Author Topic: Just how strong is the East?  (Read 2095 times)

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Re: Just how strong is the East?
« Reply #15 on: December 21, 2012, 12:58:02 PM »

Offline Celtics18

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Here's another optimists perspective:

One thing that is still true is that our team has one of the top four or five top 3 player combinations in the league.  Granted, it's risky when two of those guys are in their mid to late 30s, but still it would be hard for anyone to make a compelling argument that if we stay healthy that Rondo, Pierce, and Garnett aren't one of the most talent top threes in the league. 

Jeff Green and Jason Terry represent good talent for the fourth and fifth best players on the roster.

Avery Bradley is a wild card.  If you were just looking at his career from a statistical standpoint, you would say there's no way he can be a real difference maker for a team that wants to be a contender.  But, If you've seen his defensive contributions (as we all have), there's reason for hope that he can be that difference maker.

Bass, Sully, Lee, Wilcox, (even Barbosa and Collins) are all guys who have things that they can contribute. 

Anyway, I like this roster and think we haven't seen close to the best basketball we'll see from them yet this season. 

Re: Just how strong is the East?
« Reply #16 on: December 21, 2012, 01:25:17 PM »

Offline CapnDunks

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Nets backed themselves into a corner because it will be hard to make moves to get defensive bigs. Lopez and Humphries are on pretty bad contracts, not to mention Johnson. Dwill and Wallace aren't getting any younger. They gave themselves are pretty small window and too little flexibility.

Re: Just how strong is the East?
« Reply #17 on: December 21, 2012, 02:28:47 PM »

Offline slamtheking

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One thing that is still true is that our team has one of the top four or five top 3 player combinations in the league.  Granted, it's risky when two of those guys are in their mid to late 30s, but still it would be hard for anyone to make a compelling argument that if we stay healthy that Rondo, Pierce, and Garnett aren't one of the most talent top threes in the league. 
this sounded like a fun challenge so this is what I came up with:
Miami: Bron, Wade, Bosh
NY: Carmelo, Amare, Chandler
OKC: Durant, Westbrook, Ibaka
Lakers: Kobe, Howard, Pau (or Nash)
SAS: Duncan, Manu, Parker
Clips: CP3, Griffin, Jordan (or Crawford)
Bulls: Rose, Noah, Deng
Atlanta: Smith, Horford, Teague (or Lou Williams)
Minny: Love, Rubio, Pekovic
Philly: Bynum, Holliday, Turner
Nets: DWill, JJ, Lopez (or JRich).

those are the easier ones to pick up.  obviously there's plenty of room for debate where RR, PP and KG rank against those trios but based on the premise of the C's having a 'top 3' that's one of the best top 3's, I don't think that they're that much better than a lot of other teams' top 3 players.  it's our depth that should be giving us the advantage over other teams and it's just not happening so far this year.

Jeff Green and Jason Terry represent good talent for the fourth and fifth best players on the roster.
sure, many of the other teams I posted have players that fit that same description


we haven't seen close to the best basketball we'll see from them yet this season.
I would hope that we haven't but I'm an optimist too

Re: Just how strong is the East?
« Reply #18 on: December 21, 2012, 02:31:49 PM »

Offline alajet

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People write off Brooklyn a bit too quickly.
If chemistry and the role sharing can be an issue for Boston, so can be for Brooklyn. In fact, their roster is almost totally revamped. Wallace was a late addition last season, and Lopez missed nearly all of it. Johnson is this year's signing. So is Watson, Evans and Blatche off the bench.
As insignificant as they may be, even Stackhouse is a new addition, and Bogans' last season was more like Lopez's. Even the benchwarmers are new guys.
As a result, aside from Brooks and Deron, that team was built from the scratch pretty much, not to mention not every team is 08' Celtics to come and immediately dominate.

All of these points doesn't change the fact that they lack the defense needed to win a championship at this point, but if they can bring the things together, I see them more of a threat than New York.
Though, for the moment, they aren't in a very good position, as Celtics aren't.

