|Wizards Watch||Wizards Biz||Wizards Web||Wizards Boards||Wizards Talk|
|The Bench Roster||The Locker Room||The Ball Boy|
Will Every Team Make The Playoffs?
Every Team Is Ready To Make The Playoffs?
When you read people's talk online, you'd have to believe that every team is going to make the playoffs. It happens in any sport. I guess a true fan will believe that the changes made in the off-season will be enough to put (or keep) their team in the playoffs.
Well, I guess there are a few teams that we can count on not making the playoffs. However, they are all located in the Western Conference (Dallas, Denver, Vancouver, with a few others that have some talent but are unlikely to make it). Notice what I'm saying - you can legitimately say that each team in the Eastern Conference could possibly make the playoffs.
Of course, I don't really believe that. In fact, I think most of the teams that didn't make the playoffs last year won't make it again this year. But on paper, the Eastern Conference looks exceedingly tough - there are no patsy teams.
No, what I really want to point out (and challenge others to think about) is that in order for a non-playoff team to become a playoff team the following season, they have to displace a team that made the playoffs the season before. It's a fact of life.
I don't know if you've ever noticed it, but there is very little turnover in the playoff ranks from year-to-year in the NBA. One, maybe two, teams ever rise or fall in a given conference in any year. That's not good reason for a team to be complacent, expecting to make the playoffs again, but it's a very difficult "law" to get around.
The Eastern Conference Looks Tough
So, now we deal with all of the Philadelphia, New Jersey, and Boston fans saying that their teams have made big steps in the off-season and will make the playoffs this year. Again, I challenge those fans - just which team will you displace, and why are they now better than the team they are displacing?
Don't get me wrong, the Eastern Conference is going to be a difficult race. Toronto is loaded with talent, though it's still young and growing as a unit. Indiana is a grizzled team that just missed the playoffs last year, but can they avoid the injury bug and achieve better under a new coach? Don't forget Cleveland, who now has its superstar, but at what price? (Yes, Cleveland will have a more up-tempo offense this season.)
I could go into more detail about Philly, NJ and Boston, but I won't. They have large distances to make up to get into the playoffs, and a new collection of players and/or coaches will not make up the difference. Not unless you can really tell me why these teams will make the playoffs.
All of these teams will be competitive. NBA games between Eastern Conference opponents should be highly competitive. You're going to see some of the better teams "shocked" by some of their "lesser" comptetitors. But in the end, will it make a difference?
I say no.
Making Predictions Are Even Tougher
I'm guessing that there will be a one team changeover in the Eastern Conference playoffs next year, but I'll be darned if I can guess who it will be. A lot of people will say that it will be the Wizards, but they were essentially the third best team in the Eastern Conference (recordwise) after Bernie Bickerstaff took over in February, so I need more than just being the #8 seed as justification.
Wow, I need more time to think about this one. I was planning on making my predictions for the upcoming season later this month. Watch for it.
Needless to say, the competition in the Eastern Conference is a great reason to watch this upcoming season. I know I will be.
wtf 15 October 1997