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Old 08-07-2007, 02:29 AM   #1
Darsh
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Default Western Conference: The race between the Nugs, Jazz and Rockets.

YES, im well aware that i wrote "Western Division" in the thread title. Silly mistake.

The Nuggets, Utah and the Rockets.

All teams that, providing they stay healthy, are considerably close in terms of talent and potential.

How do you see the standings panning out between these three teams next year? I think the general concensus is that they are in a war for the 4th 5th and 6th best records. The Rockets however, may be at a disadvantage due to the fact one of the NW teams is automatically locked to make a top 4 seed.

The Nuggets, providing the injury bug doesnt hit, are one of the most talented teams in the league. The last few years have been crippled by injuries, suspensions - and, as a result: A severe lack of chemistry. AI and Melo have their first real chance at playing with each other consistently this year, and with an improving Nene and the hopeful return of Kmart, they're a deep team with lots to prove.

The Jazz are the up and coming force, coming off a terrific 06-07 season. It's hard to see this team going anywhere but up with the emergence of Deron Williams. He still has more to show us, and look for him to improve once again in 07-08. Can Kirilenko find his form again and boost this team yet another notch up the spectrum? Or is his demise as the teams star necessary for future success?

The Rockets, not unlike the Nuggets, are another team with two big time stars, but have also been plagued by the injury bug in recent history. Tmac looked very dangerous once he was healthy again last year, and Yao is living up to the hype surrounding him in his rookie year. Is this the year the Rockets re-assert themselves as a force in the WC?

So how do you see this working out by the end of the year? Keep in mind, the Rockets may possibly have a better record than both the Nuggets and the Jazz. However, its more than likely one of the latter 2 will have a higher seeding due to the Mavs and Spurs being in the same division as Houston.

My Predictions:

4. Utah
5. Denver
6. Houston

Last edited by Darsh : 08-07-2007 at 02:45 AM.
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Old 08-07-2007, 02:35 AM   #2
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Default Re: Western Division: The race between the Nugs, Jazz and Rockets.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darsh
The Nuggets, Utah and the Jazz.

All teams that, providing they stay healthy, are considerably close in terms of talent and potential.

How do you see the standings panning out between these three teams next year? I think the general concensus is that they are in a war for the 4th 5th and 6th best records. The Rockets however, may be at a disadvantage due to the fact one of the NW teams is automatically locked to make a top 4 seed.

The Nuggets, providing the injury bug doesnt hit, are one of the most talented team in the league. The last few years have been crippled by injuries, suspensions - and, as a result: A severe lack of chemistry. AI and Melo have their first real chance at playing with each other consistently this year, and with an improving Nene and the hopeful return of Kmart, are a deep team with lots to prove.

The Jazz are the up and coming force, coming off a terrific 06-07 season. It's hard to see this team going anywhere but up with the emergence of Deron Williams. He still has more to show us, and look for him to improve once again in 07-08. Can Kirilenko find his form again and boost this team yet another notch up the spectrum?

The Rockets, not unlike the Nuggets, are another team with two big time stars, but have also been plagued by the injury bug in recent history. Tmac looked very dangerous once he was healthy again last year, and Yao is living up to the hype surrounding him in his rookie year. Is this the year the Rockets re-assert themselves as a force in the WC.

So how do you see this working out by the end of the year? Keep in mind, the Rockets may possibly have a better record than both the Nuggets and the Jazz. However, its more than likely one of the latter 2 will have a higher seeding due to the Mavs and Spurs being in the same division as Houston.

My Predictions:

4. Utah
5. Denver
6. Houston


I think Houston will have the best record among the teams but will be at the 5 spot. I mean, look how incredibly deep they are. The Jazz are winning the division but not by much, IMO. So I think it's going down like this

4. Utah
5. Houston
6. Denver
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Old 08-07-2007, 02:44 AM   #3
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Default Re: Western Division: The race between the Nugs, Jazz and Rockets.

For some reason i wrote "Western Division" in the Thread title, my bad.

Quote:
I think Houston will have the best record among the teams but will be at the 5 spot. I mean, look how incredibly deep they are. The Jazz are winning the division but not by much, IMO. So I think it's going down like this

4. Utah
5. Houston
6. Denver

I have the feeling the Nuggets and Rockets will be battling for 5th, and i think it may all come down to injuries. Being optimistic, i went with the Nuggets at 5 instead, but it could go either way.
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Old 08-07-2007, 02:49 AM   #4
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Default Re: Western Division: The race between the Nugs, Jazz and Rockets.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darsh
For some reason i wrote "Western Division" in the Thread title, my bad.



I have the feeling the Nuggets and Rockets will be battling for 5th, and i think it may all come down to injuries. Being optimistic, i went with the Nuggets at 5 instead, but it could go either way.


Oh, yeah, barring injuries which means the nuggets have a lineup of

Iverson
Smith
Melo
Martin
Camby?

Correct me if I'm wrong. But, yeah, it could go either way, but I expect the Rockets to pull it out, just cause they have experience playing together. I could be wrong, though.
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Old 08-07-2007, 02:56 AM   #5
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Default Re: Western Division: The race between the Nugs, Jazz and Rockets.

