Welcome to the NBA Season Preview; Eastern Conference. I’ll try and have the Western Conference up later today. We will also start our NBA Roundtable next week, so if you have not downloaded our Roost so you don’t miss a thing, now is a good time to do it, or follow us on Twitter @7poundbagdotcom or even like us on Facebook
Now lets start the show
|Toronto Raptors||Toronto Raptors||Toronto Raptors|
|Boston Celtics||New York Knicks||Boston Celtics|
|Brooklyn Nets||Boston Celtics||Brooklyn Nets|
|New York Knicks||Brooklyn Nets||New York Knicks|
|Philadelphia 76ers||Philadelphia 76ers||Philadelphia 76ers|
Chad: Kyle Lowry of the Raptors his leadership at the PG position enables Toronto to go on a deeper playoff run
EJ: Got to be Carmelo Anthony. Yes, I have the Raptors winning the Atlantic, and they will win the division with ease, but I think Carmelo not only plays the majority of the season, but I think he’ll have the Knicks fighting for a playoff spot. The Knicks did not add any big names in the offseason but I like what they have done with Robin Lopez, Aaron Afflalo, Kyle O’Quinn, and bringing in an old hand in Sasha Vucevic. All those guys, plus a healthy Melo means the Knicks have a shot at one of the lower seeds in the East.
David: DeMar DeRozan. He was hurt last year and still put up a 20/4.6/3.5 line- and now he’s in a contract year? He’s going to be pushing all year, and with the East being a bit on the weak side, and the Atlantic being Toronto and everyone else- even the Cavs have bigger threats to their division title, and DeMar is going to be the guy that shows why Toronto won’t have a losing streak until the second round of the playoffs.
Player I Wish Was On Another Team:
Chad: I would want Jared Sullinger on the Raptors I feel him and Lowry would make nice in and out combo north of the border
EJ: Once again I’m going with Carmelo but I wish he was a Net. I’m from Brooklyn, but I got to keep it 100: The Nets are going to be AWFUL this season. The team is stuck with Joe Johnson’s monster contract and Brook Lopez is forever hurt. The Nets could use a leader with the heart of Carmelo but unfortunately he is not walking through the doors of the Barclays Center unless it’s with the visiting Knicks.
David: Nikola Vucevic. A solid 20/10 guy that can pass? Get him to a team that can teach him to defend me for more than 10 seconds and watch the All-Star bids and wins rack up.
Team to Watch
Chad: Toronto-How do they respond to being the favorite?
EJ: The Knicks. Look the Raptors, will win the Atlantic. They are really good, however, my eyes are on the Knicks. Yes, they won 17 games last season and their head coach is currently embroiled in a love triangle with the estranged wife of another NBA player, but the Knicks look like they will be a fun team that will put up a lot of points and allow a lot of points. It’s not quite Showtime but the Garden should be rocking this season.
David: The Celtics. Brad Stevens is a solid coach, and If he can get David Lee to work hard, and nail down a rotation, then this could be an incredible team. They don’t have the top-tier talent, but to be honest, in today’s NBA, being able to run wave after wave of above average talent might get you pretty far.
Chad: Bold Prediction- Not going to Bold here but the Knicks will still be awful
EJ: The 76ers are going to beat some big teams on their off night. Look Philly, is a mess. I keep trying to give Sam Hincke a pass, but unless he’s not able to turn these young pieces into a young vet via the trade market this season, then look for him to get canned. However, before that happens I won’t be too surprised if the Sixers catch some better teams in the League sleeping on any given night.
David: Only 2 teams from this division are going to win 38 or more games. I honestly thing the Celtics are going to make a run at 45 wins and the Raptors could pull a Hawks and load up on wins and get some serious win streaks going. Need a second? If the Nets pick is in the top 3, there are going to be a LOT of nervous people in Boston on who could be on the trading block. What would half the NBA give for say Avery Bradley, Jared Sullinger and the #2 overall pick?
|Cleveland Cavaliers||Cleveland Cavaliers||Cleveland Cavaliers|
|Chicago Bulls||Milwaukee Bucks||Chicago Bulls|
|Indiana Pacers||Chicago Bulls||Milwaukee Bucks|
|Milwaukee Bucks||Indiana Pacers||Detroit Pistons|
|Detroit Pistons||Detroit Pistons||Indiana Pacers|
EJ: The obvious answer is LeBron James, but I will throw a curveball and say Jabari Parker. Coming off an injury is sketchy enough but I’m on the Bucks bandwagon. First of all let me remind you that I more than predicted the star that was Giannis Antetokoumpo when I highlighted him as my rookie of the year candidate, and what did he come out and do? He damn near won it. I saw his potential before a lot of people did, and adding Greg Monroe, to this roster means another big year for the Greek Freak but he needs a healthy Jabari. If Parker is healthy than I think the Bucks can easily be the 4th best team in the East.
