Saturday, August 29, 2009

My Time is Now


I figured I'd get in quick on what slam is doing right now, but a little differently.
This is a list of (in my personal opinion) guys who are due to break out for their teams and a sentence or two why.
Note; This 'break-out' doesn't necessarily represent a 2nd or 3rd year player - for example, Wallace, Rasheed.
So, breaking it down by division, starting with the Eastern Conference:

Atlantic Division

Boston - Rasheed Wallace. Dude just got a new contract, and is once again looking at a veteran team with a designated centre(Perkins). His statistics may not reach double-double status again, but his level of play should improve.
Philadelphia - Lou Williams, Thaddeus Young, Marresse Speights: Ok, so it's three dudes. It's been yelled across the interwebs for all to hear, but PHI doesn't have a 'true' PG anymore - Lou will get extended playing time because of this. Elton Brand isn't quite healthy yet and Young and Speights will continue to take advantage of this, meaning more rebounds, points and playing time.
New Jersey - *The Whole Damn Team* (TWTD) - Um, yeh. Harris will now be the unquestioned leader of the squad with Vince back home, and apparently that Courtney Lee kid is motivated to play well. Brook Lopez is a prospect too. Long, athletic and a soft touch from 8ft inwards, I like him a lot, especially since the rest of New Jersey's interior is pathetic.
New York - Wilson Chandler - This is my dude. One of the only consistent guys, who is known to be on the roster for opening night. David Lee may not be there, same with Kryptonate with his legal troubles. I considered Danillo Gillinari (who?) for this, but.. yeh. 'Nuff said.
Central Division
Cleveland - J.J Hickson - I'ma go with this young fella right here, for a few reasons. Dude left NC State a year or two early and got drafted in about the right spot, but never quite adapted to the League in his rookie year. The trade to get Shaq got rid of Big Ben, leaving additional time at the 4spot for JJ. This means 10-25 minutes a night need to get played and Anderson Varejao can't gobble them all up, even with his hair. There's always the potential for injury to occur as well.

Toronto - Andrea Bargnani - it has to be him. Hedo is already playing at an all-star level, and I expcet DeRozan to be solid from day one, but Bargs' has shown so much potential, first early last year, when he was almost at 20/10 for a month, then late last year, when he had multiple 20/10/4/2 games. Hopefully he can continue that level of play. Chris Bosh is absolutely gooone otherwise. (Personally I think he made up his mind 2 seasons ago to leave).

Chicago - Derrick Rose, Luol Deng - Rose will up his performance in basically every single statistical category. His shooting from the mid-range area against Boston was excellent, and I truly hope this wasn't an appirition. Deng appears to be healthy after all of his numbers took hits last year with his injuries and the emergence of the ever-shooting John Salmons. Sure, statistically he may not improve, but his ability to play the game will.
Detroit - ? - Anyone can take this position. Well, almost anyone. I feel that Tayshaun will take more of a scoring burden this season, so will Villanueva. Remember when Charlie had a 40+ point game with Toronto as a rookie?

Indiana - Troy Murphy - I'm gonna go with Troy because he quietly went about being one of the most consistent rebounders in the League last year, and was in the top 5 for double-doubles too - AND he beat the Lakers with a tip-in. Gotta love that. It's not unreasonable to expect his 10/10's to increase this year. Dahntay Jones will get the opportunity to prove he's more than just a dunker too.
Milwaukee - Andrew Bogut(!) - Bogut is expected to be healthy for this year's training camp and with the departure of Charlie V AND Richard Jefferson, he'll need to increase his rebounding, scoring and overall role with the team. It's that simple. He's also one of the veterans of the squad now, with Michael Redd and Bruce Bowen the two oldest, most 'veteranish' tennants currently.
Southeast Division
Orlando - Vince Carter - Vince played great for N.J last season averaging over 20/5/5 once again. But, playing on a veteran squad, contending for a title NOW, his leadership will be required late in close games, as well as his clutchness (yes, that IS actually a word). His breakout will be in the success category (best playoffs result was in 2001, 2nd round), not in highlights or in statistics.
Atlanta - Joooosh Smiiith - Really? Yeh, I guess so. Al Horford will be better, but Smith, who has apparently worked 'really hard' on his shooting this off-season, still has the greatest potential for growth on this squad. If he can get his off-the-bounce game right, his athleticism will take over from there.
Miami - Michael Beasley - I'm sorry to do this to the kid, considering the difficulties he's got going on right now - but a large portion of the Heat's success this year and into the future will rest on Beasley's tattoo'd shoulders. If he up's his game, then maybe Wade will be enticed to stay on for a contract extension. Beasley played less than 25 minutes a game last year, and this should rise - if he can get his psyche right. A speedy recovery young fella.

