Listening to Doug and Ed talk in some interviews about striving to get to the playoffs, sadly, made me laugh. I love this team, but there's no denying we're easily near the bottom of the totem pole. Last year we finished the season with a 27-55, and we entered the lottery projected 6th, but were blessed by the basketball gods, (or was it Tanner's presence?) with the 2nd pick. Here's a little something I whipped up looking at the team's Additions and Subtraction regarding the rosters and coaching position, and what I think it will mean in terms of how we match up with our fellow lottery bound teams as well as a brief synopsis of their team.
-Doug Collins (May coach us to a handful of wins, should help develop young players)
-Evan Turner (At this point, will take take awhile to be ready, could help win a few games this year)
-Spencer Hawes (I'd like to see Hawes do well but I say he continues to play SG and helps us lose some games getting trigger happy, also will not rebound well or shot block)
-Andres Nocioni (Not a bad player, but will take minutes away from Thad.)
EJ- No explanation needed.
Samuel Dalembert- (Only rebounding/shot blocking big on the roster, traded, giving us no big who blocks shots or rebounds particularly well)
Our 2nd pick Evan Turner, needs time to adjust to the NBA at this point and it's unforeseen how long this will take, and what impact he will have his rookie season. I personally expect him to "get it" by mid-season and I'm projecting him as a 15 PPG, 4 AST, 6 REB player who is average to above average on defending his man. Let it be known that The Villain's development this year, how quickly, to what extent, or at all, is easily one of the most crucial outcomes deciding our record, and subsequently where we draft. It's important to know what our fellow "lame" teams are doing so far this off season as it can also indicate who should be joining us at the bottom.
Houston Rockets: No need to summarize here, they're much better than us and haven't lost any notable players. They added Kyle Lowry which is nice, and the Rockets have stockpiled many picks so look out for them in the coming years.
Toronto Raptors: The raptors, having lost Chris Bosh this offseason, seemed to be destined to fail. They acquired Leandro Barbosa, Linas Kleiza and retained Amir Johnson. The loss of Chris Bosh is really going to hurt this team, however they have 2 solid PG's in Calderon and Jack, Barbosa is a nice piece, and Amir/Linas are good players. If Sonny Weams and DeMar DeRozan improve this off season along with new draftee Ed Davis, they will have a good but not great team that should be able to beat us. Getting out from Hedo's contract also helps them greatly.
Memphis Grizzlies: The Grizzlies, fresh off overpaying Rudy Gay, acquired Tony Allen and lost Ronnie Brewer. I've watched TA play for the Celtics for a few years now, and I can say he's probably even with Ronnie, the difference being Tony's lack of offense. The Grizzlies are, to a certain degree, what we wish we could be. Young and upcoming, the Grizz have little chance of beating us in the lottery race.
New Orleans Hornets: The Hornets are an interesting case. Their franchise players, Chris Paul, is demanding the team be improved or he'll ask to be traded. If this comes to fruition, there is no doubt in my mind they are joining us in the bottom of the league. The same thing will happen to New Orleans that is going to happen with the Cavs.
Indiana Pacers: The Pacers could surprise some people in my oppinion. With Paul "The Beast" George and Danny Granger leading the team, they could squeak out some wins. Roy Hibert is a solid big man, and it remains to be seen how Psycho T and their plethora of young guards will turn out. I would put them a bit below us but it's close.
New York Knicks: Ah, the Knicks. After losing out on Lebron James, they went to work. Signing Amare Stoudemire, Raymond Felton got the ball rolling. They also got Anthony Randolph who is oozing with potential, along with Kelena Azubuike and Ronny Turiaf in a S&T with the Golden State Warriors for David Lee. Alongside Danilo Galinarri, Tony Douglas and Bill Walker, they have playoff aspirations. If Stoudemire and Randolph stay healthy, expect them to make a run for the playoffs. Losing Al Harington hurts, but getting Amare sure helps the pain go away. Also expect Landry Fields to compete with Louis Williams for MVP.