I'd have to agree with Darsh. I know Houston has a couple of superstars and you could certainly argue they acquired more depth this year (especially at the guard spots) but they still have an unproven power forward and a history of injury. While defense won them a ton of games last season, I think the key is how Adelman's offensive style pans out. They may score a ton of points, but at that pace, so can the other team. I think JVG's grind-it-out style actually helped them win a few more than we realize.

Denver definitely had that chemistry problem from not playing together, but if K-Mart comes back, he'll only throw in a wrench to the chemistry bonding all over again. I just don't see Iverson playing up to the level he did six years ago. His style of play will only hurt him as he ages. They need a true distributing point guard. That said, Denver still has a ton of talent across the board and some hard-working bench guys. I can tell the Jazz raise the intensity every time they play them and I love watching the 2 go at it.

Aside from the Nuggets, the Northwest is a joke and the Jazz should win it (if not fairly easily) again this year. Houston is stuck in a nightmare of a division. In just about any other decade, they'd easily be the best in that division.

So, Utah (55 wins), Denver (50 wins), Houston (49 wins)
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Old 08-07-2007, 02:56 AM   #6
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Default Re: Western Division: The race between the Nugs, Jazz and Rockets.

All of these teams can easily take the East, but none them are in it, so boo hoo. However, since one team from the NW division must be in the top 4 seed, I think Utah will have more of a chance because of superior coaching and the tandem of Williams-Boozer. doesn't have the ring of Stockton to malone though, shame.


4. Utah
5. Houston
6. Denver

I'm always cautious on Camby, except this year he always seems to break something. However, the same could be said for all the big men of these three teams, Boozer with his whatever comes up problems, Yao with his scheduled shoulder injury in the next two years, Camby whatever will be broken.

So IMO, it will largely depend on their big guys on staying healthy, and to a certain extent, how the other players will deal with the loss of the big man. Considering the Jazz managed to stay afloat when Boozer went out, and the Rockets went 20-12 when Yao went out, I take both of them before Denver.


By the way, Bricklayeyr, there's no way the Rockets are going under 50 wins, we nearly beat you in 7 games, and you are still underestimating us?
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Old 08-07-2007, 03:00 AM   #7
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Default Re: Western Division: The race between the Nugs, Jazz and Rockets.

I think that the Jazz are the best of those teams because they are big, can rebound, play defense and have talent at every position. I know Houston is big and can rebound too, but if the Jazz turn up the tempo they can take Yao out of the game.

I wouldn't be surprised to see the Jazz get the 2-3 seed. San Antonio always takes it semi easy during the reg season and the Suns lack of size scares me. Plus the East is better so the West win totals might go down by a game or two.

So maybe

1) Mavs (62 wins)
2) Suns (60 wins)
3) Jazz (57 wins)
4) Spurs (56 wins)
5) Nuggets (53 wins)
6) Rockets (52-53 wins)
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Old 08-07-2007, 03:00 AM   #8
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Default Re: Western Conference: The race between the Nugs, Jazz and Rockets.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darsh

The Jazz are the up and coming force, coming off a terrific 06-07 season. It's hard to see this team going anywhere but up with the emergence of Deron Williams.


I disagree. the jazz played incredible in the playoffs, but i think the surprise factor had alot to do with it. nobody was ready for the jazz.. they will be this year.

if all teams are healthy, it goes Nuggets - Rockets - Jazz , imo.
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Old 08-07-2007, 03:04 AM   #9
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Default Re: Western Division: The race between the Nugs, Jazz and Rockets.

Quote:
Originally Posted by brantonli
All of these teams can easily take the East, but none them are in it, so boo hoo. However, since one team from the NW division must be in the top 4 seed, I think Utah will have more of a chance because of superior coaching and the tandem of Williams-Boozer. doesn't have the ring of Stockton to malone though, shame.


4. Utah
5. Houston
6. Denver

I'm always cautious on Camby, except this year he always seems to break something. However, the same could be said for all the big men of these three teams, Boozer with his whatever comes up problems, Yao with his scheduled shoulder injury in the next two years, Camby whatever will be broken.

So IMO, it will largely depend on their big guys on staying healthy, and to a certain extent, how the other players will deal with the loss of the big man. Considering the Jazz managed to stay afloat when Boozer went out, and the Rockets went 20-12 when Yao went out, I take both of them before Denver.


By the way, Bricklayeyr, there's no way the Rockets are going under 50 wins, we nearly beat you in 7 games, and you are still underestimating us?

Ha. not at all. If any three of these teams go head to head, it's a toss-up. Serious. Denver gave just as much a scare to San Antonio as Utah did and I'm sure Houston would've done the same in WCF. (Houston would've crushed Golden State too.)

But there are so many other factors that go into the season record and that includes division play. The Rockets have to play the Spurs and the Mavs more and we get Portland, Minnesota and Seattle more. So there's a couple wins difference. Plus, I just really don't know if Adelman's style will be so much better than what JVG did. He did a nice job last year and y'all had what, 52 wins? it's hard to improve on that. If the Rockets were in the NW division, it'd be a different story.
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Old 08-07-2007, 03:12 AM   #10
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Default Re: Western Division: The race between the Nugs, Jazz and Rockets.

