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Oбзор НБА по английски
« : Октября 08, 2012, 23:51:25 »
Первый обзор написал в общем топике, но понял что будет проще и правильнее сделать отдельный топик, так как пишу по английски, да и обзор больше подходит до начала сезона, а главная тема больше на время самого сезона.

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Re: Oбзор НБА по английски
« Ответ #1 : Октября 08, 2012, 23:52:02 »
Начну с Юговосточного дивизиона:
Southwest division

Atlanta Hawks:

Hawks made many changes, but yet kept the core the same. The mega trade sending Joe Johnson to the Nets was one of the biggest trades of the summer, but while Hawks lost their All Star, they gained great depth and got rid of a huge contract.
Hawks right now are very deep with second unit just as good as many first teams units in the league.
Their bench now is Harris, Morrow, Stevenson, Ivan/ Tolliver and Pachulia – very strong bench, one of the best in the league.
You can see that almost all of the elite teams this summer, were focused on getting deeper and improving their bench.

Three X-Factors for me with the Hawks:
1)   Can Williams continue his ability from the Sixers. He is used to play in deep and level team, so this probably is a good sign, but if he can improve a bit more, people in Atlanta will forget JJ much more quickly.
2)   Korver and Morrow – Johnson’s biggest asset probably was his ability to hit three pointers and while Korver’s defense is questionable, both Morrow and Korver can get tons of open looks playing for the Hawks and if they will shoot their regular numbers, Hawks will be a huge threat behind the arc.
3)   Horford’s health and Smith’s ability to become the go to guy for the Hawks. Hawks have one of the best frontcourts in the league, but both come with a question mark. Horford comes after really bad injury that kept him out for almost the entire season and Smith comes in to his contract year, finally, as the go to guy for the Hawks. With the trade on JJ, this is now his team and he needs to prove he is worthy of this status.

Prediction:
I believe that Hawks will fight Nets, Knicks and Sixers for the 2nd place in the East and will reach at least Round 2 of the playoffs.
The fact that almost the entire team (besides Horford) is in their contract year, means that as long as they play as a team, it can be their best season in this millennium.

Charlotte Bobcats:

This team just can’t catch a break. Even having worst record in NBA history still wasn’t enough to get first draft pick. This was a deep draft and many think that Kidd – Gilchrist wasn’t their best option, but I disagree. In their situation, they don’t need a raw potential, they need NBA ready player and I think that they got one of the most ready to play players in this draft.
He should be an effective starter from the first tip off and he also took care of Cats biggest problem, their SF position.
With Walker, Biyombo and Kidd-Gilchrist, they easily still the worst team in this league, but one that is one good pick away from becoming very good team.
I can easily see player like Kidd-Gilchrist being second best player on championship caliber team.

X Factor: Kemba Walker – I really like this player. I think that while he still haven’t proved he can play in big boys league, there is no reason he can’t take over PG position battling only Sessions and if he can do what Rose and Rondo did and improve his shot and his range, he can this season already become a real threat and at least to be able not to break their own worst record for the season.
Prediction:
Still will finish in the bottom three (probably worst team yet again) but with a lot of promise.

Miami Heat:

Not much to say about the Champions. Not only they finished the season really well and won it all, but they also upgraded one of their two weak spots, getting two of the best snipers in the league on board. Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis, as long as they healthy, can become a nightmare to any team that wants to box in to stop LeBron and Wade’s penetrations.
As long as they stay healthy, it’s hard to see any reason why they shouldn’t at least reach NBA Finals.
They still need to deal with the lack of anything remotely close to decent big guys in the paint, but at least till the Finals, that shouldn’t be enough to stop them.

X Factor: Mainly health – Allen and Lewis, their two big acquisitions, both injury prone and Allen’s age can become a factor even more this season.
If we add to that, Wade’s tendency to get injured, Heat’s ability to get to the Finals healthy, can be the difference between a repeat and a heroic loss in the Finals.

Prediction:
As I said, it’s easy to bet on Miami, but Thunder one year older and Lakers are desperate (at Kobe and Nash) and with Lakers having Dwight in the paint, will probably move the title to the West this season.

Orlando Magic:

Orlando lost their biggest asset (Howard), traded maybe the biggest surprise of last season (Anderson) and still got stuck with one of the worst contracts in the league, Turkoglu and a team that can be in the worst position in the NBA – too good to get anywhere, but not bad enough to be in the worst three bottom.
I can’t even begin to count the number of questionable moves that Orlando made.
Their decision not to take Bynum or Nets package is beyond my understanding, especially given the fact that Afflalo gets 7.5 mill per season for the next four season and the fact that they haven’t insisted that Hedo’s bad contract be taken away from them.
It continues with Magic decision to sign Nelson, when they supposed to be in full rebuild mode.
On top of that, they got two mediocre rookies in positions that are filled with players. With Davis and Harrington (not to mention McRoberts) sitting on Nicholson’s position (and with Ayon and Vucevic, I doubt Davis will play Center) and Hedo and Q-Rich in SF position where Harkless plays, it won’t be easy for them to get their minutes.
Orlando are a bad team, but still, it’s easy to think of at least three teams that are worse (Charlotte, Phoenix, Cleveland), so it can be a long and bumpy road for Orlando to become relevant again.
X – Factor – it’s really hard to say, but the ability to get rid of Hedo’s contract, and hope that two rookies and Afflalo can show some spark, will be the test for this Magic team.