Los Angeles Clippers: The clippers were meh in terms of adding people this offseason. They lost Travis Outlaw and Steve Blake, but added Randy Foye and Ryan Gomes. I'm lukewarm on Foye and Gomes, but they should be serviceable for Los Clippers. The thing that intrigues me about the Clips are their retained players. Blake Griffin, baring another injury plagued season, should be very good this year, helping on both ends of the floor which the clippers missed dearly. Eric Gordon is a young talent who is getting more mature as the years go on. Chris Kaman is a good solid center, Baron Davis is still doing well, and they drafted not only Al-Farouq Aminu, but Eric Bledsoe. If "Acid" Aminu can step in and play from day one, the Clippers should improve.
Detroit Pistons: Our good friends the Pistons...well let's just say they won't be getting much better. Gordon and Vilanueva are weak sauce and Greg Monroe can't help them win many more games than they did last year. They're looking to blow it all up, and they should be much worse than us unless something goes horribly wrong with the Sixers.
Washington Wizards: Apparently this John Wall guy is alright so he should be able to help them I guess. Mike Miller was weak last year and losing Foye doesn't hurt too much when JW takes over. Kirk Hinrich is a decent player who should be an improvment over Miller. Yi is alright and gives them a bit of depth as well. Assuming Andray Blatche can keep his emotions suppressed (Don't count on it) this team could improve slightly. I still think they have aways to go, but it's a possibility, depending on how dominant JW is, that he can carry this team on his back and play above themselves.
Golden State Warriors: Well they lost Anthony Randolph, Kelenna Azubuike, Ronny Turiaf and Anthony Morrow but gained David Lee. They were plagued by injury last year so it should be interesting to see how things play out. I like Lee and he fits right in with the Warriors given his defense. Monta Ellis (ehh) and Steph Curry (not ehh) are decent players and Biedrins is serviceable if he stays healthy. Other than that, the Warriors are definitely worse than us.
Sacramento Kings: The Kings, oh boy the kings. They started by drafting our lord and savior DeMarcus Cousins and the physical freak Hassan Whiteside. Cousins has looked dominant thus far in SL and he should continue to be an animal. Tyreke Evans, reigning ROY is an ultra talented PG should continue his hot streak and Reke' to Boogie for the better part of a decade is a scary thought. Our good pal Sammy Dalembert will provide the Kings what he did to us, elite rebounding and shot blocking and not much else. Omri Casspi and Beno Udrih also should help this team to improve vastly.
Minnesota T-Wolves: I feel bad for T-Wolves fans. The Kurse of the Khan continues, re upping with Darko and losing Al Jefferson. Ridnour and Beasely are both good players but even paired with Wes Johnson won't be enough to bring this team out of the abyss.
New Jersey Nets: The nets, lead by Russian Billionare Mikhail Prokhorov, has had an alright off season. Drafting Favors gives Brook Lopez a good talent to play alongside. Courtney Lee and Devin Harris are good young players that will continue to grow together. Adding Farmar gives depth at the PG position, Outlaw is a good pickup as well as Johan Petro and Anthony Morrow. There's no where to go but up for the Nets, but don't expect them to be much better than us if it all.
Cleveland Cavaliers: Without Lebron, the cavaliers are a smorgasbord of "Allstars" (I'm looking at you Mo Williams) semi washed up vets (Antawn Jamison) and role players (Rest of team). If this team wins more than 35 games, it won't be with their current roster, that I can assure you.
MY PROJECTED LOTTERY:
1: Minnesota T-Wolves
2. Golden State Warriors
3. New Jersey Nets
4. Detroit Pistons
6. Indiana Pacers
7. Cleveland Cavaliers
8. Toronto Raptors
9. New Orleans Hornets
10. Washington Wizards
11. Los Angeles Clippers
13. Houston Rockets
A season in which the team grows and improves but does horribly in terms of W-L is exactly what this team needs. This year's draft is strong, and even if we're in the top 5 of the lottery, the chance of landing a stud is high. No one wants to suffer for too long, and prolonging the suffering for one season may just be what the doctor ordered.
Sorry for rambling on, I just had a lot to say and I thought I'd give writing a FanPost a shot. I'd appreciate constructive criticism or deconstructive, whatever floats your boat. Thanks for taking the time to read and be sure to leave your thoughts below.