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Old 07-25-14, 10:51 AM
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Predicting the West

Now that most of the free agent moves have been made, here in s how I see things standing in the West.

Title contenders: SA, OKC, LAC
The one thing these 3 teams have in common is that they basically just brought back the band. SA had cap flexibility and chose to re-sign its own FAs. OKC just swapt out parts, but its main change is going into the season healthy. LAC is up in the air with the whole Sterling fiasco. I see a slight possibility for some kind of walkout/boycott if the legal issues aren't settled by the start of the season.

Contending to be Bounced in the second round: Dal, Hou, Por, Mem, GSW
Dal moves up into this group, Hou falls into it based on how they managed free agency. Dallas improved several spots on their team while Hou missed on their opportunity to secure their spot among the true contenders. Por stays basically the same. We'll see if Lillard can up his game to take this team to the next level where it seemed they were at the beginning of this year.

1 spot, 4 teams: Phx, NO, Min, LAL

Depending on what happens to love and how Kobe comes back this could be only two teams. All would be competitive to make the East finals, but thanks to conference unevenness, they are scrapping for a final spot.

Last edited by b1gdon; 07-25-14 at 11:47 AM.
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Old 07-25-14, 12:03 PM
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Call me crazy but I think Dallas has a realistic shot at making the conference finals. They were the only team to really push the spurs, and they matchup well with okc and the clippers. The finals may be out of the question for them, but I would love to see San Antonio and Dallas go at it in the WCFs if for no other reason than the clippers and thunder would have to watch at home. It will most likely be sa and okc again, but don't sleep on the mavs, Rick Carlisle is the second best coach in the game as far as I'm concerned.
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Old 07-25-14, 12:38 PM
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I appreciate that y'all are gazing into the crystal ball, but I see way too many factors blocking a clear prediction.

It'll be fun to see what Kerr can do with all those gunners in SF. The Suns should be ready to make a huge leap. Portland looked to be the real deal for a while last season and has had plenty of time for its players to re-evaluate and recommit. Any of them could be scary and even get to the conference finals.

I regret that the Grizz were foolish enough to let Lionel Hollins go. They were building something special there and now are plagued with interference from the FO.

I have never been able to take the Clips seriously. Paul, though excellent, has been overrated throughout his career, and the rest of the team is more "Lob City" flash than fundamentally sound. Add in the Sterling mess, and the Clips should be just another Hollywood soap opera.

Dallas is Dallas, and Carlisle is finally getting props he deserves. If Cuban could only settle on a roster without continuing to tinker every year. He's passionate but not very smart.

I simply think that there 's a flaw in OKC. To my eye, it's Westbrook who has magnificent physical talents but is way too crazy to quarterback a title team.

I wanna think that the Spurs will be there until the end. But I'm concerned that Kawhi has no backup, that Manu is nuts enough to consider playing summer ball on a broken leg (I don't care how good you feel today, Manu) and that Patty will be out for most of the season.

Last year's team was one of the greatest of all time, but the Spurs have never repeated. I don't know that they've improved in any way over the summer.

Should be a great year for basketball fans. Go, Spurs, go.
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Old 07-25-14, 01:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mckennaspur1 View Post
I appreciate that y'all are gazing into the crystal ball, but I see way too many factors blocking a clear prediction.

It'll be fun to see what Kerr can do with all those gunners in SF. The Suns should be ready to make a huge leap. Portland looked to be the real deal for a while last season and has had plenty of time for its players to re-evaluate and recommit. Any of them could be scary and even get to the conference finals.

I regret that the Grizz were foolish enough to let Lionel Hollins go. They were building something special there and now are plagued with interference from the FO.

I have never been able to take the Clips seriously. Paul, though excellent, has been overrated throughout his career, and the rest of the team is more "Lob City" flash than fundamentally sound. Add in the Sterling mess, and the Clips should be just another Hollywood soap opera.

Dallas is Dallas, and Carlisle is finally getting props he deserves. If Cuban could only settle on a roster without continuing to tinker every year. He's passionate but not very smart.

I simply think that there 's a flaw in OKC. To my eye, it's Westbrook who has magnificent physical talents but is way too crazy to quarterback a title team.

I wanna think that the Spurs will be there until the end. But I'm concerned that Kawhi has no backup, that Manu is nuts enough to consider playing summer ball on a broken leg (I don't care how good you feel today, Manu) and that Patty will be out for most of the season.

Last year's team was one of the greatest of all time, but the Spurs have never repeated. I don't know that they've improved in any way over the summer.

