey nets is a difference of .05. The difference between the nets and 30th bucks is .03. Its outrageously low. with an 8-4 record their rpi ranks 20th. fitting.

arkanian215
11-24-2009, 05:47 PM
like i said before in that are the kings better without kevin martin thread, people saying that the kings are better now without him were absolutely wrong. they didnt pay attention to the schedule that the kings played or who was contributing along side kevin martin. they did beat houston but on the road they showed their weaknesses.

id love to see jt, hawes and evans become a great young core for them but it's premature to say they're good this year. and it's definitely a stretch to say they're better without kevin martin.

ldc62
11-24-2009, 05:55 PM
I agree that Toronto will probably get back to .500+ 2 weeks from now. I dunno why Miami is at #1, they have Wade who can win games tough games by himself. Also I don't think Griffin is going to make the clippers win that many more games.

links136
11-24-2009, 06:05 PM
I agree that Toronto will probably get back to .500+ 2 weeks from now. I dunno why Miami is at #1, they have Wade who can win games tough games by himself. Also I don't think Griffin is going to make the clippers win that many more games.

mainly because out of their 8 wins, only 1 has been against a half decent team, the nuggets, besides the fact of course they're paper thin. The point being they're not the 6-1 team they started out as, rather 45ish wins. I also agree that Griffin won't help the clippers much.

SB75
11-24-2009, 06:15 PM
Better than their record:
N.O.
Char

Worse than their record:
N.J. - Yep their that bad
NY- Bad on purpose to create cap room, but still one horrible team
Mil- How long can the rookie carry them

I don't think their are 5 of either, barring a major injury to one of your stars you are what your record says you are.

TheCardiacKids
11-24-2009, 06:20 PM
What about the Wizards 3-9 with all of the talent they have.

jimbobjarree
11-24-2009, 06:21 PM
we'z didnt start 2-6

MaHaRaJaH
11-24-2009, 07:24 PM
I can agree with the Kings. They're young. They'll have good nights and bad nights. As long as they make every game competitive I guess I can't ask for much more, the wins will come and go. I think they'll pick it up again shortly but honestly it sucks with Martin and Garcia out, a lot.

It's such a shame a talented shooter like him get's long term injuries.

MaHaRaJaH
11-24-2009, 07:25 PM
What about the Wizards 3-9 with all of the talent they have.

And everybody had them as playoff seed team. Still early anyway.

GoatMilk
11-24-2009, 07:29 PM
Suns for sure are worse than their record

runforrestrunx9
11-24-2009, 07:37 PM
my sixers r worse than their record

Brew Crew
11-24-2009, 09:32 PM
Why are there so many Toronto fans hating the Bucks?

clutchski
11-24-2009, 09:35 PM
Why are there so many Toronto fans hating the Bucks?

Not all of them do; I like the Bucks they've been exciting to watch this year.

theuuord
11-24-2009, 09:52 PM
Obviously the Nets are better than their record. When you lose 4 of 5 starters I don't care who you are, you're going to lose more games.

The Bucks aren't as good as their record, but BJennings is sure fun to watch.

HuRRiCaNeS324
11-24-2009, 10:12 PM
I don't agree that the heat are worse than their record because their record isn't great. 8-5 is pretty average and that's what type of team we are, except we have a superstar which makes a huge difference in the end. I agree that this team will be a replica of last year's team; pretty good team lead by a superstar and make it to the playoffs as a 5th or 6th seed.

I can't wait for 2010 :sigh:

Hellcrooner
11-24-2009, 10:19 PM
i find ridicule that he calls out bosh as not a real franchise dude because he led them nowhere special. specially since hementions kobe.

well jeames led cavs to finals, ok, wade some second round ok.


but KOBE hasnt gone out of the first round without shaq or Pau so he basicaly ahs done as much as bosh,

Kakaroach
11-24-2009, 10:22 PM
Yeah the Jazz are better, without 2 guys in the rotation out so far this year in CJ Miles and Kyle Korver. Not to mention Deron Williams, Mehmet Okur, and Ronnie price have missed a few games.

Toenail Clipper
11-24-2009, 10:25 PM
i find ridicule that he calls out bosh as not a real franchise dude because he led them nowhere special. specially since hementions kobe.

well jeames led cavs to finals, ok, wade some second round ok.


but KOBE hasnt gone out of the first round without shaq or Pau so he basicaly ahs done as much as bosh,

your posts really confuse me.

Sly Guy
11-24-2009, 10:56 PM
Not all of them do; I like the Bucks they've been exciting to watch this year.

agreed. after watching jennings play a couple of times, I'm rooting for the kid to prove everyone wrong and put that team on his back. He's a great scorer, and as much as I'd like to see him carry the bucks to the postseason this year, I see too much inconsistency to make it happen. Will be tuning into lots of their games this season anyway I think.

Hellcrooner
11-24-2009, 11:08 PM
jeenings is just the latest florified ballhog.

Sly Guy
11-24-2009, 11:11 PM
jeenings is just the latest florified ballhog.

I'll agree with that, but iverson was one too, and he was able to take a team to the finals. Doesn't make watching him any less entertaining.

links136
11-24-2009, 11:20 PM
your posts really confuse me.

well the writer said bosh isn't on the same level as lebron wade and kobe because he hasn't had any post-season success, but only lebron has gotten out of the first round without another allstar eg. kobe after shaq and before pau, which means bosh isn't really any different from them.

