N.W.O. Heat Rise In East

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Posted by Sekou Smith

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – Now that all the fun and summer games are over, it’s time to turn our focus back to reality.

The Cleveland Cavaliers as we knew them the last five years are history.

The playoff allergy that has plagued the New York Knicks in recent years might be over.

And of course, the Miami Heat is the new rising power in basketball, particularly in a new-look Eastern Conference playoff power structure.

A New World Order is in place after the draft and free agency, and the Heat is rising in the East. Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh — along with a better-than-anticipated supporting cast — will make sure of that much.

Hang Time‘s mid-summer look at the favorites to make the playoff field in the East:

1 — Miami

Last season: 47-35

The Skinny: We’ve foolishly resisted the urge to jump on the Heat bandwagon the past 10 days. But after several conversations with some of our best sources, we’ve reconsidered that position. “You saw what happened in Boston,” a veteran player who recently signed with a Western Conference playoff power reminded us via text. “Don’t be a fool. Those boys are already the best team in the East. Hands down.” Wade, Bosh and James are easily the best, three-man nucleus in the league (sorry Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Ron Artest or Andrew Bynum). But the supporting cast being assembled in Miami is first-rate as well. Veterans like Udonis Haselm, Mike Miller, Zydrunas Ilgauskas and James Jones should help the Heat separate the Heat from the rest of the pack in the East. The brunt of the title chase, however, rests with the Three Amigos. And while Erik Spoelstra is no Doc Rivers, anyone assuming he can’t handle the egos he has been handed by Pat Riley is underestimating the abilities of one of the league’s brightest young coaches.

2 — Orlando

Last season: 59-23

The Skinny: We know Dwight Howard probably won’t agree with where his team has been placed in our revamped Eastern Conference food chain. But the Magic didn’t make a major personnel move this summer that assists them in their pursuit of the Florida state title hunt. Matching an offer sheet for J.J. Redick is great for continuity, but doesn’t compare to what the folks in Miami pulled off. (Though we do like the addition of Quentin Richardson in place of Matt Barnes.) The Magic will remain a power as long as Howard wears the uniform. But there were some serious flaws exposed by the Celtics in the Eastern Conference finals. Neither Vince Carter nor Rashard Lewis has proved capable of taking over games in the postseason, leaving only Howard and Jameer Nelson to serve as true game changers for Stan Van Gundy‘s bunch. The Magic never could decide what to do with Marcin Gortat and Brandon Bass, two players that might have helped more against the Celtics had they been utilized sooner and more strategically. The Magic’s resolve will no doubt be fueled by doubters who assume they have been passed up by not only the Heat but also the Celtics. That’s a good thing, because they’ll need an added edge to fight for that top spot.

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3 — Chicago

Last season: 41-41

The Skinny: We’re gambling big on the additions of Carlos Boozer, Kyle Korver and Ronnie Brewer and the head coaching potential of Tom Thibodeau in placing the Bulls this high on the list. Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Taj Gibson and Luol Deng are good enough as a core group that the simple addition of a All-Star caliber forward like Boozer and specialists like Korver and Brewer lift this team out of that .500 realm and into the ranks of the East’s elite. Rose is one of the most dynamic talents in the league, at any position. And Noah showed during the playoffs that he’s ready for a starring role, even if he’s not necessarily an All-Star. The loss of Kirk Hinrich would be more significant if both Korver and Brewer hadn’t been signed. The linchpin in this whole affair is Thibodeau, who was lavished with praise for his work as a defensive coordinator, of sorts, for the Celtics the past three seasons. If he can get the Bulls playing defense in the same manner and also clean up the chemistry issues that existed under Vinny Del Negro, the Bulls are poised to continue climbing the ladder in the East.

4 — Atlanta

Last season: 53-29

The Skinny: Other than jettisoning Mike Woodson, the Hawks’ summer makeover has left them looking like much the same team that finished third in the East last season, including a season sweep of the Eastern Conference champ Celtics. Larry Drew assumes the controls of an offense that will still feature All-Star Joe Johnson, he of the $124 mac contract signed this summer, albeit in a much different role than the “Iso-Joe” offense Woodson favored and Hawks fans deplored. Drew’s new motion offense will be designed to take advantage of a starting unit that consists of two All-Stars (Johnson and Al Horford) and potentially a third (Josh Smith) as well as the highest-scoring non-starter the league has seen in years (Jamal Crawford‘s 18.0 points per game without starting a game was the league’s best tally since Ricky Pierce averaged 23.0 during the 1989-90 season). The key for the Hawks will be sorting out their point guard situation (youngster Jeff Teague or veteran Mike Bibby?) and securing the services of a true big man capable of aiding their cause in the playoffs against the likes of Howard and other power bigs of his ilk. Shaquille O’Neal makes sense for so many reasons, but the luxury tax ramifications remain the biggest hurdle for the Hawks.

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5 — Boston

Last season: 50-32

The Skinny: We’re done dismissing this aging crew’s ability to turn it on when they need to. They showed us all in the playoffs, and in that epic NBA Finals run, that they are capable of sustaining a championship-level of play for long stretches. The regular season isn’t nearly as critical for a team like this as it is for some of these other outfits. Rivers knows that it’s more important that Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo and Ray Allen are in a collective groove in April, May and June. And the importance of the Celtics re-signing both Pierce and Allen cannot be overstated. Equally crucial is the role Big Baby Davis, Jermaine O’Neal and Nate Robinson will play off the bench. There is still concern that Kendrick Perkins won’t be fully healed from knee surgery until sometime late in the season. That’s why the Celtics snagged a quality veteran like O’Neal, who can be inserted as a starter or work off the bench. This is one team that won’t be preoccupied with piling up the best regular season record. Come the postseason, though, you might want to avoid them at all costs. And with Rivers working the sideline, the Celtics will have the coaching advantage in every single playoff matchup.

6 — Milwaukee

Last season: 46-36

The Skinny: How much different would the Bucks’ playoff fate have been with a healthy Andrew Bogut to throw at the Hawks in that first round series last season? Bucks fans will wonder for years if they might have had a better chance against Orlando in the conference semifinals, since they’d have had a big man capable of at least matching up with Howard’s size. Instead, they’ll head into this season with the valuable byproduct of having worked without their best player in the postseason: an identity without him. Brandon Jennings proved his mettle with a stellar rookie season and a playoff debut that flashed glimpses of superstar ability. John Salmons returns to his job as the Bucks’ quiet warrior on the wing, a job many are paid much more to perform without the same results. Reigning Executive of the Year John Hammond has assembled the ideal blue-collar roster for a coach, Scott Skiles, that excels when he has a team like this to push. Newcomers Corey Maggette, Chris Douglas-Roberts, Drew Gooden and rookie Larry Sanders round out an impressive supporting cast that will help the Bucks challenge the Bulls for supremacy in the Central Division.

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7 — New York

Last season: 29-53

The Skinny: Amar’e Stoudemire and Raymond Felton doesn’t have the same ring to it as say James and Wade or James and Bosh. But the Knicks had to make sure they came away from the biggest free agent summer of all time (or whatever) with something. Stoudemire is a healthy consolation prize for not reeling in one of the Big 3 free agents. Felton’s an upgrade over Chris Duhon (who has departed for Orlando) and Toney Douglas, a promising rookie but hardly ready for full-time starter duty at the point. Whether or not he can form the kind of pick-and-roll relationship Stoudemire was a part of the last time he played for Mike D’Antoni (in Phoenix, alongside two-time MVP Steve Nash) isn’t terribly realistic. And truth be told, that’s asking for a bit too much from all involved. But folks might forget that the Knicks have two dynamic frontcourt performers in Danilo Gallinari and Wilson Chandler. Rookie Landry Fields was a surprise in summer league and could be a solid contributor as well. But make no mistake, this team now centers around Stoudemire (until next summer and the Knicks’ next free agent hunt). And despite tepid reviews from those who grew accustomed to his game (and flair for dramatics off the court), Stoudemire is a low-post force more than capable of holding his own against any of the bigs in the East.

8 — Charlotte

Last season: 44-38

The Skinny: We were expecting more fireworks from Michael Jordan this summer. How could the league’s most iconic figure not be a bigger player in the biggest free agent summer ever? Well, the Bobcats spent to make the playoffs last season and had to sit out much of the fun this summer. With Stephen Jackson and Gerald Wallace in place as team leaders and catalysts, the Bobcats held on to the 8th spot ahead of the Lebron-less Cleveland Cavaliers, who are sitting with their nose pressed against the playoff glass after being sucker-punched by “The Decision” for all to see. They kept Tyrus Thomas, who wasn’t in as much demand in a thick free agent market that saw plenty of other restricted free agents passed up for easier to attain unrestricted free agents.  D.J. Augustin takes over the reigns as the Bobcats’ floor leader, a role he couldn’t wrestle away from Raymond Felton in his first two seasons in the league (granted, Shaun Livingston is a fabulous insurance policy). The Bobcats have a veteran security blanket in Larry Hughes and still have versatile point-forward Boris Diaw to work with, when he’s engaged, but they need a dynamic director to run Larry Brown’s system. So Augustin (or Livingston) has to be the answer at point guard or their hold on this spot gets really shaky.

