Team Overviews

Teams are in division order and listed by their preseason rankings. Cutting players was difficult, so the number each team has is roughly 30. Cuts will be made after every 5th team game until a roster of 15 is established. Cuts will be made on lack of usage.

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Atlantic Division

1. Boston Celtics

Teams Included: Boston Celtics

Projected Starters:

PG – Dennis Johnson

SG – Paul Pierce

C – Robert Parish

PF – Kevin McHale

SF – Larry Bird

Key Subs: Danny Ainge, Cedric Maxwell, Dave Cowens, John Havlicek, Reggie Lewis, Ray Allen, Rajon Rondo, Kevin Garnett

Others: Sidney Wicks, Brandon Bass, Wally Szczerbiak, Dominique Wilkins, Dino Radja, Xavier McDaniel, Jo Jo White, Paul Silas, Nate Archibald, Antoine Walker, Jared Sullinger,

Strengths: The Celtics boast one of the best starting lineups in the league that includes probably the leagues best small forward. Deep bench the brings in scoring, defense, and rebounding. Can shoot with anyone.

Weakness: Not a great fast break defensive team. Power forwards surprisingly weak rebounders compared to other teams.

Projection: East 1 seed; lose NBA Championship

2. Philadelphia 76ers

Included Teams: Philadelphia 76ers

Projected Starters:

PG – Mo Cheeks

SG – Andrew Toney

C – Moses Malone

PF – Charles Barkely

SF – Dr. J

Key Subs: Allen Iverson, Bobby Jones, Caldwell Jones, George McGinnis

Others: LeRoy Ellis, Kyle Korver, Chris Webber, Johnny Dawkins, Andre Iguodala, Samuel Dalembert, Darryl Dawkins, Michael Carter-Williams, Elton Brand, Clarence Weatherspoon, Doug Collins, Jeff Hornacek, George Lynch, Shawn Bradley, Dana Barros, Thaddeus Young, Hersey Hawkins, Theo Ratliff, Tom Van Arsdale, Mike Gminski

Strengths: Underrated back court supporting one of the leagues great front courts. Malone and Erving in their prime with an effective young Barkley make this a tough matchup for most teams. Iverson provides instant scoring from bench while Jones is one of the league’s best back up centers.

Weakness: Not very deep bench. Best scoring guards are poor defenders.

Projection: East 3 seed. Lost conference semifinals

3. New Jersey Nets

Included Teams: New Jersey Nets, New York Nets

Projected Starters:

PG – Michael Ray Richardson

SG – Otis Birdsong

C – Billy Paultz

PF – Buck Williams

SF – Dr. J

Key Subs – Derrick Coleman, Vince Carter, Larry Kenon, Jason Kidd, Deron Williams, Drazen Petrovic, Richard Jefferson

Others: Brook Lopez, Kenyon Martin, Joe Johnson, Mike Gminski, Kenny Anderson, Brian Taylor, Reggie Evans, Chris Morris, Keith Van Horn, Kerry Kittles, Maurice Lucas, Kendall Gill, Bill Melchionni, Sam Bowie, Darryl Dawkins, Clifford Robinson

Strengths: Kind of an enigma team. Richardson one of the best PGs in the league. Seriously. Dr. J better here than in Philadelphia, and Buck Williams is a solid PF. Tons of guard scoring with Birdsong, Carter, and Petrovic.

Weakness: No dominating center which will create matchup issues against the league’s better teams. Shooting guards are poor defenders. Not much depth behind Erving at small forward.

Projection: Miss Playoffs

4. New York Knicks

Teams included: New York Knicks

Projected Starters:

PG – Michael Ray Richardson

SG – John Starks

C – Patrick Ewing

PF – Bob McAdoo

SF – Bernard King

Key Subs: Tyson Chandler, Walt Frazier, Ray Williams, Willis Reed, Dave DeBusschere, Mark Jackson, Carmelo Anthony

Others: Earl Monroe, Bill Cartwright, Bill Bradley, Allan Houston, David Lee, Lonnie Shelton, Derek Harper, Charles Oakley, J. R. Smith, Al Harrington, Anthony Mason, Pat Cummings, Toby Knight

Strengths: Deep bench. Ewing is one of the best in the league in all areas. McAdoo and King are pure scorers. Excellent point guards.

