Balls and baskets (NBA) 2011/12

Haha, balls.

First one-or-two-sentences-per-team NBA preview by me ever! Yay! (SEED #) for playoffs!

EASTERN CONFERENCE

ATLANTIC

New York (3) – If Baron decides he wants to play, great, but Amare’s knees scary in a short season.
Boston(7) – Cagey old vets on their last legs. Need some help.
Philadelphia (8) – Feel like they’ll tune out taskmaster Doug Collins at some point.
New Jersey – They don’t get Howard, but a full season of Deron Williams helps.
Toronto – Will steal a few games because of the short schedule and their depth, but this isn’t a good team.

CENTRAL

Chicago(2) – Will challenge Miami for the conference throne, Rip Hamilton should fit in nicely.
Indiana(6) – Made some nice moves the last couple of years, team on the rise.
Milwaukee – Have screwed up some moves the last couple of years, arrow pointing down.
Detroit – I like the new coach, but retaining the core of a terrible team is a head-scratching move.
Cleveland – Some potential, but needs more parts, and time.

SOUTHEAST

Miami(1) – Beasts of the east. Problematic if one of the stars gets hurt, but what team can’t say that?
Atlanta(4) – Going sideways, but still good enough for a 4-5 seed, I figure.
Orlando(5) – Assuming Howard stays the whole season, have not improved.
Washington – Cleveland again, mostly.
Charlotte – Might be better than the Raptors.

WESTERN CONFERENCE

NORTHWEST

Oklahoma City(1) – Best in the league from here. Continuity, youth, depth, and hunger, all in one.
Portland(4) – Snakebit with injuries, but still pretty good.
Denver(6) – Interesting to see if they can do a full season without a lead guy and still be competitive.
Minnesota – Should be exciting, might challenge for a playoff spot if everything breaks right.
Utah – Like Minnesota, going in the right direction, but need a few more pieces.

PACIFIC

L.A. Clippers(3) – That is a TERRIFYING team with Chris Paul running the point.
L.A. Lakers(7) – This has all the indications of a down year for them.
Phoenix – Nash doesn’t have nearly enough help.
Sacramento – Some intriguing pieces, but I don’t think they fit together well.
Golden State – Rookie coach with a no defense team. Yeah, that’s gonna go well.

SOUTHWEST
Dallas(2) – The champs, but they’ll miss Chandler.
Memphis(5) – Throwback team will bruise some folks in a short season.
San Antonio(8) – Like Boston, the clock is ticking.
Houston – Could make the playoffs with some breaks, or a trade that doesn’t get overturned.
New Orleans – Okay, so getting Gordon was better than the first trade, but they’ll still be awful without Chris Paul.

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