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COMING TOMORROW: The Western Conference, where the Lakers still reign supreme.

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154 Comments

  1. Noah says:

    if the knicks made the playoffs with that record it would be a disgrace to the nba

  2. jackson says:

    1. Miami
    2. Orlando
    3. Chicago
    4. Atlanta
    5. Boston
    6. Milwaukee
    7. New York
    8. Charlotte

  3. realist says:

    You Cleveland homers never learn. Stop putting your team up there on this list. You are a lottery team. LeBron made and broke you.

  4. Mao Yang says:

    People that are racist or has never picked up a basketball or don’t love basketball and follow basketball all year round shouldn’t talk about Lebron James because you people don’t know what it takes to win a championship because when the owner of the Cavs didn’t want to spend money to get above than average players to really help James out he was working too hard by himself. You stupid people should watch more basketball and learn the dynamics of the game, I’m from Minnesota and when Garnett left I was happy for him kus he finally is with an organization that is really dedicated to winning a championship by willing to spend money to get other great basketball players on the team. So to all the stupid people out there that don’t have a brain if you were Lebron James you would do the same thing. When Charles Barkley, Karl Malonoe, Gary Payton, and the rest of NBA greats wanted a ring it was too late, they didn’t get one because they didn’t do what LeBron did so to everyone out there you can suck it!!!

  5. Romney says:

    Atlanta definetly should be under the C’s I mean they barely got that 3 spot last yearand they really haven’t done much in this off season. Boston has gotten two decent rookiea and a vetern center.

  6. Keep it real says:

    Lets be serious people, The Heat went about it the wrong way and in a way that irks fans and even legends of the game. To purge your whole roster to sign 3 max players is cheap and ridiculous. The Lakers, Celtics and Magic have built their respective teams via trades and the draft. I like the “TRIO” trying to play the role of martyrs which I find hilarious. What other sport can you delete your whole roster and get a whole new team in the offseason. The heat are system beaters like the people who sit home on welfare. They have set the standard now for current superstars and free agents in the future. CP3 see these superstars joining forces and if he wants to be relavent he has to go to a team with another superstar. If Melo takes the extension in Denver he will be viewed as greedy for taking the money instead of wanting to win. In the long run it will hurt the NBA because now the players are running the league. LeBron left a 1st place team that didnt get it done which reflects on him and he didnt like it so he sells out. CP3 is on a bad team in cap hell so where is his career going??? The “TRIO” was planned for a long time if you really sit back and think about it. Pretty soon all the superstars will be spread across 6 teams and the league will suffer. Wade and Riley orchestrated the whole thing and if you dont think so, you are not very bright.

  7. see25 says:

    All i got to say the heat better not get any injuries to the “NEW BIG 3″ or there not going anywhere next season..

  8. DEUCE says:

    MIAMI NEEDS TO GET TMAC TO SEAL THE DEAL.. IF THEY CAN GET TMAC FINITO

    • da Boss says:

      yea, too bad T-MAC isn’t like he was before. but if he was to sign with the Heat, and he was able to stay healthy, that would be a pretty wicked team. PG-Wade, SG-T-MAC, SF-James, PF-Bosh, C-Ilgauskas OR PG-Chalmers, SG-Wade, SF-T-MAC, PF-James, C-Haslem or any other combo cuz this team would have many different line-ups that would go awesome together

  9. bigboy 11 says:

    GET YOUR CAMERAS READY 3 OF THE NASTIEST DUNKERS ON ONE TEAM

  10. bigboy 11 says:

    IF OKA.. CAN GET A BIG MAN TO MATCH UP WITH GASOL I THINK THEY CAN BEAT LA TO GET TO THE FINALS, RIGHT NOW K DURANT IS PLAYING GREAT BALL THEY JUST NEED SOME SIZE INSIDE

  11. bigboy 11 says:

    so true JAY u said it best

  12. Jay says:

    My East Ranking

    1. Heat
    2. Magic
    3. Bulls
    4. Celtics
    5. Hawks
    6. Bucks
    7. Bobcats
    8. 76ers

    I wont bother ranking none playoff making teams. The Celtics would’ve been ranked higher but Miami/Pat Riley arent stupid. They are strategizing impressively. They have like 4 centers and they are all for Howard. They saw with Boston the way to beat Orlando is by single coverage on Howard. And Boston, they will severely miss Rasheed Wallace. His three point shooting ability, his rebounding, his energy. That will be missed in many ways because Jermaine O’Neal is an OK player but he doesn’t have the ability to spread the follow and defend Dwight Howard the way Rasheed did.

  13. wickwickwack says:

    Boston need a rebounder !
    i wish they could add ben wallace or even shaq to their roster
    j o´neal is way too soft

    But watch most teams adjust and trade alot of players during the all star break when they see how miami will dominate the season

  14. Jay says:

    What kills me is people talk about Miami’s bench but think about this. Wade and Lebron took their teams to the playoffs by themselves. Wade won that championship in 2006 (yea he had Shaq and Zo but really…)that was all Wade and Lebron was everything for Cleveland. If you guys didnt know the starting five doesnt have to play with each other throughout the whole game. I can see Lebron and Big Z on the floor with UD and Chalmers and Miller, and Wade on the floor with Jason Jones, Bosh, Arroyo, and Joel Anthony. Other times and for situations where they are facing a Boston like defense they can have Lebron, Wade, Miller, Big Z, and Bosh. Miami doesnt need a bench they just need guys to fill positions because as it stands now they have a very very solid 8 man rotation. because once you stop Kobe (or he’s on the bench) there’s no dominance on LA period. Once you stop Howard (or he’s in foul trouble) theres no dominance period. Maybe you’ll stop Wade, maybe you’ll stop Lebron but there’s no way they will both be stopped in the same night. NO WAY!! I anticipate Miami seeing an enormous amount of zone defense because with Big Z’s ability to hit jumpers, Mike Miller’s ability to hit jumpers and Lebron and Wade’s ability to attack the paint and Bosh’s ability to clog it there’s no starting five on this planet capable of stoping that with man to man coverage.

  15. CP23 says:

    DT, your spot on with all your comments….. JORDAN IS STILL THE BEST AND ALWAYS WILL BE!!…..by the way GO THE HEAT!!!!!!!!!

  16. raymond says:

    all you haters sound stupid miami was a top 5 defensive team last year and the lakers barely beat a bum miami team (kobe’s buzzer beater). miami beat them in miami . nobody is taking nothing from la they are the best and the champs but the heat is on them, they have to play the game i like my odds with heat. if la is so good then la fans has nothing to worry about, all you la fans sound scared

  17. da Boss says:

    TO LEPIV AND JUMPMAN123:
    after this season i’ll be proved RIGHT…D-Wade and Bosh are gna be up there, right with LeBron….LeBron is gna make em both better, even if he has to sacrifice bein the BEST SMALL FORWARD…is that all ya’ll got ta say; “they’re not the best at their positions…”?? i guess you’re agreeing with me sayin LAKERS AND HEAT in the FINALS???

  18. DT says:

    MIAMI HEAT 2011-2015 NBA CHAMPS

  19. DT says:

    miami heat are the better team in the east… wade is better than kobe and lebron is better than everyone else except jordan… enough said

  20. I have waited and listened to the critics, heard all the fowl names and that still does not take away the fact that, whatever you thought about what happen with ” The Decision ” …The Heat has put together a rather impressive squad and everyone else in the league has seemed to have recognized it too !….I Cannot Wait !

  21. Heatfan says:

    Look can everyone just shut up for a second. You guys are talking as if the season has already started or something. Everyone stop typing all crap and wait till the seasons starts to start talking. If u keep typing then u must have no life or something.