Weakness: Overall team isn’t great at anything. Not the best shooters at the guard positions. Reed only dominating rebounder.

Projection: Miss Playoffs

5. Buffalo Braves

Included Teams – Buffalo Braves, LA Clippers, San Diego Clippers

Projected Starters:

PG – Chris Paul

SG – Derek Smith

C – Bob McAdoo

PF – Blake Griffin

SF – Terry Cummings

Key Subs: Danny Manning, Michael Cage, Elton Brand, Swen Nater, Elmore Smith, Bill Walton

Strengths: Impressive rebounding depth at center. Several very good shooters. Paul, Griffin are matchup problems.

Weakness: Big drop off after Paul at PG. Team defense is overall poor. Smith the best of a very mediocre group of shooting guards.

Projection: Miss Playoffs

Midwest Division

1. Chicago Bulls

Included Teams: Chicago Bulls

Projected Starters:

PG – Derrick Rose

SG – Michael Jordan

C – Joakim Noah

PF – Carlos Boozer

SF – Scottie Pippen

Key Subs: Toni Kukoc, Norm Van Lier, Dennis Rodman, Mickey Johnson, Horace Grant, Artis Gilmore

Others: Jerry Sloan, Orlando Woolridge, Tyson Chandler, Kirk Hinrich, Clifford Ray, Elton Brand, Chet Walker, Scott May, Bob Love, B. J. Armstrong, Wilbur Holland, Jimmy Butler, Luol Deng, Jalen Rose, David Greenwood, Charles Oakley

Strengths: A young Jordan with the better cast than the older Jordan ever had. Pippen, Jordan, Rose may be the best big 3 in the league. Noah underrated at center.

Weakness: Bench shooting is a concern. Rodman’s rebounding may be offset by his horrible offense in what will be a high scoring league. Cannot afford to have Rose injured for long stretches.

Projection: East 2 seed. Lose conference finals

2. Cleveland Cavaliers

Included Teams: Cleveland Cavaliers

Projected Starters:

PG – Mark Price

SG – LeBron James

C – Brad Daugherty

PF – Tyrone Hill

SF – Larry Nance

Key Subs: Mike Mitchell, Jim Chones, Roy Hinson, Terrell Brandon, Craig Ehlo, Campy Russell, Anderson Varejao, Mo Williams, World B. Free, Kyrie Irving

Others: Spencer Hawes, Hot Rod Williams, Tristan Thompson, Foots Walker, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Shaquille O’Neal, Dave Robisch, Austin Carr, Nate Thurmond, Clifford Robinson, Luol Deng, Bingo Smith, Kenny Carr, Randy Smith

Strength: James every bit as good as Jordan in the game. Price, Irving, Brandon a very deep PG core. Excellent shooting starters. Nance an underrated small forward with the solid Mitchell behind him.

Weakness: Centers may have trouble controlling the boards. Solid team that doesn’t matchup well against Bulls.

Projection: East 4 seed. Lose in conference semifinals

3. Indiana Pacers

Teams included: Indiana Pacers ABA & NBA

Projected Starters:

PG – Mark Jackson

SG – Reggie Miller

C – Mel Daniels

PF – Clark Kellogg

SF – Paul George

Key Subs: Detlef Schrempf, David West, Chuck Person, Bob Netolicky, Wayman Tisdale, Dale Davis, Billy Knight, George McGinnis, Rik Smits

Others: Steve Stipanovich, Roger Brown, Roy Hibbert, George Hill, Derrick McKey, Don Buse, Darnell Hillman, Antonio Davis, Troy Murphy, Vern Fleming, Jalen Rose, Danny Granger, Mickey Johnson, Jermaine O’Neal, Herb Williams, Jeff Foster, Lance Stephenson

Strengths: Strength of ABA apparent with Daniels, one of the leagues strongest centers. Rest of the ABA crew provide excellent depth. Miller’s shooting. Embarrassment of riches at small forward.

