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 Kenny Smith power rankings

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Spinnin' Bucket

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PostSubject: Kenny Smith power rankings   Wed Oct 10, 2007 12:30 pm

Preseason rankings: Eastern Conference

By Kenny Smith, Yahoo! Sports
October 8, 2007


1. Boston Celtics – With three unselfish stars in Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, and Kevin Garnett, the learning curve is shorter than most. They will dominate a conference with only three contenders (the others being Detroit and Miami).

2. Detroit Pistons – They are one of the few teams that can only beat themselves. That's why they always believe it's a fluke when they lose. Experience wins, and Detroit's veterans can still get the job done.

3. Miami Heat – Shaquille O'Neal and Dwyane Wade tasted the sweet smell of success two years ago and have the tools to get back to the NBA finals. With Alonzo Mourning leaving after this season, an aging Shaq gets one last real chance at another title before he's done.

4. Cleveland Cavaliers – LeBron James and the young Cavs shocked the world last season, but the surprise factor is over. They will have a big task learning to live up to expectations.

5. Chicago Bulls – The young and gifted Bulls are in trouble. When Garnett came to the East and didn't land in Chicago, it slowed their progress.

6. Toronto Raptors – They're a nice team, and that very well might be their problem in getting over the top. The Raptors might need someone to get a little nasty or trade for a pit bull.

7. New Jersey Nets – They didn't get better, but there's too much talent on the roster not to make the playoffs.

8. Washington Wizards – With Agent Zero (aka Gilbert Arenas), the Wizards are a playoff team, but with no consistent inside scoring, the Wizards will struggle this season.

9. Orlando Magic – Just not enough firepower. The Magic have a lot of very good players, but none is a 20-point man on a good team. (Sorry, Rashard Lewis.)

10. New York Knicks – Scandals, poor chemistry and a bunch of round pegs trying to fit in square holes. This once storied franchise is in disarray.

11. Indiana Pacers – Who's on this team again?

12. Milwaukee Bucks – Without sounding redundant, there's just not enough talent. The Bucks are potential driven which leads to losses in the NBA.

13. Philadelphia 76ers – They'll be searching for an answer all year! OK, OK, that was a cheap shot, but it will take a lot of practice, practice, practice! (I crack myself up.)

14. Charlotte Bobcats – The Bobcats are much too inexperienced at all positions, including coach, to make noise this season. That said, they still are my sleeper East team.

15. Atlanta Hawks – Dominique Wilkins, Doc Rivers and Spud Webb are rolling over in their basketball graves right now. The Hawks have become the 2008 Clippers.

Preseason rankings: Western Conference

By Kenny Smith, Yahoo! Sports
October 9, 2007


1. San Antonio Spurs – They really didn't add much to their team. Why? Because the foreign legion team of Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan is still the best. (Yes, Duncan is from the Virgin Islands, but they're foreign to me!) Depth, youth and experience makes them the blueprint franchise.

2. Phoenix Suns – I know Amare Stoudemire is out for the preseason, but that's no concern. The Suns are primed this year, and here are two things to watch for: 120 points per game (which means championship dreams) or Stoudemire, Grant Hill and Raja Bell in street clothes (that'd mean a lottery nightmare).

3. Dallas Mavericks – Avery Johnson has the challenge of getting rid of the Ghost of Playoff Failures Past. The inability to defend off the dribble and to have a true post-up scorer was exposed for the world to see in the postseason. Personnel changes are in their future.

4. Utah Jazz – They are for real. Carlos Boozer and Deron Williams aren't Malone and Stockton, but they're more like Malone and the new Jason Kidd. These two should take off where they left off in the playoffs.

5. Houston Rockets – The Rockets' biggest problem is chemistry. The questions are as follows: Is Steve Francis healthy or is he a head case? Is Rafer Alston streetball or street? And can Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady coexist?

6. Denver Nuggets – Having Allen Iverson and Carmelo Anthony for a full season should make Denver the most dangerous team in basketball. If basketball is the only story throughout the year, then look out.

7. Los Angeles Lakers – Kobe will be … well, Kobe. However, this is the year Lamar Odom plays like an All-Star all season and the Lakers take a step closer.

8. Golden State Warriors – The bodyguard Baron Davis and the upstart Warriors are great for the playoffs. But without depth in a lot of areas, they're looking like the eighth-best club in the West.

