Something has been coming across my mind for the last few weeks, but i never took the time to mention it or to bring it across other people's minds. If you're an NBA fan, i'm sure most of you are all worried about the present and then there might be some (like myself) who is concerned about the future for our respective teams. I'm been examining all 30 teams in the NBA and it seems that most of them are about winning now and then there are some that are in the retooling or rebuilding phase. Here's my take on all the teams to see who are all about winning now, those who are worried about the future, those that may fail in the present, those that have very bright futures, teams that are going in the right and wrong directions, teams that are younger and teams that are older, etc. Starting with the Eastern Conference:
(Order in 2007-08 standings)
Celtics: They traded for Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen, two guys who are in their early 30s. They let go of a promising star in a young Al Jefferson who is having the career of his life, of course he's not playing for a contending team so there really is no pressure riding on his shoulders. They are obviously in a WIN NOW phase. If the Celtics don't win a title with their big three whose ages averages out to 32 years old, then it will end up being a failure in the future for the Celtics as well as a waste of trading all their good young talent so i guess you would all say that the Wolves will have had the advantage in the trade and they should be happy for their future especially the fact that they'll be getting some top draft picks this coming summer.
Pistons: Billups, Rasheed and McDyess are all getting older so there goes most of your starting lineup for the future. They are most likely in a WIN NOW phase because at this point, their future isn't too exciting.
Magics: This team has really picked themselves up BIG TIME. They have a young lineup that will be exciting to watch for the future in D-Ho, Lewis, Turkoglu and Nelson. I can see them on top of the Eastern Conference in the near future.
Cavaliers: Even though they made a big trade, i still don't really see this team going far anytime soon and it would be a good idea for LeBron James to move out of Cleveland because i certainly don't see the Cavs repeating what they did in the 2006-07 season. If it wasn't for LeBron, the Cavs wouldn't even be in the playoff picture now. With all the injuries the Cavs are experiencing now, they might not even get out of the 1st round in the playoffs either.
Raptors: They are a young team with decent talent, yet they are still very inexperienced and may continue to be a .500 team for the years to come. The only reason they are in the playoff picture is because they are a three point machine team.
Wizards: They have always been a .500 team at best and will continue to be just that, just like the Raptors.
76ers: Very young, very inexperienced and are only in the playoff picture because of the weak Eastern Conference. They're going to need to add some big pieces to their lineup if they are even trying to contend for the future.
Nets: Losing J-Kidd and his triple-doubles was sad for Nets fans, but the fans should be happy with their future. With young decent talent like leading scorer Richard Jefferson and newly-acquired PG Devin Harris to name a couple of players as well as veteran SG and the Nets 2nd leading scorer Vince Carter, the Nets look like they will have a promising future. I think that the Nets should consider looking for a new head coach though if they plan on going far in the future. Maybe someone with a great resume and more experience like Jeff Van Gundy would do?
Bulls: I thought this team was going to be going far for years to come with the way they have been for the past 3 years, but it seems like they are right back where they were before. I don't know what happened, but it certainly isn't looking too good for Chi-town fans now. They are young which is a good sign for their future, but they need some pieces to help make them a playoff contending team again.
Hawks: This team has went from a laughingstock team in the Eastern Conference to a team that is improving and looks to be decent for the years to come with their young talented lineup. They went out and made a big trade to acquire PG Mike Bibby, someone who will be a big help for them in the future to come.
Pacers: Once, this team was an elite team in the East. Now with the departures of Ron Artest, Stephen Jackson, Anthony Johnson and the now-retired Reggie Miller, this team appears to be in rebuilding mode now which is a good thing for them now. This young Pacers team could make some noise again in the East soon, it's just not now. When will Jermaine O'Neal ever get 100% healthy again?
Bobcats: The young Bobcats still have ALOT of work to do before they can even think about going far in the future. They are starting to improve though, just came off their season high 5 game winning streak before getting it stopped by the Mavs.
Bucks: Another team that has alot of work to get done, but are going in the right direction by staying young and are in the rebuilding phase.
Knicks: At this point, the Knicks need someone to pray for them so that they'll find the light very soon. This team has been going through alot this season from having to deal with controversies from the dynamic duo headcases of Stephon Marbury and Isiah Thomas to the team even at one point fighting against each other. This Knicks team is certainly giving New York sports a bad taste in their mouths and something needs to do fixed immediately. On a positive note though, they are a young team who could have a bright future with guys like Nate Robinson, Zach Randolph, David Lee, Jamal Crawford and others. All they would need is a new head coach and a PG who is a true team-player.
Heat: This team was once a championship team a couple of years ago. Now they are in rebuilding mode. They aren't even a playoff contending team now. They let guys like Shaq, Posey, Kapano, Damon Jones, Eddie Jones and Antoine Walker get away. Seems like they are now the new laughingstock in the Eastern Conference......FOR NOW at least. If they plan on having a great future, they need to sign Shawn Marion to an extension right away, hope that D-Wade can get 100% healthy for next season(s) to come and hope to get a very big top draft pick this summer if they plan on trying to make some noise in the East for the future.
