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NBA 2012 Season Preview: The 14th Ranked Teams in the East and West

October 17, 2012 Leave a comment

NBA EASTERN CONFERENCE:

#15: Charlotte Bobcats
#14: Orlando Magic:

“OOOO YES! There is very little chance I will be on this team at season’s end!”

Yesterday, while profiling the Charlotte Bobcats, I stated that I had originally put the Magic at #15 until I took a look at the Bobcats’ depth chart. Even though I have bumped the Magic up a spot, I am not trying to pay a big compliment to this team.

This team lost it’s two top player in the off-season in Dwight Howard and Ryan Anderson. They turned those two players into… Arron Afflalo, Al Harrington, Moe Harkless, Nikola Vucevic, Josh McRoberts and Christian Eyenga. To steal a reference from Mr. Bill Simmons, the Magic traded a loonie and a quarter for a quarter, a dime, and four nickles.

In discussions with fellow First Off The Bench writer David, he made some solid arguments that the Magic have actually set themselves up well to rebuild in the post-Dwight era. Instead of floundering in the middle of the Eastern Conference (see Western Conference team below) with some of the other reasonable trade packages they could have received for Dwight, they are preparing to rebuild through the draft. Rebuilding through the draft requires getting high draft picks, which requires doing very badly, which is why I have them projected to finish #14 in the East.

To expand a bit further on their actual team, not just the players they lost from last year, this team will be able to put a line-up of reasonable professional basketball players on the floor every night. Their roster will include a strange mix of players which include Hedu, Jameer Nelson, Big Baby Glen Davis, and JJ Redick, as well as the players listed above. While these guys are in no way the worst players in the league it is a strangely build team that is a shell of the roster that was built around the best Center in the game, and is not built to thrive without him.

I wouldn’t be surprised if a the Magic look to ship out a number of these quality trade pieces to contenders throughout the season. Just another reason for this low ranked projection for the team that lost the most in the summer of 2012.

NBA WESTERN CONFERENCE:

#15: Sacramento Kings
#14: Houston Rockets:

The jury is still out on the Daryl Morey General Manager experiment in Houston, but the jury is getting tired. Daryl has been trying to somewhat reinvent the game of NBA team-building by working to acquire “assets” that he will then flip for a superstar demanding out of an unfavorable situation. Teams who find themselves with said disgruntled superstars are usually looking for a package of draft picks and young cheap prospects in return for their franchise player.

New crop of very young talent on the Rockets.

When you look at the current roster of the Rockets you see a collection of trade packages… without and big trade targets available. Unfortunately trade packages are probably not going to win many games in the NBA. The Rockets are chalk full of very young talent, but at the moment none of it seems to be top-top quality young talent, in comparison to the Anthony Davis’s and Kyrie Irving’s of the League.

Something tells me that Daryl Morey isn’t quite finished trying to achieve his goal of landing a superstar player in Houston, but if he gets to the end of the season with this roster he will, by default, have laid the game plan for the Rockets future. That is to bottom out and rebuild through the draft.

My #13 seed projections for both Conferences will be up tomorrow!

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