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Discussion Starter #1
I find this Pacers hype HILARIOUS, and I mean HI-LA-RI-OUS! Here are my projected Eastern Conference standings for next season:

1 Nets (the team to beat)
2 Bucks (will bounce back bigtime)
3 Hornets (I have this weird hunch that Andre Miller ends up here in a three-way involving Baron Davis and the Clips)
4 Pistons (now HERE is the REAL "team of the future" in the East)
5 Celtics (gotta love the Pierce-Walker show, but these guys play way too many minutes)
6 Magic (T-Mac needs some help; Tim Duncan will re-sign with the Spurs, and YOU HEARD IT HERE FIRST, Jermaine O'Neal jumps ship and joins Orlando next offseason, YOU HEARD IT HERE FIRST)
7 Heat (you can't keep The Great Pat Riley out of the playoffs two years in a row, PERIOD)
8 Sixers (the Iverson situation will be a huge distraction, he'll get suspended a LOT of games by David Stern, this team will barely make the playoffs)
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9 Raptors (Lenny Wilkens needs to get fired)
10 Pacers (a huge disappointment)
11 Hawks (getting better)
12 Bulls (yep, they really will be a lot better, but they're still at least 10 more wins away from the #8 seed in the East)
13 Knicks (talk about a HUGE disappointment; that McDyess trade set this team back another couple of seasons, something I did not think was possible; when the team throws their $4.7 mil exception at JEROME JAMES (5 ppg, 4 rpg last year), prepare to DIE LAUGHING)
14 Wizards (MJ won't be close to 100% next season, and this team really does lack talent, good LORD)
15 Cavs (yeah, Miller will get traded, making this team the worst team in the East; Dajuan Wagner will take more shots per game than anybody, which is NOT a good thing)

Now, here are some MORE reasons why the Pacers will finish tenth in the conference:

1) The Pacers have done nothing but underachieve ever since Isiah began his "coaching" career there;

2) The Pacers BARELY made the playoffs last season, and so did the Raptors;

3) The Heat were quite a few games over .500 after their godawful start. I believe they started 5-23, which means that they went 31-23 the rest of the way. 31-23 is a .574 winning percentage, and if they had played .574 basketball all season long, they would've finished #4 in the conference. Keep in mind that Caron Butler will be an impact rookie--this team WILL make the playoffs next season;

4) The Bucks' collapse was bizarre, this is a team that nearly made the NBA Finals just 14 months ago! Expect Mason to get shipped somewhere (anywhere, for anything). This team WILL bounce back, it WILL make the playoffs;

5) The Hornets are simply too well-coached to miss the playoffs, they have an excellent veteran cast, and they will either re-sign Baron Davis or replace him with Andre Miller in a three-way with the Clips (you just watch);

6) The Nets, Pistons, and Celtics were the top three teams in the East next season, their rosters will remain almost perfectly intact; pretty difficult to imagine any of these teams missing the postseason;

7) The Magic aren't going to get any better this offseason, but they aren't going to get any worse, either, are they?;

8) The 76ers will not miss the playoffs unless Iverson gets sent to prison.

SO! If the Bucks and Heat both bounce back and return to the playoffs (and they WILL, don't you know?); if the Nets, Pistons, and Celtics do not have to deal with major longterm injuries to any of their stars; if the Hornets, Magic, and 76ers all play up to expectations--well, there are going to be some teams that miss the playoffs, that's all there is to it! I happen to find the hype surrounding this underachieving Pacers team to be quite hilarious; I just moved out to Washington from Bloomington, IN, where I watched Isiah "coach" this group on WB for two seasons. It was painful to watch.

The bottom line is, there are only four teams in the East that have virtually no shot at the playoffs: Cleveland, Washington, Chicago, and Atlanta. That leaves eleven teams competing for eight spots, so, well, YOU do the math! You tell ME which three teams won't make the cut! I'm saying that the Knicks will be a HUUUUUUUUUGE disappointment, that the Raptors will continue to underachieve, that Miami and Milwaukee will both bounce back, that if Miami didn't start off 5-23 last season and if Milwaukee didn't sign Anthony Mason, that both teams would've made the playoffs ahead of Toronto and INDIANA, that the Pacers have done pretty much nothing to convince anyone that they are anything better than a .500 team. I mean, seriously, why is this team going to suddenly be a major force in the East? Is Jermaine O'Neal REALLY going to get THAT MUCH BETTER next season? Is Al Harrington (and don't tell me about his injury, about how that prevented the team from advancing in the playoffs, because this team was .500 before AND after he got injured)? What about Jonathan Bender? This Tinsley/Croshere-for-Anderson trade will probably happen, it works for both teams--so who is the point guard for the Pacers? Kenny Anderson? Ugh. Here is the team's starting lineup next season:

