SUMMER FORECAST

Posted by: Steve Toll
08/03/12 10:21 am EST

To say that it has been a busy summer in the Atlantic Division from a trades, signings and transactions stand point is an understatement.  Boston, Brooklyn and New York pulled off several headline making moves.  The Sixers made numerous changes to their 2011-12 squad, and the Raptors, well the Raps executed some nice tweaks as well.

Now that the 2012-2013 NBA squads are pretty much set, it’s time to take a look at each Atlantic Division team’s roster to get an idea of how they fit together and how the teams could end up in the standings.

As best as possible, I’ll use the top players on each team at their respective positions.  The order of players was determined by how they are projected to produce during the 2012-2013 season.

After the jump an early and unique Atlantic Division preview…

 

Point Guard

BOS:  Rondo – Jason Terry

BKN:  Deron Williams – CJ Watson

TOR:  Kyle Lowry – Jose Calderon

NYK:  Jason Kidd – Raymond Felton

PHI:  Jrue Holiday – Evan Turner

Holiday-Turner surpass Kidd-Felton if for some reason Kidd plays under 25 minutes per game at PG.  Otherwise the order stays as is and isn’t really close.  The argument could be made for Lowry-Calderon above D-Will and CJ Watson but I am assuming D-Will returns to All-NBA form this upcoming season.  It’s also likely that Calderon is traded at some point this season.

Shooting Guard

NYK:  Ronnie Brewer – JR Smith

BKN:  Joe Johnson – Marshon Brooks

BOS:  Avery Bradley – Jason Terry – Courtney Lee

TOR:  Landry Fields – Terrence Ross

PHI:  Evan Turner – Nick Young – Dorell Wright – Jrue Holiday

If Dorell Wright plays a lion’s share of the SG minutes with Turner and Holiday playing a few minutes while Nick Young takes Nocioni’s old spot on the bench, the 76ers 2 guards could vault to 3 on the list. 

Small Forward

PHI:  Andre Iguodala -Thaddeus Young – Dorell Wright

BOS:  Paul Pierce – Courtney Lee

BKN:  Gerald Wallace – Joe Johnson – Mirza Teletovic

NYK:  Carmelo Anthony – Ronnie Brewer – JR Smith – Steve Novak

TOR:  Demar Derozan – Lina’s Kleiza

The second best player in the division who is backed up by 2 guys who would start on 10+ teams in the NBA gives Philly a large edge in the SF category.

Power Forward

BKN:  Kris Humphries – Gerald Wallace – Reggie Evans – Mirza Teletovic

NYK:  Amare Stoudemire – Carmelo Anthony – Marcus Camby- Steve Novak

TOR:  Ed Davis – Amir Johnson – Andrei Bargnani – Jonas Valanciunas

BOS:  Brandon Bass – Jared Sullinger – Chris Wilcox

PHI:  Spencer Hawes – Thaddeus Young – Lavoy Allen – Nik Vucevic

Unfortunately, PF is another spot where the 76ers have the worst team in the division.

Center

NYK:  Tyson Chandler – Marcus Camby

BOS:  Kevin Garnett – Fab Melo – Chris Wilcox

TOR:  Ed Davis – Amir Johnson – Jonas Valanciunas – Andrei Bargnani

PHI:  Spencer Hawes – Nik Vucevic – Kwame Brown – Arnett Moultrie

BKN:  Brook Lopez – Kris Humphries – Reggie Evans

A return to form and a healthy year from Brook Lopez will certainly drop Philadelphia to 5th at the Center position.

Looking at these rankings, my prediction for the 2012-13 Atlantic Division standings goes like this:

Boston

New York

Brooklyn

Toronto

Philadelphia

As for the 76ers record in 2012-2013, I predict it will be 31-51.


 
 
 

25 Responses to “SUMMER FORECAST”

  1. Tyler
    3. August 2012 at 11:27

    So let me get this straight. You have Ronnie Brewer and J.R. Smith as the BEST shooting-guard combo in the division? Stop. That alone should discredit this entire article. Boston and Brooklyn are better at the 2 spot by leaps and bounds. And then you say the Knicks with Carmelo, along with Smith and Brewer, who you just listed as the best 2-guards in the division, have the 4th worst small foward spot in the division? BEHIND Gerald Wallace and Mirza Tele-who gives a crap? C’mon. I’m not a huge Melo fan either (he is a little overrated), but he is hands down the most potent scorer in the Atlantic. And to say it “isn’t even close” between the point guard spots is absurd. Holiday and Turner are definitely 100x for-sure better than Jason Kidd (who could be my dad) and Raymond “I just ate 5 cheeseburgers for dinner” Felton. Also, you like Kyle Lowry way too much. He is a quality starter, no doubt, but I’ve read some of your articles that say he has more worth than Holiday. How can you possibly say you’d rather have Lowry (who has hit his ceiling by the way) than a 22-year old, ever-improving Holiday?