Should be a great year for basketball fans. Go, Spurs, go.
+1.

Last season there were about 10 teams in the west that were worthy of the playoffs. Sooner or later, teams that have been accumulating young talent through the draft will begin to mature. So my only expectation is that New Orleans may soon jump into the fray for the 8th seed along with Phoenix and the T-Pups fall off.

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Old 07-25-14, 02:57 PM
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Phoenix is a solid #4 seed.............if they could move to the East.
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Old 07-25-14, 03:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by exit7 View Post
Call me crazy but I think Dallas has a realistic shot at making the conference finals. They were the only team to really push the spurs, and they matchup well with okc and the clippers. The finals may be out of the question for them, but I would love to see San Antonio and Dallas go at it in the WCFs if for no other reason than the clippers and thunder would have to watch at home. It will most likely be sa and okc again, but don't sleep on the mavs, Rick Carlisle is the second best coach in the game as far as I'm concerned.
There is no doubt that Dallas is out to contend this season. The question becomes how good will the chemistry be and can they perfect a system and get used to playing together in a single season and always in question is the health of Dirk's knee. Player IQ in Houston may have fallen even further with the loss of Parsons.


Last edited by Spurd_On; 07-25-14 at 03:26 PM.
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Old 07-25-14, 05:31 PM
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Mavs did play the Spurs very well no doubt. Spurs also played the most hero ball of any of their matchups. Spurs got better as the playoffs went along so there is a bit of fool's gold for Mavs to believe they are at the same level. Nice moves but they are counting on a few guys with recent injury history with Nelson, Chandler, and Harris. I would feel more concerned if they didn't have 8 new players on their roster. Carlisle's system is easier to integrate new guys but it is still 8 new players so it will probably cost them seeding with some early losses.
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Old 07-26-14, 10:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoatBoy View Post
Mavs did play the Spurs very well no doubt. Spurs also played the most hero ball of any of their matchups. Spurs got better as the playoffs went along so there is a bit of fool's gold for Mavs to believe they are at the same level. Nice moves but they are counting on a few guys with recent injury history with Nelson, Chandler, and Harris. I would feel more concerned if they didn't have 8 new players on their roster. Carlisle's system is easier to integrate new guys but it is still 8 new players so it will probably cost them seeding with some early losses.
Totally agree. The Mavs caught the Spurs in a funk that had been going on since about two weeks before the season ended. To their credit, they did snap the Spurs out of their funk. But if the Spurs had played them in the second round and beyond, it would have been over in 5. There was no reason that matchup should have been that difficult. It was what the Spurs weren't doing, not what the Mavs actually did.
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Old 07-27-14, 09:50 PM
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I think itīs too early to tell.
And also, injuries are biotches.
Barring injuries:

Spurs - OKC - Blazers (they keep getting better)

LAC (The sterling drama drops them a bit to the contending for the chance of second round IMO) - Mavs - Warriors

Suns - Hou - NO - LAL

Minnesotta and Memphis are longer shots IMO just because of Love drama, and loss of Hollins.
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Old 07-28-14, 03:33 AM
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Some of the West teams did some wheeliní and dealiní with trades and free agent signings but they donít particularly bother me as much as Phoenix and New Orleans. Both are young, athletic, like to fast break and have at least a full season under their belt playing together. Phoenix disturbs me most of all with the Morris twins, a healthy Len, Plumlee and Dragic. Plus they made some nice additions by signing Isiah Thomas, draft picks TJ Warren (shooter), Bogdan Bogdanovic and signing Jimmer Fredette. And if they resign Eric Bledsoe, they will have a very dynamic backcourt threesome rotation.

The Pelicans will have a healthy Ryan Anderson back shooting 3s, Jrue Holiday in the backcourt and they acquired Asik to help with the boards and take up space. Aside from Anthony Davis, the Pelicans donít have the name players who will give you pause but again, they are young, athletic, fast break and have that added year experience.

The West will indeed be interesting and no team should be taken for granted, with the Spurs playing with a target on their backs. The Spurs will have essentially the same team they walked through the 2013-14 regular season and playoffs with. They showed the world they could annihilate any team with what they did best: staying focused, playing good team defense and passing the ball around, getting everyone involved and most of all, staying healthy. I hope Manu heard that.
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Old 07-28-14, 09:16 AM
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IMO, If (and that's a big IF) all teams stay healthy going into PO's, it's gonna come down to either OKC or SA. PERIOD. Nuff'said
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