With team USA's next game still a couple days away, it's looking like a slow week around here. I'm tired of talking about EJ, so here's a different topic to help fill the time. I was browsing through ESPN Insider yesterday and noticed that Broussard & Co have the Suns ranked 11th in their pre-season projections. That's 7th in the western conference, ahead of the Spurs, Rockets, Grizzlies, Kings, and Clippers (ranked 21st). I find that a little incredible. With Nash still around, it's hard to argue that we're as good as they are, but I just don't see them ranked ten spots higher than us. And a playoff team, no less. I'd like to hear what other citizens think about this.
Here are the two rosters, side by side.
Center: Lopez vs Kaman
PF: Turkoglu(?) vs Griffin
SF: Hill vs Gomes
SG: Richardson vs Gordon
PG: Nash vs Davis
Center: Frye vs DJ
PF: Warrick vs Smith
Wings: Childress and Dudley vs RButler and Foye (and Aminu)
PG: Dragic vs Bledsoe/Foye
Hmmm... 10 spots higher, you say? The Suns may have the edge in the backcourt, but then our front court should be able to barrel through theirs. Turkoglu on Griffin? Defense, rebounds, and points in the paint should be advantage Clips. Even among the starting guards, if Baron and EJ play smart and tough, then we should be able to hold our own. At the 3 spot, meanwhile, it's not like we're up against a Carmelo or a Lebron. I have a lot of respect for Hill, but he is getting up there in age... Bear in mind, too, that we're not talking about a one game matchup, but an overall season performance. Sure, the Suns have a some wily veterans, but 82 games can be hard on the knees. So many games should also serve our rookies well; I think we can reasonably expect greater contributions from them as the season rolls on. And don't you suppose that a more seasoned Aminu, along with a slowed Nash or Hill, might tip the balance in our favor?
Of course, Broussard may have a point, if indeed Baron shows up wider that Craig Smith.