Re: Just how strong is the East?
« Reply #19 on: December 21, 2012, 02:33:32 PM »

Offline Moranis

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Here's another optimists perspective:

One thing that is still true is that our team has one of the top four or five top 3 player combinations in the league.  Granted, it's risky when two of those guys are in their mid to late 30s, but still it would be hard for anyone to make a compelling argument that if we stay healthy that Rondo, Pierce, and Garnett aren't one of the most talent top threes in the league. 
teams with a top 3 (assuming health) that exceeds Boston

NY - Amare, Melo, and take your pick Felton/Chandler
CHI - Rose, Deng and take your pick Boozer/Noah
MIA - James, Bosh, Wade
OKC - Durant, Westbrook, Ibaka (or Martin)
MIN - Love, Pekovic, Rubio
LAC - Paul, Griffin, and take your pick Jordan/Crawford/Butler
LAL - Howard, Bryant, Gasol (or Nash)
MEM - Gay, Randolph, Gasol (or Conley)
SAS - Parker, Duncan, Ginobli (or Leonard)


Teams that are arguably as good
BRKLYN - Williams, Johnson, Lopez
PHIL - Holiday, Turner, Bynum
IND - Granger, West, George
ATL - Horford, Smith and take your pick Wiliams/Teague
POR - Aldridge, Batum, Lillard
GSW - Curry, Lee, Bogut
HOU - Harden, Parsons, Lin (or Asik or Patterson)
DAL - Dirk, Mayo and take your pick Kaman/Marion/Carter
2014 Pick 2 Draft 18th pick of 20
Sacramento Kings
Starters - Isaiah Thomas, Eric Gordon, Jimmy Butler, Dirk Nowitzki, Demarcus Cousins
Bench - Kendall Marshall, Michael Carter-Williams, Vince Carter, Wesley Johnson, Marcus Morris, Miles Plumlee, Nerlens Noel

Re: Just how strong is the East?
« Reply #20 on: December 21, 2012, 02:51:18 PM »

Offline BballTim

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Here's another optimists perspective:

One thing that is still true is that our team has one of the top four or five top 3 player combinations in the league.  Granted, it's risky when two of those guys are in their mid to late 30s, but still it would be hard for anyone to make a compelling argument that if we stay healthy that Rondo, Pierce, and Garnett aren't one of the most talent top threes in the league. 
teams with a top 3 (assuming health) that exceeds Boston

NY - Amare, Melo, and take your pick Felton/Chandler
CHI - Rose, Deng and take your pick Boozer/Noah
MIA - James, Bosh, Wade
OKC - Durant, Westbrook, Ibaka (or Martin)
MIN - Love, Pekovic, Rubio
LAC - Paul, Griffin, and take your pick Jordan/Crawford/Butler
LAL - Howard, Bryant, Gasol (or Nash)
MEM - Gay, Randolph, Gasol (or Conley)
SAS - Parker, Duncan, Ginobli (or Leonard)

  Miami, OKC, LAL out of that list. Arguably Chicago.

Re: Just how strong is the East?
« Reply #21 on: December 21, 2012, 03:11:47 PM »

Offline Who

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Here's another optimists perspective:

One thing that is still true is that our team has one of the top four or five top 3 player combinations in the league.  Granted, it's risky when two of those guys are in their mid to late 30s, but still it would be hard for anyone to make a compelling argument that if we stay healthy that Rondo, Pierce, and Garnett aren't one of the most talent top threes in the league. 

Wow, I completely missed. Interesting turn.

Okay, Boston's Big Three: Rondo, Garnett and Pierce. Rondo is arguably the best PG in the league today and is most definitely a top five PG. Kevin Garnett is for my money the second best center in the league and definitely a top five center. Paul Pierce is the fourth or fifth best SF in the game. So Boston's three top players are all top players at their respective positions.

How many other teams can make a similar claim?



Atlanta = absolutely not. A pair of top ten big men in Josh Smith and Al Horford. Nobody else comes to being an above average starter.

Brooklyn = a top five PG and top five SG. A borderline top ten center in B.Lopez and Gerald Wallace who is also probably a borderline top ten SF. More of a big four than a big three. I am willing to accept them as legitimate competition to Boston but I take Boston's big three over the Nets because the foundation is more solid in terms of offense, defense and rebounding. The Nets have great individual talent but lack collective balance from their stars down to the bottom of their roster.

Charlotte = please!

Chicago = D-Rose, J.Noah and L.Deng. A top five PG. The 6th best SF in the game. A top ten center in Noah. Not as strong a core as Boston's.

Cleveland = Kyrie, Varejao and whoever. They're not in the running either.

Dallas = Only one elite talent in Dirk Nowitzki. A top two PF (K-Love). Marion is the only other above average starter on the team.

Denver = Iggy, Ty Lawson and Gallo. A top ten SF and SG and a top 15 PG. Nope.

Detroit = no chance!

