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NBA 2012 Season Preview: The 15th Ranked Teams in the East and West

October 16, 2012 1 comment

Ok people, the NBA season is quickly approaching with the first tip-off on October 30, 2012, and that leaves me exactly 15 days to break down my full list of team predictions.

For the next 15 days I will be posting my end-of-season-placement predictions for both Conferences. That means today I will preview the two teams I think will finished 15th in both the Eastern and the Western Conferences and on the day the season starts I will preview the two #1 seeds in each Conference.

I will fully admit that this is a near-direct rip-off of the season preview being done by Scott Carefoot on The Basketball Jones (Big shout out to the TBJ Crew who has kept me entertained with podcasts all summer long). I am doing my preview in a slightly different format, in trying not to completely rip-off Scott Carefoot, to help to force me to keep writing every day again, and to help me not have to write too much every day, because I am lazy. Let’s see how it goes.

NBA EASTERN CONFERENCE:

#15: Charlotte Bobcats:

I started writing this article with the Orlando Magic as the #15 team in the East, but that was until I looked at the depth chart of the Charlotte Bobcats. Regardless of the fact that the Magic lost the franchise’s two best players (Howard and Anderson) and went through a massive organizational change, they are still going to be able to put more professional basketball players on the court than the Bobcats.

The “Cats”, as their new third jerseys state, are not looking that much better on paper than you would think after having an off-season to recover from 7 win season. They are going to be starting their #2 overall draft pick, Kidd-Gilchrist, at Small Forward with Ramon Sessions and Ben Gordon. That is about where the list of names known to the average NBA fan ends and I doubt those three names drum-up much excitement.

When we take a look a bit deeper you see a small flicker of light on this roster that could eventually grow in the next few years. With a young core of Kemba Walker, Bismack Biyombo and the already mentioned Kidd-Gilchrist there is some hope, but not enough to get out of the basement of the NBA East. Hope is going to come through lottery draft picks for the next few more years. (Please Andrew Wiggins, do not get selected by Charlotte in 2014!!)

NBA WESTERN CONFERENCE

#15: Sacramento Kings

Although skilled, Tyreke and the rest of the Kings still have a lot to prove.

A lot of people have been talking about the ultra-competitive Western Conference this year in terms of there being three teams that could conceivably finish first (OKC, Spurs, Lakers) and that there are probably 11 teams that could conceivably make the playoffs. I believe this thinking of an ultra-competitive Western Conference can also be applied to the bottom feeders. In my rankings it was tougher than expected to put the bottom 5 in the right order.

As for the Kings, I don’t know what else to say about this team other than I have no faith in either the individual players that are on the team, the way that this roster has been put together, or the stability of the franchise in Sacramento.

I can group this most of this ramshackle of a roster into three categories, none of which are overly flattering. First we have the “quality college players that are still unproven in the pros” with Cousins, Tyreke Evans, Jimmer Fredette, and Thomas Robinson (I know he is a rookie but he goes into this category by default). Then we have the “overpaid under-performers” with John Salmons, Chuck Hayes, Travis Outlaw, and Aaron Brooks.

Lastly there is the “players I do not recognize by name” category with Jason Thompson, Marcus Thornton, James Johnson, Tyler Honeycutt, and Franciso Garcia (OK, I do recognize James Johnson only because he was on the Raptors last year). I do not want to make too harsh a judgment on any of these players as I have not caught many Kings games in the last few years, but for the team’s sake I hope they are decent players as two of them are pegged as starters.

Any Kings fans will notice that I have left Isaiah Thomas off this list. He is the one player that I couldn’t put in one of the three categories because all I have heard about him is that he actually pretty damn good and has outperformed all of his professional expectations.

Considering the strength of the Western Conference from top to bottom, it is hard for me to project a team higher than 15th when 93.3% of the roster is able to be slotted into disparaging categories I just made up.

My #14 seed projections for both Conferences will be up tomorrow!

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