    Reply

  22. funk1020 says:

    I think the east will end up like this at the end of the season.
    1. Miami
    2. Chicago
    3.Orlando
    4. Bucks
    5. Boston
    6. Hawks
    7.Knicks
    8. Phillie or Charlotte

  23. dmcg says:

    1. Heat
    2.Magic
    3.Bulls
    4.Hawks
    5.celtics
    6.Bucks
    7.phil
    8.Knicks or Charoltte

  24. bigboy 11 says:

    pasaway ,,, did u watch any miami games last season they were a defense first team they were #1 at keeping teams below 40% scoring but they only had one scorer WADE

  25. bigboy 11 says:

    an old and beat up boston took the lakers to 7 games without prekins

  26. mr. coach says:

    whats all this talk and b/s about kobe lakers miami???? etc etc….? i thought this blog was about rankings…and the east…not about the past or anything else but the future….haha grow up

  27. WC says:

    My list in order of finish for the regular season. Top 6 will all win 50 games. Not much is seperating seeds 3-6. Heat won’t come in first due to injury and depth issues)

    1. Magic
    2. Heat
    3. Bucks
    4. Celtics
    5. Bulls
    6. Hawks
    7. Bobcats
    8. Pacers

  28. dmcg says:

    i dont really know who better between kobe and wade i want to say wade how good were the lakers before gasol not too good were kinda of like the 2009 mami heat so i think wade is better cause of age and stats everyone whos says kobe is better is only look at rings theirs no doubt kobe has a better career than wade but look at the numbers and say kobe didnt have a good season like you think he did and this is for jordan yea ok i know you would have called bird and magic but you guys all played for the most hated teams and you were all rivlas jordan tried to beat bird, bird tried to be magic, magic trried to beat jordan and saying kobe is than lebron is nonsense. lebron doesnt want to be like mike nomore and its obivious ever since he changed his number lebron is trying to be a billionire. jordan cant say anything bout lebron cause who remembers those wizards champions ship i guest you shoudnt be so quick to jump on lebron case

  29. Elwin Singh says:

    yeah true everyone needs a supporting cast but the thing is great players who did it with 1 organisation eg. jordan, kobe, bird, and hakeem, they did so with lower or less caliber players than themselves. Sure enough Pippen, Mchale, Pau, and Horry are very good players but would you really build you entire organisation around these guys, can they be the star on your team, i think not, when jordan retired for the 1st time Pippen couldnt get em bk to the finals on his own eventhough most of the squad was still intact why? because he was nt the go to guy…the reason lebron wont be viewed in the same respect as those guys mentioned above..eg. jordan, bird, hakeem is because he took the short cut. teaming up with equal superstar players (who are in their prime of their careers) essentially piggybacking his way to a ring, Bird would never had teamed up with magic nor jordan would have even thought of being on the same team with Malone and stockton. Moreover the reason we say tht the other guys eg. steve kerrs, john paxsons, kenny smiths, Dennis Rodmans, and byron scotts of the world were really good/integral to their team was because the really good players made every1 around them better- thats another reason the key guys distinguished themselves as the gr8 ones…im nt sure u cld say the same abt Lebron, did he improve delonte west, Mo williams, Antawn Jamison, did he really make them better players? i dont think so.. thats why he has to surround himself with superstars in order to win his rings….

    p.s. I hate the Lakers and would love to see them dethroned bt the way Miami is doing it just dosent feel right…

  30. dmcg says:

    i bet you all forgot who was MVP last year even though d.wade will probably lead the heat, i think lebron will be the reason they win the championship and as far as chris bosh goes he doesnt have to be the chris bosh from toronto this will be an whole new guy with a new teams(he was the only onfense toronto had and got beat up everynight cause he was the only guy teams had to pay attention other than that everybody beat the raptors) he wont be double team that much cause of wade and james(most of the attention on defense will come their way) so i think bosh averages at least 15- 17 ppg and 9-11 rebounds thats all he need to do. and also look at this look how good lebron made most of his team look and d.wade no doubt made mario chambers and james jones look good so what makes you think that someone with actual talent like bosh want play good. with the addition of a better bench player matt barnes(longshot he going to raptors), iverson, larry hughes, or possibly t-mac the heat win no doubt dominate the any team in the nba. and gasol wasnt much better than bosh when he was in memphis i bet nobody remembers a single game he played with the girizzles and look what happen when he got to L.A hey at least bosh actually made the playoffs before he got to a better

  31. sumi says:

    every body is saying that lebron should not have gone to miami and by doing that he does not come to the caliber of kobe , jordan ..etc. kobe would have got his rings with out gasol? jordan could have got his rings with out pippen and other supporting players.

  32. Lame-ar O-Dumb says:

    Man, so many people riding Kobe’s jock in here. Amazing. Some of you guys have got so much Kobe in you you’re gagging.

  33. DON says:

    Thats it for my im done with the forums. Full of morons. D Wade better than Kobe??!! lol. Absolutely laughable.
    That whole discussions has done it for me. Bunch of D Wade nut huggers, do u nut huggers know anything about bball. Wansters.

  34. Lakers will Trade Ron Artest for Carmello this Season then trade Derek Fisher and Steve Blake for Chris Paul. Lakers won’t only have a better Big 3 with Kobe, Melo and Pau, but will clearly have a better starting 5 with CP3, Kobe, Melo, Pau and Bynum but also a better 6th Man in Lamar Odom than whoever the Heat have.

    • sumi says:

      keep dreaming boy ..keep dreaming.

    • Lebron6James says:

      im sorry whoever u aree lakers not goin for der 3peat cause MIAMIS GONNA BE THE 201 AND MORE YEARS TO COME CHAMPIONSS

    • yurp says:

      The lakers would be stupid to trade artest… he is the biggest reason why they even advanced past the thunder last season in the playoffs. And as for CP3 going to LA… he would be much better off not. On a side note, i think if CP3 went to the Magic in place of jameer nelson – that would be his best option.

  35. Pinoy_Fan says:

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    M1221 says:
    July 20, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    1. Miami (Tell me when Kobe, Nowitzki, and Melo play together so I can change my mind on who has a better Big Three)
    2. Orlando
    3. Chicago
    4. Boston
    5. Atlanta
    6. Milwaukee
    7. Charlotte
    8. Philadelphia/New York

    Miami has the second and third best players in the world who haven’t haven’t had much help from their supporting cast the last couple years. End of story. Orlando is gambling on taking Q.Rich but that’s just one more shooter to be found by the best center in the game. Vince Carter and Lewis won’t choke again in the ECF. Chicago brought in some of the Jazz’s top players in Brewer, Korver, and Boozer. Now add Rose/Noah/Deng. Solid. Boston is getting old, but can still play. If they want to contend they must have Perkins back and must develop a little more. Rondo is amazing don’t get me wrong, but is no Nash. Atlanta is a great team, but honestly, can they beat the teams above in the PLAYOFFS? Milwaukee just keeps getting better and will continue as long as their three (Jennings/Salmons/Bogut) stay and they add a couple veterans. Charlotte is a solid team. Don’t forget what players they have Jackson, G. Wallace, Boris Diaw, Dampier, Tyrus Thomas, D.J Augustin, Larry Hughes. So I don’t see them getting worse either. Last but not least, Philly and NY. Debatable. Philly with a young yet experienced squad. And New York with a semi-young team. Adding Azubuike, Felton, Stoudamire, and Anthony Randolph, I’m pretty sure, should help.
    Reply
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    bellw38 says:
    July 20, 2010 at 7:06 pm

    I UNDERSTAND THAT THERE ARE A LOT OF NEW FOUND MIAMI FANS OUT THERE AND THEY ALL SAY THAT THEY ARE THE BEST TEAM IN THE WORLD AND THAT THEIR BIG 3 ARE THE BEST AT THEIR POSITION AND I UNDERSTAND WADE AND BRON TO BE CONSIDERED THE BEST BUT WHO HONESTLY THINKS THAT BOSH IS THE BEST PF IN THE LEAGUE THAT MAKES ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE AT ALL
    Reply

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    LM1221 says:
    July 20, 2010 at 8:49 pm

    I don’t see many PF in the game averaging 24 and 11. Maybe you don’t see Bosh in highlights, but on paper, 24 and 11 is pretty decent if I do say so myself.
    Reply

    #
    JAZZone says:
    July 20, 2010 at 8:04 pm

    Charlotte should be higher …and I’m thinking the Pacers are better than the Knicks still. I could also picture Philly fighting for the 8th seed if they can put together the pieces that they have.
    Reply
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    KCA says:
    July 20, 2010 at 8:52 pm

    All the regular season is important for is for making the playoffs and getting some kind of home court advantage for the contending teams such as Bostan, Miami, Orlando, and if some major injuries occur to each of the three teams possibly chicago. Chicago’s offense is going to be pretty tough to stop once they get te chemistry down with D Rose and Boozer running the pick and role or even the pick and pop weak side defenders are going to have to help leaving Korver wide open for a 3 and or Brewer or Deng for a weak side lob. Boston found a pretty good pick up in J.O. He will be more then helpful to Perkins and give him plenty of time to recover. they could use one more big to give KG JO and Perk some extra rest going into the latter part of the season. Miami is going to be a case of pick your poison with them. with both Z and Bosh being able to stretch the floor a bit Lebron and DWade will have pretty good driving lanes and once help comes they can dish it of to Z on one side Bosh on the other or Mike Miller or James Jones for a 3. Orlando… Im not sure on the logic for switchin a defender for ANOTHER shooter no offense to Q Rich. I just dont understand why they need more shooters if they were gonna resign JJ anyway. they still do have a chance to be in the conference finals for sure but i just dont see the denfese of stopping Lebron Wade and Bosh after Dwight picks up too many fouls from the perimiter defenders getting beat.
    Regular season i think will go something close to this minding everyone stays healthy…