PG Kenny Anderson (one of the most overpaid players in the league, although he WILL be playing for a new contract, so he should be in good shape to start the season; HOWEVER, he is a PG, and he will be adjusting to life on a new team, a team that already has a leader in Reggie Miller; I don't know, could be trouble--and his backups, Kevin Ollie and this Jamison Brewer kid, aren't exactly GOOD; AND keep in mind that Anderson will NOT be happy about getting shipped off from an Eastern Conference Finalist to a soap opera, AND that he's injury-prone, AND that he's probably not an Isiah Thomas kind of guy)

SG Reggie Miller (I gotta think that Reggie is going to be worried about whether or not the team is going to re-sign him after next season, and what kind of money he's going to get, and so on; keep in mind that he doesn't want to end his career playing for a .500 team, and that he is having a hard time coming to grips that his career is winding down)

SF Al Harrington (a nice glue player, no doubt about it, but how will he respond to sharing minutes with Ron Artest and Jonathan Bender? And how will Ron Artest respond to sharing minutes with Harrington?)

PF Jermaine O'Neal (if this team is playing .500 ball and therefore disappointing everybody in Januaryish, how will this team respond to the possibility of losing O'Neal to either the Orlando Magic or the Denver Nuggets via free agency next offseason? Won't this be a distraction, to O'Neal and to everybody else?)

C Brad Miller (he'll be a free agent after next season, so he'll be playing for a big contract, with either Indiana or SOMEBODY, but in order for him to put up big numbers, he's going to have to get plenty of shots, and I just don't see him getting NEARLY enough shots to make him happy; PLUS he's an injury-prone player)

Backups: Ron Artest (again, how will he respond to sharing minutes with Al Harrington? Probably not very well!), Ron Mercer (too good to not play 20-25 minutes a game, he'll take minutes away from Reggie, and from Bender), Kevin Ollie and Jamison Brewer (is Ollie the team's PG of the future, after the team lets Kenny Anderson go after next season, or is Brewer? Or is neither one of these two the answer?), Jeff Foster (this guy hustles too much to sit at the end of the bench, he's paid his dues and everybody knows it), Fred Jones (will pout and pout and pout at the end of the bench, don't you know).

Not to mention that everybody will be calling for Isiah's head because of the underachieving! And that Donnie Walsh may not even be sticking around, he may move on, or get fired! There just aren't enough minutes to go around for this team, and Isiah just doesn't have the right personality to appease everybody.

This team is going to be a big mess, in other words. Lots of talent, but the team lacks direction, there are way too many distractions, and the high expectations will really hurt this team.

Here's what I think will happen over the next 12-13 months:

1) Jermaine O'Neal will get disgusted with this team's development (or lack thereof), the Magic and Nuggets will get into a bidding war for this guy's services, the Magic will win, O'Neal will buy into the idea that The McGrady-O'Neal Show is good enough to make the NBA Finals on a regular basis, the Pacers will get nothing in return for O'Neal;

2) Reggie Miller will be so disgusted with the team's mediocre play and lack of direction, and ESPECIALLY its refusal to extend his contract (and to give him the big bucks that he feels he's earned by sticking with this team throughout his entire career), that HE will bolt at the end of next season, to a contender, even if it means he signs for less money (you tell ME he wouldn't look great in a Lakers uniform!);

3) Ron Artest starts demanding to get traded and throwing fits when he doesn't get the 30+ minutes a game he feels he is entitled to;

4) Jonathan Bender continues to look like somebody who has absolutely no idea how to play basketball, yet the team continues to give him 20+ minutes a game;

5) Fred Jones plays very little and pouts a lot, and, when he does play, does nothing to convince Pacers fans that he is a total bust;

6) The team replaces the bolted O'Neal and Reggie (their top two players, don't forget THAT) with NO ONE via free agency (no one GOOD, anyway), and Brad Miller takes off and signs somewhere else, too, after the Pacers balk at giving the guy $7 or $8 mil/yr;

7) Kenny Anderson does NOT fit in well, and does NOT re-sign...

Here are yr 2003-04 Indiana Pacers:

PG Kevin Ollie--Jamison Brewer
SG Ron Mercer--Fred Jones
SF Ron Artest--Jonathan Bender
PF Al Harrington (undersized, but the best this team can do)--??
C Jeff Foster--Primoz Brezec

NOW! Who is this team's go-to guy? Ron Mercer? Al Harrington? You're looking at one of the 2-3 worst teams in the league here, folks! Team of the future? HA! 18-64 in 2003-04 is more like it!
 

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Someone get bit by the jealousy bug?

Jerm isn't going ANYWHERE.

