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Tag:Devin Harris
Posted on: September 30, 2010 1:11 pm
 

NBA 2010 Eastern Conference Preseason Rankings

The 2010 NBA season is just around the corner and boy oh boy did we have one heck of an offseason.

From LeBron taking his talents to South Beach, to Shaq joining the Boston Celtics , to Amare Stoudemire joining the Knickerbockers, to Joe Johnson signing the offseasons fattest contract, this historic offseason will surely be one that goes down in the record books.

But enough of who went where. Let’s get into NBA Primetime’s official Eastern Conference Preason Rankings.

1. Miami Heat - Last season record (47-35)

Is too much star-power a bad thing? Miami boasts three of the top players in the league on their roster. Doubters believe a mixture of ego and chemistry could crumble this three-head monster (LeBoshade), but until then they enter as the team to beat in the East.

2. Orlando Magic - Last season record (59-23)

Shifting Rashard Lewis to his natural small-forward position will allow forwards Brandon Bass and Ryan Anderon to showcase their unseen talents. Bass will inevitably emerge as a beast in the paint while Anderson will arise as one of the leagues top three-point shooters. Oh yea, Orlando also has a 24-year-old Dwight Howard and Vince Carter , who’s itching to prove his worth after a disappointing season.

3. Boston Celtics - Last season record (50-32)

It’s tough to ever rule out Boston, regardless of how many gray hairs Garnett, both O’Neal’s, and Allen would have if they weren’t bald. Injuries continue to be the teams biggest concern, but with enough depth at the four and five spot the Celtics should be in for another deep playoff run.

4. Chicago Bulls - Last season record (41-41)

After leading the league in RPG and ranking second in BPG (during the regular season) last year, the Bulls acquired Carlos Boozer this offseason to provide the team with a dominate power-forward. The Bulls are young, talented, and deep with a new head-coach. What more can you ask for?

5. Milwaukee Bucks - Last season record (46-36)

Milwaukee surprised us all last year, winning the most regular season games (46) since the 2000-01′ season. With young gun Brandon Jennings leading the way, along with John Salmons , Corey Maggette (currently injured), Andrew Bogut, and Drew Gooden , the Bucks have the talent to rise as a top 5 team in the East.

6. Atlanta Hawks - Last season record (53-29)

It’s funny how Atlanta gives $126 million to Joe Johnson and somehow they drop in rankings. The Hawks have the same core with virtually the same roster as last season. Reigning Sixth Man of the Year Jamal Crawford continues to seek an extension, so keep tabs on just how well he plays this season if he fails to get one.

7. New York Knicks - Last season record (29-53)

Even though New York failed to acquire LeBron, they made a few impressive offseason moves that should land them in the postseason since who knows when. Amare Stoudemire will easily adjust to his former coach’s run-and-gun offense, while newcomers Raymond Felton and Anthony Randolph should quickly begin to excel in it. Knick fans are pumped for the upcoming season and for once, they should be.

8. Philadelphia 76ers - Last season record (27-55)

Head-coach Doug Collins should be able to turn this Sixers team (that won only 27 games last season) around this year. Jrue Holiday will start at the point and should emerge as one of the league leaders in steals. Spencer Hawes will get his opportunity to shine in a new light and rookie Evan Turner could make a case for the Rookie of the Year Award.

9. Washington Wizards - Last season record (26-56)

With John Wall and Gilbert Arenas penciled in as Washington’s backcourt duo, it wouldn’t come to a surprise if this team quickly becomes a serious threat in the East. Height and depth will ultimately be the Wizards’ weakness and that solely could be the reason why they miss the postseason.

10. Charlotte Bobcats - Last season record (44-38)

After making it to the playoffs for the first team in team history, Charlotte decided to let go of both their starting point-guard and center this offseason. 33-year old Nazr Mohammed will most likely start at the five spot with D.J. Augustin assuming the point-guard duties. Unless Darius Miles gets signed to the roster and somehow becomes a top player in the league, this Bobcats team is in for a downfall.

11. New Jersey Nets - Last season record (12-70)

Anything the Nets do this season will be considered a success due to their horrific 12-70 record last year. Devin Harris , Troy Murphy , and Brooke Lopez sound like a great core on paper, and if Derrick Favors could unleash the beast the Nets could make a run for a playoff spot. Don’t forget, New Jersey is still in the race to acquire Carmelo Anthony .

12. Indiana Pacers - Last season record (32-50)

Indiana hit the jackpot acquiring point-guard Darren Collison this offseason. Throw him into the starting lineup with Danny Granger and Roy Hibbert and you’ve got yourself a pretty decent core. It’ll take time before Indiana makes an appearance in the postseason, but they’re surely on the right path to success.

