Wednesday, July 29, 2009

How Do We Stack Up?

With the summer winding down and the top teams essentially done dealing in free agency (except for the Lakers and Lamar, and perhaps the Nuggets with Kleiza), we can now take a look into the Western Conference race for next season.
I expect Carlos Boozer will be on the team for the duration of the season (even though I’d wish to get rid of the guy). If the Jazz don’t want to trade Boozer unless they have the ability to improve the team by way of “said” trade (this is what KOC keeps on saying…), then Boozer won’t be dealt. No team is silly enough to give away a top talent for Boozer’s services. Thusly, I will rank the teams with the Jazz as currently constituted.
1. LA Lakers: With or without Lamar, the Lakers will be deadly. Artest will give them more toughness. They’re still the deepest team in the NBA with quality talent. Gasol, Bynum, Artest and Kobe will get this team through the West as the top seed. Odom puts them over the top.
2. San Antonio Spurs: They’re back… What a summer for the Spurs! It’s just not fair when a team reloads like that to put themselves within contention. Jefferson makes a huge difference and McDyess provides the Spurs with some inside depth. This is a scary team once again.
3. Dallas Mavericks: The Mavs have hit the road running. Kidd returns, and Marion gives them another option on the wing and on the break. Tim Thomas can shoot when healthy. Gooden is just alright. But the rest of the players are solid… Howard, Terry and don’t forget Dirk. They’ll have a terrific regular season.
4. Portland TrailBlazers: I believe Andre Miller will get this team moving on the fast track. He’ll make his young teammates better. Brandon Roy will elevate his game to the next level. And Oden & Aldridge can only improve from last season.
5. Denver Nuggets: This might be a long drop off from last season’s 2nd seed, however, I don’t think they’ve improved at all… while the other teams have gotten much better. We shall see…
6. New Orleans Hornets: What can I say?... Okafor is better than Chandler. That’s an upgrade in my mind. Okafor with West will be tough up front. Diogu provides depth. The rest of the team stays intact. CP3 is still pretty good.
7. Utah Jazz: I recognize that we had injuries last season, and the hope will be that we can overcome them… However, I wasn’t too impressed with our showing in the playoffs against LA when we were healthy. Boozer will be looking for #1. Millsap doesn’t want to be his backup. And we’ll need strong improvement from the wings (Brewer & Miles) since Harpring will be gone, and AK47 can’t be counted on. I really like Okur and our superstar, DWill. Maybe Kosta can give us something. We’ll be slotted anywhere from #5 to #8. Without Boozer, we’ll be in the lottery (woof!).
8. LA Clippers: I believe the Clippers will beat out the Suns for the last spot. Yep, Blake Griffin, Baron Davis, and the Clippers will get to the playoffs. I like their pieces… Gordon, Thornton, Camby, etc. The Suns will ride Amare’ as far as he can take them… which will be to the lottery again.


Pasty Gangsta said...

Boozer says a few players have tried to recruit him? What does he think this is, a college visit? Does he have any idea how the NBA works? There is no recruiting when you're not a free agent. There are contracts and GMs and trades and the salary cap.

Clark said...

If the Lakers don't re-sign Odom, I think the Spurs are honestly better. Dumping Ariza and signing Artest was a step back. Artest just doesn't fit the team as well.

The Jazz are playing for anywhere between the 3rd and 8th seed...again.

Ryan said...

D-Will, Brewer, and Millsap are all young players who have improved each year they have been in the league. If they continue to improve and Okur and Korver can have good seasons from deep, we have a chance to surprise some people.

As of now, I predict the west will go: Spurs, Lakers, Trailblazers, Nuggets, Jazz, Hornets, Mavs, and Thunder. That last spot is a tough one to call with Houston dropping off the map. I like what OKC has done and think they could have a break out year. The Clips aren't a bad dark horse pick either.

Orlando said...

I also like the Spurs over the Lakers right now. Also, I think the Jazz are better than New Orelans and can challenge the Nuggets. We weren't healthy all year - including the playoffs.

Sixth seed here we come!

Pasty Gangsta said...

If we are holding our breath for Korver to have a breakout year. . . we're going to be holding our breath for awhile.

I agree though -- we're better than the Hornets and the Nuggets. And I think we give Portland a run if we stay healthy. They still have a lot of young guys and some new pieces to mix in.

Jazz Fan said...

First off, I hate the Spurs. With that being said, I think that LA is better that SA. The Spurs are old. LA has Kobe. Im happy that people belive that Utah is better than NOH (Dwill eats CP3 for lunch every time they play!), Portland will be good, probably better than Utah. Dallas is also old (Kidd is like 65 isnt he??), and the last team in is a toss up. Lets not count out Houston yet. THey won like 100 games without Yao last year-even after they liquidated their entire team, plus they have Ariza (That guy kills the Jazz)

Here are my Picks
1- Utah Jazz
2- Los Angeles Lakers
3- San Antonio Old people
4- Denver Nuggnuts
5- Portland young people
6- Dallas Winers
7- New Orleans Hornets
8- Houston Rockets

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