Reggie is too loyal to the Pacers to bolt.

Jamaal's not going anywhere.

WHY would Brad Miller need a lot of shots? Just why? He doesn't need 15 shots a game to be successfull. Why would he go to a team without a shot, where he probably won't get that many shots anyway, when he can be effective on a team with a shot in the Eastern Conference?

Also, your reasoning for the Raptors not making the playoffs this time is simply foolish, to say the least. The Raptors had plenty of injuries, including injuries to their star player, Vince Carter, who eventually had surgery! Alvin Williams played injured all year, and even key players such as Mo Peterson and Jerome Williams were out with injuries. Don't bring that "they barely made the playoffs last year" crap in here. The Raptors are still a top-4 team in the East.

And how do you know all this? What's your team? Unless it's the Lakers or Kings or Nets, I bet they just wish they were in Indiana's position right now. The Pacers are re-building and making the playoffs at the same time, that means plenty of experience for the youngens. There's no math, it's common sense. The Pacers are a good team and will make the playoffs, yet again, and make you look foolish.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Well, okay then, if the Pacers AND the Raptors make the playoffs, who DOESN'T make the playoffs? Let's see yr projected 2002-03 Eastern Conference standings, you'll need to provide rationale, too. Again, keep in mind that the Bucks nearly made the NBA Finals 14 months ago and seem to be a pretty good bet at bouncing back next season, and that the Heat played .574 basketball following their terrible 5-23 start.

Let's see it, give us yr projected 2002-03 Eastern Conference standings!

Also, please do not forget that Jermaine O'Neal will be getting HUGE offers from Orlando and Denver and maybe a few other teams next offseason, and, if the Pacers stumble again this season (or regress), he'll listen. I happen to think that he's going to really like the idea of joining forces with T-Mac in Orlando. (And no, I'm not a big Orlando fan.)

Brad Miller will want to get a lot of shots in that offense in order to make a lot of money next offseason, as he is a free agent. He DOES need 15 shots a game if he wants to put up big numbers!

Jamaal Tinsley and Austin Croshere are as good as gone (to Boston).

Reggie's loyalty to the Pacers will be severely tested next season. Why? Well, do you really think the team is going to sign him to a huge extension during the season? Don't you think that what he feels like he deserves? Don't you think he wants to win a title? Don't you think he's going to feel pretty betrayed by the Pacers if they don't open up their pocketbook for him, no matter how old he is? C'mon!

Anyway, what I REALLY want to see is yr projected 2002-03 Eastern Conference standings, and some commentary on each team. You need to explain why each team will finish where you say they will finish. Let's see it!
 

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The East is wide open. Any of the 13 teams, not including the Bulls and Cavs, could fight for a Playoff spot <b>if healthy</b> IMO. The Raps are a lock for the playoffs. Deal with it. They were 8 games above .500 before Vince got injured, and Vince has publically stated that he'll have changed for next season and there will be hell to pay for all the doubters. Now I'm not saying that will happen for sure, that would be idiotic. But with everyone healthy, don't you think they would <i>at least</i> make the playoffs with everyone healthy?

The Pacers rescued Jermaine O'Neal from the end of the Blazers' bench. He doesn't "owe" them anything, persey, but I think Indiana would definately be his first option after they gave him a chance, and now he's an All Star!

Reggie is far too loyal to the Pacers and the Pacers have been far too loyal to Reggie for him to bolt. If he doesn't want to be a part of the organisation as a player, then he'll just retire, and I'm sure they'd give him a front office or coaching job later on.

One thing I do agree with you on though, is that Isaiah Thomas should be fired. However, with the amount of inexperience he's been given the past couple of seasons, I think he's done a great job, not nessecarily in the regular season, I admit, they have under-achieved, but in the playoffs specially, coming back from a huge deficit to take game 1 against the heavily favoured Sixers, in what was the first playoff series in which most of their players got serious playing time, and taking the heavily favoured Nets to a game 5, double over-time before finally running out of gas this past season.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yeah, that's what I thought, Budweiser Boy.

I challenged you to name the eight East playoff teams next season, and to provide rationale, and you couldn't do it. You say that the Raptors are a shoo-in for the playoffs, but you do not discuss the other 14 teams.

Go ahead, give it a shot--you'll find that there will be several teams missing the playoffs who absolutely positively seem like playoff teams!

Go ahead, do it--otherwise, do not criticize me for leaving out the Raptors!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Also...

You asked earlier, "Who has the jealousy bug?" What does this mean? That I'm jealous of Jermaine O'Neal for being a better NBA player than me? What?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
And... one more thing, Budweiser Boy...

You state that Isiah should be fired, then ONE SENTENCE LATER you say that he's done a great job. Do you realize how stupid that is?
 