13. Detroit Pistons - Last season record (27-55)

Injuries plagued the Pistons last season and with Tracy McGrady on the roster, the injury bug could devastate this team once again. Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva will definitely improve after a terrible first year with Detroit and young guns Rodney Stuckey and Greg Monroe should be able to shine this season.

14. Toronto Raptors - Last season record (40-42)

Losing Chris Bosh will force this Raptors team to be entered in the draft lottery for years to come. Andrea Bargnani will lead the team in PPG, and Linas Kleiza is lined up to be in the race for the Most Improved Player Award. Aside from that, the Raptors will end the season near the bottom of the totem pole.

15. Cleveland Cavaliers - Last season record (61-21)

It’s truly crazy how one team could go from leading the league in wins (back-to-back seasons) to ranking dead last in their conference. LeBron James did it all for the Cavaliers and now being in a state of LeBron-less, this team is more likely to re-acquire James then make the postseason.


Posted on: September 29, 2010 12:33 pm
 

Fantasy NBA Q&A: Concerns Entering Training Camp

In this Fantasy NBA 2010 Edition, Brandon Ribak breaks down a few critical questions heading into training camp.

Last season Hedo Turkoglu turned out to be a complete bust playing for Toronto. Being surrounded by a new team in Phoenix, how early should Turk be drafted this season and will he return to his fantasy form?

Head-coach Alvin Gentry has discussed moving Steve Nash to the shooting-guard position (at certain times throughout the season) so that Turkoglu could lead the way for Phoenix.

Turkoglu has terrific court vision (standing 6’10″) and knows how to pass the ball (averaging 4.5 APG during the last three seasons).

Playing on a run-and-gun type of offense, everything seems to be in place for the Turkish forward to resurrect this season. Turkoglu could easily end up returning to his 07′-08′ form when he averaged 19.5 PPG, 5.7 RPG, and 5.0 APG and won the Most Improved Player Award.

Turkoglu should be drafted no later than the middle rounds of your draft as he could turn out to be one of the biggest bounce-back fantasy players this season.

First it was Jose Calderon that was expected to be traded to Charlotte, then it was Devin Harris who was supposed to join the team and start at the point-guard position. Although it seems like the Bobcats can’t make up their mind, is drafting D.J. Augustin a safe choice this season?

CBS is reporting that Charlotte’s starting point-guard position is Augustin’s to lose. Although it’s tough to say whether or not a trade will be made before the February trade deadline, Augustin could emerge as a solid fantasy contributor with Raymond Felton out of the picture.

Augustin averaged 11.8 PPG during his rookie season when he logged just 26.5 minutes per contest. The 22-year-old out of Texas is a dynamic scorer when given the opportunity and could turn into one of Charlotte’s secret weapons during the upcoming season.

The 6’0″ guard has shot an outstanding 42.0 percent from beyond the three-point line and 85.2 percent from the charity strike during his first two seasons in the league. In categorical leagues Augustin will be able to contribute in virtually every category aside form blocks and rebounds.

Augustin should be available during the late rounds of your draft, making him a safe selection with tons of fantasy upside (for now).

There has been some talk about Linas Kleiza and his fantasy potential playing for theToronto Raptors this season. Is it simply hype or is Kleiza really worth drafting?

Mentioned in my “Don’t Sleep On Em” Edition, Kleiza is a lock to enter the upcoming season as Toronto’s starting small-forward.

The Lithuanian impressed many during the FIBA World Championship, leading his team to an 8-1 record while posting 19 PPG on 57.8 percent shooting from the field.

During his four year NBA career, Kleiza never logged more than 24 MPG (as the back-up forCarmelo Anthony in Denver).

Being the sure-fire small-forward for Toronto, Kleiza could quickly emerge as a fantasy threat.

Kleiza has shown flashes of brilliance when given ample playing time throughout his career and is definitely worth drafting right before you begin to select your bench reserves.

With starters minutes the small-forward has potential to become one of the top fantasy sleepers for the 2010-11 season.

For more of Brandon’s content be sure to check out NBAPrimetime.com and follow him on twitter @_nbaprimetime

Posted on: September 25, 2010 2:02 am
 

Carmelo Anthony: Be Careful What You Wish For

The most exciting off-season NBA news since witnessing LeBron James flip his hometown the bird broke out yesterday.

Unlike LeBron, very few anticipated that Carmelo Anthony would switch jerseys this off-season, especially after winning 53 games last season and competing in the Western Conference Finals just two years ago.

The Nuggets consist of one of the leagues top point-guards, a deadly sharp-shooter, three big men defenders, and one of the NBA's most driven coaches.

With a recipe like that, one would think that all a superstar (like Carmelo Anthony) needed was the heart and determination to make a deep playoff run and win a championship, right?

Wrong.

