I know, you guys have already seen my 4,000+ word ramble about the 30 teams and how I think everything will play out among the conferences, but there are some major changes that need to be discussed.
First, Luis Scola is a Pacer! An exciting move for all of PacerNation to hear about, and I hope to show you all a piece soon on how Scola will affect the Central Division race this season (it might be on another website I'm going to begin writing for (*wink*wink*). That's besides the point.
The point is that the gap between Indiana and Miami got a lot tighter, but I still have to have Miami at #1, so nothing changes atop the East right now (as much as I want there to be), and there are no changes in Phoenix's camp either. They are still the last team in the Western Conference, and adding Gerald Green and Miles Plumlee won't change that.
There was also another big trade that went down, sending Brandon Jennings on a new 3-year $24 million deal to Detroit for Brandon Knight, Khris Middleton and Viacheslav Kratsov. Well, that adds a good point guard to Detroit's roster, so I can't really say that they have "too many guys who don't deserve to start for only two spots," anymore. Now, they have one guy who deserves to start, and a lot of other guys who don't deserve to for one spot. It's not an ideal situation, but it still makes them a better team.
Now, adding another irrationally confident and fearless shooter to the Pistons roster is kind of a crazy move. Jennings and Josh Smith (a new addition to Detroit's roster via free agency) are two guys who are talented, and can score at certain points. They also can both become large ball hogs and shoot as many "no, no, no No, No, NO, NO YES!!!" shots as any other two players in the league combined. Putting them both on the same roster, and in the same lineup in crunch time of a close game will be interesting. It could be unfortunate for guys like Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond who are both very high potential big men, because they might be completely shut out of the game for the final three minutes because of Jennings and Smith.
This Detroit team is crazy, and a daring idea to put a lot of shooters and scorers on a team where the best passer just might be Greg Monroe. So crazy, that it just might work. I mean, one of their assistant coaches is Rasheed Wallace, you can't get much crazier than that.
I think that they make the playoff race a lot more interesting in the East than it would have been, but they stay in 9th for me. I think that the difference between them being the 8th seed (or even the 7th seed for that matter), is the need that both Jennings and Smith will have for the ball to shoot irrational shots in crunch time. Expect the number of 4th quarter leads blown to be high for this Detroit team next year, but they will be a crazily-entertaining team to watch, that's for sure.
Now as for Milwaukee, they didn't really improve their team here. They basically swapped Jennings for Knight and some cap room. Not really an upgrade at point guard, and a couple scrubs who will keep the bench warm all year. Milwaukee barely stays at 12 in the East for me, but only because I think the Magic are going to play Victor Oladipo at point guard to try and tank this season. If Oladipo plays the two all year, Milwaukee drops to 13th, but I don't see that happening. On the plus side, they signed Gary N3al to a good contract, and have the best possible crazy name lineup in the NBA in Ridnour, Antetokounmpo, Ilyasova, Kravtsov, and Raduljica (my computer is telling me to spell check all of those names).
So, despite the big moves, nothing really changes in the standings for me. The moves defientley will make watching a Bucks game more like an eastern European spelling contest and the Pistons more like this. Still, some League Pass worthy basketball in the wonderful Central Division.
Now, all the NBA has to do is make another one of these but with Brandon and Josh, and I'll be satisfied:
Together Is BIG (via NBA)