Weakness: One of the weakest point guard units in the entire league. Miller a defensive liability. Average overall shooting.

Projection. East 5 seed. Lose 1st round.

4. Milwaukee Bucks

Teams included: Milwaukee Bucks

Projected Starters:

PG – Sidney Moncrief

SG – Ray Allen

C – Lew Alcindor (used to distinguish him from his Laker role)

PF – Terry Cummings

SF – Paul Pressey

Key Subs – Marques Johnson, Jack Sikma, Bob Dandridge, Junior Bridgeman, Alvin Robertson, Andrew Bogut, Dominic Lee, Quinn Buckner

Others: Alton Lister, Vin Baker, Michael Redd, Lucius Allen, Sam Cassell, Ricy Pierce, Swen Nater, Ersan Ilyasova, Larry Sanders, Jay Humphries, Curtis Perry, Glenn Robinson, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Gary Payton, Blue Edwards, Oscar Robertson (very end of his career).

Strengths: No true PG starting? No matter with one of the best passing teams in the league. No starter worse than minus 3 defense. Most bench players are minus defenders as well.

Weakness: Not much center depth after Alcindor. Average shooting team. May have trouble scoring with high powered offenses.

Projection: East 7 seed. Lose 1st round.

5. Detroit Pistons

Teams included: Detroit Pistons

Projected Starters:

PG – Isiah Thomas

SG – Joe Dumars

C – Ben Wallace

PF – Dennis Rodman

SF – Grant Hill

Key Subs: Bob Lanier, Richard Hamilton, Bill Laimbeer, Greg Monroe, Andrew Drummond, Adrian Dantley

Others: Kevin Porter, Jerry Stackhouse, Chauncey Billups, Kelly Tripuka, Chris Ford, Tayshaun Prince, Jose Calderon, Terry Mills, Ben Gordon, Vinnie Johnson, Dave Bing, Allan Houston, Mark Aguirre, Dan Roundfield, Terry Tyler, Rasheed Wallace, John Long

Strength: Thomas is a league top 5 PG. Wallace, Dumars, Rodman anchor solid defensive force. Rodman overall better than Spurs, Bulls version. Wallace can take on any league center. Good center depth.

Weakness: Not a great scoring team. Starters will struggle to find shots versus 5 scorers. Poor defensive bench play. Not a good shooting team.

Projection: Miss playoffs.

Southeast Division

1. Atlanta Hawks

Teams included: Atlanta Hawks

Projected Starters:

PG – Mookie Blaylock

SG – Eddie Johnson

C – Dikembe Mutombo

PF – Kevin Willis

SF – Dominique Wilkins

Key Subs: Paul Millsap, Al Horford, Joe Johnson, Jason Terry, Doc Rivers, Dan Roundfield, Truck Robinson, Tree Rollins, Pete Maravich

Others: Lou Hudson, Stacey Augmon, Herm Gilliam, Steve Smith, Cliff Levingston, Jeff Teague, John Drew, Kyle Korver, Lenny Wilkens, Jamal Crawford, Moses Malone, Walt Bellamy, Shelvin Mack, Josh Smith, Christian Laettner

Strengths: Another solid front court. Wilkins is a pure scorer. Mutombo and Willis will clean the glass and guard the rim. Blaylock and Rivers are a great 1-2 PG combo. Hawks will never run out of quality at the PF position.

Weakness: Not strong at shooting guard. None can shoot over 50%. In fact, only 5 roster players can shoot over 50%.