  2. Phil
    3. August 2012 at 13:40

    I second Tyler’s opinion. As far as my prediction goes:

    Brooklyn < New York < Philadelphia < Boston < Toronto

    Sixers and Celtics are pretty much interchangeable and New York will head this middle trio by just a couple of games.

  3. Derker
    3. August 2012 at 14:26

    more useless negadelphia kvetching… getting real old, real fast Steve. Are we gonna have to put up with a whole season of this type of coverage? Arrgh… gotta find a new source.

  4. Steve Toll
    3. August 2012 at 14:29

    Ronnie Brewer and JR Smith are unquestionably the best SG combo in the Division. Jason Terry was a below average player last season on the Mavericks. Joe Johnson is a better than average but only slightly (he was historically awful in last years playoffs!!!!!). Johnson will likely be the least efficient starter on the Nets and will still take the most shots. That is just terrible.

    Ronnie Brewer isn’t a great scorer but he plays great defense, rebounds, gets lots of steals and doesn’t turn the ball over. JR Smith is an above average NBA SG and a lock to be more productive than Joe Johnson.

    Carmelo Anthony is not a great basketball player. Scoring and Efficiency go hand in hand. If you take the most shots on your team and are the 5th most efficient offensive player, you are killing your team.

    Iguodala, Pierce and Gerald Wallace are all superior players to Carmelo. Scoring points inefficiently is not winning basketball. Melo is the worst defender by a huge margin, so the argument is pretty straightforward.

    In regards to Jason Kidd vs. Jrue Holiday/ET you are totally correct, Kidd could be your father. If you want to talk basketball, Kidd is a more efficient scorer, passer, rebounder

  5. Steve Toll
    3. August 2012 at 14:50

    Just look at Jason Kidds numbers. He is a more efficient scorer, better passer, and superior defender to both Holiday and Turner. If you can show me otherwise, I’d love to see the numbers.

    Kyle Lowry is a top 15 pg, Jrue Holiday is not top 25. In fact, 3 rookies were better than Holiday this year: Kyrie Irving, Ricky Rubio and 2nd round pick, Isaiah Thomas.
    Holiday is an inefficient scorer, below average passer and average on defense.
    What is there to like about Holidays game? He is a good 3pt shooter but he doesn’t shoot many 3’s.

    Numbers back up everything I’ve spoken about. If you disagree please show me why, don’t make blanket statements. I want to write informative and interesting articles. It’s best for everyone that when I’m wrong, that a proper explanation is given so I can improve my writing and basketball thinking.

    So I ask, why is Jrue Holiday better than Jason Kidd and a more desirable player than Kyle Lowry.

  6. Steve Toll
    3. August 2012 at 15:02

    Steve Nash at 30 and 31 won the MVP award. John Stockton at 40 was better than Jrue Holiday was this past season. Allen Iverson had his second best season of his career past age 30 while on the Nuggets.

    I fail to see how Kyle Lowry at 26 is less valuable than a player he is far superior to on the basketball court because that player is 22 years old.

  7. steve
    3. August 2012 at 15:35

    Is this a Celtics fan pretending to be a Sixer writer or just an attempt by the website to create traffic by writing insanely biased anti-Sixer articles in the hope of getting more reponses…either way, Steve–you totally UNDERVALUE Turner and Holiday and Overrate just about everyone else except Melo. First of all, is ED DAVIS really better than Thadeus Young in any category??? What about Landry Fields?? No one wanted this guy except Toronto, and that was only to try and get Nash.Fields and a rookie are better than Turner -Wright-Holiday and Young.I can go on and on.There is absolutely no rational to these lists.Please get someone with some NBA knowledge to write future articles

  8. jose
    3. August 2012 at 16:15

    This is an outrageous article. To think Ronnie Brewer and J.R. Smith are better than Joe Johnson and Marshon Brooks is crazy. Even saying they are better than Evan Turner and Nick Young is a stretch. Second why do you have Jrue Holiday last? He is miles better than Jason Kidd, and Kyle Lowry. I’ve read some of your other articles and all you ever do is say how bad Jrue is, and how we should trade Kyle Lowry for him. He’s 22 he’s only going to get better. Lastly how are the Raptors gonna be better than the Sixers? In my mind i think the sixers can be as good as they were last year maybe even a little bit better. Reading this article make me want to puke.