    1. Miami
    2. Orlando
    3. Chicago
    4. Boston
    5. Atlanta
    6. Milwaukee
    7. New York
    8. Charlotte
    9. Philly
    10. Washington
    11. Indiana
    12. Detroit
    13. New Jersy
    14. Cleveland
    15. Toronto

    seeds 7-10 could be put in any order. and seeds 13 through 15 could be put in any order as well

    13.
    Reply
    #
    mr. coach says:
    July 20, 2010 at 8:57 pm

    i may offend someone out there but this is how i think the east looks this up-coming season…

    1. miami (i don’t like this pick but oh well for the offseason rankings, trio of all-starz)
    2. boston (still have most of the their players from this past seasons, good coach)
    3. chicago (bulls have a better roster now than most teams in the east, talented, defense minded now)
    4. orlando (howard needs more support, nelson ain’t an all-star, need a down the stretch player)
    5. hawks (always good during the regular season, have 2 all-stars)
    6. bucks (young talented, added depth, made the playoffs)
    7. bobcats (great shooters, a good coach and expectations are high around the greatest player of all time mj23)
    8. toss up—fight for eighth spot between knicks, pacers and cavs (there gonna be alright teams but no championship)

    possible 8th spot–pistons and sixers……….

  36. TheMackHasReturned says:

    I wouldn’t be supprised if Milwaukee finished #2 They are looking better than the Detroit team that won the championship in 04′(I think). They are solid Moute moute (can’t spell it but you know what I mean) can shut it down on D. Maggette can draw the foul which is what the Bucks needed. Gooden and Sanders provide the bucks relief off of Bogut. Jennings and Bogut will be all-stars this year, and Skiles can wipe everyone else in shape. Oh and I forgot my main man Delfino is really underrated and Salmons will have plenty of relief with Douglas-Roberts. They can match up with any team and they are deep now with dooling as back up at the point. FEAR THE DEER

  37. tito says:

    miami finna take over the league give em like 2 or 3 years when we got more young talent

  38. Pasaway041 says:

    i think miami heat will not go get the championship…

    because they are offense only but on the defense is very low…

    unlike celtics all around palys..

    • a person says:

      who says the defense is low. we got the Z from clevland as well as lebron who can block and defend. bosh is also good on defense so i dont know wat u talkin about.

  39. Weisz Santos says:

    wooo…

  40. mr. coach says:

    i may offend someone out there but this is how i think the east looks this up-coming season…

    1. miami (i don’t like this pick but oh well for the offseason rankings, trio of all-starz)
    2. boston (still have most of the their players from this past seasons, good coach)
    3. chicago (bulls have a better roster now than most teams in the east, talented, defense minded now)
    4. orlando (howard needs more support, nelson ain’t an all-star, need a down the stretch player)
    5. hawks (always good during the regular season, have 2 all-stars)
    6. bucks (young talented, added depth, made the playoffs)
    7. bobcats (great shooters, a good coach and expectations are high around the greatest player of all time mj23)
    8. toss up—fight for eighth spot between knicks, pacers and cavs (there gonna be alright teams but no championship)

    possible 8th spot–pistons and sixers……….

  41. KCA says:

    All the regular season is important for is for making the playoffs and getting some kind of home court advantage for the contending teams such as Bostan, Miami, Orlando, and if some major injuries occur to each of the three teams possibly chicago. Chicago’s offense is going to be pretty tough to stop once they get te chemistry down with D Rose and Boozer running the pick and role or even the pick and pop weak side defenders are going to have to help leaving Korver wide open for a 3 and or Brewer or Deng for a weak side lob. Boston found a pretty good pick up in J.O. He will be more then helpful to Perkins and give him plenty of time to recover. they could use one more big to give KG JO and Perk some extra rest going into the latter part of the season. Miami is going to be a case of pick your poison with them. with both Z and Bosh being able to stretch the floor a bit Lebron and DWade will have pretty good driving lanes and once help comes they can dish it of to Z on one side Bosh on the other or Mike Miller or James Jones for a 3. Orlando… Im not sure on the logic for switchin a defender for ANOTHER shooter no offense to Q Rich. I just dont understand why they need more shooters if they were gonna resign JJ anyway. they still do have a chance to be in the conference finals for sure but i just dont see the denfese of stopping Lebron Wade and Bosh after Dwight picks up too many fouls from the perimiter defenders getting beat.
    Regular season i think will go something close to this minding everyone stays healthy…

    1. Miami
    2. Orlando
    3. Chicago
    4. Boston
    5. Atlanta
    6. Milwaukee
    7. New York
    8. Charlotte
    9. Philly
    10. Washington
    11. Indiana
    12. Detroit
    13. New Jersy
    14. Cleveland
    15. Toronto

    seeds 7-10 could be put in any order. and seeds 13 through 15 could be put in any order as well

    13.

  42. JAZZone says:

    Charlotte should be higher …and I’m thinking the Pacers are better than the Knicks still. I could also picture Philly fighting for the 8th seed if they can put together the pieces that they have.

  43. bellw38 says:

    I UNDERSTAND THAT THERE ARE A LOT OF NEW FOUND MIAMI FANS OUT THERE AND THEY ALL SAY THAT THEY ARE THE BEST TEAM IN THE WORLD AND THAT THEIR BIG 3 ARE THE BEST AT THEIR POSITION AND I UNDERSTAND WADE AND BRON TO BE CONSIDERED THE BEST BUT WHO HONESTLY THINKS THAT BOSH IS THE BEST PF IN THE LEAGUE THAT MAKES ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE AT ALL

  44. LM1221 says:

    1. Miami (Tell me when Kobe, Nowitzki, and Melo play together so I can change my mind on who has a better Big Three)
    2. Orlando
    3. Chicago
    4. Boston
    5. Atlanta
    6. Milwaukee
    7. Charlotte
    8. Philadelphia/New York

    Miami has the second and third best players in the world who haven’t haven’t had much help from their supporting cast the last couple years. End of story. Orlando is gambling on taking Q.Rich but that’s just one more shooter to be found by the best center in the game. Vince Carter and Lewis won’t choke again in the ECF. Chicago brought in some of the Jazz’s top players in Brewer, Korver, and Boozer. Now add Rose/Noah/Deng. Solid. Boston is getting old, but can still play. If they want to contend they must have Perkins back and must develop a little more. Rondo is amazing don’t get me wrong, but is no Nash. Atlanta is a great team, but honestly, can they beat the teams above in the PLAYOFFS? Milwaukee just keeps getting better and will continue as long as their three (Jennings/Salmons/Bogut) stay and they add a couple veterans. Charlotte is a solid team. Don’t forget what players they have Jackson, G. Wallace, Boris Diaw, Dampier, Tyrus Thomas, D.J Augustin, Larry Hughes. So I don’t see them getting worse either. Last but not least, Philly and NY. Debatable. Philly with a young yet experienced squad. And New York with a semi-young team. Adding Azubuike, Felton, Stoudamire, and Anthony Randolph, I’m pretty sure, should help.

    • fosho says:

      Lebron didn’ t have much help from his supporting cast the last couple years… Cleveland won more games than anybody… (can’t even read the rest of your bs)

      • L.Ckz says:

        Haha! Obviously you don’t know anything ‘fosho’. Who did LeBron have? Honestly! Mo Williams. Okay. Jamison, what the hell did he do in Washington? Delonte West, what has he EVER done? Shaq, well… I guess you can count him as a BIG help? Varejoa, he’s no Odom, no Haslem, no Davis, he plays dirty, but isn’t a TRUE sixth man in the East. J.J Hickson, will be good, just wasn’t much of a contributor this year. Now look at L.A and Boston. Take out each of their best players (Kobe and Pierce.) You still have Rondo, Allen, Garnett, Davis, and Perkins in Boston. And in L.A you have Gasol, Bynum, Artest, Brown, Fisher. Both teams WAY better than Cleveland without their best players. Thank you very much:)

      • scrillasofly says:

        l.ckz u have to be most sports fan ever check yo facts LA had gasol and kobe thats 2 allstars cavs had um jamison mo shaq lebron thats um 4 not to mention z went b4 so how are they better? kobe is the best period without kobe and gasol/shaq u have fisher/brown/arstest/odom/bynum no allstars or fisher/harper/fox/horry/ac green lol wtf come on man kobe had less to work with true champ 6 rings yes i said six and never did it with more than 1 allstar who else did that boston big 3 allstars piston wallace/billup/ rip spurs duncan/manu/tony come on kobe do it with one i know artest made it as a reserved but im talking bout during the championship years so get ya facts straight stop listen to these sport commentators who dont know squat

  45. mazer says:

    Well that didn’t work out, so i’ll try again

    CurrentRankings

    1. Miami
    2. Orlando
    3. Boston
    4. Chicago
    5. Milwaukee
    6. Atlanta
    7. New York
    8. Charlotte
    9. Indiana (possible playoff)
    10. Detroit
    11. Philadelphia
    12. Washington
    13. New Jersey
    14. Cleveland
    15. Toronto

    Wildcard= New York
    Sleeper= Indiana

    It could take 45 wins to get a spot in the east this upcoming season.