Projection: East 6 seed. Lose 1st round

2. Miami Heat

Teams Included: Miami Heat

Projected Starters:
PG – Dwyane Wade

SG – Glen Rice

C – Alonzo Mourning

PF – Chris Bosh

SF – LeBron James

Key Subs: Kevin Willis, Tim Hardaway, Rony Seikaly, Steve Smith, Shaquille O’Neal, Brian Grant, Eddie Jones, Sherman Douglas, P.J. Brown

Others: Mike Miller, Jamal Mashburn, Caron Butler, Vladimir Stepania, Billy Owens, Voshon Leonard, Ray Allen, Mario Chalmers, Jermaine O’Neal, Grant Long

Strengths: The Big 3. Great 3pt shooting from many players. LeBron James’ Heat version is the best overall player in the game. In-his-prime Wade isn’t far behind.

Weakness: Centers will get pushed around by league’s top players making them a bad matchup with Hawks. Not a great bench other than 3pt shooting. Will rely on Big 3 more than they should.

Projection. East 8 seed. Lose 1st round

3. Washington Bullets

Teams included: Washington Bullets, Washington Wizards

Projected Starters:

PG – John Wall

SG – Gilbert Arenas

C – Elvin Hayes

PF – Jeff Ruland

SF – Greg Ballard

Key Subs: Gus Williams, Nene, Calbert Cheaney, Mike Riordan, Jeff Malone, Clifford Robinson, Wes Unseld, Marcin Gortat, Moses Malone, Chris Webber, Mitch Kupchak, Bernard King

Others: Michael Jordan, Bradley Beal, Antawn Jamison, Jerry Stackhouse, Phil Chenier, Trevor Ariza, Rick Mahorn, Gheorhe Muresan, Caron Butler, Ricky Sobers

Strengths: Ruland is an underrated PF. Hayes and Unseld will control the paint. Ballard is an all-around great SF.

Weakness: Guards are weak. Most guards shoot below 50% for 2pt range. Not a great 3pt shooting team. Bullets will struggle to score against good defensive teams.

Projection: Miss playoffs.

4. Charlotte Hornets

Teams included: Charlotte Hornets, New Orleans Hornets, New Orleans Pelicans, Pittsburgh Condors (ABA)

Projected Starters:

PG – Chris Paul

SG – Glenn Rice

C – Alonzo Mourning

PF – Anthony Davis

SF – Larry Johnson

Key Subs: David West, Baron Davis, John Brisker, Dell Curry, Connie Hawkins, Bobby Phills, Armon Gilliams, Tom Washington, Anthony Mason

Others: Hersey Hawkins, Jrue Holiday, Mike Lewis, Tyreke Evans, Scott Burrell, Derrick Coleman, P.J. Brown, Emeka Okafor, Tyson Chandler, Ryan Anderson, Jamal Mashburn, Eddie Jones, Kendall Gill, Muggsy Bogues

Strengths: Good starting lineup that can score. Decent depth across the board. Several good 3pt shooters

Weakness: No dominating rebounder. Inconsistent defensive team. Average talent compared to most teams.

Projection: Miss playoffs

5. Virginia Squires

Teams included: Virginia Squires, Toronto Raptors, The Floridians

Projected Starters:

PG – Kyle Lowry

SG – Vince Carter

C – Skip Thoren

PF – Chris Bosh

SF – Rick Barry

Key Subs: George Gervin, Doug Christie, Walt Williams, Mike James, Tracy McGrady, Jim Eakins, Jalen Rose, Warren Jabali, Jonas Valanciunas, Ira Harge

Strengths: Bosh and Carter are scorers. Bench is loaded with 3pt shooters. Better than average rebounding team.

Weakness: Not a super star among them. Poor overall shooting team and even worse at defense. Combination of 3 forgettable franchises makes for a competitive but ultimately poor performing team.

Projection: Miss playoffs

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Central Division

1. Kentucky Colonels

Teams Included: Kentucky Colonels, Minnesota Timberwolves

Projected Starters:

PG – Terrell Brandon

SG – Louie Dampier

C – Artis Gilmore

PF – Kevin Love

SF – Cincy Powell

Key Subs: Al Jefferson, Doug West, Michael Williams, Goose Ligon, Kevin Garnett, Dan Issel, Tyrone Corbin, Tony Campbell

Others: Bird Averitt, Sam Cassell, Chuck Person, Ricky Rubio, Christian Laettner, Wally Szczerbiak, Malik Sealy, Isiah Rider, Dean Garrett, Gene Moore

Strengths: League’s best center may be the ABA version of Artis Gilmore. Great rebounder, defender, and scorer. Love and Powell give Colonels best rebounding front court in league. Impressive front court depth.