Prediction – At least 5 teams will finish below Magic.


Washington Wizards

One of my potential surprise of the season candidates without a doubt. Tons of talent, very good mix of veterans and young players. All they need is a decent coach.
They got defensive experts like Okafor and Ariza, good offense players like Nene and Wall, few promising projects like Vesely, Beal, Seraphin and few explosive players like
Crawford and Booker.
Team has many question marks, like the ability of Wall to make the same progress that other promising PG’s made (like Westbrook, Rose, Rondo) and that means improving his range and decisions making.
Wizards have their star players in the paint and in the backcourt and tons of talent around them, so as long as Wall improves and Nene gives his best numbers and stays healthy, Wizards can be a really dangerous team within two years from now.
That doesn’t mean that don’t have problems. Wall right now at least two levels below All Star quality PG and Nene’s healthy is a big question mark.
They got rid of head cases, but still, their talent is too raw and undeveloped and they luck reliable three point shooter.

X Factor – I want to say Wall, but it’s too easy. I will go with their young core of players, like Vesely, Beal, Seraphin, Crawford and Booker. If they at least three of them, will play as their talent allows them to play, Washington will be a playoff contender till the last regular season game.
If youngsters won’t step up, even All Star season from Nene and Wall won’t help.
Another x-factor can be Ariza and Okafor, promising players just two seasons ago, but right now, with all the young projects, I doubt they will be the focus of Wizards coaching staff and will stick to defensive and mentor roles to the youngsters.

Prediction: Very hard to say, but I like this team and will go with them finishing 8 – 11 place in the East. Crawford will give his numbers yet again, Vesely is a very good player and they got just enough talent to give Toronto and Boston even fight for the 8th place in the East. In the end though, without any injuries, it’s hard to see Wizards finishing abovet Boston…

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Re: Oбзор НБА по английски
« Ответ #2 : Октября 08, 2012, 23:53:41 »
Центральный дивизион:


Central Division



Chicago Bulls

The biggest item of this season happened in the first game of Playoff 2012 last season. Rose had a torn ACL and as a result, he will miss half of this season in best case scenario and all season in worst case scenario or maybe it’s the other way around?
Bulls didn’t do too much this summer, focusing mainly on replacing their bench. All the bench, was replaced, but the most talented, Taj Gibson, the one that many think should start before Boozer, remains on the team and the promising sophomore Jimmy Butler.
I won’t go through team’s bench players, but will focus only on those that should feel two big pairs of shoes, Korver that left the team and Rose that is injured.
Korver was the most game changing player on Bulls roster. He couldn’t defend, so there was a need to hide him on defense, but he was Bulls best three point shooter and had many plays with him as a finisher.
Radmanovic is a good and solid player, but while he is bigger and slightly better defender (and it’s not hard to be one), he is not the shooter of Korver’s caliber anymore.
As for the PG position, while Rose is out, Hinrich, Robinson and Teague will battle for minutes. Robinson and Hinrich are two opposite players. One is great athlete, love the running game and very small. The other is pretty big for a PG, good defender and can control the tempo of the game. So Bulls head coach can decide what is the type of PG he needs at any moment and will pick who fits best.
Teague is the young brother of Atlanta’s starting point guard, Jeff Teague and as good as Jeff is, many say that Marquis is the most talented brother of the two and he had an outstanding season in Kentucky last season.

X-Factor – What road will theBulls choose for themselves? They have Noah, Boozer, Deng and Hamilton remaining as starters – all of them are injury prone and Deng is injured already.
Bulls can choose to go the road Spurs went, when Robinson got injured. Throw away this season, get top pick, allow all your star players to get their injuries healed and return next season ready to crush the league.
Second road is to hope for Rose to return fast and healthy – try to hold on without him and no matter what place Bulls will be after the regular season, no team will want to meet them in the playoffs if they are healthy.
I would have gone for first option, because rushing Rose back, can be a very bad move by the Bulls.

Prediction – I believe that unlike last season, when Bulls players knew that Rose will be back for the playoffs, the psychological effect of his injury will make a huge impact on players and every set back on his return, can drive them even further in to depression.
It’s obvious that if Bulls wait to long to decide what to do, they can be in the worst possible position – too good to get a high pick, too bad to get to the playoffs/ make an impact there.
It’s very hard to predict this team, given the circumstances, but I will bet on that worst possible scenario. 5 – 9 places.