My Western Conference thoughts are soon to come.......
Western Conference (in orderby 2007-08 standings):
Lakers: If you're a Lakers fan, you gotta be happy with your team now. The Lakers went out and acquired a young all-star big man in Pau Gasol to join a team already surrounded with superb talent like Kobe Bryant, Lamar Odom, Derek Fisher and their 20 year old big man Andrew Bynum. This team is exactly where it needs to be as far as youth and competing is concerned and they're only going to get better as the years come. To add the icing on the cake, they have one of the best (if not THE BEST) head coaches in the NBA today in Phil Jackson who was the head coach of the America's favorite 1990s NBA team which featured a legend that could NEVER be stopped. That's right, his name was Michael Jordan. My advice to the Western Conference in the future is "BEWARE OF THE LAKERS".
Rockets: Here's another young team who's going to be a force to be reckoned with in the future, but only if T-Mac and Yao can stay healthy for a full season. Winners of 20 straight wins this season AND counting, the Houston Rockets have went from 9th place in the West to the 2nd seed and are knocking on the Lakers door to sit atop the Western Conference throne. If the Rockets can continue this hot streak during the playoffs, i think we may be seeing a Texas team with the title this year and it WON'T be the Spurs......
Spurs: The defending champions are still one of the top 3 teams in the West now, but they may want to start looking into acquiring some young talented players for their future because they are a very old team now and they will get knocked around by young teams like the Lakers, Rockets and Hornets (who just annihilated them the other night in the Big Easy) in the future. The only person that will be able to hang around on the team for a long time will be Tony Parker and I know the Spurs don't want to see him get away from their franchise in the future when the Spurs start to go downhill and their veterans start to deteriorate.
Jazz: Do i smell a new version of the 1990s Jazz for the future to come? This team has certainly been rebuilding and look how it all paid off. A young lineup of Okur, Boozer, AK-47 and Deron Wills are going to be able to walk in the footsteps of a once powerful lineup of Karl Malone, John Stockton, Jeff Hornacek, Bryon Russell and Greg Ostertag. Oh and by the way, Jerry Sloan is STILL the head coach of the Jazz just as he was with the 1990s Jazz.
Hornets: Another young team who certainly has a bright future ahead for them. With a wonderful coach of Byron Scott's caliber (who has guided the New Jersey Nets to back-to-back NBA finals in 2002 and 2003), a phenomenal PG in Chris Paul, and the rest of their young talent, i think we all might be looking at a contending team in the West for years to come.
Suns: With the lineup of Shaq, Amare, Hill, Bell and one of the best PGs in the game today in Nash, this team has a greater chance to win a NBA title NOW. However guys like Shaq, Nash and Hill are in their mid 30s and no one knows how much longer they'll be around to play so if the Suns are looking to win a championship, NOW is the time. They are mixed with young talent though, who are going to have promising futures ahead for themselves.
Mavericks: Here's another old team who just got older when they traded almost all of their young promising talent to the Nets for an aging Jason Kidd, who is having a superb season. It appears that Dallas is more concerned about winning a title NOW than working with the young talent that they had and this could come back to haunt them if they don't win a title with their newly-acquired PG, who leads the league in Triple Doubles this season but has yet to record one since he has join the Mavs.
Warriors: Like the Jazz and Hornets, this young team has rebuilt well and now they find themselves competing in the wide-open Western Conference that is currently up for grabs because no one is pulling away with it. This team has certainly came a long ways to get to where they are now and they are only going to get better as the years go by.
Nuggets: To be honest, i'm actually shocked to see where this team is now which is 9th place in the West. I assumed, like i'm sure others have, that a team that has 2 of the NBA's top scorers in Iverson and Carmelo to go along with Camby, K-Mart and J.R Smith would be close to the top of the league. I guess myself and others was wrong. In any case, this team needs to start focusing on getting younger also because they have quite some guys in their early to mid 30s who could end up letting father time catch up to them soon.
Blazers: Here's another young team that rebuilt well and will certainly have a promising future ahead for them. They are only going to get better from this day forth once Greg Oden makes his NBA debut next season. With the way the West is now, the 6th seed to the 8th seed are NOT going to be very well secured next year...
Kings: Once an elite team in the West who were always certain to make the playoffs each season are now just a team barely trying to get into the playoffs this days. The future doesn't look too bright at this moment and it might just get worst. I'd start rebuilding if i was Sacramento because the West is certainly not going to be theirs to run for a while.
Clippers: Great young talent on the team, but ain't going nowhere with it. i wonder why?
Supersonics: REBUILD PHASE! Good luck to Durant!
Grizzlies: Once an elite team in the West now turned into a rebuilding franchise. Bright future ahead? We shall find out.