Here’s Part 2 of Transition D-fense’s large-ish NBA preview. To conclude this historic series of posts we look at the Western Conference and crown the next NBA champ.
It’s just hard to repeat. Your team has to be special to evoke that desire and energy to combat every team’s best shot at you every night. I don’t think their hero of last year’s post-season has the will to bring the Mavs back. And this is before considering that Chandler has left.
Dallas was fortunate to have the Lakers hand them Lamar Odom for nothing, but as we’ve been harping on – how fast and how well will he fit in to Rick Carlisle’s system? What about Jason Terry? Is he willing to tatoo a second Larry O’brien trophy on his arm before game 1 like last year?
Facts: The mileage is high. The roster is slightly worse.
Educated conjecture: The Mavericks don’t have the same passion to make it back to the promised land. Specifically, 45 and 21, 2nd seed, and a conference semi-finals exit.
So who finishes first, and marches all the way to glory?
Before offering my overall season predictions, keep in mind the following:
a) There has been unprecedented player movement. Which new-look team will gel the quickest and which won’t be able to pick up the pieces?
b) Training camp was all of two weeks. The most-repeated phrase by sports anchors was “in a game where neither team shot 40%.” Everyone will be sloppy out of the gate. Tough to project which teams will be able to execute on either end and how fast.
c) The 3-man Heat roster lasted all season plus playoffs in 2010-2011 with no significant injuries. Will the arguable title favourites be able to withstand a treacherous schedule with their whole team of three players intact?
d) Is OKC ready to make the leap? Or will their lack of poise in the crunch, and lingering conflict between Westbrook and KD stifle the Thunder?
e) I realized yesterday that the name of the blog is the American spelling of “defence”. Now I can’t decide whether to change it.
f) Is Dallas motivated to make another run? And does its motivation matter given the loss of their defensive anchor Tyson Chandler?
The theme above is uncertainty. No one can know how these questions will play out. But not to worry, Transition D-fense will stick its neck out and foretell. For Part 1 – we’ll discuss the East.
Over the next few posts I’m going to select some intriguing teams to preview. Today we examine the Denver Nuggets.
In a shortened season with rampant player movement, roster continuity will be a major benefit. With a two week training camp riddled with horrendous preseason games, teams have lost out on the usually lengthy offseason used to integrate their new acquisitions. We spoke of the sexy Clippers playoff-caliber lineup, but the predicted record (36 and 30) was worse than most expectations simply due to the time it’s going to take to develop the necessary chemistry.
It’s easy to point out the great teams that haven’t endured much turnover. But in a 66-game schedule there are going to be at least a couple sleepers. Transition D-fense did some mining and found the Nuggets of Denver laying in the weeds.
Over the next few posts I’m going to select some intriguing teams to preview. Today we tackle the big-splashing Los Angeles Clippers.
Talk about a whirlwind in LA. First it’s Chris Paul to the Lakers, only to have the deal inexplicably nixed by the league. Then talks with the Clippers heated up, cooled, died, lingered, marinated, titillated, cooked and culminated in a blockbuster.
Was Gordon, Kaman, Aminu, Minnesota’s unprotected first round pick and my collection of Dominique Wilkins posters worth it?
Every week you’ll be treated to a Raptors-centric but all-things NBA blog. The grand plan to launch was nearly diverted by 1.2684% of basketball related income, but thankfully David Stern’s nuclear winter will wait for the next CBA.