Cleveland Cavaliers

Cleveland continues to do everything right. Two veterans left, Jamison (to the Lakers) and Parker (retired), two promising rookies Waiters and Zeller and added a lot of depth with good players like Azubuike and C.J. Miles.
Varejao is their veteran and star player, together with Irving of course.
Irving is really amazing player in my eyes. Can shoot, can pass, can read the game, decent defender. Above all this, he is also a leader and appears to be a good guy, that doesn’t have many flows in his game that he can’t correct – true future franchise player.
On the other hand, Tristan Thompson and Waiters, both promising players that were picked fourth in 2011 and 2012 drafts – both show promise, but have huge question marks.

X-Factor – The ability of Cleveland to be competitive and have their own style of game on one hand with the development of youngsters on the other hand is team’s X-Factor.
If they will be able to do just that, they will be a team of 33 – 35 wins and great promise for the future.
If players won’t get developed, they will be a team of 27 – 29 wins and will have a huge headache in 2013 draft.
Also, Cleveland doesn’t have any solid three point shooters and all their wingman are mostly athletic – their ability to space rival’s defense depends on their ability to hit three pointers.

Prediction – Irving will continue to develop and if Varejao is healthy, it’s a good team that can do some nice things.
But, for them to be anything close to a factor in playoff race, they need both their 4th draft picks to deliver and it hard for me to see that happening.
29 – 31 wins and many questions in the next summer.

Detroit Pistons

Knight’s draft pick and Ben Gordon’s trade shows that Pistons officially gave up on a thought of Stuckey as PG.
Instead, they will have Knight and Stuckey combo in the next season, trying to make it work.
Monroe already one of the best Centers in the East and if he continues to evolve, he can easily fight with Bynum and Lopez for best Center in the East this season already.
The problem is that Detroit doesn’t have anything to offer besides them and the Stuckey/ Knight combo is also problematic.
Charlie Villanueva’s, Maggette’s and Prince best days are almost surely behind them. Daye is a promising player, but he will battle Prince and Maggette for playing time and that’s not good for him.
Jerebko is a good player, but he shouldn’t be a starter on any team that wants playoffs.

X-Factor – Stuckey and Knight both aren’t true PG’s. It took Pistons a while to get that with Stuckey and hopefully they will learn it quicker with Knight. Their ability to get their points, but to remember that they need to feed the ball to Monroe and on the way, try and help develop other Pistons youngsters can determine where this team is headed.
If they will manage to control the game right, Pistons will battle for playoff and future will look bright. If they fail, Stuckey will have to go and hopefully in a trade for good point guard.

Prediction – Detroit will improve, but not enough – Detroit will win 35 – 37 games, but not more than that – will battle for playoffs, but probably won’t make it.


Indiana Pacers

Not too many things changed in Indiana and that's both good and bad news. Good, mainly because their roster is young and after a season together, where they almost managed to get to Conference Finals, players like Hill, Hibbert and George should make one more step forward. Bad, because while Sixers, Hawks, Nets, Heat and Hawks got better and only Orlando (and maybe Boston) got worse – staying more or less the same, isn't a good thing.

X-Factor – Pacers got a bit deeper, getting Mahinmi to play behind Hibbert, getting the talented Sam Young to add talent to the wings and rebounded well from departures by Collison and Jones, by adding similar types of players like Green and Augustin. But, as I said already – naturally progress of Pacers young talents – mostly ability of George Hill, one of my favorite players in the league – to become a starting PG for a contender and George becoming a threat to Granger as a starter in SF position (and maybe allowing Granger to be traded away for a solid SG player) will determine where this team is headed.
Another X-Factors, though smaller is the ability of Hibbert to learn how to stay away from fouls and ability of Granger and West to stay healthy and realize that maybe they aren't the best players on the team anymore.
 
Prediction – Pacers can give a fair fight to any team in the East. Having said that, with the improvements that so many teams in the East have made, I doubt Pacers will be able to hold on the third place, like they did a year ago. They will finish 4th or 5th place in the East I believe.


Milwaukee Bucks

Milwaukee fight for playoff spot each season – but only once in the last five seasons managed to achieve that goal. After many seasons of Bucks being Bogut's team, they finally got tired of constantly injured star Center and decided to gamble and traded him to GSW for Monte Ellis (and Dunleavy) before tradeline last season.
The results were mixed. Bogut was out with injury anyway (big surprise), so Ellis came as addition only last season and we could see, that despite Bucks slightly improving, it wasn't enough to get to the playoffs.
They haven't made too many changes in the summer, but did make one big signing, getting Dalembert for one season for decent contract. While on offense, you can't expect much from him, on defense, he is one of the better centers in the league and you need such a blocking umbrella in the paint, when your backcourt consists of two mediocre defenders (at best) like Jennings and Ellis.
Another problem this team has, is that both are scorers and both like the ball and like to shoot - while they don't have any big name to feed in the paint, I think that lacking a true PG is always a problem for a team that wants to be balanced.
Ilyasova got his big contract this season, making him second highest earner on the roaster with 8 mill per season.
It's really not that obvious that this is his true value and that he will be able to produce numbers that can back up this salary, but I think that he is kind of glue player and all around player that any team should have – he can do everything good and with two shooters already on the roster, it's exactly what Bucks need and decided to pay accordingly.
 