  46. Miles says:

    What’s all the NY hate about? You scrary chumps came to NY one time in your life and got slapped? The Knicks are a much approved team this year and if they make the POs all the better, if not on to the next. Either case, please stop hating and get some light in your life. Oh I forgot, your not from NY so you dont know what that is. NBA (No itch azzes)

    • lepiv says:

      I hope that NY does well, but to be realistic about it they’re going to need a good PG that takes the presure off Amare if he is gonna play well, otherwise he’ll be a downgrade from David Lee who is a lot better than people give him credit for. Remember when Amare needed Nash even to get to the finals of a dunk contest?

      • Miles says:

        Lepiv: You are entitled to your opion for sure! But, the reality of it all is we just have to wait and see. Believe it or not, I think we will get a good sence of who they are right out of the box. Not based on the early wins or loses just the ball movement and chem of the team. As for Amare, he’s an “All Star” not just a “good player”, so I can’t imagine him falling off just because Nash isnt there, I give him much more creds then that! What all star fell off because of another player, you fall alone or not at all. Stay tuned!

  47. mazer says:

    Current EC Ranking Current Predicted Standings

    1. Miami 1. Miami
    2. Orlando 2. Orlando
    3. Boston 3. Milwaukee
    4. Chicago 4. Chicago
    5. Milwaukee 5. Atlanta
    6. Atlanta 6. Boston
    7. New York 7. New York
    8. Charlotte 8. Charlotte
    9. Indiana (playoff possible) 9. Indiana (playoff possible)

    Bottom Feeders

    9. Indiana 10. Detroit 11. Philadelphia 12. Washington 13. New Jersey 14. Cleveland 15. Toronto

    Wild Cards Sleepers
    1. New York 1. Indiana

  48. da Boss says:

    no one is gna be able to stick with the Heat this season. I’m gna laff at all you doubters and naysayers this season when its The Heat and Lakes in the Finals. NOT EVEN the celtics or Magic can stick with em, and when the Playoffs come, they’re gna dominate EVERYBODY in the East. it’s pretty obvious, they got THE 3 BEST PLAYERS AT THEIR POSITIONS, so who can stop em?? Look at all these punks saying that LeBron can’t play with Flash, now look back at the 2008 games when they won GOLD…its pretty obvious that LeBron and Wade can play together…like Chris Bosh said, “one night it can be Dwayne, the next night LeBron,” and you still gotta look out for Bosh…..so when its all said and done ya’ll can look back at this blog and see wat da Boss said….”THE HEAT AND LAKERS IN THE FINALS….” NOBODY ELSE…..PERIOD

    • lepiv says:

      “they got THE 3 BEST PLAYERS AT THEIR POSITIONS”

      Are you serious? Are you implying that Bosh is the best PF? last time I checked he’s nowhere near Duncan’s or Dirk’s level, just to name a few … or maybe you’re reffering to the 6th man ??? I really don’t understand what you’re trying to say … this doesn’t make sense to anyone that truly knows basketball

    • Jumpman123 says:

      3 Best players at there position? Really? last time i checked Wade wasnt better then Kobe, and bosh wasnt better then Gasol. the only reason i place bosh at second best PF is because Garrnet is gettin old, and amar’e cant play defence. As for SF i guess u can say Lebron James is Best at that position. But i personally prefer Carmelo ovr him

  49. Justin says:

    this is almost flawless, except I think the Bucks have a chance of topping the Celtics, and I don’t think New York will make the playoffs.

  50. Dion says:

    Why dont the Heat sign Shaq? I like the big guys we have but its not enough against the Lakers ,Boston or Orlando. You need someone whos gonna demand that double team down low especially in the playoffs. Whats up?

  51. Rocket Fan says:

    I don’t like the Heat. Just putting that out there.
    I don’t know about Miami. The safe bet would be just to slap them up as #1. But, it’ll be interesting to see what their roster consists of at the start of the season. I think a team with a great defender and a (close to being) dominant big-man could definitely compete with the Superfriends ex. Los Angeles Lakers, Houston Rockets, Orlando Magic, and Boston Celtics. Not to mention all of these squads have a deep bench, which I do think the Heat lack.

    Orlando, Boston, and Chicago will round out the top four following the Heat. I think the Hawks aren’t as good as many say. I can’t justify giving them home-court after that cringe-worthy series against the Magic.

    1. Miami Heat
    2. Orlando Magic
    3. Boston Celtics
    4. Chicago Bulls
    5. Atlanta Hawks
    6. Milwaukee Bucks
    7. Charlotte Bobcats
    8. Indiana Pacers (Basically, this is up in the air, I just went out on a limb. I think Philadelphia and Detroit have good chances too. As long as the Knicks won’t make it, I’ll be happy )

    • LM1221 says:

      I replied to your last comment on the West. We both think alike. But remember, Wade had no help the last couple seasons and now he’s gonna play with arguably the best player in the world (not Ring-wise of course) in LeBron. Plus Bosh who I can definitely say is just as good as Gasol. And Miami doesn’t need much of a bench. Or do you really think Riley is gonna let Spo have all three of those players on the bench at the same time? Check my comment a couple comments under. Tell me what you think.

  52. think says:

    My East order for the season:

    1. Miami – it is expected for them to be at least in the top 3… but the real test comes playoff time
    2. Orlando – could battle miami for the top spot
    3. Atlanta – with everyone intact, theyd still have the same winning % they had last year
    4. Boston – Again, will spend the whole season resting the big 3, developing rondo, easing new guys to the team… then have a run at the playoffs
    5. Chicago – boozer will help noah to focus more in rebounding and defense… rose will have a better year than last year
    6. Milwaukee – If Bogut stays healthy, Milwaukee can do better with jennings removed from his rookie year
    7. Charlotte – slowly but surely, Brown and MJ are making this team work as a team and playing the game right… then maybe MJ can spend next year for a free agent to make them a real contender (Paul or Melo)
    8. Cavs – Even though theyve lost lebron, id still say they still have a line-up that is better than some teams… plus byron scott can has the ability to turn things around…

    NY – I still think D’Antoni’s system fits Nash, not Amare…

  53. Phil Jackson says:

    y would lebron want to stay on a team, where one of his teammates is smashin his moms. How does that sound n how did he quit with a triple double in his last cleveland game

  54. lebum says:

    When it comes down to it, lebron will quit on the heat in the playoffs just like he did this year with cleveland this past year… When the going gets tough lebron lays down like a chump.. His big head wont fit in with heat and wade, he wont get his ego fed in miami the way he did in cleveland.. Miami will get bounced in the second round, if not earlier…

  55. Lonz says:

    NYK is overrated. Amare cant play defense at all. Boston demolished Miami Cleveland Orlando
    last season. i think they deserved to be ranked as number 1.

    • lepiv says:

      Wow … I’ve read so many comments of people that really need to take a Comprehensive Reading 101 class …
      This is the projected standings at the end of the regular season and the reason for every standing has been very properly specified … why is this so hard to get?

  56. Robba says:

    Boston should be placed higher in the list, boston is a great veteran team that really have a good team play, i think they are able to defeat the hawks so place them a bit higher! Nobody knows how its gonna end up with miami, i hope they create a good team chemistry so that they can play as well together as a team like the boston celtics. The New York Knicks are going to be a big disappointment, they gonna make the 8th spot or they aint going to make the play offs, the cavs who are frustrated really want to make some noise, they wanna tell that they are good even without lebron, im not sure they gonna make it but i think they really going to try.

  57. ghassan says:

    @ kq right on the money boston is the team to beat and to rank these teans higher is absured ( i think thy considered regular season rankings so they mean much more than the playoffs )
    my ranking : MIA , BOS ,ORL, CHI ,MIL , ATL,CHA, PHL.

  58. Ben Davis says:

    So, if Magic wanted to play with Jordan, Jordan wouldn’t let him?? Anyways, is that Jordan’s way of saying that Dwyane Wade is better than LeBron??