That's a good argument bricklayer, but we went 2-2 against SAS and 1-3 against Dallas, which is semi-respectable considering Dallas was 14-2 in it's own division and of course the Spurs won the championship. You guys are bloodly lucky to have easy teams to beat around.
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Old 08-07-2007, 03:17 AM   #11
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Default Re: Western Division: The race between the Nugs, Jazz and Rockets.

Does anyone think Kirilenko is a vital piece for Utah to go further this year?
Or is his smaller role on the team imperitive in terms of sustained success?

I never really got a chance to see AK playing when he was Utah's main man, so im really just looking for some opinions.
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Old 08-07-2007, 03:21 AM   #12
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Default Re: Western Division: The race between the Nugs, Jazz and Rockets.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darsh
Does anyone think Kirilenko is a vital piece for Utah to go further this year?
Or is his smaller role on the team imperitive in terms of sustained success?

I never really got a chance to see AK playing when he was Utah's main man, so im really just looking for some opinions.


I'd say he wasn't the big of a factor during the regular season and first round of the playoffs but from the warriors series and on he was a key to that team and gave them more options on their lineup.

I'd say overall he doesn't have THAT big of an impact on the Jazz but when he is playing well it's a bonus. They can afford to lose him.
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Old 08-07-2007, 03:21 AM   #13
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Default Re: Western Division: The race between the Nugs, Jazz and Rockets.

In relation to the Nuggets record, i expect them to make 50 wins. Anything less would be a big failure. They had 45 wins last year, and when you take into account the magnitude of the suspensions, AI's injuries once Melo got back, and Kmarts season ending injury, i think an extra 5 wins should be a walk in the park.
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Old 08-07-2007, 03:36 AM   #14
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Default Re: Western Division: The race between the Nugs, Jazz and Rockets.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bricklayer
While defense won them a ton of games last season, I think the key is how Adelman's offensive style pans out. They may score a ton of points, but at that pace, so can the other team. I think JVG's grind-it-out style actually helped them win a few more than we realize.

JVG's style of play actually HURT the rockets. When Yao Ming went down with injury and McGrady came back....... Gundy was sort of lost, his half court system was built on throwing it in to the big man. The Rockets had to find a way to get easier baskets and the answer was to start running a little bit. Gundy turned to Tmac and let him pick up the tempo, then all of a sudden Tmac was the Tmac of old, and playing himself into the MVP discussion. Did the Rockets D suffer....... nope, because the pressure that they put on teams with scoring more points played into their hands.

When you have players like Battier, Hayes, and yes even Yao (the guy may not be one of the best defenders, but when your 7'6, your going to alter shots and take up space in the paint by presence alone) it doesn't matter what system your running, your defense is going to be good. All the up tempo did was improve all the offensive games of the role players. It spread the floor for Head, Alston, and Battier to knock down 3's, the Rockets would shoot teams straight out of the gym with their 3pt shooters. It made Chuck Hayes a much better player and Tmac a much better facilitator, his ast. #s were on par with top PGs in the league.

Then comes the playoffs and Yao Ming is back with the team......... JVG has his security blanket back and he totally forgets the style of play that kept the Rockets in contention when Yao was out. JVG puts a halt to the offense, goes back to the grind it out style... The role players struggled, because the easy baskets were gone, the 3 point shooting was gone, because the spacing was terrible, and once again the Rockets lose a 7 game series in the first round.

Heres a stat for yall to think about......

The Rockets went over 100 points 30 times last season.

When the Rockets scored more than 100 points in a game, they had a ovrl recored of 30-3, In the playoffs the Rockets did not reach 100 points once....

This did not fall on deaf ears with the F.O. They watched the team get out and play up tempo, pick up fast break points, and win. They also saw a complete oppisite style in the playoffs, thats why JVG was let go and Adelman was brought in.

Last edited by TMac&Luther : 08-07-2007 at 03:42 AM.
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Old 08-07-2007, 03:36 AM   #15
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Default Re: Western Division: The race between the Nugs, Jazz and Rockets.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darsh
Does anyone think Kirilenko is a vital piece for Utah to go further this year?
Or is his smaller role on the team imperitive in terms of sustained success?

I never really got a chance to see AK playing when he was Utah's main man, so im really just looking for some opinions.

I actually interviewed a bunch of fans for our newspaper about what the Jazz should do with AK47. The general opinion around here is that the fans don't want him back. They feel like we can get decent trade value for him - perhaps another big man or a veteran shooter - but I disagree. AK's defense is tough to replace and if he can just fill a role like Bruce Bowen does for the Spurs, we'd be set. Andrei doesn't need to have plays run for him (as he wants) because he has the ability to get plenty of points on put-backs and sneaky backdoor passes from Williams. The problem is that AK is our highest paid player and he actually feels like he's not earning it - which is actually a good attitude to have. He just needs to stop complaining about it and do the invaluable little things that gets a team wins. The rewards of winning will justify his contract.
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