1 New Orleans Hornets - Can just beat you so many ways
2 New Jersey Nets - Still very efficient team; will be better defensively
3 Indiana Pacers - Finally the youth with start to become experience
4 Orlando Magic - Pending Grant Hill's triumphant return
5 Boston Celtics - Pierce + Walker - Baker = Playoffs
6 Milwaukee Bucks - Will excel with Thomas starting and Kukoc off the bench
7 Philadelphia 76ers - Van Horn will not be good, but AI will be out to prove something
8 Detroit Pistons - Will still work hard enough to get in
9 New York Knicks - Improvement without totally gelling
10 Toronto Raptors - Vince will have a great year; won't be enough
11 Atlanta Hawks - Big step in the right direction
12 Washington Wizards - This ranking is without Jordan staying healthy all year (which he won't)
13 Chicago Bulls - Will show signs of brilliance
14 Miami Heat - Caron is not ready; Jones or Grant will be gone to make cap for next year
15 Cleveland Cavaliers - Worse roster in basketball, by far
1. Boston : ok everyone thinks there lack of a point guard(although they mightve had a pg last year but he wasnt a particularly talented one) and the addition of vin baker are gonna drop this team out fo the top 3?? um..no, this team has one of the top 3 players in the eastern conference and then another probably top ten in the conference player and now they have a big man who is a good low post player and CAN put up big numbers in the east. pierce will be an MVP candidate and boston will be the number 1 seed.
2. New Jersey: this trade made me want to drop them to number 3 it really really did, cause mutombo in his old age is even more of a stiff then macollough, but mutombo adds defensive help and rebounding inside, and richard jefferson will put up as good if nto better numbers then KVH, i really expect jefferson to do great in a starting role.
3. New Orleans: this team has a ton of talent, but the two teams in front of them are there because they have the two best players in the conference(ok two of the three best). a healthy mashburn and this team could do big, big things this year, courtney alexander also could be a big hit down in the big easy.
4. Orlando: This is assuming even if hill comes back that he isnt as good as he once was, but they will not fall below this spot because they have mcgrady, hes too good for them not to be this high. but if they were to sign keon clark and hill was to come back and be 85% they could be number 3 or possibly number 2
5. Detroit: good group of players and chauncey billups only adds to a pretty deep team, but they played a phenomenal season last year and i dont see them repeating it, not that they will regress alot but they just wont play up to the same greatness as last year.
6. Indiana: As much talent as they have, there is no way they get any higher then 6th, because the 5 teams in front of them are better teams, new jersey, orlando, and boston have the three superstars of the conference even the orlando doesnt have much of a team around mcgrady, NO has davis and a very talented group along with him(that knows how to win too) and detroit is mroe experienced and they just have a beter team IMO. indiana could definitely shock any team in the playoffs though, so dont let the 6 seed fool you.
7. Washington: all rides on jordan, if hes healthy they are here(or of hes healthy and the whole team is healthy they could be higher) healthy jordan= playoffs, that simple.
8. Toronto: i had them higher in an earlier predictions thread, but the loss of chris childs as asolid back up pg and the probable loss of keon clark will keep them down, however vince should have a big year.
9. Philly: hmm adding macolough is interesting, but adding KVH who doesnt usually shoot a high percentage, as a second option to iverson who also doesnt shoot a high percentage means that there will be alot of missed shots, and whos gonna rebound them?? certainly not macolough and derrick coleman thats for sure.
1. New Jersey- Kidd, martin and Mutumbo is a dangerous trio.
2. Boston - Pierce and Walker plus the addition of Baker give this team a force to be reckoned with
3. Magic(if hill is healthy)- TMAC and Hill will be awesome together.
4. Hornets- still have two stars. Davis and Mashburn along with Cambell in the center position. Cambell is one of the top 5 centers in the east. He isnt great but he gets the job done. Their main concern will be keeping Mashburn healthy.
5. Pacers- the youth will come out this year. most improved player this year= Jermaine Oneal.
6.Pistons- Stackhouse and Wallace were good now with the addition of Billups they copuld surprise people this year.
7.Sixers- AI will get them to the playoffs but they wont get past the first round with Mutumbo gone
8. Hawks- they werent going to make the playoffs but with the addition of Robinson they will
1. New Jersey- Kidd, Martin, Mutombo. They are evn better on defense.
2. Indiana - Talent will be bursting from all angles while they follow Reggie's leadership. Bender will be most improved. There is no team that scares them. They will also not be scared of the playoffs.
3. New Orleans - A very talented team that has no weakness. A little more defense is needed. But a great overall team.
4. Boston - Everybody hates on baker, but in the East there are not that many good big men. Whoever starts at PG is no worse than Kenny Anderson.
5. Toronto - Vince will be back with vengance. They are losing Childs and Clark. But they replaced Childs with hunter. Michael Bradley will get a lot more PT this year and will produce.
6. Detroit - Everyone was playing out of their head last year. They lack overall talent, but play together as a cohesive unit. Though I doubt they will duplicate last year's magic.
7. Orlando - Grant Hill will get hurt and T-Mac will have no help. He will put up MVP numbers but will not win it because his team is at the bottom of a weak conference.
8. Philadelphia - This should be LB's last year. Van Horn will be somewhat of a second scoring option but everyone is getting old an LB can not develop talent. He should move along so tey can groom Salmons and dalembert.
1. - New Orleans Hornets - still sounds weird to say but I think they got enough tools to top the east
2. - New Jersey Nets - Will be a great defensive team...who hopfully won't play boring basketball like the heat and knicks
3. - Boston Celtics - Peirce and Walker will run the show Vin Baker will show flashes of brilliance...a lot of softness.
4. - Orlando Magic - Hill will be healthy...T-mac will keep improving on his superstar status.
5. - Atlanta Hawks - Finally the team is hot down in Hotlanta...hopfully they will trade Terry for a true shooting guard maybe Jason for Wally?? just throwing out sugestions.
6. - Toronto Raptors - They make the play-offs again...behind Vince's re-emergence as a star.
7. - Miami Heat - Riley and Zo lead their team back to the promised land...and the fans of Miami are just happy they won't have to play the Knicks in this play-offs.
8. - Indiana Pacers - They will struggle, and finally realize that Thomas is an idiot and hopfully fire him...coming on strong to make the play-offs
close but no cigar
thanks for coming out good luck in the Lebron Sweepstakes
He improved so much in the 2001 season. I think he will improve even more in the 2002 season.
Yes I know he won the most improved player award last year. However I don't think there is a rule prohibiting a player from recieving the most improved award 2 years in a row but you never know, I might be wrong.
This year he will become a dominant player in the league.
1). Nets-Deke put them head and shoulders on top of the rest of the east, but the hornets are close by
2).Hornets-Much talent, no major weaknesses besides mashburns health
3).Bucks-Still mad talented and has had more time to gel then most teams in the east, all they have to do is just "Bring-it"
4).Pacers-Great overall on paper, they will not be thought of as young bucks anymore
5).Celtics-Dynamic duo will have more competition this year
6).Raptors-VC is back
7).Magic-Hill is back, but still needs time to gel with the team on the court which will hurt their standings
8).Toss-up between the~~~~~~~~