Weakness: Guards solid but unspectacular. Only a handful of 3pt shooters. Perimeter defense is an issue.

Projection: West 4 seed. Lose conference semis.

2. New Orleans Jazz

Teams included: New Orleans Jazz, Utah Jazz

Projected Starters:

PG – John Stockton

SG – Matt Harpring

C – Mark Eaton

PF – Karl Malone

SF – Adrian Dantley

Key Subs: Pete Maravich, Truck Robinson, Rich Kelley, Rickey Green, Jeff Hornacek, Darrell Griffith, Deron Williams, Paul Millsap, Carlos Boozer

Others: Gordon Hayward, Nate Williams, Jeff Malone, Thurl Bailey, John Drew, Andrei Kirilenko, Tyrone Corbin, Tom Boswell, Trey Burke, Byron Russell, Al Jefferson

Strengths: Stockton and Malone in their prime aided by a great poor shooter in Dantley. Truck Robinson so good he’ll steal minutes from Malone. Eaton and Kelley shot blocking kings. Harpring is probably the best unknown in the league.

Weakness: Centers are defenders but not scorers. So deep at PF it’ll be hard to get best players on the floor at the same time. Guard depth is shallow, SF bench even worse.

Projection: West 7 seed. Lose 1st round

3. Spirits of St. Louis

Teams included: Spirits of St. Louis, Orlando Magic, Carolina Cougars

Projected Starters:

PG – Penny Hardaway

SG – Tracy McGrady

C – Shaquille O’Neal

PF – Marvin Barnes

SF – Billy Cunningham

Key Subs: Tom Owens, Darrrell Armstrong, Mike Miller, Nick Anderson, Dwight Howard, Rashard Lewis, Vince Carter, Maurice Lucas

Others: Dennis Scott, Scott Skiles, Jim McDaniels, Willie Somerset, Arron Afflalo, Mack Calvin, Ryan Anderson, Grant Hill, Joe Caldwell, Terry Catledge, Victor Oladipo, Horace Grant, Jameer Nelson, Sidney Green, Nikola Vucevic

Strengths: Barnes had a brief appearance at the top, but it was a great one. Barnes had out rebound most centers. He and O’Neal will dominate the paint. Even their backups, Howard and McDaniels, could start for most teams. Hardaway is a unique talent at PG.

Weakness: Average defensive team with few good shooters. One of the poorer FT shooting teams in the league.

Projection: Miss playoffs

4. Kansas City Kings

Teams included: Kansas City Kings, Sacramento Kings

Projected Starters:

PG – Nate Archibald

SG – Otis Birdsong

C – DeMarcus Cousins

PF – Chris Webber

SF – Scott Wedman

Key Subs – Sam Lacey, Wayman Tisdale, Colin Rhys, Reggie Theus, Walt Williams, Phil Ford, LaSalle Thompson, Rodney McCray, Otis Thorpe, Brian Taylor, Isaiah Thomas

Others: Mitch Richmond, Tyreke Evans, Peja Stojakovic, Larry Drew, Brian Grant, Brad Miller, Billy Owens, Olden Polynice, Eddie A. Johnson

Strength: Lots of scrappy players on the team. Lacey and Thompson are solid rebounders. Wedman is a great all-around SF. Lots of depth at SG.

Weakness: Atrocious defensive team. Not a lot of great shooting depth. Rebounding is a question after the starters.

Projection: Miss playoffs

5. Memphis Tams

Teams included: Memphis Tams/Sounds (ABA), Memphis Grizzlies, Vancouver Grizzlies

Projected Starter:

PG – Mike Conley

SG – James Jones

C – Red Robbins

PF – Zach Randolph

SF – Rudy Gay

Key Subs: Mike Bibby, O.J. Mayo, Paul Gasol, Randy Denton, Marc Gasol, Gerald Govan, Wil Jones, Shareef Abdur Rahim.