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LISTEN GUYS

Robyg must be right. I mean, look at how he talks about Reggie. He must talk to him every day to know all this stuff about how Reggie will practicly demand to make the max. And he also says that Jermaine would like to go and play for Orlando, who already have 2 players signed to the max and are going to sign more free agents this off-season. Even though they wont have enough money to pay him the max. Or he could just go to Denver, since Robyg said that he wouldnt want to play for a team with no chance like the Pacers. Moving to Denver is a great idea for him. Not only can he be on a "Great Team" he can share playing time with Howard and Camby, not to mention Nene. Yep, sounds like a good idea. This guy KNOWS what hes talking about.

If you cant tell Robyg, Im being a little sarcastic. For 2 days you have posted pure S**T. You say you have nothing against the Pacers yet you also say that O'neal wont want to play for a losing team so he will go to Denver? Ok explain that one to me. Please, I'd realy like to hear it. And as for your projected list, who cares. I havent recived my tape in the mail the future showing me what the playoff seeds will be, so Ill get back to you. Get real, thinking the Pacers wont be a least in the top 4 is insane. You make so many stupid comments it makes me mad. I mean, normaly I would just laugh but they are just so out there and stupid that I cant help it. You have nothing against the pacers yet you come on OUR board and post stuff like this? Come on buddy. Obviously our team whooped yours this year and you cant handle it. Well in any case, get ready for the same thing next year. The media and basketball critics have all said, if we keep our youth, the Pacers and Clippers are the teams of the future. Make posts that can actualy be read without laughing or get out.
 

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ah roby g you are a riot. i love hearing this stuff you claim to know, like tinsley for an aging k. anderson. what a load of garbage. there is no way the pacers will trade an assist machine like jamal for him. yeh, you entered into the mind of brad miller and know he is going to turn into a ballhog. you give the bucks way, way too much credit for what they don't deserve, a good rating. the bucks nosedived and fell apart because they can't play a lick of defense. glen robinson couldn't or wouldn't guard me-too much effort required. cassell is the only legitimate quality player they got. the pat riley thing is more garbage. just because he has damaged goods in mourning and missed the playoffs last year doesn't mean he will make them this year. no one wants brian grant as a starter and since zo has the kidney problems and is going to HAVE to take medication for the rest of his life his stamina and physical strength are gone. miami has little chance of doing much but stink again. your ratings have about as much legitimacy as an enron stock option. anyone can speculate, i simply don't see the point since injuries happen unpredictably to every team. one player goes down and BOOM!! your speculation goes down the crapper! you go on and on about stuff you think you know when the truth is you don't know. when is this "done deal" with boston going to happen? if you know why don't you enlighten us? these predictions are complete junk and i wouldn't wipe my arse with 'em. your projected lineup of the pacers is a joke. reggie is going to bolt- yeh right. jermaine is going to leave yeh right, tinsley for an aging ballhog yeh right, these aren't your predictions but your hopes. you sound like a bitter east coast goofball who probably is a knicks fan and can't seem to accept the fact that the pacers are the deepest team in the league with a stellar crop of young talent that the rest of the league wishes they had. anyway, even if the pacers had to put harrington in at pf, he wouldn't be undersized, he is 6'9 and almost as big as c webb. and he isn't undersized. i hope you have more of your brilliance to add when the season is about halfway thru or even the regular season is over and we can discuss how right you are.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
About Budweiser Boy's playoff picks for the East...

Here are the 13 playoff teams in the East next season, according to our mod:

1) Atlanta Hawks--"if they can stay healthy they can make the playoffs with a low-40's win season"

2) Boston Celtics--"a lock for the playoffs IMO"

3) Detroit Pistons--"Still a playoff team"

4) Indiana Pacers--"the first round may not be all that's in store for this bunch next season"

5) Miami Heat--"If Zo can regain the form he had before, or at least somewhere near it, and the Heat keep up the pace they had in the middle of last season, they could make the playoffs"

6) Milwaukee Bucks--"If they are healthy then I think they could definately make the playoffs, but not with a 50-win season"

7) New Jersey Nets--"This team is only going to get better"

8) New Orleans Hornets--"it's hard to doubt that the Hornets will be in the Playoffs next season"

9) New York Knicks--"this team could contend for a playoff spot"

10) Orlando Magic--"if Grant and Garrity can keep it together during the regular season, the Magic will definately benefit from Ewing's playoff experience in the post-season" (what a statement; DUDE, Patrick Ewing IS TOAST)

11) Philadelphia 76ers--"the Sixers will contend for a playoff spot IMO"

12) Toronto Raptors--"The Raps are a lock for the playoffs IMO"