9. Memphis Grizzlies – They improved their team by adding Mike Conley Jr. However, the best improvement comes from just being healthy. Pau Gasol is arguably the second-best power forward in the West behind Duncan, and don't underestimate Damon Stoudamire's value.

10. New Orleans Hornets – CP3 (aka Chris Paul) needs three more studs to go with him. Tyson Chandler is a beast, but it ends there. The rest of the starters would be better served as being second-unit players.

11. Portland Trail Blazers – No Greg Oden. No playoffs.

12. Los Angeles Clippers – They're baaaaaaaack … to losing, finger pointing and empty seats. With no Elton Brand or Sean Livingston, the Clippers' future is in street clothes.

13. Sacramento Kings – New coach Reggie Theus has inherited a glimpse of the Sacramento glory days. The Kings will be in dismantling mode by the All-Star break.

14. Minnesota Timberwolves – The words that will become common place are "youthful," "patience" and "next year."

15. Seattle SuperSonics – Too young for success. Kevin Durant will be fun to watch, but it will be difficult to find more than 25 wins.
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Spinnin' Bucket

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PostSubject: Re: Kenny Smith power rankings   Wed Oct 10, 2007 12:32 pm

Overall, I agree with a lot of Kenny's assessments. A few of the rankings that caught my eye:

Miami Heat

- I think the Heat are in for a big fall this year. The San Diego Chargers of the NBA, if you will.

Chicago Bulls

- 5th? Come on, Kenny. Nearly every facet of this team will have improved from last season. No respect.

New Orleans Hornets

- They're a playoff team this year, probably at the expense of the Warriors.
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PostSubject: Re: Kenny Smith power rankings   Thu Oct 11, 2007 2:07 am

While I also agree that the Bulls are better than the 5th best team in the Eastern Conference, I agree with his assessment that Garnett landing in the Eastern Conference and not in Chicago will hurt them.
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STUN.Ryan
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PostSubject: Re: Kenny Smith power rankings   Thu Oct 11, 2007 2:46 am

Does Boston really become the front runner? I don't know about that.
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PostSubject: Re: Kenny Smith power rankings   Thu Oct 11, 2007 3:05 am

The REAL Spinnin Bucket makes it to the underground. WOuld any of you guys care to venture estimates on season wins? I want to be ready with the expert prognostications from you NBA aces when the season wins futures lines come out next week...
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PostSubject: Re: Kenny Smith power rankings   Thu Oct 11, 2007 3:10 am

Hmm....Bulls 54-28?
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PostSubject: Re: Kenny Smith power rankings   Thu Oct 11, 2007 4:22 am

We're pretty close, Ryan. I'm looking for 53 Bull victories. Single digit losses at home (32-9), and a winning record on the road (21-20).

Give me some time, Coast. I'll try to have something up this weekend. Might not have a chance to do a write-up on every team, but I'll give predictions for what I feel will be overpriced vs underpriced. Off the top of my head, I suspect the Celtics, Knicks, and Magic will be poor value, and that the Rockets, Hornets, and Nuggets will be bargain buys. The East, while still the markedly weaker conference, is much deeper than the West. The West, conversely, is extremely top-heavy. And with the way NBA scheduling works, this will lead to 4 or 5 Western Conference teams with very impressive records, and a bunch of Eastern Conference teams flirting with a .500 record.

More on the way…
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BrianIm

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PostSubject: Re: Kenny Smith power rankings   Thu Oct 11, 2007 10:11 am

Boston's top lineup seems pretty intimidating, but their bench is laughable. The Raptors will repeat as Atlantic Champs.
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PostSubject: Re: Kenny Smith power rankings   Thu Oct 11, 2007 12:37 pm

I dont agree with Boston taking the top spot. A team needs to prove something to take the top spot and there are still a lot of holes in Celtics (i.e. bench, point gaurd play, Injuries!!!! the top three are all over 30 years old)......
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PostSubject: Re: Kenny Smith power rankings   Fri Oct 12, 2007 2:55 am

STUN.Ryan wrote:
Does Boston really become the front runner? I don't know about that.