Others: Mike Miller, Tony Allen, George Lynch, Shane Battier, Steve Jones, Eddie Jones, Wendall Ladner, Bryant Reeves, George Thompson, Michael Dickerson, Othella Harrington

Strength: James Jones is a very good guard. Conley is an underrated PG and Bibby is a solid backup. Rudy Gay is a solid scoring SF. Robbins and Randolph can hold their own.

Weakness: Starting line-up is solid but unspectacular. Bench is even more obscure. Shooting is subpar and defense is inconsistent. Not a great passing team.

Projection: Miss playoffs.

Southwest Division

1. San Antonio Spurs

Teams included: San Antonio Spurs (ABA & NBA)

Projected Starters:

PG – Tony Parker

SG – George Gervin

C – David Robinson

PF – Tim Duncan

SF – Mike Mitchell

Key Subs: Danny Green, Sean Elliott, Alvin Robertson, Dennis Rodman, Terry Cummings, Artis Gilmore, Manu Ginobli, Kawhi Leonard

Others: Rich Jones, Johnny Moore, Bruce Bowen, James Silas, Edgar Jones, Swen Nater, John Beasley, Cliff Hagan, Johnny Dawkins, Walter Berry, Billy Paultz, Larry Kenon, Boris Diaw, Malik Rose, Avery Johnson, Willie Anderson

Strengths: Just about everything. Starters are a solid unit of scoring, rebound, and defense, but the bench can come in to handle any matchup situation. Rodman is the league’s best rebounder. Leonard and Ginobli can provide instant offense. Gilmore is nearly as good as Robinson when subbed in.

Weakness: Ginobli and Leonard have limited stamina so need to be used sparingly. When Rodman is needed for rebounding, either Robinson or Duncan are forced from the floor. Not many problems really.

Projection: West 1 Seed. Win Championship.

2. Houston Rockets

Teams Included: Houston Rockets

Projected Starters:

PG – Kenny Smith

SG – Clyde Drexler

C – Akeem Olajuwon

PF – Moses Malone

SF – Rudy Tomjanovich

Key Subs: Vernon Maxwell, Charles Barkley, Dwight Howard, James Harden, Sleepy Floyd, Steve Francis, Otis Thorpe, Robert Horry, Yao Ming, Mario Elie, Ralph Sampson

Others: Lewis Lloyd, Aaron Brooks, Mike Newlin, Chandler Parsons, Rodney McCray, Tracy McGrady, Calvin Murphy, Robert Reid, Omer Asik, Don Smith, Luis Scola, Patrick Beverley, Cuttino Mobley

Strengths: Howard and Barkley are a great C/PF tandem, and they are the reserves! Olajuwon and Malone are simply the best front court in the league. Smith is a very underrated point that can shoot when needed. Bench is loaded with accurate 3pt specialists. The team may lead the league in blocks.

Weakness: Small forward isn’t a strong position overall. Not an outstanding perimeter defensive team.

Projection: West 4 seed. Lost conference semifinals.

3. Phoenix Suns

Teams Included: Phoenix Suns

Projected Starters:

PG – Steve Nash

SG – Walter Davis

C – Maurice Lucas

PF – Charles Barkley

SF – Larry Nance

Key Subs: Truck Robinson, Dan Majerle, Shawn Marion, Alvan Adams, Kevin Johnson, Paul Westphal, Jeff Hornacek, Eddie Johnson, Neal Walk, Amare Stoudemire

Others: Eric Bledsoe, Danny Manning, Gerald Green, Jason Kidd, Mark West, Goran Dragic, Marcin Gortat, Stephon Marbury, Charlie Scott, Dick Van Arsdale, Penny Hardaway, Tom Chambers, Cliff Robinson, Richard Dumas

Strengths: This team will score. May be the best shooting/passing team in the league. Nance/Marion best SF tandem in league. Davis is an underrated SG. Barkley one of the best PF. Bench is mostly populated with 50%+ shooters.