13) Washington Wizards--"The Wizards are actually one of the more talented teams in the Atlantic Division... With the assistance of MJ's leadership, this team could make the Playoffs in the wild, wild East" (one of the most talented teams, WHAT A STATEMENT)

SO! You have SEVEN teams as locks for the playoffs--Boston, Detroit, Indiana, New Jersey, New Orleans, Orlando, and Toronto. That leaves only one spot open--HOWEVER! Three other teams WILL, you say, make the playoffs if they stay healthy--Milwaukee, Miami, and Atlanta (Atlanta!). Question: What if all three teams stay healthy? PLUS! Three other teams will CONTEND for the playoffs--and one of these teams is Philly, coached by The Great Larry Brown, with plenty of veteran leadership and playoff experience, a team that overcame tons of injuries last season to finish with the #4 spot in the East! The #4 team in the East, the team that went to the NBA Finals 14 months ago, the team with The Great Allen Iverson, the leading scorer in the league, will "contend" for a playoff spot?

Like I said, dude, there are only 8 spots in the East. You have 13 teams making the playoffs. Which means you are proving my point--SOMEBODY is going to miss the playoffs, and it's going to be somebody who we THINK will be PRETTY GOOD! And not just SOMEBODY--3 or 4 or 5 somebodies! Now you know why I left out Toronto and Indiana when I did my playoff picks for next season--it's simple math!

Come ON, when you make playoff picks, you have to go 1-15, you have to rank them, you have to say where they'll finish and why. You have 13 teams "contending" for the playoffs--which means you're saying that the #13 in the East will win no fewer than 38 or 39 ballgames? How is THAT going to happen? ANSWER: IT'S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.

Try again, dude.
 

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Originally posted by robyg
I find this Pacers hype HILARIOUS, and I mean HI-LA-RI-OUS! Here are my projected Eastern Conference standings for next season:

1 Nets (the team to beat)
2 Bucks (will bounce back bigtime)
3 Hornets (I have this weird hunch that Andre Miller ends up here in a three-way involving Baron Davis and the Clips)
4 Pistons (now HERE is the REAL "team of the future" in the East)
5 Celtics (gotta love the Pierce-Walker show, but these guys play way too many minutes)
6 Magic (T-Mac needs some help; Tim Duncan will re-sign with the Spurs, and YOU HEARD IT HERE FIRST, Jermaine O'Neal jumps ship and joins Orlando next offseason, YOU HEARD IT HERE FIRST)
7 Heat (you can't keep The Great Pat Riley out of the playoffs two years in a row, PERIOD)
8 Sixers (the Iverson situation will be a huge distraction, he'll get suspended a LOT of games by David Stern, this team will barely make the playoffs)
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9 Raptors (Lenny Wilkens needs to get fired)
10 Pacers (a huge disappointment)
11 Hawks (getting better)
12 Bulls (yep, they really will be a lot better, but they're still at least 10 more wins away from the #8 seed in the East)
13 Knicks (talk about a HUGE disappointment; that McDyess trade set this team back another couple of seasons, something I did not think was possible; when the team throws their $4.7 mil exception at JEROME JAMES (5 ppg, 4 rpg last year), prepare to DIE LAUGHING)
14 Wizards (MJ won't be close to 100% next season, and this team really does lack talent, good LORD)
15 Cavs (yeah, Miller will get traded, making this team the worst team in the East; Dajuan Wagner will take more shots per game than anybody, which is NOT a good thing)

Now, here are some MORE reasons why the Pacers will finish tenth in the conference:

1) The Pacers have done nothing but underachieve ever since Isiah began his "coaching" career there;

2) The Pacers BARELY made the playoffs last season, and so did the Raptors;

3) The Heat were quite a few games over .500 after their godawful start. I believe they started 5-23, which means that they went 31-23 the rest of the way. 31-23 is a .574 winning percentage, and if they had played .574 basketball all season long, they would've finished #4 in the conference. Keep in mind that Caron Butler will be an impact rookie--this team WILL make the playoffs next season;

4) The Bucks' collapse was bizarre, this is a team that nearly made the NBA Finals just 14 months ago! Expect Mason to get shipped somewhere (anywhere, for anything). This team WILL bounce back, it WILL make the playoffs;

5) The Hornets are simply too well-coached to miss the playoffs, they have an excellent veteran cast, and they will either re-sign Baron Davis or replace him with Andre Miller in a three-way with the Clips (you just watch);

6) The Nets, Pistons, and Celtics were the top three teams in the East next season, their rosters will remain almost perfectly intact; pretty difficult to imagine any of these teams missing the postseason;

7) The Magic aren't going to get any better this offseason, but they aren't going to get any worse, either, are they?;

8) The 76ers will not miss the playoffs unless Iverson gets sent to prison.

