Tuesday, August 3, 2010

What The 2010 Off-Season Moves, Really Mean (Atlantic Division pt.2)

New York Knicks
Drafted: Andrew Rautins & Landry Fields
Key gains: Amar'e Stoudemire, Raymond Felton, Kelenna Azubuike, Anthony Randolph, Ronny Turiaf
Key losses: Chris Duhon, Al Harrington, Sergio Rodriguez, Eddie House, David Lee, Tracy McGrady

Swing and a miss, this off-season for NYK in the LeBron chase. They had been getting rid of contracts and waiting for his potential arrival for years. At least they got a legit big man in Amar'e Stoudemire an upgrade at the point guard positions (Felton) and maybe a potential star in Anthony Randolph. They didn't lose much even though David Lee was a fan favorite and one of those players good teams need to have on their team to win, but he was far from a franchise guy. I don't think Amar'e is that guy either but he gets opposing bigs in foul trouble and at times demands a double team. If Felton can run D'Antoni's system the way he likes the Knicks could be an 8 seed, but Felton has to prove he can shoot the rock with range, which is a weapon Steve Nash had that allowed him to get in the lane at will and open things up for his teammates.

They still need more help in the paint, because we all know STAT ain't to concerned with D, but Turiaf does bring some toughness and if Eddy Curry can get in better shape and out of D'Antoni's dog house they might be working with something down low people forget he was buckets down low before he was a Knick and he's still young enough, and I almost forgot a contract year for big Eddy. On the perimeter Chandler is decent and Azubike can battle the Wade's, Stephen Jackson's, Grangers, Joe Johnson's on the defensive end.
However (shout to Stephen A.), the key might be Anthony Randolph who is an elite ball handler for a big man (on-par with Lamar Odom), and has miss match problems written all over him. If he can play up to his potential he's a 17 pt., 10 reb., 4 ast. guy in that system. Nellie messed him up with the inconsistent playing time, and whatever other mind games Nellie liked to play.
At least one of the 2 rookies (Rautins & Fields) will see significant playing time and add more offense off the bench which never hurts.

In conclusion: This team at least will be fun to watch, with Danilo Gallinari bombing away from beyond the arch and Stoudemire, Chandler, and Randolph attacking the rim. Countdown to 2011 started the day after "The Decision".

Philadelphia 76ers
Drafted: Evan Turner
Key gains: Tony Battie, Spencer Hawes, Andres Nocioni
Key losses: Samuel Dalembert

Hopefully Doug Collins can get the best out this group, not that they should be winning 50 games but they have underachieved with a talented/athletic roster since Mo Cheeks had them in the playoffs giving problems to the Orlando Magic. The core of the team is still intact and one year older, many people are still waiting for Andre Iguodala to take that All-Star step and they have a gem in PG Jrue Holiday. They have another potential star in Evan Turner, some like his game more than others, he's a jack of all trades master of none thus far, and best case scenario he's a Brandon Roy (minus the injuries, fingers-crossed) type. That trio matches up well with any in the league, in about 2 more years.

As for this season, I'm sure the Philly faithful would like to see if Elton Brand has anything left, he's not 20/10 every night anymore but I'm sure they'd be more than happy with 18 and 9. Rounding out the starting 5, Spencer Hawes needs to bring the type of low post game that the coaching staff knows he has then Philly can make some playoff noise in the East.
They got depth, Lou Williams was a decent starter before he got his jaw Kanye'd, Thaddeus Young used to be a starter, and Marreese Speights was showing signs of maybe making Brand irrelevant before he picked up a knee injury, and Andres Nocioni may still be a pesky defender but most people probably still think he plays for the Bulls.

In conclusion: The last few playoff spots in the East are up for grabs, and this Sixers team can sneak in there. They have no interior D, put they have lock-down guys on the perimeter and if you got a young team that plays all out and together anything is possible i.e. OKC. I think Doug Collins can motivate this group but they need a 1st team All Rookie season from Turner, an All-Star appearance from Iggy and Brand to regain past glory and they could be on their way. That's not asking to much is it?

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