    • bellw38 says:

      idnt kno if hes saying wade is a better player but wade has the heart of a champ he diidnt leave his team he made them come to him in miami which shows that he is a better leader because lebron and bosh followed him to miami in search of a ring im willing to bet if wade and bosh went to chicago lebron wouldnt be in miami right now which would show that hes a follower even though he is a good player

      • Z Huff says:

        give me a break with all the jordan kobe Lebron crap at the end of it all if Lebron has eight rings who wins ?

      • fosho says:

        another idiotic statement they obviously decided on miami for money reason and because it’s MIAMI… “SOUTHBEACH” and it could have something to do with tax free money

  59. kq says:

    Atlanta over Boston? Really? As pointed out, regular season really doesn’t matter for Boston. Don’t kid yourself, Atlanta would lose to Boston in a 7 game series. And Chicago will be better, but not better than Boston. They also manhandled Orlando. The new Miami team hasn’t even played a game yet. They have to earn No. 1 by winning a championship. Boston won the Eastern Conference Finals. They’re still the team to beat in the West when it’s all said and done. Sure, if Miami doesn’t win it’s considered a failure. But they most likely will still have to take it from Boston. Which will be harder than most people imagine I’m guessing.

  60. ghassan says:

    don’t forget come playoff time wade ,LBJand CB4 will log on 40+ min per game unless they are in foul trouble,wade and lebron can attack D12 and you can take him out of the picture,the celitics have lost some depth on the wings when they lost tony allen ,and the c’s defensive stratgy is to keep the sporting cast in check ,who they would keep in check , wade(perfomed best against the C’S with >55%FG lebron who can play off the ball and run on the break and can explode or CB4 a 20 10 guy) as for the lakers ,the LA frontline can be attacked as well as kobe and artest , if they could send artest to the bench lebron will dominate, kobe will have to work hia ass off definsively to contain wade ( he won’t sit in the paint and rome and play off wade just like he did with rondo) it will be 7 foot towers vs the wings of the heat which will be interesting .
    here is 2 things to remmber : 1. LA and MIA played evenly over the last 2 years without lebron and bosh 2. the lakers doesnt have the wing depth to contain wade and lebron for 7 game series ,thats why the lakers will make some trades to stenghth their depth if they don’t they can’t stand a chance (check the roster)
    and last ,the heat are the most versitile team of all of them;the can go big or they could go small,they are a definsive minded organization that what brings championships,and come playoff time the playoffs is the stage where stars shine and they have two off them,if they play as a team with there egos in check they will domiante the nxt decade.

    • fosho says:

      Are you kidding me, you argument would make it sound like the Heat are the team with Depth and versitility. The Lakers are the most versitle team between the two no contest you check the roster… the heat only got 9 players lol. The heat can’t play big and small what are you talking about…. you act like they have a guy like Lamar Odom who is 6’11 and can play 3 through 5. Wow you are either really stupid or an idiot or both, And Miami will be a better defensive team than LA, wow another off the wall statement. Miami will be competitive because of the big 3 but don’t go putting them up there with LA in the championship yet, they got alot to prove in the East.

  61. Ben Davis says:

    LOL! so you are saying the heat is the same as they were last season… I know you hate the Heat, but you could at least sound almost reasonable….

    All I have to say is this… right now, the Lakers are the best team in the world… and they are the team to beat… We are not sure how good Miami is… but I will tell you this… either that team will be VERY SUCCESSFUL… or VERY AWFUL>… With that being said, if the Heat make it to the FINALS, that means that they would be the VERY SUCCESSFUL TEAM…. in that case if they PLAYED any team in the Finals after they make it the opposing team will be lucky to win one game…. That’s if the Heat make it to the finals…. The bad thing is everyone knows that, but no one is willing to admit it…

    • fosho says:

      Lucky to win one game, are you serious they only have three players its a five on five game.

      • Not Understanding says:

        “Fosho” do you live in Cleveland? Have you burned your James jersey yet? Honestly, I know the Heat haven’t played a game and people need to keep in perspective that the current champs are the Lakers but some of these comments are just outrageous. MIke Miller was Sixth Man of the Year. Udonis Haslem is a starter on almost ANY NBA team. James Jones, Mario Chalmer and Big Z can play. The Heat have not won anything but the free agency battle, but please lets not be ridiculous because they have ON PAPER the best team. Its almost inconceivable that people even argue that but PAPER doesn’t mean anything, the court does. Just don’t confuse yourselves because you are HOPING and WISHING they lose.

  62. AM says:

    Why is boston ranked so low if they have ALREADY PROVEN to be better now than atlanta and orlando. The knicks became marginally better basically swapping Lee and stoudamire. They wont make the playoffs. The bobcats should be higher being one of the best defensive teams and balance. But it doesnt really matter bc miami will clean up everything !!!!!

  63. mazer says:

    Good list I have the same teams in many of the same places with some differences. One team that’s being slept on here is Indiana, their better than most people think. Charlotte might not make it. The old east of the 90’s returned overnite and it’s great.

  64. WG says:

    WADE IS BETTER THAN KOBE, Just wake up and admit it. I think it takes at least an IQ of 130 to realize Wade is better.

    And whats with people all of a sudden posting comments named by the superstars they are referring too. In most cases you don’t have what it takes to foll anyone or correctly post what might be going on in the players mind.

    With that aside,
    MIAMI needs a true point. A Pass first point otherwise they will fall short to either Orlando or Boston come playoffs.

    And Miami wants multiple championships right? Most of these veterans they are signing up are probably only good for another 2 or three seasons, and then what?? They way this team is being assembled Im guessing 2 Rings at most in the next 6years.

    On another note Michael Jordan said recently he was trying to beat guys like Magic, Bird etc. Not join up with them.
    Allow me to translate, what MJ said is James doesn’t have the heart of a champion.
    Which by now is very obvious to those with IQs over 130.

    I’ve said this many times posting comments here.

    D.WADE is the best player we have seen in the league since His AiRness.

    BTW – If your a KOBE FAN – don’t reply to this post.

    This post is only intended for those people with a functioning brain.

    • LakerFan says:

      Interesting.. you never explained why/how Wade is better than Kobe. What we all know (and you don’t need an IQ of 130 to know this) is that Wade can’t guard Kobe on the perimeter or in the paint. And he Wade knows this. You see he hasn’t bad mouth Kobe or the Lakers has he?

      Lebron is good and he will get his points, but don’t underestimate a FOCUSED Ron Artest.

      You talk about how great the Heat’s offense will be, but have’t addressed who’s going to stop Kobe, Lamar Odom, Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum, Steve Blake.

      Let me guess, Bosh or the center they got form the Cav’s can stop Gasol and Bynum. I DON’T THINK SO. Or Mike Miller is going to stop Lamar Odom when his head is in the game and he’s focused? I DON’T THINK SO.

      What I find interesting his how Bosh gets lumped in as one of the top 10 best players in the NBA and he’s not.

      And while you’re thinking about my Lakers, before you can get to us, you may want to focus on Boston. Yea I know, they have a few old vet’s, but don’t underestimate them either, especially with Doc Rivers on the sidelines. They may not be able to load up the side on defense like they did in the past against Lebron and Wade, but I’m sure they’ll think of something.

      • Z Huff says:

        Are both of you guys forgetting who the reigning MVP is “Lebron James” which means he’s the best player to have on your team hence he’s the best player

      • Shut Up says:

        Wade is better than Kobe…you just adore him very much cuz maybe ur gay….

      • haters out there says:

        laker fan is on fire here…not! look i understand that you may be bias since you are indeed a laker fan but be realistic.
        also you keep saying wade will say this wade will think that…you hang out with him a lot dont you.lol clown

        yes the heat have yet to play a game but everyone is over looking clear facts that have been shown over these seven years. wade/ lebron doubled teamed every game. thats going to be tough now for teams unless they cange rules and allow team playing the heat to have more then 5 player on the court. also the big three best defense trio out there as well regaurdless if most of there blocks come off the ball and whoever said bosh is soft…wrong!! a guy who averaged 20 and 10 is far from soft. the heat supporting cast maybe old but how do you gaurd a three headed monster like wade lebron and bosh is a defense scheme buster!

        although…being that the lakers are the most recent champions(2 years) they are the team to beat. without a doubt

        i just feel like there are indeed a ton of haters out there (all other teams) that pray that this free agent jackpot that the miami heat have won will be a bust….thats like praying leonardo dicaprio will make a bad movie… highly unlikely.

        and as far as the wade kobe battle….kobe is an amazing player i mean 81 point wow as big as the wilt chamberlan 100.

        but…

        statistically wade stats speak for themself
        since entering the league (so that means while kobs in his prime the rookie) wade has better fg%…..avg more ast/st/blocks and scoring is close but kobe shoots so much it would be rediclous if he did have more points

      • den says:

        Lamar Odom??? pls dont bring him in! Lamar Odom is th most inconsistent player ive ever watched! and ron “psycho” artest??? he jus! he cant even guard LBJ! and bynum, the always injured center??? so pls??? the only guy u cant count on other than ur “me and my ball” guy is Gasol…

      • jag326 says:

        all of you guys are biased..look at their personal stats then compare..