Player I Wish Was On Another Team
Chad: Paul George as an option at SF for the Bulls
EJ: I wish Doug McDermott was a Milwaukee Buck. Look, I’m high on the Bucks but I look at that roster and I think they could really use a shooter. McDermott may not have had the best rookie season with the Bulls, but he looks to be a more improved player this preseason, but on a squad like the Bucks he could be deadly.
David: Greg Monroe. Still pisses me off the Hornets got Lance Stephenson instead of him. Anyway, I love Greg Monroe’s game, and while staying in the East might let him see more in the playoffs, I’d almost rather see him test himself night after night in the West.
Team to Watch
Chad: The Bulls under new Coach Fred Hoiberg and how he works the rotation
EJ: It’s the Bucks for me and by a country mile. They are a young, tall, and athletic team. If Jason Kidd screws this up, then fire his ass. I expect a lot of teams to have a difficult time playing the Bucks this season. Fear the Deer!
David: Chicago Bulls. They no longer have a great coach, and I’m not sure I’ve ever said to myself wow, that Hoiberg sure is a threat to beat Coach K’s record! This is a risk from the Bulls ownership. Will it work out? No idea.
Chad: Paul George returns to form and the Pacers have a strong campaign
EJ: At least 4 teams in this division makes the playoffs, and I’ll allow the possibility of a clean sweep if the Pistons can be better than the third place team in either the Atlantic or Southeast divisions. We rarely see a whole division make the playoffs but there are some damn good teams in the Central.
David: I’ll be 43 before any team before any of this division is eliminated from the playoff race.
|Miami Heat||Miami Heat||Miami Heat|
|Washington Wizards||Charlotte Hornets||Atlanta Hawks|
|Atlanta Hawks||Atlanta Hawks||Washington Wizards|
|Charlotte Hornets||Washington Wizards||Charlotte Hornets|
|Orlando Magic||Orlando Magic||Orlando Magic|
Chad: Al Horford helps the Hawks get into the playoffs with dominant post play
EJ: I want to say Chris Bosh but I won’t. I’ll go with Dwyane Wade. The Heat on paper are a very good team, and Bosh coming back and forming a frontcourt with Whiteside and Deng (or Winslow) is probably one of the best frontcourts in the East, but the Heat will need as much as they can get from Wade if they really want to place themselves alongside the Cavs as the best team in the East. Wade may never be 100% healthy but if he can give them 60 to 65 games in the regular season, then I like the Heat’s chances to make noise come playoff time.
David: I’m going with Chris Bosh. 21/7 last year, and now he gets Justice Winslow to take over the other side’s best wing player- think about it, Bosh could get to cover the other teams 3rd best player – so yeah, I think he’s going to be a standout year.
Player I Wish Was On Another Team
Chad: Victor Oladipo on the Hawks would really help their perimeter play
EJ: I wish Victor Oladipo was with the Miami Heat. Why? He looks like Dwyane Wade Jr. and he plays on a team that needs every last bit of that from him, but I don’t see the Magic going anywhere fast. If Oladipo was on a team that got more eyeballs than I think more fans would see an exciting player worthy of the accolades.
David: Justice Winslow. Not like the Hornets had a chance to draft him or anything.
Team to Watch
Chad: Charlotte Hornets- Do they have another bust of a 1st round pick?
EJ: The Miami Heat. Whiteside, Bosh, Deng, Wade, and Dragic is a good a starting five as any. It will come down to Whiteside being motivated, Bosh and Wade being healthy and if Deng can hold off Justice Winslow. In any case, there should be some interesting nights down on South Beach.
David: The Heat. See above.
Chad: Wade, Bosh, and Winslow help the Heat go deep into the playoffs
EJ: The Hornets not only make the playoffs, they make it over the Hawks and Wizards. I for one see the Hornets on the upswing and the Hawks and Wizards on the downswing. The Hawks lost a big part of their team when DeMarre Carroll bounced to Toronto, and I think the Wizards lost a big leader in Paul Pierce. Yeah, John Wall and Bradley Beal are around but without Paul, I have serious doubts on their abilities to grind through the season.
However, I think Charlotte did well in bringing in Lin and I see him playing pretty well with Batum and Big Al. So, yeah I see the Hornets being one of the 8 out of the East.
David: The Hawks, Heat and Wizards all have a shot at 50 wins. I think this a strong division in the East, and keep in mind the Magic and Hornets are gonna suck.
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