Golden State = S.Curry, Bogut and D.Lee. Nope.

Indiana = More a big four with P.George, D.Granger, D.West and R.Hibbert. Not as strong a core as Boston.

LA Clippers = C.Paul and Blake Griffin are immense. They lack a third star (D.Jordan?) so I'll stick with Boston's trio over theirs.

LA Lakers = Nash, Kobe and Dwight (and Pau Gasol). They have incredible talent at the top of their roster. Dwight Howard is the best big man in the game once he gets healthy. Kobe is either the best or second best SG in the league. Nash is still a top 6/7 PG talent wise. Pau Gasol is a top three PF or C. Their stars do not complement one another well though so their collective talent is a lot less than their individual talent ... but even with that they are still one of the most imposing cores in the league.

Memphis = Gay, Z-Bo and M.Gasol. Conley as fourth wheel. Very strong group. Gasol is a borderline top five center. Z-Bo is a top five PF. Gay is a top five SF. Conley a top 15 PG. Good balance collective between offense, defense and rebounding to build the rest of their team around.

Miami = Bron, Bosh and Wade. Accepted.

Minnesota = K-Love, Rubio and ughh ... Kirilenko? Pekovic? A big four let's call it instead of a Big Three. Still, not on Boston's level.

Milwaukee = don't be ridiculous

New Orleans = nope

New York = Melo, Tyson and Amare. Nope. Amare is too big a question mark as an individual due to recent health concerns and weakened performance levels. Chemistry between their stars is also a major question mark.

Oklahoma = Durant, Westbrook and Ibaka. K-Mart II as fourth wheel. Accepted.

Orlando = no hope

Philly = A.Bynum, J.Holiday and E.Turner. Nah, they're not there (yet?). Very interesting core in terms of young talent and balance (offense, defense and rebounding + perimeter play, interior play).

Phoenix = Nope. Gortat and Dragic are their best players.

Portland = Aldridge, Lillard and Batum. Nope.

Sacramento = Tyreke and Cousins. Nope.

San Antonio = T.Parker, T.Duncan and M.Ginobili. No. They're not as strong as Boston. Parker is a 6th/7th best PG in the league. Duncan is top 7/8 center. Manu Ginobili has been marginalized this season by Popovich. San Antonio's core is a weakened bunch. Kawhi Leonard may be valuable enough now to call this a big four rather than a big three.

Toronto = nope

Utah = nope

Washington = nope



So, I would rate Miami's Big Three as the best core in the league. Probably the Thunder and Lakers in second and third place respectively and then the Celtics and Grizzlies in fourth and fifth.

A top five core sounds about right to me.

Re: Just how strong is the East?
« Reply #22 on: December 21, 2012, 05:21:55 PM »

Offline PhoSita

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So, I would rate Miami's Big Three as the best core in the league. Probably the Thunder and Lakers in second and third place respectively and then the Celtics and Grizzlies in fourth and fifth.

A top five core sounds about right to me.

I think  you're underestimating some teams because of how strong their top two is.

I disagree with you about Chicago -- Noah / Deng / Rose is probably better overall than Rondo / Pierce / Garnett at this point.

Also, I think you're underestimating Melo / Chandler as a combo.  Chandler deserves some recognition at this point for his contributions to the Mavs and now the Knicks.

The Clippers have a better core than the Celtics because they have two superstars, even if their third guy isn't quite as good as any of the three core guys on the Cs.  In fact, right now Paul / Griffin / Crawford is a lot better than what the Celtics have.  Plus, their bench is far more productive and reliable, and they have legitimate size in the frontcourt.
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Re: Just how strong is the East?
« Reply #23 on: December 21, 2012, 05:34:08 PM »

Offline hpantazo

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So, I would rate Miami's Big Three as the best core in the league. Probably the Thunder and Lakers in second and third place respectively and then the Celtics and Grizzlies in fourth and fifth.

A top five core sounds about right to me.

I think  you're underestimating some teams because of how strong their top two is.

I disagree with you about Chicago -- Noah / Deng / Rose is probably better overall than Rondo / Pierce / Garnett at this point.

Also, I think you're underestimating Melo / Chandler as a combo.  Chandler deserves some recognition at this point for his contributions to the Mavs and now the Knicks.

The Clippers have a better core than the Celtics because they have two superstars, even if their third guy isn't quite as good as any of the three core guys on the Cs.  In fact, right now Paul / Griffin / Crawford is a lot better than what the Celtics have.  Plus, their bench is far more productive and reliable, and they have legitimate size in the frontcourt.