  9. Chris
    3. August 2012 at 18:11

    There’s a point where only posting statistics just make you look foolish.

    I don’t understand how you can construct this article by watching games and THEN cross referencing certain metrics to prove a point. It’s like something only based on numbers that looks at basketball like moneyball.

    It’s bad.

  10. Steve Toll
    3. August 2012 at 18:15

    This link should help clear things up a bit in regards to everyone’s feelings about this article. It’s not the final say in statistics but the site is very good and respected by knowledgeable basketball people.

    http://www.thenbageek.com/players/compare?utf8=%E2%9C%93&player_ids%5B%5D=253&player_ids%5B%5D=11&player_ids%5B%5D=215&player_ids%5B%5D=104&player_ids%5B%5D=317&player_ids%5B%5D=257&player_ids%5B%5D=286&player_ids%5B%5D=60&player_ids%5B%5D=64&player_ids%5B%5D=3&player_ids%5B%5D=574&player_ids%5B%5D=252&player_ids%5B%5D=105&player_ids%5B%5D=220&player_ids%5B%5D=610&player_ids%5B%5D=15&player_ids%5B%5D=33&player_ids%5B%5D=259

  11. John
    3. August 2012 at 18:34

    At the center position why is brook Lopez last he is much better than Hawes and davis

  12. Coach
    3. August 2012 at 21:41

    i normally agree with the posts on this blog but this one is not close to agreeable to me. ronnie brewer isn’t better than marshon brooks or joe johnson, and j.r. smith isn’t better than joe johnson therefore the knicks dont have a better 2 guard slot than the nets.

    also, you have thaddeous young listed as a small forward. thaddeous young has not and will not play small forward under coach doug collins. collins has even told thad to bulk up this offseason in preparation to battle with the bigger bodies at the 4.

    and then you called andre iguodala the 2nd best player in the division. im a lifelong sixers fan and an iggy advocate but come on, son. he plays in a division with carmelo anthony, deron williams, rajon rondo, and joe johnson. he’s easily a top 5 guy in the division but at least two of these guys are more valuable/impacting.

  13. JT's Hoops Blog
    4. August 2012 at 00:00

    Great post. Here’s someone finally giving the raptors credit where credit is due. I would not have put Evan Turner first amongst the shooting guards, however. Personally, I think he’s going to be traded with the acquisitions of Dorell Wright and Nick Young.

  14. JC
    4. August 2012 at 10:43

    Its getting to the point where this writing is making me less and less likely to return to this site. Ronnie Brewer and J.R. Smith being unquestionably the best SG combo? Ronnie Brewer is an average ballplayer who can’t shoot, and Smith is essentially the same player as Nick Young, guys who will shoot at any opportunity, except Smith may have even worse shot selection.

  15. Mike
    5. August 2012 at 00:57

    Looks like somebody forgot the Acquisition of Royal Ivey for the 76ers! That could be the only explanation for the 76 as last at point guards. 100% shooter in the NBA finals! 2 for 2 from deep! Poison Ivey vaults the 76 to #1 at PG.

  16. ken
    5. August 2012 at 13:39

    Im not going to point out some flaws with the order of the teams bc i want to point out some of the flaws wth the order of the players which is just as disturbing. at center how is andrei bargnani their best player their 4th best center? at pf spencer hawes has never played at the power forewad position before so why is he going to be our most productive one i know dc said hes guna play pf but until he actually does that in a real game you cant put him at pf. at sf steve novak is not going to be the 4th best sf for the knicks he lead the league last year in 3pt fg% not to mention jr smith doesnt play sf he plays sg and sometimes pg and ronnie brewer will be playing more sg than sf with fields gone so at sf novak is going to be the second most preductive player and thad young will get minimal to no run time at sf so wright should be ahead of him. at sg i cant argue anything and the same goes for pg.

  17. KRS1
    5. August 2012 at 14:00

    its just preseason ranks. We really dont know if this will be accurate by seasons end. i do agree that joe johnson and marshon are the best sg duo in the division. if you look at the word SHOOTING guard those two def know how to light it up. the knicks i dont think will be a very good team unless they know what to do with melo and amare. personally i think they wouldve been wise to trade carmelo for deron williams at the trade deadline last year since dwill made it clear he wants to stay in NY regardless. melo isnt my favorite player next to amare one of them will benefit playing somewhere else.
    I dont see why turner would be traded, in fact this article kind of points to the idea of holiday being traded before he would and again personally i think turner is our best bet at point guard on this team since he does everything jrue cant and jrue does one thing better than turner and thats shoot. im confident turner will find ways to fill up the bucket granted hes pg.
    I also dont think iggys the second best player in the divison but he is highly valuable especially this upcoming trade deadline. anyone know a good trade for jayrue iggy and hawes? id like to hear it!

