Can we pretend like I posted this three days ago? Great. Promise they haven’t been influenced by recent events, save for the Harden trade. (#) for playoff seeding!
(2) Boston – Not quite old and busted, but getting there; still good in a weak East.
(5) New York – Amare being out is a blessing in disguise.
(6) Brooklyn – Big names, money being thrown around, but who’s playing defense here?
(8) Philadelphia – Lost some important parts, so it depends on how Bynum works out.
Toronto – On an upward trajectory, but not there yet.
(3) Indiana – The best of a weak division, I think.
(7) Chicago – With Rose out until January, will start out behind the 8 ball.
Detroit – A bit of a homer pick, but enough youngins who might be good.
Milwaukee – Two high volume scorers in Jennings and Ellis, not much else.
Cleveland – A full year of Varejao (assuming he doesn’t get traded) helps.
(1) Miami – Unshackled by expectations, made good additions.
(4) Atlanta – Think they got better, even if they traded Johnson.
Washington – Might be the third-worst team in the conference.
Orlando – Rob Babcock says the Dwight Howard trade was great for the Magic.
Charlotte – Move along, nothing to see here.
(2) Oklahoma City – Trading Harden hurts them more in the postseason.
(6) Denver – They seem like a good theory.
(8) Utah – Going big, which is counter to the league’s trend.
Portland – Hard to figure them out- they might not be good anymore.
Minnesota – A full year of Rubio would mean playoffs.
(1) LA Lakers – Some age concerns, but getting Nash AND Howard? Great googly moogly.
(5) LA Clippers – Not sure they improved.
Golden State – Needs some injury luck to surprise- Bogut and Curry seem to always be hurt.
Phoenix – With Nash gone, why watch?
Sacramento – Same problem as Milwaukee: Lots of scoring, but no defense.
(3) San Antonio – Should be business as usual here.
(4) Memphis – Had the “big” angle before Utah did.
(7) Houston – I like the mix, but might need time to mesh behind Harden.
Dallas – This would have been a GREAT team in 2006.
New Orleans – Will be in lottery land for a few years yet.