SO! If the Bucks and Heat both bounce back and return to the playoffs (and they WILL, don't you know?); if the Nets, Pistons, and Celtics do not have to deal with major longterm injuries to any of their stars; if the Hornets, Magic, and 76ers all play up to expectations--well, there are going to be some teams that miss the playoffs, that's all there is to it! I happen to find the hype surrounding this underachieving Pacers team to be quite hilarious; I just moved out to Washington from Bloomington, IN, where I watched Isiah "coach" this group on WB for two seasons. It was painful to watch.

The bottom line is, there are only four teams in the East that have virtually no shot at the playoffs: Cleveland, Washington, Chicago, and Atlanta. That leaves eleven teams competing for eight spots, so, well, YOU do the math! You tell ME which three teams won't make the cut! I'm saying that the Knicks will be a HUUUUUUUUUGE disappointment, that the Raptors will continue to underachieve, that Miami and Milwaukee will both bounce back, that if Miami didn't start off 5-23 last season and if Milwaukee didn't sign Anthony Mason, that both teams would've made the playoffs ahead of Toronto and INDIANA, that the Pacers have done pretty much nothing to convince anyone that they are anything better than a .500 team. I mean, seriously, why is this team going to suddenly be a major force in the East? Is Jermaine O'Neal REALLY going to get THAT MUCH BETTER next season? Is Al Harrington (and don't tell me about his injury, about how that prevented the team from advancing in the playoffs, because this team was .500 before AND after he got injured)? What about Jonathan Bender? This Tinsley/Croshere-for-Anderson trade will probably happen, it works for both teams--so who is the point guard for the Pacers? Kenny Anderson? Ugh. Here is the team's starting lineup next season:

PG Kenny Anderson (one of the most overpaid players in the league, although he WILL be playing for a new contract, so he should be in good shape to start the season; HOWEVER, he is a PG, and he will be adjusting to life on a new team, a team that already has a leader in Reggie Miller; I don't know, could be trouble--and his backups, Kevin Ollie and this Jamison Brewer kid, aren't exactly GOOD; AND keep in mind that Anderson will NOT be happy about getting shipped off from an Eastern Conference Finalist to a soap opera, AND that he's injury-prone, AND that he's probably not an Isiah Thomas kind of guy)

SG Reggie Miller (I gotta think that Reggie is going to be worried about whether or not the team is going to re-sign him after next season, and what kind of money he's going to get, and so on; keep in mind that he doesn't want to end his career playing for a .500 team, and that he is having a hard time coming to grips that his career is winding down)

SF Al Harrington (a nice glue player, no doubt about it, but how will he respond to sharing minutes with Ron Artest and Jonathan Bender? And how will Ron Artest respond to sharing minutes with Harrington?)

PF Jermaine O'Neal (if this team is playing .500 ball and therefore disappointing everybody in Januaryish, how will this team respond to the possibility of losing O'Neal to either the Orlando Magic or the Denver Nuggets via free agency next offseason? Won't this be a distraction, to O'Neal and to everybody else?)

C Brad Miller (he'll be a free agent after next season, so he'll be playing for a big contract, with either Indiana or SOMEBODY, but in order for him to put up big numbers, he's going to have to get plenty of shots, and I just don't see him getting NEARLY enough shots to make him happy; PLUS he's an injury-prone player)

Backups: Ron Artest (again, how will he respond to sharing minutes with Al Harrington? Probably not very well!), Ron Mercer (too good to not play 20-25 minutes a game, he'll take minutes away from Reggie, and from Bender), Kevin Ollie and Jamison Brewer (is Ollie the team's PG of the future, after the team lets Kenny Anderson go after next season, or is Brewer? Or is neither one of these two the answer?), Jeff Foster (this guy hustles too much to sit at the end of the bench, he's paid his dues and everybody knows it), Fred Jones (will pout and pout and pout at the end of the bench, don't you know).

Not to mention that everybody will be calling for Isiah's head because of the underachieving! And that Donnie Walsh may not even be sticking around, he may move on, or get fired! There just aren't enough minutes to go around for this team, and Isiah just doesn't have the right personality to appease everybody.

This team is going to be a big mess, in other words. Lots of talent, but the team lacks direction, there are way too many distractions, and the high expectations will really hurt this team.