X-Factor – ability of Ellis and Jennings to play well with each other and with the remaining roster. If they will play well together, this team will be in playoff run till the end. If they will become unhappy, it can turn ugly fast.
 
Prediction – The same things were said about Ellis and Curry, that they can't play together and while GSW didn't prove otherwise, I can't say that it was because of bad chemistry between the two. Jennings , like Curry, isn't a player that should cause problems, so I wouldn't worry too much there.
Still, East got much better this summer and Bucks again, like almost every season recently, will battle for playoff spot, but will eventually find itself in the lottery again. 9 – 11 place in the East.
 
 

« Последнее редактирование: Октября 19, 2012, 00:08:48 от bman »

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Re: Oбзор НБА по английски
« Ответ #3 : Октября 08, 2012, 23:53:51 »
Атлантический дивизион:

Atlantic division

Boston Celtics

Biggest news from Boston came in a decision by Ainge to keep the veteran roster. They signed Garnett to three more years for 36 mill and made a very generous offer to Ray Allen that preferred to get less money, but to sign with the Miami – taking Celtic – Heat rivalry to another level.
But, Boston recovered from his departure really well, signing another veteran, Jason Terry, a player that already won a series against the Heat (and I’m sure it was one of the reasons he was signed) and Courtney Lee, a player that was in NBA Finals as well and almost won a crucial game between Orlando and Lakers in those Finals.
Lee (and Terry a bit) will bring defense, while Terry will be, once again, one of the best sixth players in the league (if not the best) and will provide leadership and scoring.
As far as planning their future, Boston have Bradley, a player that wasn’t good enough in Jerusalem’s opinion, but proved to be an excellent player in Boston, taking over starting SG position from no other than Ray Allen himself and Green, once the player that was supposed to be to Durant what Pippen was to Jordan.
Both good players that can become much better, but both after bad injuries and Boston’s season may actually be decided not by the question if KG, Pierce and Terry can continue at the top at their age, but actually if this young pair can overcome their injuries and if the two promising rookies that Boston stole in the draft, Melo and Sullinger, will be able to give Garnett the needed rest and fight with Bass for minutes.
As far as depth goes, it’s important to mention also Milicic and Wilcox – so Boston are pretty deep in the frontcourt, but a bit thin in the back court, with mostly only 6 players for 3 positions – so every injury will hurt for Boston and given the history, I can almost guarantee that we will see Boston in a very depleted back court many times this season.

X-Factor – Obviously it’s the health. Can KG continue to be on top of his game? Will Pierce prove that last year’s poor finish was nothing more than fatigue and injury or is the age finally catches up with him? Will Rondo, Green and Bradley be able to stay healthy?
I can see Boston falling out of the playoffs if health will be the main reason for concern or fighting for the top 4 places in the East, if health will be a reason for cautious optimism (and that’s the best Boston can hope for).

Prediction:
 Too many chips have to fall the right way, in order for Boston to be relevant, but on the other side, Boston pride and the fact that they still very talented, should be enough for them to make it to the playoffs and be the team that no one wants to meet in the playoffs.
6 – 8 place in the East.

Brooklyn Nets

There is a reason why Brooklyn has the second highest payroll in the league. They been very active this summer, spending Prokhorov’s millions trying to be relevant and I believe they succeeded in that.
They should have won Howard’s services, making, without a doubt, best possible offer to the Magic, but for some reason, it didn’t happen, so Nets did the next best thing.
After months of speculations, resigned all their assets (Deron Williams, Gerald Wallace and Brook Lopez) and even resigned Humphries for a very nice contract for him (too nice I believe) and than made the mega move by signing Joe Johnson.
He isn’t Howard, but one of the best players in the league, one that is right in his prime and one that should work really well with this roster.
Williams never played for such a talented back court and after years of mediocrity (to be kind with the Nets), he relishing at the prospect of fighting for the chance to get to the Finals in the next four years (that all the four main players are signed to).
Williams is one of the two best PG’s in the league I believe. Obviously it’s arguable and many can claim that Rondo and Westbrook are just as good, but in my eyes, no one is more a complete package than CP3 and D-Will as far as leadership, scoring, defense and ability to run their team is.
JJ has outrageous contract, but he is amazing shooter, good defender (something that most people tend to omit when talking about him) and very good low post player. He is big enough and strong enough to take almost any SG that guards him to the rim.
Gerald Wallace and Brook Lopez both very good players that can go toe to toe with any other player in the East, playing in their position (but I will elaborate on them in X-Factor).
Nets didn’t stop with those four great players, but added tons of depth to their roster (most good teams this season, focused a lot on depth).
Humphries got a monster contract of 12 mill$ for two years, but the rest of the team is very cheap and very good. They brought three point specialist from Europe, big man, Mirza Teletovic. He doesn’t do much defense, but he is a PF that can shoot from any range.
Reggie Evans is a rebound specialist and a player that should add veteran leadership and do some hustle – was great for the Clippers last season.
Marshon Brooks, the surprise of the Nets last season, will be the sixth man of the bench and on top of that, they added the veteran, Jerry Stackhouse.
As replacement for D-Will, they brough CJ Watson, a player that been replacing really well another great PG, Derrick Rose – so great steal for the Nets – veteran player with playoff experience, that knows his role.
But Nets didn’t stop there and made two steals that I can’t understand how they did that. Childress and Blatche, both got amnestied by their teams and no one wanted them.
Both very good players, one is a huge potential (but also a major headache) and other was one of the best sixth players in the league, before going to Greece and two bad seasons in Phoenix.
They can add a ton to the Nets and with Blatche, suddenly, if Lopez misses few games, it can be not that horrible.