I think for Chicago you have ti include Boozer and make it a top 4.

Re: Just how strong is the East?
« Reply #24 on: December 21, 2012, 05:41:55 PM »

Offline Who

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So, I would rate Miami's Big Three as the best core in the league. Probably the Thunder and Lakers in second and third place respectively and then the Celtics and Grizzlies in fourth and fifth.

A top five core sounds about right to me.

I think  you're underestimating some teams because of how strong their top two is.

I disagree with you about Chicago -- Noah / Deng / Rose is probably better overall than Rondo / Pierce / Garnett at this point.

Also, I think you're underestimating Melo / Chandler as a combo.  Chandler deserves some recognition at this point for his contributions to the Mavs and now the Knicks.

The Clippers have a better core than the Celtics because they have two superstars, even if their third guy isn't quite as good as any of the three core guys on the Cs.  In fact, right now Paul / Griffin / Crawford is a lot better than what the Celtics have.  Plus, their bench is far more productive and reliable, and they have legitimate size in the frontcourt.

I think for Chicago you have ti include Boozer and make it a top 4.
Yeah, I used to consider Chicago a Big Four and in the past would be on that highest tier with Boston and others ... but I don't know if Boozer is still good enough to be considered a core player and/or good enough to push Chicago up from that second tier into that top tier core-wise.

I thought they were there as an elite core with a Big Four when Boozer joined two and a half years ago and I gave him the benefit of the doubt the following season ... but I am not convinced that is still the case.

Re: Just how strong is the East?
« Reply #25 on: December 21, 2012, 05:45:45 PM »

Offline Who

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So, I would rate Miami's Big Three as the best core in the league. Probably the Thunder and Lakers in second and third place respectively and then the Celtics and Grizzlies in fourth and fifth.

A top five core sounds about right to me.

I think  you're underestimating some teams because of how strong their top two is.

The Clippers have a better core than the Celtics because they have two superstars, even if their third guy isn't quite as good as any of the three core guys on the Cs.  In fact, right now Paul / Griffin / Crawford is a lot better than what the Celtics have.  Plus, their bench is far more productive and reliable, and they have legitimate size in the frontcourt.

I think the Clippers will have an elite core when/if DeAndre Jordan becomes a top 15 center, and/or, when/if Blake Griffin becomes a strong defensive player.

Until either one of those happens, I am leaving them on the second tier.

Edit: Or, of course, if they added a third star.

Re: Just how strong is the East?
« Reply #26 on: December 21, 2012, 06:26:05 PM »

Offline Celtics18

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Thanks for that breakdown, Who.

That's pretty much how I have it.  As well as Memphis is playing, though (and I really like their team), I have a hard time saying their top three is as talented as ours. 

Pierce is still better than Gay.

I'd give a slight edge to Gasol over Garnett right now.

Rondo is better as an individual player than anyone on their team.  Although, I guess maybe it's close with Z-Bo.

Slight edge:  Boston.

Miami
OKC
(LA) I put them in parentheses because I'm not convinced about their top three until I see either Gasol or Nash play for an extended period of time. 

Those are the only two (possibly three) teams that have a better top three.

Re: Just how strong is the East?
« Reply #27 on: December 21, 2012, 06:39:42 PM »

Offline PhoSita

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So, I would rate Miami's Big Three as the best core in the league. Probably the Thunder and Lakers in second and third place respectively and then the Celtics and Grizzlies in fourth and fifth.

A top five core sounds about right to me.

I think  you're underestimating some teams because of how strong their top two is.

The Clippers have a better core than the Celtics because they have two superstars, even if their third guy isn't quite as good as any of the three core guys on the Cs.  In fact, right now Paul / Griffin / Crawford is a lot better than what the Celtics have.  Plus, their bench is far more productive and reliable, and they have legitimate size in the frontcourt.

I think the Clippers will have an elite core when/if DeAndre Jordan becomes a top 15 center, and/or, when/if Blake Griffin becomes a strong defensive player.

Until either one of those happens, I am leaving them on the second tier.

Edit: Or, of course, if they added a third star.

I just don't think it's really as simple as putting teams into "tiers" based on their best 2-3 players.  Yes, generally that's a good guide, but I find it hard to accept the view that the Celtics are in a better position to beat the best teams in a 7 game series than the Clippers are just because they have 3 All-Star caliber players instead of just two.

