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Give and Go, SI.com: Which team had the most underrated offseason?

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  • Give and Go, SI.com: Which team had the most underrated offseason?


    4. Which team had the most underrated offseason?

    Golliver: Raptors. GM Masai Ujiri didn't ink any contracts that made you go, "Whoa! What a fleecing!" but he did pound out a series of B/B+ moves that kept his rotation together while adding minor players around the edges. Because the Raptors lost in the first round, it's easy to forget that they finished with the East's third-best record last season. The two teams above them -- Indiana and Miami -- must deal with the departures of Lance Stephenson and LeBron James, respectively. Meanwhile, Toronto's postseason foe, Brooklyn, is suddenly without Paul Pierce and Shaun Livingston (not to mention coach Jason Kidd). With so many teams falling back to the pack, the Raptors calmly treaded water by retaining Kyle Lowry, Patrick Patterson and Greivis Vasquez. The addition of Lou Williams has the potential to be an under-the-radar steal too.

    Let's not overlook the fact that Ujiri also brought back coach Dwane Casey, who oversaw last year's surprising campaign and created a defense-first culture that helped the Raptors overcome their lack of A-list starpower. Casey will be tasked with keeping the positive mojo going for a second season, but he approaches that job without any major new roster holes to fill.
    http://www.si.com/nba/2014/07/24/nba...mavericks-suns


    I agree with all of this.

    Only thing I would add is the Raptors added low risk, high reward players in Bebe and Bruno. Neither will likely do much for the 2014-15 season but beyond that? Very, very interesting.

    The bold nailed it. Top teams from last year took a step back while Toronto treads water. Question is did the likes of Charlotte, Chicago, and Washington do enough to overtake Toronto? Going to be a fun year!

  • #2
    Wizards lack a wing defender. They'll need to overplay wall on D.


    The only team I'm scared of is the Hornets.
    Myself (March 2014):
    The raptors are a tremendous young team and will win a championship in the following five years.

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    • #3
      Everyones lacking something including the Raptors. If Raptors come back focused on D again, they could really build on last season.

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      • #4
        mcHAPPY wrote: View Post
        I agree with all of this.

        Only thing I would add is the Raptors added low risk, high reward players in Bebe and Bruno. Neither will likely do much for the 2014-15 season but beyond that? Very, very interesting.

        The bold nailed it. Top teams from last year took a step back while Toronto treads water. Question is did the likes of Charlotte, Chicago, and Washington do enough to overtake Toronto? Going to be a fun year!
        Most experts have Chicago as preseason #1 in east.

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        • #5
          mcHAPPY wrote: View Post
          ...Top teams from last year took a step back while Toronto treads water. Question is did the likes of Charlotte, Chicago, and Washington do enough to overtake Toronto? Going to be a fun year!
          I would argue that adding Williams and Johnson has the potential,at least, of improving the team. Leaving aside all talk of internal growth which, on such a young team, again has the potential to be more significant than on any of the other top 5 teams in the east.

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          • #6
            psrs1 wrote: View Post
            Most experts have Chicago as preseason #1 in east.
            They do.

            But that is resting on Rose's knees.

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            • #7
              i do like the pau signing for chicago, i think he meshes well with the team... except rose. rose is at his best pushing the tempo and attacking, not so much the halfcourt game. the signing is going to look really good when rose is inevitably sidelined again at some point though. say what you want about pau but dude is as skilled a big man as there is in this league and with noah they've got probably the best frontcourt in the east.
              @sweatpantsjer

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              • #8
                ceez wrote: View Post
                i do like the pau signing for chicago, i think he meshes well with the team... except rose. rose is at his best pushing the tempo and attacking, not so much the halfcourt game. the signing is going to look really good when rose is inevitably sidelined again at some point though. say what you want about pau but dude is as skilled a big man as there is in this league and with noah they've got probably the best frontcourt in the east.
                Rose runs the fastbreak by himself with Butler and Noah chasing as clean up, so Pau can hang back and McDermott can spot up for trailing 3.

                I think Pau will really help Rose run the half court game. A skilled 7' post player who makes good passing makes everything easier, and now the Bulls have 2. Noah is better passing and Gasol is better scoring on the block, but they allow for a lot of diversity on offence. I could see Rose playing more off-ball with the ball in the post.
                Heir, Prince of Cambridge

                If you see KeonClark in the wasteland, please share your food and water with him.

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                • #9
                  Gonna try to do this mostly using WS. This is probably not going to be done that well, but whatever I'll give it a shot.

                  Chicago - With healthy Rose they're best team (at least regular season) in the East. Replacing Boozer with a "healthy" Pau should give them a boost of about 5 wins. Couple that with healthy Rose returning and that's HUGE (13 WS in MVP year, +7 over Augustin). I'd actually put them at ~60 wins if everything pans out. With no Rose and additions of rookies. ~50 wins.

