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Archive for the ‘Playoff Push’ Category

Dissecting the Eastern Conference (V)

For the first time in many years, the Eastern Conference Playoff picture looks as bright and exciting as ever. With the playoffs approaching rapidly, who will be this year’s BEAST of the EAST! Time to rate all potential teams!

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New York Knicks (34-32)

Amare (right) and Melo (left)

Although not exemplified by their record, the NY Knicks will be a dangerous team come playoff time. With newly acquired star Carmelo Anthony and captain Amar’e Stoudemire still getting accustomed to one another, we know that the future foreseeable potential for the Knicks is outstanding. How about now? As the playoffs begin, the team will be tested early as they are bound to face one of the elite and more established teams in the East. Will the Knicks be ready?

Advantages?
The Knicks are well known for their offensive skeames and Coach D’Antoni’s uptempo style of play. Stoudemire’s vastly improved mid-range game along with Carmelo’s ability to score effortlessly ensures that other players, such as promising rookie Landry Fields, will have no problem getting open shots, especially with Chauncey Billups acting as floor general. I said it once, and I’ll say it again: Do not underestimate the ‘Mr. Big Shot’ Billups acquisition.

Disadvantages?
DEFENSE, the Knicks are not a good defensive team. They allow their opponents to score about 106 points per game, currently second highest in the NBA. D’Antoni must begin working his team equally on both ends of the court. Additionally, the Knicks are in the bottom half the league in terms of rebounds per game, due to the team’s lack of size. And finally, team chemistry will be our most monitored concern. Can the Knicks develop a team rhythm as post-season begins?

My Rating:

Category Rating /10
Coaching 7
Starting 5 8
Bench 5
Experience 8
Closer 9
Rating 7.4

Swish says: Good Run at representing the East in the NBA Finals

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Dissecting the Eastern Conference (IV)

For the first time in many years, the Eastern Conference Playoff picture looks as bright and exciting as ever. With the playoffs approaching rapidly, who will be this year’s BEAST of the EAST! Time to rate all potential teams!

Click and Follow the NBA Swish on FACEBOOK or on TWITTER

Miami Heat (46-22)

The Miami Heat are traveling city to city attracting attention all across the world. While, highlighted by superstars D-Wade, LeBron and Bosh, they’ve sold out at every stop giving NBA fans a show to remember. Unfortunately, a showman hardly means a champion. Although this Heat team has had its share of success, they have also had their share of let downs. More specifically, the ironic lack of clutch performances on a roster packed with talent. Needless to say, this is what happens when 3 franchise players are asked to play with one another. Who controls the game’s pace, who takes the final shot?? These questions are yet to be answered..

Advantage?
There’s no denying it, on paper, this team has 2 of the top 5 players in the league, along with a solid top 20. So, with a dash of direction, a t-spoon of coaching and a pinch of faith, this team has potential to become one of the greatest teams in the history of sports :). The roster has enough big men fill the center position, a solid back-up wing player in Mike Miller and newly acquired back- up guard, Mike Bibby, who would both be starters on most teams in the league. Question is, can they get all the ingredients right?

Disadvantage?
The Point Guard (floor general) and Center (rebounder, shot blocker) positions are arguably the most critical positions on an NBA team. Miami has instilled LeBron as their floor general with Wade taking on the responsibility at times. However, although they have multiple players at the center position, it is by far Miami’s greatest weakness. Furthermore, managing the egos of 3 star players is a challenge for any coach in this league, and Coach Spolstra’s inexperience only puts him at an even greater disadvantage.

My Rating:

Category Rating /10
Coaching 7
Starting 5 9
Bench 7
Experience 8
Closer 9
Rating 8.0

Swish says: Excellent Chances at representing the East in the NBA Finals

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Dissecting the Eastern Conference (III)

For the first time in many years, the Eastern Conference Playoff picture looks as bright and exciting as ever. With the playoffs approaching rapidly, who will be this year’s BEAST of the EAST! Time to rate all potential teams!

Click and Follow the NBA Swish on FACEBOOK

Orlando Magic (43-26)

The Magic seemed well on their way to revisiting the NBA Finals last season. Undefeated with an 8-0 record, they prepared to face the Boston Celtics, but shockingly, the Magic utterly collapsed. After a shaky start to this season, the Magic shook the league with a series of trades which overturned their roster, bringing back fan favorite Hedo Turkogu, along with J-Rich and Gilbert Arenas, while parting ways with the aging Lewis and Carter.