    • Ryan says:

      Meh, you provide no factual support whatsoever. Thus by saying this, your argument is pointless.

      Case Closed.

    • James says:

      Both are brilliant players. It now depends on team chemistry and bench depth.

      jamescruz.com || jamescruz.info

  65. Ben Davis says:

    Wade shows up in big games… he would never go 6 of 24 in games that matter… Wade always show up for games that matter… Look it up…

    • LakerFan says:

      So does Kobe Bryant. What’s your point?

      • Danny says:

        His point is that Kobe was 6-24 in game 7 this year. his point is that Kobe makes ALOT of lucky shots. You can call it skill if you want to, but EVEN KOBE calls it luck when that is, infact, what it is. How many season MVP’s does Kobe have? Rings?? Please… Shaq won the first three and Gasol won the other 2. Kobe is jus tthe face of the team. Not saying he isn’t a great player, but talk about overhype.

        I am waiting anxiously for the Heat to knock him on his ass this season.

      • Ryan says:

        @Danny. Funny. Let me tell you this. Kobe couldnt have won it without gasol, but your acting like as if gasol was the main factor during this series. Yes pau had a great game 7, and so did ron artest, but please, tell me, when the lakers were in boston(specifically games 4/5) did gasol play at a high level? No. How about ron artest? No. Kobe was the only Laker out there who was actually doing something. And lmao. “Kobe makes alot of lucky shots”. If you have ever watched a lakers game, (or kobe) then you would know that his shots arent “luck”. Season Mvps? Please. Steve nash has 2 MVPS, does that make him better than Wade or Kobe? Obviously not. Oh, and its pretty ironic when your talking about overhype, considering everyday when i watch sportscenter all i hear about is “the miami trio”.

        Pathetic.

    • Eastwood says:

      Ben, don’t have time to look that fact up (that Wade always shows up for games that matter), but I think we all know that is, perhaps, the silliest comment ever made. (I know, I know…feeling as if my comment is even necessary is probably even sillier than Ben’s…)

      • LakerFan says:

        @Danny Obviously doesn’t know much about basketball or didn’t watch every Laker series in the playoff. Excuse me, but Kobe has/does show up in big games as well.. Game seven against Boston, he was off, but his team game through for him. But how many times did KOBE bail out his team this past season? Six times.. and one of those times was against D Wade.

        And for the record, D Wade has shot poorly in games before.. you might want to go check the stat sheets. I guess Wade showed up for Boston too.. Oh I forgot, he didn’t have Lebron and Bosh to help him because if he did they would’ve won the series right? I’m sure Doc Rivers and the rest of Boston has something to say about that.

        I guess when Kobe scored 81 points that was luck.. I guess those 27 something points in the 3rd quarter against Boston in like game 5 or 6 was luck to right? How are you going to JUDGE Kobe Bryants talent.. are you series.. it goes both ways, Shaq or Gasol would’ve won a championship by themselves without Kobe and vice versa.. D. Wade needed Shaq also just to win..

        You don’t have to like the Lakers Danny, but don’t be stupid.. The man is not overhyped.. he’s worked hard to become as a great a player as he his.. name one player that works as hard as he does during the season and in the off season? D Wade himself would disagree with you..

  66. Ben Davis says:

    Umm… Kobe is better than Wade at what?? Is he faster?? is he stronger?? does he jump higher?? I guarantee you if Wade and Kobe takes the same amount of shots Wade will get the best of him… This whole Kobe is just better argument is getting stupid… especially when rings are the only thing to determine that… Especially since you could argue that Kobe wasn’t even a bigger superstar than Iverson during the Lakers first three Championships… I think that even Kobe admitted that Wade can’t be guarded 1 on 1 because he is too quick and he is masterful going around picks….

    • LakerFan says:

      You’re kidding me right? Remember when Kobe Bryant scored 81 points in one game on a team that wasn’t very good? Why hasn’t D Wade even come close to doing that on the crap teams he had when he was responsible for all the scoring.

      Kobe can contain Wade.. please don’t underestimate Kobe Bryant. But Wade can’t contain Kobe without help. That was proven this past season with Lebron and Bosh. Don’t get me wrong, Wade is good, but so is Kobe and only one (Kobe) can truly contain the other.. and not the other way around..

      • Z Huff says:

        Well Lebrons better than both of them who can contain James ?

      • den says:

        oh yeah the 81 points of kobe? the “ME AND MY BALL” show! sure he’ll get that because he only thinks no other than himself! D-WADE is a team player not like ur kobe! and by the way he cant get those 5 rings without Shaq and Gasol…dont you remember when ur “me and my ball” guy wants to be traded bcoz he cant win games by himself??? now that he got gasol He thinks he is the best player! Kobe is nothing without Shaq and Gasol!

    • Ben Davis says:

      Sorry, sorry, sorry, I was mistaken in my statement that D-wade is better than 5 cookies mr kobe bryant. I got a bit too carried away with myself. I can’t help but feel excited for a team that has not even played a game together yet. I will be the first to pull my head out of my own a** and apologize to kobe. Kobe now is still better than d-wade in his prime. I almost forgot that kobe not only had a broken index finger on his shooting hand, but had a knee problem and ankle problem. I also forgot that he lead his team through by far the toughest eastern conference team. Oh and one other thing lamar, ron, and andrew were not very productive in that series as well. Lamar didn’t have the series many thought he would have based on the series with the magic. Bynum again with one leg still didn’t contribute much, ron shot horribly through the first six games, the bench wasn’t good and yet he still pulled it off. Yeah i was pig headed and a complete moron to think d-wade is better than the black mamba. I will now pull myself permantly from this chat.

      • jag326 says:

        and you also forgot that kobe had the help of others, especially gasol and fisher..thats why he wins rings..for me wade and bryant are pretty even..the advantage goes to kobe for having better teammates last season..and that 81 points? dont be biased by comparing bryant and wade with just that single game..overall stats are more important than just the scoring stat you know..again they are pretty even wade and bryant, but advantage kobe for good teammates and good coach..

  67. knicks says:

    the knicks are way over rated. So is Amar’e Stoudemire. He doesn’t play any d. i would put a team like philly or washington ahead of them.

  68. rich says:

    u do know james jones played for the suns not too long ago and z was fine with lebron before. mike miller is actually a decent athelete, and chalmers is a defensive whirlwind. Bosh dummied Kg this he averaged 25 11 and over 60 % from the feild on boston.. he even had a solid 20 and 10 on the lakers despite them loading up on him

  69. fosho says:

    Miami is about the fourth best team in the east. They still don’t have enough around there big three to be considered better teams than the Magic, Celtics and now the up and rising Bulls. Miami has surronded themselves with a supporting cast around the big three that are slow and can’t run with the big three. They have role players that play a differnt style game than there three stars. They lack in depth which is crucial in a 81 game season and defintely in a 7 game series in the playoffs. What a bust it will be if these guys can’t get it done and win a championship. Each year they don’t win is a chance they will never. Mark my words… I said it first!!

    • LakerFan says:

      Nicely put!!!

    • jag326 says:

      for me i disagree..they have enough time during the season to build up a team chemistry..the celtics when they had their big three, rondo and the rest of the team were not much of players til kg allen and peirce combined forces and we didnt expect the rest of that team to step up like that..the same goes with miami..sure they’re supporting members look like the slow types for now, but come the middle of the season they will surely have that team chemistry with wade james bosh as their core..what i feel would be a problem would be their coach because i beleive that miami will do great..in the long run however especially in the playoffs, as much as the big three need their role plyers to step up, so does miami need their coach..this is just my opinion..

  70. […] Second is exactly where Sekou Smith of NBA.com’s Hang Time blog has that Magic. […]

  71. Zzanzabar says:

    It really doesn’t matter what the number ranking is in the East from 1 through 8, the question is: Can one team consistently win 4 out of 7 games from the leaders or from the Lakers when they meet? The season won and loss records are immaterial and only matter as to home court advantage, and for the top teams home court is only important when two top teams meet each other.

    Yes Miami hasn’t even played one game with this new ‘super squad’ but does anyone seriously believe they wont top 50 wins? After that it really doesn’t matter once the get into the playoffs it is down to the 4 out of 7 format and I really don’t believe that they will be able to consistently keep up the pressure. Just one 7 game series and you are looking at MAJOR upset for Miami. Whomever pushes them to the brink will be HIGHLY motivated to push them over!

  72. A fan says:

    There’s so many NBA fans hate the HEAT this upcomming season,,, I don’t see any problem Lebron signing with Miami you idiots!!!!

    To be the best they have to beat the best!!!

