C - Nene Hilario, Chris Andersen
PF - Kenyon Martin, Al Harrington, Shelden Williams
SF - Carmelo Anthony, Renaldo Balkman
SG - Aaron Afflalo, JR Smith,
PG - Chauncey Billups, Ty Lawson, Anthony Carter
Brad: I hate this team... I don't even know why... maybe it's the Melo-trade issues... maybe it's the fact that they signed Shelden Williams... maybe it's that "Mr. Big Shot" isn't Mr. Big Shot at all... but without a doubt, I wouldn't pick this team for a playoff spot if they hadn't done it so many times already... You have to expect a bump from Lawson in year 2.. but can he get enough minutes? Can he and Billups play together? And, yes, this ranking has to reflect the Melo rumors at least a little... I think it's an easy reach to put Melo out in a trade at the deadline if it's clear they won't win anything... definitely alot of questions here... Am I making this up?...
Ryan: The concerns can't be covered up..that much is certain. The team always had an edge to it that was able to be controlled(for the most part) by coach George Karl, but we saw what his absence looked like in the playoffs..but is he able to get that edge back into the box?....I say no as well... Kenyon Martin is bickering about money..Carmelo wants out(and still does btw) and JR Smith is.....well... JR Smith. They added some depth with Al Harrington but I don't know if that will be enough. Billups is still fighting father-time and I think this is the year that he gets a little more rest and Lawson gets more burn. But then again around the league the 2-PG system seems to work and Billups never really was that great as a distributor.. I think this team is unquestionably talented and will make the playoffs(Only with Carmelo) but they are on the thinnest of threads with the egos/personalities they have..
Brad: With you all the way... the Harrington move was a weird one because of the money they gave him when he is a hybrid 3/4 and they have an overpriced 4 and a star 3... don't love his game, but he could be useful... the only issue with playing the 2-PG thing alot is that I know Billups can't defend 2's, and with Melo very limited on wing D, that could be a major issue... Martin wants more money? He's been stealing for years, hasn't he? That's laughable... this is one of the harder teams to predict because of Melo, and I'm hedging by putting them here... if he gets dealt, they don't make the playoffs (because there's no way they can get close to equal on-court value midseason on a guy with an expiring deal), and if they keep him? This is probably low... Prediction: 8th in the West
Ryan: I think there's a legit chance Kenyon gets dealt this February..so with that happening I guess Al can slide there..and yeah he's been stealing money for so long he feels entitled now lol.I think that Billups can defend 2's(there aren't many elite ones) because he really can't keep up with point guards anymore(far more). I'm with you on the either/or...if Melo is gone..nowhere near playoffs..but if he is...Prediction: 8th in the West