Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Leastern Conference Champs?????

Ok, so the big KG to Boston trade is done. After the smoke cleared, Minnesota received Al Jefferson, Theo Ratliff’s expiring contract, Ryan Gomes, Sebastian Telfair, Gerald Green, and two 1st round draft picks for their trouble.

Now, they are apparently the favorite to win the east. I say, not so fast, for several reasons. Ok, let me put myself out there by saying that my love for Bill Simmons’ work has made me a hater of all Boston teams. Paul Pierce, who was one of my favorite players when he first entered the league, is now one of my least favorites.

Now, for the unbiased part of the program I shall examine Boston’s flaws, and all the positives of the other Eastern Conference teams.

First, all the Celtics have on their team is KG, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen. Their projected starting five is Rajon Rondo, a decent point guard prospect, Ray at the 2, Pierce at the 3, KG at the 4 and Kendrick Perkins at center, who pretty much sucks.

The bench, according to Yahoo! Sports is Allan Ray (trash), Tony Allen (good, but kinda psycho), “Big Baby” Glen Davis (decent, but short rookie prospect), Leon Powe (serviceable big man), Gabe Pruitt (mysterious guy from USC), Brian Scalabrine (sucks), and Brandon Wallace (I have no idea who this man is).

Now that Troy Hudson has been released, maybe they can convince him to sign for the minimum and be their point guard. Not that he’s much better than Rondo.

God forbid that any of their big three get hurt, their season will be done. What makes matters worse, Allen and Pierce have been somewhat injury prone the past two seasons and KG has a billion miles on him, which makes him vulnerable for an injury.

Out of those bench guys, I only really like Allen, Davis, and Powe. An eight man rotation, relying on five guys with no more than one year of experience, besides Tony Allen is awful.

Chemistry wise, I think the trio will work fine. Well that’s if Doc Rivers doesn’t try to coach the team. Offensively, they can run the offense through KG or Pierce, depending on who’s hot. Allen is a jump shooter; he doesn’t need the ball in his hands to be effective. In fact, Pierce is probably the only one of the trio that does need the ball to be effective. KG would still average a double-double without any plays run for him, like Shawn Marion.

Defense is another story. I’m not so sure that Ray Allen can be an effective defender. Rondo, from what I understand, is supposed to be a good defender. KG and Pierce are decent, and Perkins is decent I think as well.

Another thing to consider, they’re not the only team in the East. My current favorite in the East, the Bulls, haven’t done much to their roster. I like them because of maturity of their young players. Joakim Noah will also be a solid rookie. Even though they don’t have a low post scorer, their offense will be good and their defense is solid.

Many analysts think the Pistons will challenge, but I think they’re done. Dumars should’ve blown up the team; he still has time to do this.

I like the Nets a lot. They’ll be getting Krstic back, and Jamaal Magloire will basically replace Collins in their rotation. Add that with their big three and a young, athletic bench. I also believe this will be their last season as a threat.

Miami is also dangerous, solely because of Dwayne Wade.

My sleeper team in the East this year is Charlotte, who will contend for a playoff spot. (Well, they’re my August 1 sleeper, so this of course is subject to change)

And of course, you can’t count out Agent Zero and his gang. Plus, expect Cleveland to make a panic trade for Mike Bibby to play point guard. (I hope they trade Varajeo for Bibby instead of Gooden, for their sake).

The point is this; the East was bad last year, especially in the playoffs. However, at least within the conference, the games will be competitive. Even if the Celtics win the conference, with the team they have, I doubt they can be called a true title contender. I don’t know how much money they have to spend, but with that roster, there is still much work to do.

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