Here's what I think will happen over the next 12-13 months:

1) Jermaine O'Neal will get disgusted with this team's development (or lack thereof), the Magic and Nuggets will get into a bidding war for this guy's services, the Magic will win, O'Neal will buy into the idea that The McGrady-O'Neal Show is good enough to make the NBA Finals on a regular basis, the Pacers will get nothing in return for O'Neal;

2) Reggie Miller will be so disgusted with the team's mediocre play and lack of direction, and ESPECIALLY its refusal to extend his contract (and to give him the big bucks that he feels he's earned by sticking with this team throughout his entire career), that HE will bolt at the end of next season, to a contender, even if it means he signs for less money (you tell ME he wouldn't look great in a Lakers uniform!);

3) Ron Artest starts demanding to get traded and throwing fits when he doesn't get the 30+ minutes a game he feels he is entitled to;

4) Jonathan Bender continues to look like somebody who has absolutely no idea how to play basketball, yet the team continues to give him 20+ minutes a game;

5) Fred Jones plays very little and pouts a lot, and, when he does play, does nothing to convince Pacers fans that he is a total bust;

6) The team replaces the bolted O'Neal and Reggie (their top two players, don't forget THAT) with NO ONE via free agency (no one GOOD, anyway), and Brad Miller takes off and signs somewhere else, too, after the Pacers balk at giving the guy $7 or $8 mil/yr;

7) Kenny Anderson does NOT fit in well, and does NOT re-sign...

Here are yr 2003-04 Indiana Pacers:

PG Kevin Ollie--Jamison Brewer
SG Ron Mercer--Fred Jones
SF Ron Artest--Jonathan Bender
PF Al Harrington (undersized, but the best this team can do)--??
C Jeff Foster--Primoz Brezec

NOW! Who is this team's go-to guy? Ron Mercer? Al Harrington? You're looking at one of the 2-3 worst teams in the league here, folks! Team of the future? HA! 18-64 in 2003-04 is more like it!

awsome hawks suprise with dan dikau
 

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Discussion Starter #14
A response to R-Star...

R-Star! Atten-HUT!

First of all, GREAT SARCASM--I had no idea you were being sarcastic! You really had me going! I kept thinking to myself, "Wow, this guy is saying some really nice things about me, I'm totally flattered!"--and then, BLAMMO, you come out of nowhere with the line, "If you cant tell Robyg, Im being a little sarcastic"--again, BLAMMO!

And folks, the sarcasm didn't end here, check out this memorable one-liner: "I havent recived my tape in the mail the future showing me what the playoff seeds will be, so Ill get back to you." BLAMMO AGAIN! Good LORD do I feel STUPID!

THEN you started REALLY hurting my feelings; check THIS ONE out, folks: "Obviously our team whooped yours this year and you cant handle it." OUCH! That hurt!

Not only am I stupid, but I am INSANE: "Get real, thinking the Pacers wont be at least in the top 4 is insane."

Let's see: 1) The Nets bring everybody back from an NBA Finals appearance; 2) The Pistons bring everybody back and also figure to sign Chauncey Billups to bolster the PG spot; 3) The Celtics will either bring everybody back OR they'll bolster their PG position with this Kenny Anderson-for-Jamaal Tinsley/Austin Croshere trade, so they'll either get better or they'll stay the same; 4) The 76ers cannot possibly experience more injury problems next year than they did this past season, when they finished with the #4 spot in the East (although I will admit that the Iverson situation could become a major problem); 5) The Hornets should get Jamal Mashburn back, so they'll be a lot better (assuming they re-sign Baron Davis OR replace him with Andre Miller in a sign-and-trade; this is my pick to face the Nets in the Conference Finals, incidentally); 6) The Magic should either be AS good as last year OR, if Grant Hill actually stays healthy, be a WHOLE LOT BETTER than last year; 7) The Heat played .574 basketball after their godawful 5-23 start, and they've added Caron Butler, one of the two frontrunners for Rookie of the Year; 8) Everything went wrong for the Bucks last season, and they still just barely missed the playoffs (i.e., the PACERS just barely beat them out for that final playoff spot).

I mean, SERIOUSLY, dude--I'm "insane" for thinking that the underachieving Pacers, the incredibly poorly-coached Pacers, the not-enough-minutes-to-go-around Pacers, are NOT going to finish "at least in the top four"? WHAT? Dude! I'm just being CONSERVATIVE here! The hype the Pacers are getting is RIDICULOUS, and you guys are OBVIOUSLY BUYING INTO IT because YOU ARE PACERS FANS, you WANT TO BUY INTO IT, you WANT THE HYPE TO BE WELL-DESERVED! But it's not! Period! And you'll see, trust me--by January it will pretty clear that the Pacers need to make some changes! YOU'LL SEE!

In any event--GOOD SARCASM! You're really clever!
 

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The Pacers will be much better and they are the team of the Future. Its Fun to make Predictions for next season but You never know what will happen. Orlando will not be able to offer Jermaine as much as the Pacers can and he would not go to Denver. Jermaine recently said that as long as him and the Pacers Orginization can work out the Financial terms he will remain a Pacer. He has told many people that he feels like he owes it to the Pacer Orginization to resign because they gave him a chance to show what he can do. They traded away an all-star in Dale Davis for an unproven player. The rumor with Croshere and Tinsley for Kenny Anderson was never a trade that was out there.
 

