So Marc Stein of ESPN.com released his first power rankings of the new season and I have a few things to say about it. I understand that he says this is not a predicted order of finish, but rather an outlook of the season heading into camp. Whatever, you still suck Stein.
1 - I am okay with his top 2 teams. Boston has to be first and the Lakers have to be second, done and done.
It goes down hill from there for Mr. Stein.
2 - New Orleans comes in at #3. Enough with the Chris Paul love affair already. Did he somehow accidentally walk into a full blown orgy that all of the media people were having and is now black-mailing all of them with the pictures? We get it, he's good, but answer me this - Who was the better player for team USA, Chris Paul or Deron Williams? Even the most biased Chris Paul homer has to admit that those two played to a dead draw in the Olympics. Is there any real difference between the Jazz and Hornets? The way I see it, these two teams are pretty dead even.
3 - Houston at #4. How many times does Tracy McGrady have to get beaten in the first round of the playoffs before the media wises up and stops picking them? Apparently the answer is at least one more time.
4 - Next come the Spurs at #5, Cavs at #6 and Pistons at #7. Maybe its okay to put the Spurs here because they have proven over time that they are capable of winning in the post season. (Which is the exact opposite of the Rockets and how they got their ranking by the way.) Cavs are once again a one trick pony and the Pistons have been paper tigers for the last 4 years.
5 - The Sixers are in at #8. This is where Marc Stein must have started feeling the effects of that late night in New Orleans buying drinks for Chris Paul. He put the effing 76ers ahead of the Jazz. Elton Brand has done absolutely nothing in his career. Elton Brand and Tracy McGrady are the two players with the most talent, but least to show for it in the league. The Sixers are going to be better for sure, but there is no way they have a better outlook for the season than the Jazz (See # 6 for proof).
6 - Finally we see the Jazz come in at #9. I am keeping in mind that Stein's rankings are supposedly reflective of what the teams did during the off season and their outlook for the 08-09 season ahead so with that being said these are some of the hi-lights for the Jazz this summer:
- Boozer and Williams play for team USA and were the only teammates to do so.
- Deron Williams signs his extension and officially takes over the keys of the team
- AK keeps his mouth shut and also gets good practice in during the Olympics
- Memo gets healthy healing his bad back and left foot
- Ron Brewer gets a year better and spends 3 hours per day in the gym working on his jumper
- Jason Shart is sent packing back to LA for Brevin Knight who is just happy to be here
Just because the Jazz did not sign a drug-addict or a crazy guy during the off season does not mean they had a bad one. Everything the Jazz did was positive for the upcoming year. There is no animosity on this team right now, everyone is healthy and happy to be together. You can reasonably expect that except for Harpring, Collins and Brevin Knight all of the Jazz players will be better than they were last year due to being a year better not a year older. The main core of players are all under 30 and still in the prime of their careers. Give me one negative thing that happened to the Jazz over the summer that will impact this coming year? Even the dumb-ass signing of CJ Miles does not impact them negatively this year. This was the most boring summer ever to be a Jazz fan and that has to be a good thing.
As for the rest of the rankings, the Nuggets were in at 18 and that seems about right. I really did not care to see how the rest of them shook out after realizing that Marc Stein is a MORON!