Tuesday , Nov , 09 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

NBA Preview

Atlantic Division
> 1. Philadelphia 76ers
Like: AI, AI jr. (Andre Igoudala), Jim O’Brien’s willingness to let them play.
Don’t like: The Big Dog and the bench. 
> 2. Toronto Raptors
Like: Skip to My Lou, Chris Bosh, VinSanity with a lot to prove.
Don’t Like: Loren Woods’ 195 pounds matching up against Shaq. 
> 3. Boston Celtics
Like: Doc Rivers. Paul Pierce. Jiri Welsch.
Don’t Like: Malcontents. High school big men.
> 4. New York Knicks
Like: Depth of talent. Former UCLA player Trevor Ariza.
Don’t Like: Selfish play. No track record of success for all the talented-hype.
> 5. New Jersey Nets
Like: RJ attacking the basket, Brian Scalabrine, and Doogie Howser.
Don’t Like: Kidd on the DL, RJ’s jumper, Jacque Vaughn still getting run.

NBA Preview

Central Division
> 1. Indiana Pacers
Like: Ron Artest’s ferociousness, Jermaine O’Neal on the low block. Unselfishness. Role players.
Don’t like: Artest’s penchant for imploding, O’Neal shooting jumpers.
> 2. Detroit Pistons
Like: Size, athleticism, shooting, clutch play. Tayshaun Prince. Rip Hamilton on a curl cut.
Don’t Like: Larry Brown’s slow it down tempo.
> 3. Cleveland Cavaliers
Like: King James’ improvement, Zydrunas inside.
Don’t Like: Relying on Jeff McInnis for leadership.
> 4. Chicago Bulls
Like: Kirk Hinrich at the point, Eddy Curry in a contract year.
Don’t Like: Eddy Curry on the trading block.
> 5. Milwaukee Bucks
Like: Michael Redd
Don’t Like: TJ Ford on the DL.

Southeast Division
> 1. Miami Heat
Like: Shaq and Flash
Don’t Like: The Bench.
> 2. Orlando Magic
Like: Francis in the open court, Hill on the court and Howard for the next 12 years.
Don’t Like: Mobley and Francis turnover propensity and Kelvin Cato in the middle.
> 3. Washington Wizards
Like: Gilbert Arenas, Antwan Jamison and Eddie Jordan.
Don’t Like: Arenas, Jamison and Hughes didn’t work on the Left Coast.
> 4. Charlotte Bobcats
Like: The Rook. Gerald “the Pogo-Stick” Wallace on the alley-oop. Kapono an ex-Bruin.
Don’t Like: Got a minute?
> 5. Atlanta Hawks
Like: Walker in a contract year.
Don’t Like: Where to begin?

Pacific Division
> 1. Phoenix Suns
Like: Happy players, fast break, coach who answers e-mails, Steve Nash’s leadership, Amare growing up (scary).
Don’t Like: No big man, shaky defense, need one more shooter in the half court.
> 2. Lakers
Like: Kobe.
Don’t Like: Kobe.
> 3. Sacramento Kings
Like: Bibby running the pick and roll, BJack on the floor, ball and player movement.
Don’t Like: Friction, stagnancy, Peja asking out, Adelman still on the bench, millionaire Maloof’s attempting to bilk taxpayers for a new arena.
> 4. Clippers
Like: The future (still) with Livingston; Brand’s 20 and 10. NBDL pickups (started with Tremaine Fowlkes; continues with Bobby Simmons).
Don’t Like: The back court, Donald Sterling, Elgin Baylor, co-existing in Staples.
> 5. Warriors
Like: Montgomery taking a risk, Richardson in the open floor, Najera diving for loose balls.
Don’t Like: A team full of mediocre, overpaid players: $200 million and no superstar.

Southwest Division
> 1. San Antonio Spurs
Like: Another Championship for Duncan, Charles Barkley screaming, “Ginobliiiii!”
Don’t Like: Spurs’ chances if Duncan is in foul trouble.
> 2. Dallas Mavericks
Like: Nowitski, small ball, young backcourt w/Marquis Daniels, Devin Harris and Josh Howard.
Don’t Like: Seven-footers making millions just because they are tall. > 3. Houston Rockets
Like: T-Mac and Yao.
Don’t Like: Everyone else. Jeff Van Gundy and his slow-down tactics included.
> 4. Memphis Grizzlies
Like: The Janitor. James Posey as NBA’s most under-rated SG. JWill’s Assist-to-turnover ratio.
Don’t Like: Interior Defense.
> 5. New Orleans Hornets
Like: ex-UCLA player Baron Davis and PJ Brown’s productivity and consistency.
Don’t Like: Power forwards masquerading as wings. David Wesley’s still playing?

Northwest Division
> 1. Utah Jazz
Like: Jerry Sloan, AK 47, Carlos Arroyo, team ball, discipline, not beating oneself.
Don’t Like: The lack of hype/TV exposure.
> 2. Minnesota Timberwolves
Like: KG’s growth; shooters and defense on the bench.
Don’t Like: Olowakandi in the middle and Sprewell opening his mouth.
> 3. Denver Nuggets
Like: ex-Bruin Kiki Vandeweghe. Depth. Size.
Don’t Like: Shooting.
> 4. Portland Trailblazers
Like: Theo Ratliff defending the paint.
Don’t Like: Constant complaining. The rain. The 2004 Draft.
> 5. Seattle Supersonics
Like: Swift will be good in five years or so. At least they can shoot.
Don’t Like: The team’s make-up. Defense.

Check out McCormick’s blog (http://highfivehoopschool.blogspot.com) for other outside the box ideas and opinions.