Charlotte - Boris Diaw, D.J Augustin, Tyson Chandler - Boris will slide further into his point forward role this year, while DJ hopefully won't experience a sophomore slump. Diaw's versatility proved invaluble to the 'Cats, especially with Gerald Wallace doing his 'thang' (sorry if that came across awkwardly). Chandler flat out sucked with the Hornets last year, and hopefully he can regain that '08 form. Shouldn't be hard though - anything is better than last year. Urgh.

Washington - Gilbert Arenas - Who else but Agent Zero? Dude looks healthy and strong, and he's out playing competitive ball already, so all signs are good for Arenas. By himself. he should be able to once-again put the Wizards back into the playoff hunt, as long as Butler and Jamison remain healthy.

The Western Conference... is coming up next week. Stay tuned.

Peace, Hursty.


Moose said...

I like how you did this, Hursty. Of course, my big season preview/prediction is coming in late October, but I wish I could get started on it now....this pumped me up for the season. Okay, on to the article...

1. Sheed: He better be a breakout player. He'll give us size, length, threes....I mean, we know what we're getting.

2. Philly: Everybody keeps saying that they don't have a true PG, but I think that Lou Williams will very quickly mature. Maybe that's just because I love his game enough as it is, but...

3. NJ: Devin Harris WILL put up crazy numbers.

4. NYK: Duhon's gonna have a big year. He played very well under-the-radar last year.

5. Cleveland: LEON POWE.

6. Toronto: I think that Jarrett Jack will be one helluva backup PG on this team, if Calderon plays like '07-08 instead of last year.

7. ChiTown: Rose.

8. Deeeetroit: Gordon is gonna score a boatload of points, because who else is? Rip is good or 14, Tay is good for 14. Scoring is going to be tough. But Stuckey is going to be sick this year.

9. You forgot to add something about Murphy's number one hidden skill: Threes. Dude sank 162 threes last season, while shooting .450.

10. Milwaukee: Just give Brandon Jennings the ball and get the hell out of the way. He'll be fun to watch. I pick Joe Alexander to actually play this year.

11. Orlando: Can Dwight Howard get a frickin post move or two???

12. Atlanta: This team will score. J-Creezy, Joe Johnson, Mike Bibby, Josh Smith, Horford gets a few....breakout guy? Good pick with Smith.

13. Miami: Chris Quinn.

14. Charlotte: Michael Jordan

15. Washington: Hibachi!

Jeez that was a long post....Hursty just know that I wasn't critiquing your work there, I was just adding on to it; I didn't agree with anything you said in your post.

Hursty said...

Lou doesn't have ANY problem scoring the ball - but he does passing it.
Murphy is a good 3ball shooter - that's why I didn't mention it.

Collin said...

great stuff hursty...

and what about Tyrus Thomas; I'm not sayin he'll be an all star or anything; but I think he will have a huge season.

DP said...

i like this ish right here, hurst. waiting on the next version this week. just disagree with you on one thing...luo deng game is wack. he could be an all star but i don't see it happening even when he's healthy.

