Wishful thinking: NBA Atlantic Division preview
Thursday, November 1, 2007
If you've somehow missed all the NBA previews--or are simply jonesin' for more--top bloggers helped We Rite Goode boil the season down to a few catchy soundbites that can be used to impress at cocktail parties or keggers. After you've read our methodology here, Meanwhile, every team in this preview post--save one--has hopes of the playoffs. Yes, we must be discussing the Atlantic division.
1. Boston Celtics
What they need to do to make me happy: In some regards, they already have, simply by initiating a culture change this off-season and making the team relevant again. But basketball-wise, this team needs to win a title, plain and simple.
Reasoning: Yes, it's lofty, especially with San Antonio, Phoenix and Dallas showing no signs of slowing down. But when you mortgage your future -- most especially fifteen years of Al Jefferson and this year's number five pick -- you have to be putting yourself in a position to make a legitimate run at a title. That's all there is to it.
2. Toronto Raptors
Marcel Mutoni, Slam Online/FanHouse
What they need to do to make me happy: 45-50 wins and a tightly contested series in the second round of the Playoffs. Considering the talent, coaching, and experience on this team, this is a completely reasonable request. In fact, I just hi-fived myself for being so reasonable and level-headed.
Reasoning: Dino-Bosh is on the cusp of superstardom (Chris, this means you have to stop using public transportation. That's for mere mortals, my man); Bargnani is a cold-blooded assassin; Sam Mitchell has everyone's respect; the GM is not only a Euro-finding genius, but the man is damn good dresser; and it's important to keep in mind that this team came within one botched last-second play of forcing the much-more experienced Nets into a game 7 in last year's Playoffs. They're ready to take the next step.
3. New Jersey Nets
Thum Chee Hang, Hooplah Nation
What they need to do to make me happy: Win more than 45 games and make the conference finals at least, skin the Knicks during the regular season, and waive Jason Collins (impossible tho)
Reasoning: Three straight years of conference Semis, and I've had enough of it. It's either Finals or bust.
4. New York Knicks
Mike K., Knickerblogger.net
What they need to do to make me happy: A winning season and a Game 6. David Lee wins 6th man of the year. Renaldo Balkman earns the small forward starting role. Oh, and Jerome James gets cut.
Reasoning: Knick fans have suffered 6 straight losing seasons, 100 million cap jokes, Howard Eisley, a sex scandal, and Stephon Marbury's YouTubisms. To be happy I want a winning season, and some playoff excitement. I don't want to just make the playoff, because I still remember when the Nets kicked the Knicks (and Tim Thomas) in the ass in 2004. Lee would be starting for a half dozen NBA teams, and Balkman is a defensive force on a team starving for defense.
5. Philadelphia 76ers
Jon Burkett, Passion & Pride/MVN Basketball
What they need to do to make me happy: At least 1 win, team misses the playoffs and wins the draft lottery, Kyle Korver grows a killer beard (beards are in!), Lou Williams plays 30+ minutes per game, half the roster gets dealt for a legitimate power forward, and we keep Iguodala and he averages 20+ points, 6+ rebounds, 6+ assists, and 2+ steals in earning himself an All-Star berth in New Orleans.
Reasoning: Let's be honest, expectations haven't been this low since Shawn Bradley was anoited savior of the franchise. Unlike the dismal teams of the mid-90s, this team can actually look spectacular in losing games. So, if we must lose, let's lose in style and go for a lottery pick!
posted by Crucifictorious @ 11:39,
- At November 1, 2007 at 2:15 PM, said...
you guys seem to be big on lists, so here are the funniest write-ups so far-
1) LISTON. not even close.
2) Marcel Mutoni
3) the Orlando Magic guy
5) Liston, he's just that funny.
- At November 2, 2007 at 11:15 AM, Crucifictorious said...
Liston, stop posting under pseudonyms.