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The 7 - Basketball - Imbalance of power Register and log in to post!
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Battlezone
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#1 Posted on 24.7.03 1116.59
Reposted on: 24.7.10 1117.31
Couldn't help but notice that almost all of the big-name free agency activity and trades has been happening in the Western Conference. Which begs the question:

Has there ever been such an imbalance of power in the NBA as there is right now in the West?

Take Minnesota, for example. This team, on paper, is significantly better than last season's team. But they're probably STILL no better than 4th in the west. The only team that hasn't really done anything yet is Dallas, but the New York Daily News is reporting that the Knicks and Mavs have reignited talks that would send big man Kurt Thomas and point guard Charlie Ward to the Mavs in return for Raef LaFrentz.

If that happens, and Cubes can bring in another big man, you're looking at five (at minimum) teams that would absolutely crush any team in the East.

Here's how I see it, as of right now:

1. San Antonio-they're the champs, they get to be number one. As it should be.

2. Los Angeles-last week, there were people saying they were going to win 70+ games. Now, with Kobegate hanging over their heads, I'm not so sure. Heck, I'm not completely sold on Payton and Malone meshing with this team.

3. Minnesota-They upgraded big time at center with Kandi, and Cassell brings the veteran leadership. With Spree's defensive skills, Wally and T-Hud coming off the bench, and Flip's ability to juggle egos, they've got the potential for something special. And I didn't even mention KG.

4. Sacramento-Still the deepest bench in the West, and still loaded, even without Turkoglu.

5. Dallas-Can score points like gangbusters, but still haven't learned to play defense. But you don't have to play much defense when you're scoring 120 points a game.

And that doesn't even include teams like Phoenix and Portland.

I was damn close to being soured on the NBA after the playoffs last season. Heck, I don't usually even *think* about the NBA until January, but here it is, July, and I'm excited about next season.

Your thoughts?
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Broncolanche
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#2 Posted on 24.7.03 1133.06
Reposted on: 24.7.10 1133.10
Reading this brings me back to a post I read at another forum suggesting that, for the playoffs, they drop the conference system altogether and just seed the top 16 teams, because an NBA Finals featuring two true powerhouses would be better than the Western power/Eastern bitch fare we've been getting for the past five seasons.

Then again, things could balance out again and this will all be moot.
Grimis
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#3 Posted on 24.7.03 1145.04
Reposted on: 24.7.10 1145.18
All it takes is somebody in the East to have $40 million in cap room next year, sign Garnett and some other top line free agent, and things are a little more even.
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#4 Posted on 24.7.03 1647.11
Reposted on: 24.7.10 1647.30

    Originally posted by Broncolanche
    Reading this brings me back to a post I read at another forum suggesting that, for the playoffs, they drop the conference system altogether and just seed the top 16 teams, because an NBA Finals featuring two true powerhouses would be better than the Western power/Eastern bitch fare we've been getting for the past five seasons.

    Then again, things could balance out again and this will all be moot.



That's an interesting suggestion, it still wouldn't work out perfectly though because an East team could rack up wins playing against other East teams than West teams, so they could end up with more wins than a team in the West who is a lot better. For example Detroit had 50 wins this year, as did the Lakers and Blazers, but that doesn't mean the Pistons are as good as them. It would probably atleast ensure a better finals though.

Also, not only are Sacramento, San Antonio, LA, Dallas, Minnesota, Phoenix, and Portland good. But Houston, Golden State, and Denver are probably going to be good before most of the East teams too.
JayJayDean
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#5 Posted on 24.7.03 1812.56
Reposted on: 24.7.10 1813.16
I think the idea that they would throw out the conferences when seeding the playoff teams is stupid as long as they play an unbalanced schedule with the East playing the West teams only twice per year. It would possibly make for better finals, but I'm sure the league, already freaked out because they go a San Antonio-New Jersey finals, would allow no possibility for a, say, Utah-Phoenix finals. Who on the East Coast would watch that?

Having said that, I thought the idea interesting enough that I went back and did just that. Oh, the irony! I gave each division winner seeds 1-4 and made the 1 and 2 seeds from opposite conferences.

FIRST ROUND
(1) San Antonio v. (16) Milwaukee
(2) Detroit v. (15) Houston
(3) Sacramento v. (14) Boston
(4) New Jersey v. (13) Phoenix
(5) Dallas v. (12) Utah
(6) Minnesota v. (11) New Orleans
(7) Los Angeles v. (10) Philadelphia
(8) Portland v. (9) Indiana

I think it's pretty safe to say the top eight would all advance, although I'd think Houston, Phoenix, and New Orleans would have the best chance to pull upsets.