Hursty said...

Tyrus Thomas will get better, I don't doubt it - but not at the rate that a player like Rose will. I just can't see that crazy exponential increase, like we saw with Roy, Durant etc in their second years...(like I expect Rose will).
Deng's game is wack? haha. Ok, I think I understand you there. Deng is a little like Shaq last year, no-one expected him to do anything after his horror season in Miami (by his standards) but once he got over his injuries and comfortable with the team, he asserted himself more.
My Bulls 5 starters would be:
Miller and Hinrich would both play extended minutes off the bench.
Also DP, I know you were thinking of doing another blog this week, so in a couple of days, throw it up, and then by next week it's been up for 3/4 days and I can do the West.

BET said...

My ranking of the East this year 1-8:

1) The Cavs- the best team in the NBA got better. They surrounded Lebron with more talent. They will be better then last year.

2) Orlando- They became a more standard team, i dont see why that is a bad thing...

3)Atlanta- They got a big time scorer comming off the bench, and in general the team has improved.

4) Boston- the old get older. While i love Rasheed, he is not young and is not a ultra-hard worker. Boston really needed somebody who fit that bill. If they get Marquies Daniels, maybe they could be #2 on my list, but they havent yet.

5)Miami- If Wade is healthy,they could be #2-5 if he isnt they are 10-12. Ride or die.

6)Washington- Gilbert is back. Lets see how he fits into the new offense in Washington....

7)Philly - Eddie Jordan will make it happen, after all he didnt need a TRUE point guard in Washington. Elton Brand seems to be the odd man out, i dont like the way he fits into the offense their with Iggy and Thad Young. Maybe if Young plays six man it will work out better.

8)Bobcats-Simply because every other team has too many flaws. Detroit doesnt have a nba or for that matter nbdl level center on their roster and has another 3 starting guard 2 starting spot problem. Indy lost Jarret Jack. Toronto doesnt have any shooting guards (Dezoran isnt ready to log such heavy minutes). Chicago lost Ben Gordon and with him a lot of chemistry.New Jersey is just a mess. New York doesnt have a point guard yet (Duhon wont be the starter this year, its either Sessions or Felton, the question is which one?) and Milwaulke is coached by Scott Skiles. As soon as the Bobcats sign their scorer (i dont care if it is Iverson, Desmond Mason, Marques 'property of the celtics' Daniels, Nate Robinson or somebody else) they might even be a 5th seed. We were the 6th best defensive team in the NBA last year, being the worst in scoring kept us out of the playoffs.Once that gets fixed, 8th is ours.

Blinguo said...

Derrick Rose was reported early in the offseason to be working on nothing but jumpshots and improving his range. Josh is doing the same?

Granted he's a slasher scorer swingman who really hates Jamaal Magloire for some reason and isn't always in the game as such. Blowing up mentally, wrong time:place during the playoffs. Bibby was huge for them regular season and down the wire into the playoff push.

Dwight("Get some rebounds!") did become more assertive with more quicker decisive moves toward the basket by the end of the Finals. Caught the ball, then go. The winner was already determined by then, but he did show signs of improvement, so stop being like Brad Long/the rest Moose! You're better than that.

This write up is much more interesting than the West, considering those stacked teams and everyone in the East has a what if, or a missing piece, or a makeshift offense because no point guard or no 4/5 big man. But they did make moves at the top to become more competitive with the West, while the West stayed mostly the same.

And the Warriors signed Mikki Moore and his snakes and snake like demeanor. Goofball fans called Troy Hudson "the Predator," they're probably going to re-use that one for Moore. Who needs StackJack now! (...Grumble.)

Hursty said...

Hey, I understood what Blinguo was talking about then! A breakthrough! Haha.
And thankyou too.
BET, I can get down with that ranking, depends on the C's health and ATL's meshing ability though. But for now, I still view the Celtics as top 3.

Moose said...

hursty knows what's up.

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