Thats the ESPN hype machine mainly. Atlanta tried this before, as did Houston, and they both had better supporting casts for their big 3. I like Ryan's pick for the Bulls, and I like them to win the East. Toronto will be good again, the Jazz will be good again, and I think the Atlanta Hawks will be better than people think, definitely NOT the worst team in the East.
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PostSubject: Re: Kenny Smith power rankings   Fri Oct 12, 2007 1:06 pm

Okay, Coast, here you go:

THE EAST

53 - Chicago Bulls
51 - Boston Celtics
49 - Detroit Pistons
47 - Cleveland Cavs
44 - New Jersey Nets
42 - Toronto Raptors
41 - Miami Heat
41 - Orlando Magic
39 - Washington Wizards
37 - New York Knicks
36 - Milwaukee Bucks
35 - Charlotte Bobcats
32 - Indiana Pacers
30 - Philadelphia 76ers
28 - Atlanta Hawks

THE WEST

62 - Dallas Mavericks
60 - Phoenix Suns
58 - San Antonio Spurs
52 - Houston Rockets
50 - Utah Jazz
50 - Denver Nuggets
44 - New Orleans Hornets
42 - Los Angeles Lakers
38 - Golden State Warriors
35 - Memphis Grizzlies
31 - Sacramento Kings
31 - Los Angeles Clippers
26 - Portland Blazers
24 - Minnesota T'Wolves
22 - Seattle Sonics
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PostSubject: Re: Kenny Smith power rankings   Tue Oct 16, 2007 11:09 pm

Thank you very much Bucket.
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PostSubject: Re: Kenny Smith power rankings   Wed Oct 17, 2007 11:39 am

from sportsbook.com, assuming other books will offer similar lines:

Atlanta - under 38.5
Orlando - under 47.5
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PostSubject: Re: Kenny Smith power rankings   Thu Oct 18, 2007 1:38 pm

Spinnin' Bucket wrote:
from sportsbook.com, assuming other books will offer similar lines:

Atlanta - under 38.5
Orlando - under 47.5

I think Atlanta will be better than you think they will, but I love the Under on the Magic.
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PostSubject: Re: Kenny Smith power rankings   Fri Oct 19, 2007 12:37 am

I would be VERY cautious about ever doing business with sportsbook.com. There are a lot of horror stories from that book.

Here are the opening lines from the Greek (comparable to Las Vegas openers) compared to Bucket's numbers. I did the math to find the most significant disparities. Overall, Bucket is right around the number in 90% of these. Thanks for your great work.

I'll be digging into these in more depth to find some plays on those with the most significant disparities. Atlanta is the largest disparity. Some people apparently believe the Hawks are going to the playoffs this year.



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PostSubject: Re: Kenny Smith power rankings   Fri Oct 19, 2007 4:28 am

Hawks have a lot of young talent, no doubt, but I happen to believe they're going to find a lot of PT for Acie Law & Al Horford. And if that happens, they won't be a playoff team (probably won't be regardless). Other than Joe Johnson, all of the critical components on that franchise are still in the development stage.

I like the New Orleans play, but the injury factor concerns me. Paul, Peja, West, and Tyson have all struggled to stay on the floor in recent seasons. I like the over, but I wouldn't pound it.

Sacramento comes with a fair share of risk. Personally, I see them trying to blow up the team (moving Bibby and/or Artest and/or Miller) this season and rebuild around Kevin Martin & Spencer Hawes. If that happens, no chance in hell they win 36 games in the West.

Even though it doesn't have the greatest mathematical disparity among my projections, I'd say I'm most comfortable with the Orlando play. Under no circumstances can I envision them winning that many games.

I find Seattle, Portland, and Minnesota to be equally offensive this year. The fact that The Greek has such a wide range between them surprises me.

Also, thanks for the heads up, but I haven't been to sportsbook.com since they changed ownership. Just checked there for the lines.

Lastly, and I'm sure you're already aware of this Coast, but it bears repeating, all of these lines are geared towards unders. My projections are based on the actual number of games to be played. If you add them all up, they'll total 1230. The Greek has a total of 1287.5 victories below. That, I suspect, probably represents a greater differential %-wise than the few teams where my rankings differ substantially.

Good luck.
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PostSubject: Re: Kenny Smith power rankings   Sat Oct 20, 2007 4:26 am

I will be making investments on Orlando, Sacramento, Seattle, Atlanta and Portland UNDERs. Just shopping for the best prices. Sac, Atlanta and Portland unders already getting play, so I won't wait long.
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PostSubject: Re: Kenny Smith power rankings   Thu Jan 03, 2008 7:30 am

The Hawks Under bet doesnt look great right now, either does the Magic.
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