Editor's Note: Intro and necessary punctuation added after-fact. All chat completed nonstop, over a period of 2-3 hours.
The Western Conference could be more open than we initially think. Some things were certain last year...several teams would compete at or near the top at an insanely high level, still competitive-but-not-as-spectacular teams will compete at the bottom. And we received one of the most impressive showings by an NBA conference ever. And lookie up there. You know who's missing from up there? I mean technically nobody because it's the starting lineup for the '04 Western Conference, but where's fucking T-Mac baby? In your face with Ron Ron watching his back, that's where bitch! Watch out for the Rockets this year. That's all I'm saying. Bets with Sgt. Joe Jibber Friday to come later and ongoing, folks. On to the preview...
JF:: Who's winning it all? Everyone and their mother's mother's picking the Lakers.
OBJ:: That's probably because it's an incredibly safe bet
And on that note, I'd like to introduce the only piece of existential introspection to this NBA Preview
I wonder, how much can an athlete drop off in a year?
Vicariously, of course, how much can I expect to drop off in a year?
JF:: Who you think is dropping off?
OBJ:: the nonstop chattering of which players are "dropping off" and by how much is a constant reminder of not only my own mortality, but also my dwindling youth
it's disturbing, frightening and a little depressing, but in a calming sort of way.
JF:: well, i think what we're seeing in that respect is pretty unprecedented...simply because that first generation of HS-to-NBA stars are finally hitting the end of their prime (KG, Kobe, TMac, J-O'N)
OBJ:: I only bring this up because I wonder how much T-DUNK has dropped this year
JF:: so they've played so much more games than most 30-32 year olds in history
they might be dropping off sooner than expected
OBJ:: hmm. That's true but they've also had unprecedented conditioning techniques and medical support
TMac hasn't played nearly as many games as those guys tho
Perhaps my love affair of T-Mac will end soon
Another first-round exit from the playoffs and I will officially give up on him as one of my favorite players
As I have with the Clemson Pussycats this year
JF:: It's not like T-Mac's body is any fresher or less banged up than those guys.
If anything, I like KG to be able to stay productive for a few more years morseo than the others
OBJ:: you would think i would be considering how many less games he's played. and that thought is ridiculous because he played less games 'cause of injury.
JF:: As Simmons pointed out,
OBJ:: KG would be the safe bet to continue his production. His game requires a bit less athleticism than
JF:: Anyways thats what worries me about the Rockets...TMac-Battier-Artest-Scola-Yao is a helluva crunchtime lineup
OBJ:: and O'Neil is no longer in the discussion. He's gone to NBA Star purgatory in
JF:: but I have a feeling for like 20-50 games this year their lineup will be Rafer-BrentBarry-Battier-Artest-Scola
and thats a lottery team
nah Raptors be solid yo
OBJ:: I'm sorry but I have to ask, how is T-Mac and "crunchtime" mentioned in the same statement
JF:: Bosh-J-O'N a nice front line, espically in the E.C.
JF:: he'll be out there, bringin the ball up, didn't say anything about crunchtime success
OBJ:: O'Neil is never going to win a championship there. Period
JF:: well yeah no shit
i'll probably be dead before
OBJ:: My point exactly
So they'll be fighting for playoff participation, nothing more. His relevancy is gone, guaranteed no HOF.
JF:: still, it was a nice pickup
JF: I usually enjoy picking the Spurs to win the title, but I gotta say I'm dissapointed as fuck in how they refused to get younger this offseason
OBJ:: And I don't see O'Neil being the piece that a championship caliber team looks at and says, "That's what we're missing!!!"
They're pretty locked up in terms of contracts
I think after this year they'll start getting younger
Finley's last year methinks
JF:: They just re-signed Finley
OBJ:: Didn't hear that. And again, I have to say that the Spurs' odds depend heavily on how much T. Duncan has deteriorated
JF:: Bowen at 2 more years/8mil is a joke
OBJ:: Re-signed to how many years?
JF:: He's one of the worst starters in the league
still got scrub OBERTO
Manu out til December
OBJ:: Bruce Bowen couldn't even do his one thing last postseason, defend
JF:: i see them in the 6-8 range in the west til Manu gets back
OBJ:: 'Twas WEAK
JF:: he brings nothing to the table
OBJ:: I think the Spurs have a shot
JF:: I still like the man Kurt Thomas tho
wish he'd gotten more run in last year's playoffs
OBJ:: 100% depends on Timmy and his health
JF:: I do to...
OBJ:: depends 30% on
JF:: (aside: teams/players/salaries)
OBJ:: Rick Carlisle was saying they're going to be running more
JF:: they should
OBJ:: "We've got Jason Kidd so we have to play up tempo."
JF:: plays to their talents
he'd be an idiot not to
or Mike Woodson
OBJ:: Isn't he a little old to be running up and down the court tho?