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Going to answer the question?

Im not going to go out and say I know exactley where each team will land like you are Robyg. But I did ask you to explain something to me, you said that Oneal might go to Denver. I've never heard anything stupider in my life. Where did you hear this from. And on top of that you contadicted yourself again. In a previous post you said, In your own opinion Tinsley has already had his best year ( stupid to say, because he is of course, a rookie) and yet you just said that the Celtics are going to upgrade at the point by getting him. Do you just forget about things you have said in the past or are you actualy that feeble minded? Oh and thanks, I try with the sarcasm, glad you enjoyed it.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
1) You're probably right about Denver, I take it back, SERIOUSLY. I do happen to think that Denver is in GREAT shape, that they're going to be REALLY good pretty quickly. They will, of course, be godawful next season--Juwan Howard is the go-to guy, and their #2 option on offense is, I think, JAMES POSEY--Hilario and Tskitishvili both have a chance at being terrific players, but they'll suck next year, they're very raw. The Nuggets should be the worst team in the league--which means they'll add a top four pick in next year's draft to Hilario and Tskitishvili--THEN they'll be so far under the cap for a run at next summer's excellent free agent crop, good LORD, it'll be ridiculous! I think they'll be able to get at least one very good player, and maybe two. How about Andre Miller and Shawn Marion? Then you re-sign Juwan Howard (AFTER you sign Andre and Shawn, naturally) and James Posey--here are your 2003-04 Denver Nuggets:

PG Andre Miller
SG James Posey
SF Shawn Marion
PF Nikoloz Tskitishvili
C Nene Hilario
PLUS: Whoever they draft next season (you never know, it could be Lebron, he's gonna go somewhere), Juwan Howard (who I think would be very, very nice as a combo first-guy-off-the-bench forward, although AGAIN, the dude's an awful go-to guy), and Marcus Camby (who, if he's healthy, is just icing on the cake)

I really think Miller will end up in Denver--remember, he played his college ball in the Rocky Mountains and loved it--if he doesn't get traded this offseason. Because I don't think the Cavs will pony up and give him the max, and I don't know if ANYBODY will give as much money as the Nuggets will give him (the max). Shawn Marion is a longshot, I'm being a little optimistic here, but it could happen.

2) You're right, I DID say that about Tinsley. I think he's going to be a lot like Mark Jackson, who ALSO had the best year of his career during his rookie season. Jackson was always a liability on defense, he never really beat anybody off the dribble, he certainly wasn't a good perimeter shooter--but he had a lot of guts, and he was a leader. PLUS, if Tinsley never gets any better than he was last year, he's STILL an upgrade over Kenny Anderson! God that dude sucks!

3) I still think that Jermaine O'Neal is going to get a hell of a sales pitch from Orlando this time next year. So you better HOPE the Pacers finish in the Top Four. (Again, I repeat: THEY WON'T. Unless they go get themselves Andre Miller.)

4) When Kenny Anderson for Croshere/Tinsley/Brezec doesn't go down, fine--until then, I think it's going to happen. And I think the team that is balking is Boston, not Indiana--because of Croshere's contract. Boston doesn't want to pay the luxury tax.
 

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You don't know what the Pacers are going to do next year so stop trying to act like you know. Boston/Indiana trade is probably not going to happen and Tinsley was never involved in this trade. Orlando can barely pay another player the Max so I don't see him going there. I can also see Orlando making a trade possibly for Danny Fortson which will hurt thier chances.
 

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lol, this is a funny thread. robyg, can you see the future? how the hell would you know who's gonna make the playoffs and who's gonna be huge disappointments? the East is wide open. every fricken team has a chance at making the playoffs. The Pacers, however, camethisclose to beating the Eastern Champions. that's why i think they'll make the playoffs next year, but, in the East you never know. did anyone expect the Pistons, Celtics, and Nets to be the top three teams in the East last season??? Did anyone expect Milwaukee to trip over it's own feet and miss the playoffs??? NO ONE can know or confidently predict what's gonna happen next season. and unless you personally know Jermaine O'Neal, how would you know if he'd bolt if the team is .500??? how would you know if Reggie wants the max when his contract expires or that he's disgusted with the team's mediocricy (and how the heck do you know they'll be mediocre)??? you're predicting things and claiming that they will come true!!!

if you look at how Indy did last season, especially in the postseason, they have a very bright future. they are one of the youngest teams in the league and they're still rebuilding. I don't know if they'll win the East as soon as next season, but i do think they'll be a great team in the future.
 
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