X-Factor:
There are actually two of them.
1)   Wallace and Lopez. Both are very good players. Lopez improves each season and adds to his repertoire and easily can fight Hibbert and Bynum for best Center in the East (though currently he is only third) and Wallace explosive player that can guard any player and dunk on any player. The problem with both – health. Lopez couldn’t stay healthy so far and can become another Bogut, while Wallace with his heroic game, too many times plays without thinking about consequences and gets injured quite often (including head injury almost every season).
2)   Ability of Avery Johnson (and Deron Williams) to turn this very deep and talented team to a team that can go all the way. This is a very good team, but doesn’t have any player that won a title and consists mostly from underachievers.


Prediction:
 It’s really hard for me to believe that Nets won’t finish in the Top 4 in the East. They too hungry and come from good deep teams and should mesh well together.
JJ and Williams will be on of the best backcourts in the league and I believe they will battle Hawks for the 2nd place in the east.



New York Knicks

Knicks trying very hard (almost desperately) to become relevant again, but despite promising each season to finally do just that, they get close, but fail.
Last season they finally won a playoff game, the first after many many years.
But it still wasn’t enough and in the new Knicks era, their playoff record is 1 – 8 and two very early playoff exits.
There are so many reasons for that, it will take three – four pages, so I will just mention briefly each point.
Health issues – each time, when playoff comes, they lose main players. In 2011, they lost Billups, the veteran that was suppose to be the winner and the leader and connect between Melo and Amare – that also played injured. In 2012, they lost all their back court, with Lin and Shumpert – two promising rookies getting injured one after another.
Bad player selection – With all the respect to many good snipers on Knicks roster like Novak for example, you can’t have a team that shoots mainly from three point, many times very early in the clock. Team needs to be balanced and I can’t remember hardly ever Knicks going to the rim or to the paint for 5 – 6 attacks in a row.
Melo – Amare chemistry – Many times, Knicks played best when one of them was injured and for a good reason. They both good basketball players, but huge underachievers, that still believe they can be alpha dogs on a championship team.
They can’t.
On top of that, both are ball hogs, neither is spot up shooter and both like to dribble few times before taking a shot.
Both also a bit soft and there is a reason why so many Knicks fans hoping to see this duo part ways with each other.

That brings me to the first two bright points of this season. Carmelo and Amare both trained this summer for Hakim Olajuwon. He should be the role model for Amare and Carmelo can learn from him a lot as well. The desire and willingness to learn (especially for Carmelo that played in Olympics on top of training) really shows their commitment. The fact that they trained together, can improve their chemistry a bit more as well.
The fact that Camby and Chandler also trained with Hakim, can really help the Knicks chemistry and gameplan.
The second bright point is that Knicks management understood that they deal with two immature stars that simply not leaders, even if they want to be such.
They surrounded them with veterans and true leaders like Kidd, Chandler, Camby, Kurt Thomas and Rasheed Wallace (though I’m not really sure what the last two bring to the team) and 35 years old Pablo Prigioni that came from Europe for the first time in the league. They should help Knicks to turn to a mean team, one that knows what to do in the playoffs and how not to be the same naïve team, settling for three pointers they been last few years.
From all the shooters that Knicks had, they got rid of all, but two, that were team’s best shooters, Novak and JR Smith and brought Felton to run the point. He may not have the hype like Lin or bring up the nostalgy like Bibby, but he is a true point guard, that played really well with Amare in his first stint with the Knicks.
Assuming Shumpert will be healthy, he and Rony Brewer, recent acquisition from the Bulls, should bring top defense and ability to hit open shots, exactly what this team needs.

X-Factor:
After many years, almost a decade, Knicks have really balanced team with good answers in every position. But they are still the Knicks – so it will be on Woodson to turn good team on paper to good team on the floor.
He is a defense mastermind and was part of Larry Brown’s coaching staff when Detroit won NBA title.
He also did a decent job last season and apparently gets the respect from his players, including Melo and Amare.
If he and the veterans will manage to get Melo and Amare to play well together and the team to function like one, they will fight for the 4th spot in the East.
If they will fail, they will fight for the chance to be in the playoffs.