                  Cleveland - I think Cleveland adding LeBron (as well as improvement from their young guys and the addition of Wiggins) is enough to leapfrog us.They won 33 games last year, and LBJ produced 16 wins last year. Any production from Wiggins at all (say sophomore Paul George) should make them a ~55 win team. If they get Love I'd say ~ 60

                  Washington - Trevor Ariza was much more productive than Pierce next year, and the gap between 13-14 Ariza and current Pierce will only be larger at a more advanced age. The Wiz did upgrade their bench a bit though and Beal should improve, but I'd expect them to be about the same quality. ~45 wins

                  Miami - Lost LeBron, added Deng and improved the bench a little bit depending on what they can get from Granger and McBob (most likely the bench production will be about the same though). I'd expect Bosh's productivity to increase a bit and same with Wade with both producing about 10 and 8 wins respectively (+5 total over last year). Still losing LBJ and replacing him with Deng is -10 win shares. I'd expect the Heat to win ~49 games if Wade is healthy. Since that's pretty unlikely, let's say ~46 wins.

                  Indiana - Lost Lance and replaced him with CJ Miles and Rodney Stuckey (probably about -5WS or so). Their bench is still similar in its crappiness. Barring another leap from George I see not taking a massive step back but a step-back nonetheless. ~49 wins.

                  Brooklyn - Lost Pierce and Livingston (9.6 WS), and replacing Thornton with Jack is basically a wash. 34 win team if Lopez is out again. If he's healthy for close to all 82, I'd put them at ~43.

                  Charlotte - Brought the band back, lost McRoberts, it remains to be seen if Vonleh can replace that production (6.2 WS), I'd probably assume not considering he's pretty raw. Maybe they get 3 WS out of him, but get a big boost with Henderson taking Jeff Taylor/Sessions/Neal's minutes and Lance taking Henderson's. That should be a nice boost of about 5 wins. Hornets should be a bit better sitting at ~45 wins.

                  Atlanta - Horford should be healthy all year (never had big injury issues), which is +6 WS or so. Lost Lou, added Thabo, didn't do a whole lot else. I'd say ~44 wins.

                  Toronto - Same team basically. Only major minute guy we added was Lou (+2.6 WS). Barring an explosion from JV or TR ~51 wins imo.


                  So assuming CLE doesn't get Love, Rose isn't healthy, Lopez has injury issues and Wade does as usual (I'd imagine these are all realistic assumptions based on what we've seen thus far). The East standings should look like this:

                  1.) Cleveland - 55-27
                  2.) Toronto - 51-31
                  3.) Chicago - 50-32
                  4.) Miami - 46-36 (Division leader has to be in top 4)
                  5.) Indiana - 49-33
                  6.) Washington - 45-37
                  7.) Charlotte - 45-37
                  8.) Atlanta - 44-38

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                  • #10
                    imanshumpert wrote: View Post
                    1.) Cleveland - 55-27
                    2.) Toronto - 51-31
                    3.) Chicago - 50-32
                    4.) Miami - 46-36 (Division leader has to be in top 4)
                    5.) Indiana - 49-33
                    6.) Washington - 45-37
                    7.) Charlotte - 45-37
                    8.) Atlanta - 44-38
                    I'm sorry...I just don't see a scenario where the east will have the top eight with winning records. I understand that the east is not as top heavy as in the past, but I still think the west will hand the east their collective asses.

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                    • #11
                      Its not as simple as adding and subtracting "win shares". Players are humans not plug and play simulations
                      It's Klaw Season. Time to hunt.

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                      • #12
                        Snizzoop wrote: View Post
                        I'm sorry...I just don't see a scenario where the east will have the top eight with winning records. I understand that the east is not as top heavy as in the past, but I still think the west will hand the east their collective asses.
                        Well the east had a top 8 with winning records as recently as 2011-12 (the lockout season) and 2 years before that (including 1 60 win team and 3 50 win teams.

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                        • #13
                          KeonClark wrote: View Post
                          Its not as simple as adding and subtracting "win shares". Players are humans not plug and play simulations
                          Gonna try to do this mostly using WS. This is probably not going to be done that well, but whatever I'll give it a shot.
                          It's ONE way of looking at it. I didn't say that this is how the East is guaranteed to be.

                          And win shares do tend to correlate decently well with team's overall records.

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                          • #14
                            I think Wizards, Hornets, Bulls and us went up.

                            And Miami, Pacers and Nets went down.

                            EDIT Forgot about the Cavs lol.
                            The name's Bond, James Bond.

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                            • #15
                              I love the Gasol pick up for the Bulls but I think they're being slightly overrated right now. I have a hard time seeing Rose hitting the ground running as a player that is anywhere close to his MVP level. He's played 39, 0, and 10 games respectively over the last three regular seasons. I wouldn't be surprised if it takes close to a full season to get him ramped back up, and that's assuming that he doesn't have any more physical setbacks between now and then.

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