Weakness: Not a single above average center on the team. Will struggle to rebound against bigger opponents. Defense is an issue.

Projection: West 6 seed. Lost 1st round.

4. Denver Nuggets

Teams Included: Denver Nuggets (ABA & NBA)

Projected Starters:
PG – Fats Lever

SG – David Thompson

C – Spencer Haywood

PF – Antonio McDyess

SF – Alex English

Key Subs: Bobby Jones, Calvin Natt, Dikembe Mutombo, Dan Issel, Carmelo Anthony, Kiki Vandeweghe, Ty Lawson, Arron Afflalo, Larry Jones, Andre Miller, Julius Keye, George Johnson

Other: T.R. Dunn, Javale McGee, Bryant Stith, Juwan Howard, Wayne Cooper, Kenneth Faried, Chauncey Billups, Chris Jackson, Danilo Gallinari, Andre Iquodala, Kenyon Martin, Bob Wilkerson, Byron Beck

Strengths: Similar to Suns, though not as good in all areas as them. Tons of depth at SF. Bobby Jones may be best 6th man in league. Mutombo/Haywood a great defensive duo in the middle. Thompson a very versatile SG.

Weakness: Best players play same positions. Not as strong at PF as needed. Defense and rebounding is wildly inconsistent. 3pt shooters a liabilities in other areas.

Projection: Miss playoffs

5. Dallas Mavericks

Teams Included: Dallas Mavericks

Projected Starters:
PG – Derek Harper

SG – Rolando Blackman

C – Roy Tarpley

PF – Dirk Nowitzki

SF – Mark Aquirre

Key Subs: Brad Davis, James Donaldson, Josh Howard, Sam Perkins, Steve Nash, Jason Kidd, Jason Terry

Others: Jim Jackson, Pat Cummings, Jamal Mashburn, O.J. Mayo, Terry Davis, Shawn Marion, Jay Vincent, Michael Finley, Popeye Jones, Shawn Bradley

Strengths: Deep at PG. Tarpley a rebounding/defensive stalwart. Blackman a very accurate shooter. Team 3pt shooting very strong.

Weakness: Overall an average shooting team. Nowitzki a defensive/rebounding liability. Not much depth after Tarpley in the middle. Generally a team of good, but not great, players.

Projection: Miss playoffs.

PACIFIC DIVISION

1. LA Lakers

Included Teams: LA Lakers

Projected Starters:
PG – Magic Johnson

SG – Kobe Bryant

C – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

PF – Pau Gasol

SF – James Worthy

Key Subs: Dwight Howard, Shaquille O’Neal, Jerry West, Michael Cooper, Jamaal Wilkes, Derek Fisher, Bryon Scott, A.C. Green, Andrew Bynum

Others: Vlade Divas, Kermit Washington, Cedric Ceballos, Glen Rice, Gail Goodrich, Lucious Allen, Eddie Jones, Nick Young, Happy Hairston, Nick Van Exel, Lamar Odom, Robert Horry, Norm Nixon, Sedale Threatt

Strengths: Starting 5 one of the best in the league. C depth is so good Howard will rarely see the floor with Jabbar/O’Neal ahead of him. Several quality shooters in the main rotation. Good passing team.

Weakness: Thankfully for the rest of the league, O’Neal and Jabbar can’t play together. Bryant is an average shooter.

Projection: West 2 seed. Lost conference finals

2. Seattle Supersonics

Teams included: Seattle Supersonics, Oklahoma City Thunder

Projected Starters:
PG – Gary Payton

SG – Ray Allen

C – Jack Sikma

PF – Shawn Kemp

SF – Kevin Durant

Key Subs: James Harden, Detlef Schrempf, Rashard Lewis, Tom Chambers, Russell Westbrook, Spencer Haywood, Xavier McDaniel, Gus Williams

Others: Lonnie Shelton, Alton Lister, Serge Ibaka, Dennis Johnson, Fred Brown, Dale Ellis, Michael Cage, Jeff Green, Slick Watts, Nate McMillen, Sam Perkins, Rickey Pierce, Derrick McKey

Strengths: Starting 5 can stack up to any in the league. Durant versatile scorer. Sikma will compete with league top centers. Payton/Kemp are impressive duo. Harden will play the Ginobli role on this team in 4th quarter. Could steal division from Lakers.