Prediction:
I believe that Woodson is the right man for the job and with Melo getting more mature and all the veterans surrounding the two stars, Knicks will be in the playoffs, fighting for 5 – 7 places in the East.

Philadelphia 76ers

Sixers had a very interesting summer, but in the end, I’m not sure they justify all the hype around them.
People are speaking about Bynum, but they forget that many good players left Sixers as well and I’m not convinced that their replacement will do their job.
At PG position, Sixers can feel pretty good. Holiday will make another step forward and Ivey is a good replacement.
In SG position, Meeks, who started in 50 out of 66 games for the Sixers last season, left to the Lakers and was replaced by Jason Richardson. J-Rich was an explosive scorer in Golden State and solid player for the Suns, but was abysmal playing for the Magic and while I doubt Sixers became weaker at SG starter position, I’m not sure that they took a big step forward as well.
But the biggest change happened actually in SG back up position. Lou Williams, was their sixth man, but lead the team in scoring and left in favor of the Hawks to do the same. Young came instead and while Young is a year older than Lou Will, he appears to be more immature. He was kicked out of Washington, wasn’t resigned by the Clippers and was signed to only one year contract by the Sixers. There is a good reason why such a potential just can’t get a long term contract and this is his third team already.
Williams I believe was much better fit playing sixth player role in any aspiring team than Young.
In SF position, Sixers lost their only star, Igoudala, but they have two of their better prospects in this position, Turner and Young and on top of that, they signed Dorell Wright, that appears to be very promising player so far as well.
In PF position, Sixers amnestied Brand. Brand was brought to do the same thing Bynum does, points and rebounds in the paint and despite being a proven All Star, he started to get injured and hardly made any impact till his sad amnesty.
This is a warning sign to all those that caught up in Bynum hype.
But on a professional side, Brand was amnestied to give minutes to Hawes and to Lavoy Allen that was very promising rooky last season. But, Hawes not a PF, he is a Center. The fact that he can shoot three pointers doesn’t turn him to Forward. Allen still need to prove that a good rooky year is something that Sixers can build on, when he tries to step in to big shoes that Brand left.
With Bynum injured (and he will miss few games, I have hardly any doubts about it), front court of Kwame and Allen or Hawes and Allen just doesn’t look promising.
That brings me to Center position. Kwame very good option from the bench. Good defender and a veteran.
In the starting position we find obviously biggest name of the Sixers, the one that supposed to be their star till the end of the decade, Bynum.
He is a huge potential that started to show it last season and he can easily be 23 points and 12 rebounds player.
The problem is that he immature, injury prone player that wanted to be the alpha dog on a team and finally got a chance to be one. I’m not sure he is ready for such a step or that he can remain healthy for an entire season.

X-Factor:
Bynum’s ability to stay healthy and stay focused. Two huge question marks that will determine Sixers season.

Prediction:
 As I wrote, two huge question marks and while Sixers backcourt will be as strong as less season, Bynum’s abilities will determine where this team goes.
They finished in the 8th and final position leading to the playoffs last season.
This season they may take a small step forward, but not more than that.
5 – 7 place in the East.

Toronto Raptors

Toronto upgraded their backcourt, signing Lowry and Fields. In order to do so, they shifted Kleiza to the bench and moved DeRozan to SF position (or at least I believe they will do that).
While it’s a very good back court, I’m just not sure it’s such a huge upgrade over Calderon, DeRozan and Kleiza back court.
Calderon is a true PG that is terrible on defense, but really good player on offense. Lowry also not that great defender and I’m just not sure that he is what a young team needed.
I believe that Calderon could have operated Bargnani and Jonas Valanciunas much better.
It’s obvious that they are planning to trade Calderon who has an expiring contract and Lowry got pretty small contract, but still, not sure it will help them a lot this season.
The rest of the roster stayed more or less the same, expect of the arrival of long waited Valanciunas – huge potential, that can become just as good as Bargnani if not better.
Some say that Toronto will fight for playoff spot, but I just don’t see it.
All they want is to trade Calderon and for Valanciunas to show glimpse of his potential for this to be a good season.

X-Factor: Their X-Factor is more about next summer than this year. Next season, with Calderon’s contract off the books, they will have enough money to be big players on the market. If they will show their potential this season, who knows, they might land a big name next summer.