Advantage?
The Magic have the potential to get on a HOT streak, whether from the perimeter, by solid defense and or by simply feeding off of All-Star Dwight Howard’s freakishly gigantic shoulders in the paint. Howard has continued to elevate his game, further developing his post play and even occasionally stepping out to knock down the mid-range jumper. The combination of Howard and the 3-point shooters which surround him, have the Magic always sticking around in the big games. The question remains, can they finish them?

Disadvantage?
Live and die by the 3-point shot
.. one of the leaders in 3-point attempts and makes, the Magic could also go COLD from the perimeter and when that happens the team seems to domino effect with lackluster defense and bad decision making. Furthermore, the players seem to have grown tired of hearing Stan Van Gundy yelling and screaming all day. Although efficient in desperate times, that style of coaching has its limits and then… you tune out. How much longer will they listen? Only time will tell.. lol

My Rating:

Category Rating /10
Coaching 7
Starting 5 8
Bench 9
Experience 8
Closer 7
Rating 7.8

Swish says: Good Run at representing the East in the NBA Finals

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Dissecting the Eastern Conference (II)

For the first time in many years, the Eastern Conference Playoff picture looks as bright and exciting as ever. With the playoffs approaching rapidly, who will be this year’s BEAST of the EAST! Time to rate all potential teams!

Click and Follow the NBA Swish on FACEBOOK

Chicago Bulls (48-18)

Last time the Bulls were fortunate enough to be mentioned among the league’s best, the greatest player of all-time ruled the courts sporting jersey #23, Michael Jordan. Today, as Jordan’s number hangs from the rafters of the United Center, the city’s latest star, #1, Derrick Rose leads the surging Bulls. Yes, the Bulls are finally legitimate contenders again!

Advantage?
The Bulls are an extremely well rounded team, formed by the hard fought desire of center Joakim Noah, established forward Luol Deng, the summer acquisition Carlos Boozer and the athletic court general D-Rose. Led by new-coach sensation Tom Thibodeau’s defensive schemes, the Bulls have cruised to the second best record in the East, playing consistently all season long. They have shown great promise in winning critical games vs the Lakers, Magic, Celtics, Spurs and even sweeping the season series with the Heat.

Disadvantage?
Chicago’s biggest disadvantage is the their lack of a consistent shooting-guard to compliment Rose. Ronnie Brewer is a good defender and Kyle Korver a sharp shooter, finding a player that could do both consistently would be a key asset late in games. Furthermore, the coach Thibodeau’s playoff inexperience as head coach could hinder the Bulls chances of advancing to the Finals.

My Ratings:

Category Rating /10
Coaching 8
Starting 5 8
Bench 7
Experience 7
Closer 8
Rating 7.6

Swish says: Good Run at representing the East in the NBA Finals

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Dissecting the Eastern Conference (I)

For the first time in many years, the Eastern Conference Playoff picture looks as bright and exciting as ever. With the playoffs approaching rapidly, who will be this year’s BEAST of the EAST! Time to rate all potential teams!

Boston Celtics (48-18)

The Boston Celtics are a well oiled machine, defying age, injuries and critics. Lead by their core-four: Rondo, Garnett, Pierce and Allen, the Celtics have positioned themselves atop the Eastern Conference and are seemingly ready to make another push to represent the East in the NBA Finals again this summer.

Advantage?
This team exemplifies the notion that Basketball is not won by athleticism and height, but rather by skill, mind and determination. With head coach Doc Rivers controlling the sidelines, the Celtics have again demonstrated that winning is a team game and their experience could deem to be most valuable..

Disadvantage?
The Celtics traded their own beast, Kendrick Perkins to the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for the talented Jeff Green. Although, a fair deal, the Celtics gave up an integral piece for an unnecessarily young inexperienced player. Perkins manned the paint for Boston against the best big men in the NBA, but with him gone, the job now falls on an aging, injury prone, Shaq and newly-aquired center Nenad Krstic. Can they step up to the challenge?

My Ratings:

Category

Rating /10

Coaching 9
Starting 5 8
Bench 6
Experience 10
Closer 9
My Rating 8.4

Swish says: Excellent Chances of representing the East in the NBA Finals.

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