Carmelo Anthony is so fed up with this Denver team that he has pushed for a trade to be made, preferably with him ending up in either New York or Chicago.

Out of his short list, the Nuggets have worked out a four-team deal that would send him to the New...

Nope, not the New York Knicks... worse, much worse.

The New Jersey Nets.

The team that managed to win a whopping 12 games last season, only three more victories than the worst record (9-73, Philadelphia 76ers 1972-73' season) in NBA history, which was accomplished nearly four decades ago.

Although the Nets won only a handful of games last season, they do have a solid future with a young star in Devin Harris and a potential stud in rookie Derrick Favors.

Too bad both players won't be a part of the Nets roster in 48 hours if and when Carmelo Anthony arrives in town.

Anthony came into this off-season with one goal in mind, and that goal was to get traded.

After forcing the issue for weeks (without thinking of the repercussions, cough, playing in New Jersey) Melo is now the one stuck in the hot seat.

It's now literally all in his hands.

The swing-man can throw the potential deal into the garbage and rejoin the team that made it to the Western Conference Finals just two seasons ago (and simply become a free-agent at seasons end) or convince himself that signing an extension with the New Jersey Nets--a team that greatly lacks the championship caliber mentality-- is a genius idea.

Maybe this scenario will be a lesson for superstars in the future, be careful what you wish for.

For more of Brandon's content be sure to check out NBAPrimetime.com and follow him on twitter @_nbaprimetime
Posted on: September 23, 2010 12:33 pm
 

Eastern Conference Q & A's: J-Wall to Win ROY?

The 2010-11′ NBA season is just 33 days, 7 hours, and 57 minutes away, but who’s counting?

With the season approaching faster then it took LeBron to make his “decision” thisoffseason, NBA Primetime presents to you a two-part series of Q and A’s, starting with the Eastern Conference.

Will the New Jersey Nets make the playoffs this season?

After recording a league worst 12-70 (.146) record for the 09-10 season, the New Jersey Netshead into the upcoming year with Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov as the new majority owner, Billy King as their General Manager, and Avery Johnson as their head-coach (with a revamped roster as well).

With Avery Johnson, the NBA’s fastest coach to win 150 wins, and a core composed of Devin HarrisTroy Murphy, and Brooke Lopez, the Nets have potential to completely turn things around this season.

Third overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft –Derrick Favors– has impressed Johnson thisoff-season and could make a major impact in New Jersey’s success this season.

Although the Nets are certainly a much better overall team, chemistry could emerge as a serious issue as only four players remain on the roster from just one season ago.

Will New Jersey make the playoffs this season? -No.

Will the No.1 overall pick John Wall capture the Rookie of the Year Award this season?

John Wall has received plenty of hype prior to and after being selected as this years No.1 overall draft pick.

With former Washington Wizards franchise player Gilbert Arenas anticipated to be the starting shooting-guard for the club, the concern will be whether J-Wall can post solid statistics alongside of Agent Zero.

In 34.8 MPG as a freshman, Wall posted 16.6 PPG, 6.5 APG, 4.3 RPG, and 1.8 SPG on 46.1 percent shooting from the field.

Five of Wall’s fellow Wildcat teammates were drafted in the first round of the 2010 NBA draft, providing enough evidence that Kentucky had an extremely productive roster.

Wall will certainly get his own as the starting point-guard of Washington. He will see ample playing time and should post averages along the line of 15 PPG and 5-7 APGwith over one steal per contest.

But is that enough to be crowned as the Rookie of the Year?

I think not.

The Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin is projected to average 16.3 PPG, 8.2RPG, 2.2 APG, and 1.2 BPG during the upcoming season (according to CBS).

After suffering an injury during preseason which forced Griffin to miss his entire rookie season last year, the forward is expected to be 100 percent healthy by the start of this season.

If Griffin can stay healthy, he will undoubtedly be crowned as the Rookie of the Year.

Will the Miami Heat break the Chicago Bulls’ 72-win season?

Heat fans are loving the anticipation while others are flat out sick of the hype.

The Heat are a team that is composed of players that you’d most likely find on a 12-year old’s 2K10 fantasy draft team.

And even though it still sounds absurd to this day that LeBron James and Chris Bosh are now apart of Dwyane Wade’s Miami Heat, to win 72 games in a single season is pushing it.

Regardless if the big trio manage to stay healthy for an entire season, the likelihood of Miami winning more than 72 games is slim to none.

It’s more likely for Brian Scalabrine –the red-headed forward who just signed with the Chicago Bulls– to win Most Improved Player of the Year this season.

Will Miami break the Chicago Bulls’ epic record this season? -No.

Can they win 65 plus games? -Definitely.

For more of Brandon’s content check out www.NBAPrimetime.com and follow him on twitter@_nbaprimetime

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com