Prediction: They can be a very exciting team and it’s a very interesting semi European project, but I believe that while Toronto can sting good teams now and then, they will finish in 10 – 12 places in the East.
« Последнее редактирование: Октября 19, 2012, 00:29:03 от bman »

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Re: Oбзор НБА по английски
« Ответ #4 : Октября 08, 2012, 23:54:01 »
Пасифик (тихо-океанский) дивизион:

Pacific Division


Golden State Warriors

It’s hard to talk about GSW and make any prognoses. Their two stars, Bogut and Curry, are constantly injured and we can only guess how many games they will miss this season each. 30? 40? 60? The entire season? The fact that this is a team with one of the highest payrolls in the West, that goes nowhere and won’t reach the playoffs, is a bit sad, especially when it’s been one of the more fun to watch teams in the league in the last decade.
On paper they got great roster. Curry, Thompson, Jefferson/Barnes, Lee and Bogut with very decent bench – this is a team that should fight for the playoffs.
But the reality is that two stars will be more on injury list than on the floor, Jefferson plays poorly, Thompson still young and will have many ups and downs and Lee just not good enough to carry a team.
X-Factor – Obviously health. Golden State needs Curry to stay healthy long enough for them to maybe trade him for a player that can stay on the floor and doesn’t have ankle problems.
But even without the trade, Curry and Thompson need sometime together to play well in the back court. Bogut and Lee are really good fit for those two shooters in the backcourt. They don’t demand the ball, both are defensive anchor and both do little things to help GSW back court and hide their flaws.
If Bogut and Curry will be able to play 60+ games together, this will be a team that can get to 50% success.
If both sit out 60+ games (and that’s much probable option), Golden State will struggle to win 30 games even.

Prediction:
It can be a very good team, but sadly it won’t be. I believe that it will be almost a miracle if a starting unit on paper, will play even 10 games together, without someone being injured.
They will be dreaming about playoff the first half of the season, dreaming of a high lottery pick the second half of the season and will win between 27 – 32 games in the end of the season.

Los Angeles Clippers

So many changes this summer and so little influence on Clippers chances to do anything in the post season.
Crawford was signed instead of Young that left for the Sixers and former “Sixth player of the season” will be an upgrade for Clippers bench, but both are head cases that need their shots.
Odom was signed, but he starts this season injured, out of  shape and with big weight issues. The fact that he and his wife have about the same butts, should really worry Clippers management.
They lost was of the best fighters in this league, Reggie Evans and signed much nicer guys like Turiaf, but I doubt it’s a good thing.
They also lost Williams, Foye and Gomes, but with the signing of Hill, Barnes and Green, they won’t feel any difference.
The problem is, that it’s not a good thing for the Clippers.
They are an exiting team, with tons of potential, but they need to get meaner in order to have a shot at the title and this is not the case.
Hill is the only big signing, because he is a great guy, one that can help CP3 and Billups in the locker room and he still a good defender that can knock shots as well.
All others came instead of those that left.

X-Factor – For me it’s Jordan. Clippers continue to be very thin in the front court and very one dimensional. “Lob City” needs to develop their game under the rim and while Griffin surely will continue to make small progress, Jordan is the key.
He is top defender that can alter shots and great rebounder. If he will add to his arsenal on offense and become 70% FT shooter, he will be one of the best Centers in the West.
He been working all summer to improve and Clippers say he lost weight and improved his shot.
If that’s the case, it can be the difference for the Clippers.

Prediction:
We can write all we want about the Clippers, but they will get as far as CP3 takes them. Given Clippers injury problems and CP3 rarely healthy as well, I just doubt they can go higher than their last season ceiling. Fighting for 3 – 5 places and reaching Conference Semi – Finals.

Los Angeles Lakers

This is the most interesting team of this summer without a doubt. Two brilliant moves by Lakers management, allowed them to get two Super Stars almost for nothing and without even taking any bad contract.
They got Nash for nothing, draft picks and trade exception they got after giving away Odom to Dallas. Nash is not only an elite PG, a future hall of famer that doesn’t have a ring and wants it more than anything. He is also a leader of a locker room and a fun guy to be a team with – very important thing for a team like the Lakers, that has a demanding boss like Kobe that players need to live up to and answer to.
This is the best point guard that Kobe have ever played with and obviously, this is the best back court on the Lakers roster, in the last 20 years.
He and Kobe complement each other perfectly and that’s a very good sign for the Lakers.
After that, came Dwight for Bynum trade and Lakers got the best Center in the league and one of the best defensive Centers ever for an immature child that was constantly injured and whining for not getting the ball.
Two home runs for a team that was a contender even before. So is it the main challenger in the league for the title?

X-Factor: Chemistry/ Mike Brown/ Princeton offense – three keys – one x-factor – team’s ability to combine all that talent and take it all the way. Shots distribution, the ability of Kobe to let go of the rope and let someone take over sometimes, the ability of Nash and Howard, two alpha dogs on their teams their entire career, to play second fiddle to Kobe – those are the main questions Lakers need to answer.
The ability of Brown to do that, one of the worst coaches in the league without a doubt. One good thing about him – he knows he is a bad coach and knows to stay away when needed.
Not sure that Princeton offense is the best offense for Nash team and not sure that for Dwight as well. I’m a big fan of Princeton offense, but you need to use a system that suits your team best and not take a good offense and force it on a team it doesn’t fit.

