Orlando Magic Blog

Group Blog talking about the NBA 2009 Eastern Conference Champions. Due to the amazing success of the 2009 playoff run comments are now frequently deleted to kill offensive comments, incoherence, or asininity. Comments can no longer be anonymous and require either a Blogger or OpenID account.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The Future of the Eastern Conference

The wild, wild East - NBA - Yahoo! Sports
You know how they are always talking about windows for sports teams – as in the window to win a championship is about to close? Well, in the Eastern Conference at least, everyone who doesn't have James, Wade or Howard (Cleveland, Miami, Orlando, respectively) is about to have their window close; if not next season, then certainly by 2008-09 and beyond.

James, 21, Wade, 24, and Howard, 20, are not just three good young players with bright futures. They are generational basketball talents, guys so good, so determined, so clutch that it is impossible not to envision them dominating the NBA (and certainly the East) for years and years to come.

Fast forward to the spring of 2009 – is there any doubt that James, with a better roster around him, has the Cleveland Cavaliers as the team to beat in the East? Certainly, unless you think Howard has anchored a quickly improving Magic team into that status. Or Pat Riley has rebuilt the Heat (post-Shaq) around Wade.

If you want to win a championship, you had better do it right here, right now. You can't build up a team with young players and hope it works in three years because the fact is that your young players aren't as good as the young players on Cleveland, Miami and Orlando. It isn't even close. You're going to lose.

James, Wade and Howard already are going to overwhelmingly affect your team's ability to compete for a title. You aren't getting out of the second round.

3 Comments:

  • At 1:42 AM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    As the past has proven the easiest position to build a championship team around is a big man. Of course the problem is, talented big men don't come around that often. Orlando is blessed to have pretty much the best young big man in the game, besides maybe Stoudemire, and who knows what will come of him after his injury.

    ALthough most of the "best players" in the league are usually guards, it isn't often that teams win titles with these guys. Vince Carter, Kobe(without Shaq), Iverson, TMac, Melo, Ray Allen; are a few that come to mind. Of course you can say Wade won one, but that would have never happened if Shaq wasn't there. King James should have a better shot at being that special player. He's the total package, inside-outside game, the size and strength to make the difference when it counts... Dwyane Wade, no matter how "great" he is, I can see nothing more than the future Allen Iverson, and I think the Heat will be right down there where the 76ers have been until they have another impact player to co-exist with Wade. Pretty much facts and history say that... And if you need living proof, just take a look at Kobe. I've never liked the guy, but he's probably the best basketball player on the planet right now. And what has he done for LA without Shaq, not make the playoffs, and a 1st round loss.

    Now with all of that said, you're exactly right in regards to the East. There is not a whole lot of teams out there that are looking like "title contenders". When the Pistons were playing the Cavs, it really hit me... There is nothing more the NBA would love than to have Wade VS Lebron for years to come. I see nothing other than that for next year. I also think it'll be the last chance for the NBA to hand over a title to the Heat because of Shaq's aging body, so I expect the Heat in the Finals again. Lebron will have plenty of turns in the following years... Where the Magic fit into that, I'm not sure. Personally, I think it depends on how much the league loves Howard. If Howard breaks out, becomes a major star, and makes the league alot of money, then I expect the Magic to be right there for years, because as it stands today, we have as deep of a roster as any team in the East, and maybe the league for that matter. So as of now, I have nothing to complain about. We seem to be in good hands with Otis.

    On a funny note... It's good to see DeShawn getting offers from other teams out there? Haha... Still, I'd like him back, I think he'll compliment Redick well.

     
  • At 3:01 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    I read that column on Tuesday and was going to post it on here... but you beat me to it... nice job WeR!

    That column makes a lot of good points. The columnist who wrote it, Dan Wetzel, now thinks the Bulls are championship contenders with the free agent signing of Ben Wallace, and I agree. Bulls GM John Paxson knew he had to make a bold move, because the window for a championship is certainly there the next few seasons.

    Intro, I agree with a lot of what you say... but I wouldn't be so quick to put Miami back in the finals. As much as I think DWade is a superstar and franchise player, he can't do it himself (like LeBron James). If Shaq can have a decent year next year and stay relatively healthy, then the Heat do have a good chance of getting back to the finals. But if he is injured a lot and his skills continue to deteriorate rapidly... I don't expect the Heat back, no matter how good a season DWade might have.

    I'm not convinced the Cavs have a solid enough cast to support LeBron and be a title contender next season.

    I'm looking forward to seeing the Magic really develop... there's absolutely no reason why they can't get homecourt advantage in the first round, advance to the second, and give a team a real scare in that round. Detroit will really miss Wallace; Mohammed is a decent center but he is no Wallace.

    How scary will the Magic be in another 2 or 3 years, when DHoward will have that much more experience, and guys like Jameer and Darko should be bona fide stars by then?

    Like intro said, "we have as deep of a roster as any team in the East, and maybe the league for that matter."

    My top 4 teams in the East next season: Miami, Chicago, Orlando, Cleveland.

    The future looks bright, Magic fans (the only wildcard factor in this is Coach Hill... he better not mess things up!)

     
  • At 6:01 PM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    Well said Mike!

    I totally agree with your comment about the Cavs. Their team is pretty weak from top to bottom. They're expected to lose Gooden. Big Z probably doesn't have that much left. Larry Hughes has always been a question mark in my book, but he is their 2nd best player. I think it'll be interesting to see if Lebron signs an extension this summer. It has been said that the Cavs offered him an extension about 5 days ago and there has been no word from Lebron. All I'm saying is you never know...

     

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