JF:: its all he can do tho
Kidd can still push it
Kidd: What a Mighty Good Man
but man he didn't do shit except bring his "leadership" at the olympics
I love J-Kidd
but he's looking old out there. It's sad to watch
JF:: aint like he's a scrub tho...he still does it in the up-tempo game
OBJ:: Does assists
still no points
good for a few rebounds per game
JF:: thats better than most PGs
OBJ:: Which you don't need from your Point any way
Don't get me wrong:
I would love to have my crappy Hawks paying J-Kidd $40 million over the next 3 years, and him pushing us into middle-of-the-pack relevancy (although I like Bibby a LOT), but I'm just saying I don't like him on a Championship contender
unless he's a bench player
JF:: so who do you like in the west then
aside from Lakers
thats cool, here's my 8
OBJ:: Shit sidetracked. This is 100% West. I'm trying to look at this damn site
JF:: 2. Jazz
OBJ:: It's got too much information
JF:: 3. Nola
pains me to say, but I finally will admit Shaq done
OBJ:: Mine's close to that
GHill, Nash, Shaq...even Amare seems like an injury case
but they do got that wunderkind medical staff
OBJ:: Amare young as shit man
his numbers took a huge leap last year
1. Lakers (grudgingly)
JF:: you think Bynum the real?
OBJ:: most interesting thing about the Lakers isn't how many games they'll win, it's how many they'll lose before trading Odum
JF:: i mean just having him around gonna help Gasol tremendously
JF:: but you think Bynum a legit offensive option/defensive presence?
:10 OBJ:: 7'1" behemoth of a pansy
I haven't seen him play since early last year
it really depends on that recovery
JF:: if you're the Lakers what do you even want for Odom?
what can he bring in that would improve that team?
:14 long range shooter?
OBJ:: Trying to think here
Lockdown D off the bench?
man IDK Odum's pretty good
Guy gets no dap whatsoever though
100% entirely dependent on Artest acting like a normal human being and T-MAC and
JF:: thats retarded
theyre missing 20 each
OBJ:: they miss 20 games each?
you wanna bet on that?
have they ever not?
*the people's republic
OBJ:: dude that's like 28% of the season for both of them
Hmm I forgot about that toe injury or whatever
i like this bet
JF:: last 3 years
Tmac 47, 71, 67
82 games in a season
and neither has Tmac
but he came close
JF:: hasnt done what
OBJ:: not missed 20 games last 3 years
OBJ:: i like my odds on this though
:20 TMAC has missed at least 20 games the last 3 years
so has YAO
TMac 35, , 15
anyways continue yo
OBJ:: man I'm tryin to work. SHIT. how much you wanna bet on it
->1 hour later
OBJ:: Back. Sorry had some "work"
JF:: u had rockets 2
JF:: i didnt buy NO all year last year
OBJ:: FSR, I am not afraid of a Sophomore Slump-type slip in relevancy for this squad
JF:: picked them to lose to
OBJ:: Yes I remember that
JF:: agree FSR
OBJ:: you were very wrong about last year's playoffs. cost ya a buck or two.
JF:: prolly cuz theyre PG is da fuckin main
OBJ:: yeah. He really is easily the best PG in the league right now, but it's not fair to Deron Williams who plays in a much more restrictive offensive scheme
JF:: yeah I think Williams could be just as good
if not close
Paul is insanely good, but all this "ALL-TIME BEST PG EVER!!!!" talk a tad premature, imo
OBJ:: certainly premature
4. San An
for most of the season they will likely not be here, but I don't think they'd have too much of a problem beating the Jazz in the playoffs
so that's why they foe
I keep waiting for that team to fall
I just don't get what they have other than a really good coach
that ugly ass shit russian they got on there always seems malcontent too
so, 5 for them
JF:: I like Jazz
i like OKUR
i dont get the irrational ROCKET love
OBJ:: I think the Spurs could take them in a series
JF:: oh word
OBJ:: dude they rattled off like 27 wins in a row last year without Yao lol
and they just got one of if not the best defender in the league, placed on the 2nd all-around defensive team
sorry man but the Rockets are going to be fucking good
Adelman in his second year
Theyr'e gonna score too
eoug man that OKC graphic ugly as fuck
looks like a 3rd-tier semi pro hockey team
JF:: yeah i dont get that
they shoulda picked the name Barons
that perfect for OKC
OBJ:: dat woulda been coo
JF:: i bet if Baron Davis was a) a scrub or b) out of the league
but Thunder sounds like a damn arena league team
OBJ:: yeah. "Knife Swallowers" woulda worked out better IMO
that's my western conference and I'm sticking with it
those the same 8 from last year
ok the east
there seems to be alot of disagreement on MIA
same 8 as last year damn. that's weak o' me
JF:: personally, i think they'll be pretty fuckin good
OBJ:: dude EAST gotta wait till after lunch
i got shit to do