Prediction – I’m a Lakers fan, so naturally I want them to win the title. They no doubt have a chance to do that. Lakers have two years window to win the title and I believe they can do that.
But, Thunder kept their roster, the same one that reached NBA Finals a year ago and they got chemistry issues under control. On top of that, their young players will make natural development simply because they are a year older and have good answers for each of Lakers strengths and athleticism that Lakers can only dream of.
Jamison adds tons to the Lakers, Artest lost tons of weight and looks really well and Lakers look really ready and hungry.
But, with Thunder in the same conference, we will see an amazing conference Finals, maybe the best since Dallas – San Antonio rivalry 6 – 7 seasons ago and it’s hard to say right now, who will win it.

Phoenix Suns

I’m not sure what Suns been trying to do this summer. On one hand, got rid of all their best players, on the other, signed Scola – not a young player, that will be one of the best in this team and will cost them a few losses, that would have meant, higher lottery pick.
Suns did several good things this summer as well. They have one of the lowest salaries in the league and few draft picks aquired.
They let go of two veterans, Nash and Hill, that could finally go after that ring they deserve, but missing.
After getting amazing results from their medical staff, they decided to test their psychological staff as well and signed Beasley – amazing talent with huge mental problems. He has decent contract and he is still young enough to become a factor in this league, if only he would learn to focus on the game.
They also signed another health project, Jermaine O’Neal and given their success in previous projects, he can be a very nice back up for Gortat, the star of this team. Just two seasons ago, Gortat was a bench player, hoping to get few minutes behind Dwight Howard.
But, Orlando knew what they got and matched Dallas big offer, paying him 7 mill a season, only to understand they don’t need a Center on the bench that gets paid as much and traded him to Phoenix (that selected him in the draft in the first place) and last season, he made 15 points and 10 rebounds on average.
Dragic is a big question mark, getting 7.5 mill per season for the next 4 seasons, after good 1/3 of a season for the Rockets and after getting kicked out of the same Phoenix just a season ago.

X-Factor – Suns acted bipolar the entire summer. They shed salary and get ready to rebuild on one side, but sign aging Scola and question marks like Dragic and Beasley to long time contracts on the other.
They need to decide what they want to do this season – rebuild or fight for playoff.


Prediction – Suns are a nice and fun team, with many question marks in post Nash era. Right now, in a very strong West, they don’t have enough to even battle for playoff, but won’t fight for the worst team in the league title as well.
32 – 36 wins is my prediction here.

Sacramento Kings

Nothing changed in the kingdom over the summer. One important sign is of Brooks coming back from China to the NBA. This signing symbolizes probably finally, the shift Evans made from point guard position where he played his rookie and sophomore season to SG or maybe even SF position, where he suites much more.
Other than that, there haven’t been any changes.
Kings will build on natural development of their very young roster and on the fact that they got more scorers than maybe the entire West combined.
Almost every player on their roster is a scoring machine that can put 20 points on board on any given night. The potential of this team is so high, that’s it’s obvious it’s unreachable, because you can’t have that much raw talent on offense on one team.
Salmons, Evans, Thornton, Cousins (and you can easily add Brooks, Fredette and Garcia on this list) can be go to guys and they know that. They want the ball and when they don’t get it, they demand the ball, causing all kinds of childish problems on an otherwise good team.
They get some balance with players like Heyes and Outlaw – defense  masters, but it’s not enough.
They need Nash type of player – a leader that will distribute the ball and other players will respect his authority. Thomas and Brooks are not such types of point guards.
This team has one of the lowest basketball IQ in the league.

X-Factor – Cousins can be one of the best players in the league and he is also the only one on the list mentioned, that doesn’t have a player that can replace his production.
If he can stay focused on the game, avoid dumb fouls and play on both ends of the floor, he can become one of the best players in the league now and curry this team in to the playoffs.

Prediction – This is a very fun team to watch, if you don’t like basketball IQ, but do love fast pace and athleticism. Their talent should be enough to allow them to compete for the eighth place in the West and Cousins will be the factor that will decide how close will they get to that goal. 10 – 8 place in the West.
« Последнее редактирование: Октября 27, 2012, 13:39:33 от bman »

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Re: Oбзор НБА по английски
« Ответ #5 : Октября 08, 2012, 23:54:08 »
Югозападный дивизион

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Re: Oбзор НБА по английски
« Ответ #6 : Октября 08, 2012, 23:54:14 »
Северозападный дивизион

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Re: Oбзор НБА по английски
« Ответ #7 : Октября 08, 2012, 23:54:36 »
Прогноз на ПО и последние мысли перед началом сезона:

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Re: Oбзор НБА по английски
« Ответ #8 : Октября 13, 2012, 21:01:37 »
Получилось немного длинее чем хотелось, но появился обзор Атлантического дивизиона.

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Re: Oбзор НБА по английски
« Ответ #9 : Октября 19, 2012, 00:09:27 »
Закончил обзор Востока. Надеюсь до начала лиги закончить и запад тоже.

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Re: Oбзор НБА по английски
« Ответ #10 : Октября 27, 2012, 13:40:07 »
Добавил обзор тихо океанского дивизиона

Баскетбольный Уголок

Re: Oбзор НБА по английски
« Ответ #10 : Октября 27, 2012, 13:40:07 »