Weakness: Behind Kemp, will need to decide between scoring or rebounding from the bench. Starters strong but bench defense is average. Not a top rebounding team.

Projection: West 3 seed. Lost conference semifinals.

3. Portland Trailblazers

Teams Included: Portland Trailblazers

Projected Starters:

PG – Damian Lillard

SG – Clyde Drexler

C – Bill Walton

PF – LaMarcus Aldridge

SF – Jerome Kersey

Key Subs: Jim Paxson, Terry Porter, Kiki Vandeweghe, Calvin Natt, Kenny Carr, Rod Strickland, Brandon Roy, Maurice Lucas, Buck Williams, Arvydas Sabonis

Others: Kermit Washington, J.J. Hickson, Kenny Anderson, Geoff Petrie, Mychal Thompson, Tom Owens, Sidney Wicks, Cliff Robinson, Scottie Pippen, Wesley Matthews, Nicolas Batum, Greg Oden, T. R. Dunn

Strengths: A healthy Walton in his prime coupled with Drexler and Aldridge make for an impressive trio. Lots of bench shooters can provide plenty of points.

Weakness: Subpar defensive team with rebounding issues after Walton. Best shooters are worst rebounders and defenders.

Projection: West 8 seed. Lost 1st round

4. Golden St. Warriors

Included Teams: Golden St. Warriors

Projected Starters:

PG – Stephen Curry

SG – Purvis Short

C – Robert Parish

PF – David Lee

SF – Chris Mullin

Key Subs: Klay Thompson, Sleepy Floyd, Larry Smith, Andrew Bogut, Nate Thurmond, George Johnson, Jamaal Wilkes, Tim Hardaway, Mitch Richmond, Tyrone HIll, Rick Barry

Others: Phil Smith, Clyde Lee, Jason Richardson, Cazzie Russell, Rod Higgins, Sarunas Marciulionas, Jeff Mullins, Joe Smith, Joe Barry Carroll, Monta Ellis, Corey Maggette, Billy Owens, Gilbert Arenas, Chris Gatling, Andre Iguodala

Strengths: Incredible scoring in Curry, Short, and Mullin. Young Parish is a strong in the front court. No shortage of shooters on the bench and a surprisingly deep group of Cs.

Weakness: Horrible defensive team. Not an exceptionally good passing team either. Call them Suns Lite in their ability to score but unable to stop anyone.

Projection: Miss Playoffs.

5. San Diego Conquistadors

Teams included: San Diego Conquistadors/Sails, Charlotte Bobcats, Utah Stars

Projected Starters:
PG – Chuck Williams

SG – James Jones

C – Zelmo Beaty

PF – Moses Malone

SF – Willie Wise

Key Subs: Al Jefferson, Travis Grant, Ron Boone, Tyson Chandler, Ben Warley, Caldwell Jones, Gerald Wallace, Jason Richardson, Emeka Okafor

Others: Kemba Walker, Ollie Taylor, Craig Raymond, Stew Johnson, Bo Lamar, Raymond Felton, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Stephen Jackson, Gerald Henderson, Steve Chubin, Boris Diaw

Strengths: The name may be the very cool San Diego Conquistadors, but the Utah Stars dominate this lineup. Their stars are probably second only to Indiana’s from the old ABA. Beaty/Malone are a dominating front court duo. Jones is a very accurate shooter. Bench contains a nice mix of rebounding and shooting. Will be more competitive than you think.

Weakness: Like many ABA teams, defense is weak. Not deep at PG. Not a great 3pt shooting team.

Projection: Miss playoffs.

 

 

 

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