Hellcrooner
11-24-2009, 11:20 PM
i dont find entertaining watching the ame guy shooting once and again and aagina not caring if h is on abad positin adn a teamate is open.

Hellcrooner
11-24-2009, 11:20 PM
well the writer said bosh isn't on the same level as lebron wade and kobe because he hasn't had any post-season success, but only lebron has gotten out of the first round without another allstar eg. kobe after shaq and before pau, which means bosh isn't really any different from them.thanks

Simpson4Heisman
11-24-2009, 11:21 PM
I don't see the Kings taking to many steps down. They will only get better with Kevin Martin. Some of the teams they have played may get more healthy and better, that's the only thing that will keep the Kings out. I think they're truly playing great basketball. I've seen them play three times this year myself. Without Martin, they are still impressive. Tyreke Evans, while he does make mistakes, seems to improve from every game. Spencer Hawes and Jason Thompson certainly graduated from Brad Miller big man school. They are so crafty offensively around the rim. For people, who haven't seen them play I compare Hawes game to Gasols from the Lakers (obviously Pal is way better and the ****) and Thompson to a more athletic Danny Granger (Granger also clearly better). I think as Tyreke progresses, so will this team. Remember the Bulls made the playoffs last year with a rookie point guard with similar talent surrounding him. Not saying the Kings are at all a title contender but I think right now there as good as there playing. Can't help other teams not living up to the billing?

As far as the Heat, I see them as completely overrated. They've benefited numerous times this season from teams playing without there superstars and teams superstars getting in dumb foul trouble. That type of stuff doesn't happen for an entire season. I watched the game my bulls game in which we lost pretty handily. I don't know where we went that night (a big problem with our team might i add), but the Heat didn't even impress me that much. Wade simply does not have enough scoring presence around him. Haslem is not going to get 25 a night. Beasely has progressed wonderfully but can't create his own jumper. Making him a catch pass and shoot or a I'm taking it right to the rim guy.Teams will learn how to play him very soon. Force him to dribble and then cut off the hoop. It will completely shut his game down. Coaches have not done it yet, because he's not earned that respect. I think with his play as of it late, they soon will. But outside of them, the Heat are a sad bunch. There standings will soon reflect that.

ManRam
11-24-2009, 11:27 PM
Better than their record:
N.O.
Char

Worse than their record:
N.J. - Yep their that bad
NY- Bad on purpose to create cap room, but still one horrible team
Mil- How long can the rookie carry them

I don't think their are 5 of either, barring a major injury to one of your stars you are what your record says you are.

New Jersey has been without 3-4 of their starters for most of the season. They haven't won a single game. How the hell can they be worse than their record? Not only is it physically impossible to be worse than 0 wins, but there is without a doubt they are a better team (when healthy) than they have showed. A lot of their games have been real close...without Lopez, Harris, Yi, Lee etc.

Ray_R
11-24-2009, 11:33 PM
^yea injuries are holding back the nets drastically. if not for injuries they would be 7th seed.

_KB24_
11-24-2009, 11:48 PM
I actually think that all of the Championship contenders are much better than their records.

Spurs- Injuries, injuries, injuries.....I hate not watching Manu play. :sigh:

Cavs- They are a much better team than whatever the record is.

Celtics-I was expecting a similar start to the one they had last year.

Lakers-I was with Reggie on this. I would not agree that they have lost 3 games already. I expected them and the Celtics to be near undefeatable.

Magic-They are a better team than their records suggest.

Obviously every team above still has had a "good" start to their season and injuries have been an issue for each team. But, by seasons end, we all what teams are going to be the real contenders

Kakaroach
11-25-2009, 12:51 AM
New Jersey has been without 3-4 of their starters for most of the season. They haven't won a single game. How the hell can they be worse than their record? Not only is it physically impossible to be worse than 0 wins, but there is without a doubt they are a better team (when healthy) than they have showed. A lot of their games have been real close...without Lopez, Harris, Yi, Lee etc. Thats exactly what I was thinking lol. Nets would have at least 1 win if it wasn't for all those injuries you described.

Raph12
11-25-2009, 12:54 AM
Seems alright at first glance...

Mr. Fluffi
11-25-2009, 11:53 AM
Schedule wise you could make an argument for the bulls being better than their record. They've lost @Boston, @L.A. Lakers, @Denver, @Portland, @Miami, @Toronto, vs. Denver. Those Teams have a combined record of 67-33 (counted Denver twice because we've played them twice) and 6 of the 7 losses have been road games.

They've won @Sacramento, vs. Milwaukee, vs. San Antonio, vs. Charlotte, vs. Philadelphia, @Cleveland. Those Teams have a combined record of 38-40.

dsickich123
11-25-2009, 02:12 PM
I somewhat agree with this list...

As an OKC fan, I do not like to see them at that side of the thing....

But i think many are confused on them since they have got so much better this year...

OKC beat the Spurs with all of their starters, so i do not really think S.A is that good...I think that S.A. will make the playoffs....but as a lower seed...

Lets hope OKC can take the 7 or 8 spot....