  18. HWSIV
    5. August 2012 at 14:37

    While the positions of PG, SG, and SF are debateable in terms of the rankings, two places we can’t disagree with Steve on are PF and C. We clearly will not be able to match up with most of the bigs on a nightly basis in the NBA. None of our bigs would start on pretty much any NBA team. We have a few good young pieces that need more experience but we still lack interior defense and outside shooting. I am a lifelong sixers fan since the days of the Doctor but there is no way we are in the hunt for the Atlantic division title this year.

  19. Jon
    5. August 2012 at 21:12

    Yeah, I have to agree with pretty much everyone else, this is pretty ridiculous. I know I’ll probably just repeat what everyone above me has said, but serioiusly! How can you say Ronnie Brewer/JR Smith are better than ANY of the other pairings. You say Melo is an inefficient player and he shoots his team out of games. JR Smith is way more inefficient and he does the same exact thing except his shots don’t go in as often. Also, as everyone else says how can you possibly say that Iguodala is the second best player in the division. I love Iggy, but let’s see… Williams, Pierce, Rondo, Melo, Stoudemire, and maybe Joe Johnson are all better. I hate stats like the ones you gave a link for, they would be great if it was a one man team. But Carmelo Anthony’s role on the Knicks is to score. That’s why their are guys who are shutdown defenders. Oh and FYI Jason Terry is not a point guard, you should put Avery Bradley in the spot. Finally, how, how can you possibly say that the Sixers will finish 20 games below .500 when they finished four games above .500 and have only added to their team minus Elton Brand. You can’t tell me that EB leaving makes this team 24 games worse. Oh yeah! I forgot, and you put WAYYYY too much emphasis on efficiency! Carmelo Anthony takes the most shots on his team and also scores the most points on his team! One last thing NAME ME 25 POINT GUARDS WHO ARE BETTER THAN HOLLIDAY!!! That is utterly preposterous! There is more to the game of basketball than stats. By your method Chris Paul is not an above average point guard because he led the league in turnovers and was only second in assists. I’m finished now, please respond I truly want to know your response. I don’t mean any of this in a malicious way of hating on your writing. I just think you went a little overboard on this one.

  20. alex
    6. August 2012 at 15:08

    you know what steve toll… you are the least knowledgeable person about basketball that ive ever seen! everything u said about jrue is completely wrong… hes a very good defender and a great passer… he is also a very efficient scorer…kyle lowry can suck one… hes overrated and you just like to hate on holiday which i dont understand… jason kidd is like 38 so how is he better than any body in the atlantic let alone the whole entire NBA? not a melo fan but hes surely better and more valuable than pierce and gerald wallace… get your facts right b4 you scribble down crap for an article!!!

  21. Tyler
    6. August 2012 at 16:02

    Stats are not everything. Basing every evaluation on statistics alone is almost always a blueprint for disaster. Some players’ values aren’t based solely on wins produced or whatever other stat you want to use. However, since you love to place emphasis on efficiency and the playoffs, I’ll explain my case for Jrue Holiday on your terms first. In the playoffs, Holiday posted an efficiency rating of +17.3 vs. Jason Kidd’s +17.0. Holiday also shot 41% from the field compared to Jason Kidd’s dismal 34%. You may say those differences aren’t large enough to warrant a definitive case for Jrue, but you also have to account for the fact that Holiday was playing against two top 5 defensive teams. And numbers back that up too if you want to go there. Regardless of the injuries to Noah and Rose, the Bulls defense was still top notch. But again, it isn’t all about stats. This is a league dominated by speed, agility, and versatility (see Miami Heat and OKC Thunder). Kidd is still serviceable, he proved that last year, but Holiday brings quickness and ability to drive to the basket (something Jason Kidd left back in New Jersey). And Jrue’s game can only improve with experience.

    As for Jrue vs. Kyle Lowry, it is close in terms of who is better. Valid arguments can be made for both sides, but in this case, I’m taking the younger player with less injury risk and a higher ceiling. Their numbers are very comparable, and Holiday has that length and versatility that I placed rightful emphasis on. He also has valuable playoff experience now that Lowry does not have and probably will not attain in Toronto.