SECOND ROUND
(1) San Antonio v. (8) Portland
(2) Detroit v. (7) Los Angeles
(3) Sacramento v. (6) Minnesota
(4) New Jersey v. (5) Dallas

Goooooooood bye, Detroit! The way New Jersey dominated rounds 2 and 3 of the Eastern playoffs, I'd put them over Dallas

SEMIFINALS
(1) San Antonio v. (4) New Jersey
(3) Sacramento v. (7) Los Angeles

I'd say San Antonio-LA/Sacto would be a great finals, but would they really have been better than SA-NJ? We saw the Spurs beat the Lakers and the Nets, and Sacramento had no Webber. I think it would've still been pretty boring and a Spurs championship.

Battlezone
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#6 Posted on 24.7.03 1851.45
Reposted on: 24.7.10 1852.41

    Originally posted by Grimis
    All it takes is somebody in the East to have $40 million in cap room next year, sign Garnett and some other top line free agent, and things are a little more even.


I think this summer's trades to make the Twolves better was all done by the club to show KG that they're committed to win. Glen Taylor, in an interview with the StarTribune, admitted that he wasn't going to make any money this year, but he wants to win now. And that's rare for a Minnesota sports owner to say *coughVikingshack*.

"Kevin Garnett is in his prime," Taylor said. "The league isn't going to give us a No. 1 choice next summer because of that previous [Joe Smith] situation. Plus, Kevin's salary goes up $3 million this season, so it looked like I would be paying the luxury tax next summer anyway. [Taylor's going to take an $18 million dollar hit for trading Brandon and bringing in Spreewell].

"We can't make money next season. No chance. We'll lose a lot. But I decided, 'This one season, with all these circumstances, our best approach is to go for it."

"The expectations are pretty high. I told Kevin [McHale] and Flip [Saunders] when I gave the go-ahead for this deal, 'I've done my share. It's now up to you.' "

If the Woofies have any sort of success in the postseason, beyond the second round even, I think KG stays in Minnesota for the long haul.

As far as the playoff idea that's being kicked around, I've got no problems with the current format. I certainly wouldn't make a rush to change it now just because ratings are temporarily down. This fall, we've got LeBronmania, you've got the Kobe stuff, plus you've got a new Dream Team lacing it up in Los Angeles. Plus, if Dallas starts scoring those triple-digit games, and teams are keeping up with them, then the NBA has successfully wiped the mid-90's stench of Knick basketball off of them.

Temporarily, though, all it means right now is that all of the Western conference playoff games will be on ESPN and ABC, while TNT gets stuck with the East. The Western Conference Finals and the NBA Finals will likely be exclusively on ABC. Although they should really work out a deal so that Ernie, Kenny and Chuck get to do the NBA Finals.
Swordsman Yen
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#7 Posted on 26.7.03 0155.53
Reposted on: 26.7.10 0156.08
Yen's July Top 10 Power Rankings

1. Spurs - Didn't get Kidd, but with the signing of Rasho, Horry, Hedo, and Mercer, it'll still be quite a fight to dethrone them.

2. Lakers - Assuming Kobe isn't traded to a prison pick-up team, you've got basketball's version of the 4 Horsemen and perhaps the preseason favorite.

3. Kings - A healthy Webber, a deep bench, and Shaq botherer Brad Miller will give Sactown another chance at the title.

4. Wolves - KG, Latrell, and Kandi could very well shatter (not break) the first-round curse.

5. Mavs - Mark Cuban has been surprisingly quiet...almost too quiet...

6. Nets - Probably the only East team that can make a Finals matchup interesting at this point.

7. Pistons - Very deep, but still a couple of years away...from the East title.

8. Blazers - Team Headcase is still good enough for the West midcard, but the end is drawing near.

9. Suns - If there ever is a team that the higher seeds should be concerned about facing, this is the one.

10. Rockets - With Utah falling, someone must come up, and the Yao/Francis combo will lead the way.
CRZ
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#8 Posted on 27.7.03 0328.39
Reposted on: 27.7.10 0329.01

    Originally posted by Swordsman Yen
    3. Kings - A healthy Webber, a deep bench, and Shaq botherer Brad Miller will give Sactown another chance at the title.
Webber won't be ready until... December?
Eddie Famous
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#9 Posted on 27.7.03 0400.47
Reposted on: 27.7.10 0401.44
Guys, guys. They just got thru scripting the draft (James goes to CLEVELAND! How....predictably....convenient) as well as the post-draft trades.

I imagine the season scripts are on hold until the NBA spends a few million on getting Kobe clean...
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