The Clippers have two stars -- Paul and Griffin -- who are at a really high level.  On top of that they have a great sixth man in Crawford and a deep and productive supporting cast.  They're explosive offensively and they are one of the top teams in the league in terms of defensive plays made (blocks, steals, charges taken, etc).  So far this season, at least, they are clearly one of the very best 3-4 teams.


I also think you're underestimating the Spurs.  Duncan has had a great season so far.  Much better than any of the players on the Celtics -- even Rondo.  Parker is still one of the best guards in the league, and is still capable of taking over games.  He's not as old as you think.  Manu has declined quite a bit, but he still makes a bigger impact on the game than the box score suggests.
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Re: Just how strong is the East?
« Reply #28 on: December 21, 2012, 06:52:04 PM »

Offline Celtics18

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So, I would rate Miami's Big Three as the best core in the league. Probably the Thunder and Lakers in second and third place respectively and then the Celtics and Grizzlies in fourth and fifth.

A top five core sounds about right to me.

I think  you're underestimating some teams because of how strong their top two is.

The Clippers have a better core than the Celtics because they have two superstars, even if their third guy isn't quite as good as any of the three core guys on the Cs.  In fact, right now Paul / Griffin / Crawford is a lot better than what the Celtics have.  Plus, their bench is far more productive and reliable, and they have legitimate size in the frontcourt.

I think the Clippers will have an elite core when/if DeAndre Jordan becomes a top 15 center, and/or, when/if Blake Griffin becomes a strong defensive player.

Until either one of those happens, I am leaving them on the second tier.

Edit: Or, of course, if they added a third star.

I just don't think it's really as simple as putting teams into "tiers" based on their best 2-3 players.  Yes, generally that's a good guide, but I find it hard to accept the view that the Celtics are in a better position to beat the best teams in a 7 game series than the Clippers are just because they have 3 All-Star caliber players instead of just two.

The Clippers have two stars -- Paul and Griffin -- who are at a really high level.  On top of that they have a great sixth man in Crawford and a deep and productive supporting cast.  They're explosive offensively and they are one of the top teams in the league in terms of defensive plays made (blocks, steals, charges taken, etc).  So far this season, at least, they are clearly one of the very best 3-4 teams.


I also think you're underestimating the Spurs.  Duncan has had a great season so far.  Much better than any of the players on the Celtics -- even Rondo.  Parker is still one of the best guards in the league, and is still capable of taking over games.  He's not as old as you think.  Manu has declined quite a bit, but he still makes a bigger impact on the game than the box score suggests.

I think you, and most fans, are underestimating our talent.  It's easy to go the negative route and write this team off based on a poor start to the season, but the fact that there is still very elite talent at the top of our lineup is undeniable.

Rondo is statistically the best point guard in the league right now.  If you want to make a case for Paul or the injured Derrick Rose, fine, but he's clearly top three. 

Paul Pierce is still the fourth best small forward in the league.  He was even before that sick game against a terrible Cleveland team.  Deng? Gay? Kirilenko?  Galinari? Batum?  Parsons?  Don't insult me.

KG:  He's the hardest to rank.  I don't even know whether to rank him as a center or a power forward right now.  But, I do know that Celtics fans seem to rate him as our best player.  And, if he's better than Rondo and Pierce, then he's still a superstar player. 

I'm not trying to undermine the talent on any of those other teams, but let's be realistic here.  This Celtics team has elite level talent.  I can't wait until they play up to that talent level with more consistency.

Re: Just how strong is the East?
« Reply #29 on: December 21, 2012, 06:58:33 PM »

Offline BballTim

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So, I would rate Miami's Big Three as the best core in the league. Probably the Thunder and Lakers in second and third place respectively and then the Celtics and Grizzlies in fourth and fifth.

A top five core sounds about right to me.

I think  you're underestimating some teams because of how strong their top two is.

I disagree with you about Chicago -- Noah / Deng / Rose is probably better overall than Rondo / Pierce / Garnett at this point.

Also, I think you're underestimating Melo / Chandler as a combo.  Chandler deserves some recognition at this point for his contributions to the Mavs and now the Knicks.

The Clippers have a better core than the Celtics because they have two superstars, even if their third guy isn't quite as good as any of the three core guys on the Cs.  In fact, right now Paul / Griffin / Crawford is a lot better than what the Celtics have.  Plus, their bench is far more productive and reliable, and they have legitimate size in the frontcourt.

  Griffin doesn't do as much to help a team win as KG does. Labeling him a superstar does nothing to change that.

 

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