    And in regards to Carmelo Anthony, it is no question he is a “jack” and statistically inefficient scorer. But, here is my question? If Gerald Wallce is so great, how come the Nets dumped him on the Blazers, only to have the Blazers let him go back to the Nets. Gerald Wallce never has, and never will be a better player than Carmelo Anthony. Would the Nets trade Gerald Wallce straight up (if it was possible) to the Knicks for Melo? Nets Answer: In a freaking heartbeat. Knicks Answer: HELL NO. I feel that’s a fair way to evaluate 1 player vs. another especially at the same position. Watch for Carmelo to have a big season with the addition of pass-first point guards and a summer spent playing for Team USA. Last time that happened, the following season he went to the West Finals and was a few plays from the NBA Finals…with the Nuggets. I agree that Iguodala and Pierce should be considered better, but there is a reason that Carmelo Anthony wields such high trade value. He is a bonafide star and would lift almost any basement team into immediate playoff contention. The Knicks also dealt with inconsistent lineups and coaching last season. Not exactly a recipe for success.

    And to address the “best SG’s in the division” thing, I’m not sure if I can help you there. Avery Bradley is a lock down perimeter defender. Maybe a top 5, at least top 10. And Courtney Lee and Jason Terry are going to fit in Boston perfectly. I can see them both draining corner 3’s for days and buying into the Celtics “we want you to hate us mentality”. J.R. Smith is a black hole and a superb shooting talent. He has shot his team in and out of games for years. That type of inconsistent play, along with Ronnie Brewer’s offensive ineptitude, does not warrant tops in this division. Joe Johnson may be really inefficient at times, but combined with Marshon Brooks, the Nets may actually have one of the deepest 2 spots in the entire league, let alone the division. I’m looking beyond stats here. Joe Johnson will be a rejuvinated player in Brooklyn. Did you see that smile on his face when he got traded? He will be able to pick his spots more instead of forcing shots like in Atlanta. Who else was going to take those shots? Now there is an answer to that. It’s Deron Williams, one of the best players at his position in this league.

  22. Steve Toll
    7. August 2012 at 12:58

    The last 3 seasons here the the players assist to turnover ratios
    Jason Kidd’s 3.7, 3.7, 2.9 to 1
    Jrue Holiday 1.4, 2.2, 1.8 to 1
    Kyle Lowry 2.6, 3.2, 2.4 to 1

    Kidd and Lowry also have better 1 and 2 year regularized adjusted +/- numbers and score more efficiently.

    In the playoffs, Holiday, Jeff Teague and Mario Chalmers were all equally abused by Rajon Rondo, and I refuse to count playing well against CJ Watson without Joakim Noah as something worthy of praise.

    Holiday can become a very good NBA player, but it will be as a Combo Guard not as a “pure point guard”.

    Gerald Wallace is superior to Carmelo Anthony in these categories:
    Defense, Scoring Efficiency, Rebounding, Steals, Blocks, Assist:TO ratio

    Wallace also has a better Regularized Adjusted +/- and has played 500+ more minutes total the last 3 seasons.

    Lastly, Marshon Brooks is terrible at basketball and Joe Johnson will be on the wrong side of 31, come January this year.

    JR Smith is a better scorer, Ronnie Brewer is better on defense than JJ. Both Smith and Brewer are better than Marshon Brooks at everything.

  23. jajaka
    8. August 2012 at 05:11

    Steve, seriously, stop writing these pieces. You know nothing about basketball. I thought you were just a Sixer hater at first, but in reading your pieces, and responses here, I have come to realize that your an idiot

  24. clubberlangphila
    10. August 2012 at 01:17

    are you writing from a fantasy basketball viewpoint, tizzone? how many times have lowry and calderon made the playoffs? your evaluations are numbers heavy and reality light. statistics do not tell you about intangibles like making the extra pass, sealing a passing lane, disrupting transition plays, hedging properly on pick and rolls, even hustle. sure, you can create the metrics to theoretically find these instances but they can’t measure how bad a player wants it. example: how many nfl players have thrown up huge combine numbers and flamed out as pros? watch some basketball in person and stop regurgitating data. you think you are proving your points with these numbers but they lack a fundamental understanding of the game. write a fantasy disclaimer before your posts, baby hollinger. kris humphries and crash over stat/melo, and green/garnett/bass/sully? wake thef up.

  25. swissflix
    11. August 2012 at 12:04

    31-51? you seem to be a bit pessimistic about your favourite team.
    The Sixers amost beat my team last season and now they have Bynum. Iggy was nice but that’s it. The Knicks will continue to disappoint and Toronto has nice pieces but not much more. The Nets will be the Nets regardless where their homebase is. I predict something between 40 and 45 wins. Greetings from a swiss celtics fan.

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