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Old 10-06-2017, 10:43 AM   #50
Double Dragon
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 3,566

I respect the decision to put the Celtics above the Cavs, I don't think it's just because you're a homer. I remember looking up the stat not too long ago and I think in the seven years that LeBron's made the finals his team has only been the one seed coming out of the East three times? Something like that. Add in the fact that Thomas is out for awhile, and I get it... but I mean LeBron is LeBron so I had to put them at the number one seed.

You're straight up drawlin' if you think the Heat are going to be the 5 seed. Yeah they're probably not going to start 11-30 again, but there's no way they're as good as their 30-11 finish. I do have them making the playoffs, but I can't see them being that high. In clutch situations, who do they give the ball to when they need to score? Dragic can score, but I wouldn't say he's lethal. Whiteside is definitely more of a defender/rebounder than a scorer. Winslow and Johnson haven't shown me they can take over a game, and Waiters... well he can do it sometimes but I'd be so damned if I had to rely on Dion Waiters to win a game for me. The 7 teams I have ahead of the Heat all have THE GUY (or maybe multiple guys) that you can definitely say you'd give the ball to in the final seconds. They all have at least one transcendent player. I can't say the same thing about the Heat.

As for the Sixers... you're sleeping on them. I know it was only the first preseason game but Ben Simmons looked like he was able to get to the rim at will. His passing was on point, and he already looked kind of seasoned. Probably because he's a "rookie." He projects to be a good defender too, so between him, Covington, and Embiid I think we're going to be able to lock it down pretty well. Fultz didn't look as good, but he's an actual rookie, so. Shooters shoot, and he just needs to keep shooting. He'll start knocking them down. Also, Embiid is now playing full contact 5 on 5. Think he's going to be ready to start the regular season, or at least after the first couple games. As long as him and his agent don't hold out on the contract extension.

I also think you're disrespecting the Hawks a little bit. For me, they're like a poor man's Spurs team. They always seem to do better than they should do to me, and I think a lot of that is coaching. I do think they miss the playoffs (barely), but they're not going to be a cupcake by any stretch of the imagination.

I agree with your placement of the Thunder, but I don't see how you think they got worse after the Melo trade. I definitely think it makes them better. Melo was shackled with Phil Jackson there, and he's finally in a place where he doesn't have to be the number one option. Can't find the quote at the moment, but Melo has said that he's wanted to play with another star and be the number two option before. Like think how good Team USA Melo is, when he doesn't have to be THE GUY all the time. I think he does really well in OKC (even if they only end up with the four seed).

Definitely disagreeing with the Jazz in the playoffs over the Blazers. I know defense wins championships, but I just can't see the Jazz getting in because of their offense. Rubio is fun because he's a great point guard, but who does he have to pass it to? I'm not as high on Rodney Hood as you are. Maybe him and Gobert can get some good pick and roll action going but Iso Joe Johnson is one of their better scoring options... and I don't have confidence in that. It worked for a bit in the playoffs last year, but he's only getting older. I just can't see a team with a one-two punch of Lillard and McCollum missing the playoffs.

Also I think any team with Boogie and AD can't possibly finish 12th in the conference. But after seeing a little bit of the Lakers it wouldn't surprise me if they jump them. I'm riding the Kyle Kuzma hype train lol.
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