    Why not take this trio as challenge instead of crying

  73. Seriously? says:

    Cleveland will make the playoffs over both the Knicks and the Bobcats. With LeBron, they were a 65+ win team. You think they are going to drop more than 20 of those wins? Spend less time on your knees praising the Heat and come back to reality.

    • Lakers without kobe may be says:

      I don’t remember well but the lakers without kobe record is like 20-7 or 20-6.It would be better if kobe don’t play the regular season and wait until the playoffs.Cavs without Lebron is like 1-81 or something close to that.They depended too much on lebron.Atlanta like the cavs are just regular season showoff and with no improvement.Chicago and Boston are like 3 times better than atlanta.AND WHY IN THE HELL IS THE KNICKS NUMBER 7!!!!!?????The Cavs are better than the knicks damn ,knicks ranking is just a bad taste.Damn is the east so damn pathetic.I hope the news rookie be good so they can put sixers and wizards back on the playoffs so they can drop of those pathetic team out of the playoff.Cavs are good but sometime they forget how to play and just depended too much on Lequeen.

    • Z Huff says:

      i think reality might catch up with you and how much Lebron really did for that team

  74. Cricky says:

    An interesting post from ‘Dwayne Wade’. Big talk from someone who doesn’t even know how to spell his own name.

  75. Chris Ross says:

    I think that Lebron showed he isn’t born with the same mentality as guys like Jordan and Kobe by choosing to join Wade and Bosh in Miami. It somewhat surprised me that he didn’t want to take the lead and show that he is one of the best leaders of all-time and carry his team to an NBA championship. It seems like it would be so much sweeter to win 1 championship in Cleveland rather than win 3 in Miami. But that’s just me.

    http://chrisross91.wordpress.com/2010/07/19/forget-lebron-dwyane-wade-is-still-king-of-south-beach/

    • The TRAX says:

      you cant really say that lebron said he wants to win championships. 5 years anywhere for a young player of his calibar is a LONG LONG time, you cant expect him to sit in cleaveland for another 5 years saying i should a have a championship by now. i rate him highly for being decisive and seeing the fact of him going to miami with bosh an wade means that he can win.

      they wont win strait off the bat but once their supporting cast is set in stone and strong they will win!!! THE EASTERN CONFERENCE. Beating the lakers is a different barrel of fish.

      (KEY FACTORS)
      Magic.
      The Magic dont have any1 in the back court for Wade n James, mayb V.C and Lewis. But who are better really!
      they messed up from when Hedo went.

      Celtics.
      The Celtics got a couple more seasons left in them well playoff runs the regular season dont mean much to them. Their all gettin old except for rondo. (TRUE MVP) once they fall off its the Heats eastern conference.

      LAKERS FOREVER!!!!

    • Z Huff says:

      and everyone else that said that. I’m glad he’s not like those two guys he’s better faster stronger and smarter

    • jag326 says:

      so what if lebron doesnt have the same mentality as jordan or kobe..he’s not following any of those guys footsteps nor is he trying to pattern them..i beleive lebron’s decision is fair enough..he needs better teammates around him..mind you but i think had not jordan and kobe have a good supporting cast and a good coach in phil jackson they would have little chance of winning..lebron just decided that he needs a team that is capable of supporting him and not just james supporting them..

  76. jesusjr23 says:

    Gasol is better than Bosh no doubt. Lebron is better than Artest obviously. Kobe is better than D-wade and the best player in the NBA… Sekou may be an NBA analyst, but he’s hyping the heat up way too much! Boston and Orlando are still going to give them trouble and don’t forget the Bulls… Miami can get who they want, but the bottom line is the production from the TRIO won’t be as high as it was with their old teams… That’s easy to see, but hard for people to understand.

    • fosho says:

      Couldnt have said that better myself!

      • LakerFan says:

        Thank you for pointing out that Gasol is better than Bosh. I’ll also add that Bosh can’t stop Gasol, Bynum, or Odom for that matter!

    • batez says:

      I totally agree with you on this one bro. The average NBA fan is too caught up in looking at the statistical analysis of everything, and not knowledgeable enough of the game to know that there is only one ball out there!! All of Miamis big 3 will have to sacrifice statistically. I think they will be a good team BUT I dont think theyre talents add up to a strong enough nucleus collectively top to bottom to defeat the NBA elite teams like the Lakers, Celtics, Magic in a 7 game series.

  77. ldhl89 says:

    WHAT???
    Boston behind atlanta and Chicago?? Its too much
    Last season some people said that miami could beat boston in the playoffs
    They are old. Yes, Who cares?? They beat all the east teams without homecourt advantage
    Everybody should respect boston because they are the east champions and yes they are going to make playoffs.

    You cant put miami on the TOP if they havent play any game yet

    If you are talking about offeseason rankings, miami wins, because they sign the top 3 free agents, but thats all

    • usrg23 says:

      Im so agree with you, they shouldnt inderstimated Boston like that,

    • gianht says:

      I am tired of people down playing chicago. Understand this, before they got what they needed they gave teams problems. Don’t get me wrong they might not be ready for a chip, but they will be a problem come playoffs

  78. Dwayne Wade says:

    People doubted my ability to lead my team, and look at what happened. Heat’s first Championship ring and Finals MVP in 2006.
    People doubted my ability to perform after my injury, and look at what happened. I dominated the league in stats.
    People doubted my ability to bring Chris Bosh and LeBron to Miami, and look at what happened. We came away with the best two prizes in the most decorated NBA free agency of all time.
    People doubted the Heat’s ability to bring in role players to complement the big three, and look at what happened. We got ourselves some much needed depth.
    People are doubting our ability to bring home the gold during next year, but just wait and see what happens. Ring number two baby.

    • tingyman says:

      you didnt even spell wade’s name right. its dwyane not dwayne

      idiot

      • Nice says:

        HAHA way to own that nub, although he is right, he sounded like a complete d-bag claiming to be d-wade

    • L.Ckz says:

      Its spelled “Dwyane..” Miami is the best though. LOL

    • Hammad says:

      I completly agree Dwade. I love the Heat very much and will always support them and their players

    • Micah says:

      People doubted your ability to spell your name but… oh no wait they were right there

      • a person says:

        you miami heat haters and lakers lovers wont you feel retarted when the heat beat the lakers next season….stop the damn hating.

    • paul says:

      Heats do have a very good chance of winning….but if they loss the joke will be on them..btw LEBRON is such a follower with no leadership skills thats why he never won a championship

  79. Tommy says:

    I think Bosh is getting a little too overrated since he has come to Miami. He is a solid power forward no doubt about that, but he isn’t a first tier superstar like Wade and James are. Whenever the Celtics played the Raptors, an old KG would always give him trouble. If Bosh can toughen up, then he’ll be a much better player.

    • Managah says:

      Very true i have watched Bosh in all seven seasons, i always felt Bosh was too soft way to soft for a power foward. Going to Miami will expose him even more. He looked good on a Raptor team developing playing with superstars will show how soft Bosh is. Consistantly when his team needed him he cracked. Playoffs versus Dwight Howard got bullied. Playoffs versus Vince Carter he just shot jump shots, Its not the players around Bosh that wasnt Good he just wasnt a frachise Guy, Yes 20 and 10 but franchise i think he peeked. Remember also Bosh got brought into the All-star game not by votes but by player getting injured or coaches selection. Bosh is not a superstar and i agree with you

      • Paddy says:

        i couldn’t agree more! he is no superstar! but i don’t think that a all-star selection is tellin if someone is a superstar or not, because if where are iverson and mcgrady, the last superstars left in the pool, going to sign? :-D he wasn’t an all-star because he was playing for the raptors! but i also think he’s overrated. and i think thats why they won’t win the trophy! i think bynum is better than big z, gasol has an advantage over bosh, (even if he’ll have handful on stopping him), james vs. artest – no doubt this one goes to james but is there any one better than artest in defending james??, kobe vs wade – in my mind kobe! and fish/blake vs whoever – probably a draw…
        so i think its not only bosh who is overrated but also the heat! and i’m not even sure if they’ll get to the finals. imagine the collapsing celtics defense againt the heat -what are they going to do, relay on mike miller!? :-D

      • I believe some of your statement but some people also called Pau Gasol soft, and it will be a lot easier for Bosh to play on a team with Wade,James, Mike Miller and others, the same for Gasol with Artest,Bryant,Odom,Bynum,Fisher, and now Mat Barnes. I believe regular season will be very easy for the Heat but they probably will be exposed buy a good defensive team, but Boston didn’t help their case by losing a defensive stopper like Toney Allen.

  80. I think Miami may be in trouble if they don’t add someone like Matt Barnes off the bench. The regular season may be easy for them but when the playoffs start and the game slows down, they might have to rely on Wade and James too much on the defensive end which eventually may cause them to be eliminated.