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Can the Wizards reach playoffs ? A look into the Eastern Conference (It's ugly)

Ryan McDonough just pulled the trigger and it blasted Kendall, Shannon and Marcin to Washington D.C so they can spend more time with our beloved Seth Pollack, in return we got a 12 protected first round pick which means that if the Wizards pick stands between 1 and 12 the Phoenix Suns don't get it and in compensation Suns get the 2015 pick but this time top 10 protected.

Also the Suns acquired yet another player picked 2nd in the draft, the 31 year old center Emeka Okafor. Selected 2nd in the 2004 draft in front of Luol Deng, Kevin Martin, Tony Allen, Josh Smith, Al Jefferson and Andrea Iguodala, funny enough he got picked behind the one and only Dwight Howard.

Washington dealt Emeka hoping that Gortat could thrive enough to help the team find their way to playoffs, in fact if Emeka had been healthy they wouldn't probably do such trade, but rumours has it that Okafor injury might even take him away from basketball and end his career, no timeable has been set, although we are probably going to get some news soon from our miraculous staff.

But the question remains, can Washington really make it ? Let's take a look at how this shaped last year in the East Conference:

# Eastern Conference standings
Team W L PCT GB GP
1 z-Miami Heat 66 16 .805 - 82
2 y-New York Knicks 54 28 .659 12 82
3 y-Indiana Pacers 49 32 .605 16.5 81dagger
4 x-Brooklyn Nets 49 33 .598 17 82
5 x-Chicago Bulls 45 37 .549 21 82
6 x-Atlanta Hawks 44 38 .537 22 82
7 x-Boston Celtics 41 40 .506 24.5 81dagger
8 x-Milwaukee Bucks 38 44 .463 28 82
9 Philadelphia 76ers 34 48 .415 32 82
10 Toronto Raptors 34 48 .415 32 82
11 Detroit Pistons 29 53 .354 37 82
12 Washington Wizards 29 53 .354 37 82
13 Cleveland Cavaliers 24 58 .293 42 82
14 Charlotte Bobcats 21 61 .256 45 82
15 Orlando Magic 20 62 .244 46 82

From wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Template:2012%E2%80%9313_NBA_East_standings

After the downfall of Philly and Boston,if you take out the holy cows of the pennant race which would be Miami, Knicks, Indy, Brooklin, Chicago and Atlanta, those are six spots already taken so that leaves 2 spots that will be battle between the following teams

Cleveland Cavaliers

Projected starting five: Kyrie Irving-Dion Waiters-Alonzo Gee-Tristan Thompson-Varejao

Cleveland built a solid team this year, they added all star center Andrew Bynum and the surprising number one pick Anthony Bennet, however Bynum didn't play a single game last year and reports are that he is very far from stepping on a court, it's also important to note that Cavs are getting complaints from the medical staff because the 7 footer is out of shape. Bennett who is 6'8 could be use as SF since he has very good shooting numbers, recording 38% of the 3 point kingdom yet lacks speed so maybe he could be use as PF and take advatange of his 7'1 wingspan but that spells trouble since they already have Tristan Thompson another rather small PF at 6'8 who is posting awesome numbers in just his second years, and almost avg a double double 11.7 PPG and 9.4 RPG, i would be trhilled to have Len doing as good as he is.

They also have a good bench with the combo of rising ex Sun Earl Clark, Wayne Ellington, C.J Miles, Omri Casspi

Lots of things need to go well for the team that LeBron screwed, Kyrie needs to stay healthy, Dion Waiters has to meet his potential and be an efficient scorer, Bennet needs to be able to play SF and the biggest thing will be Andrew Bynum returning to his elite center status. That's a longshot but they have players getting better by the minute, and the likes of Tyler Zeller, Jon Leur and others could maybe come up as a surprise. Also Mike Brown return as a coach for cleveland, he is a good defensive coach, i trust in him to do a good job.

Detroit Pistons (The ex home of Viacheslav Kravtsov)

Projected starting five: Brandong Jennings-Kyle Singler-Josh Smith-Greg Monroe-Andre Drummond

This team can rebound the living beasley out of the ball. Sadly they are in need of shooting, so they rely on Jennings and Smith to be a force in that area, isn't it idiotic cute? They have good guns in Charlie Villanueva and Chancey Billups but Charlie is too lazy and has been a disgrace after the big contract he earned, he has been out of shape for about 4 years and always do silly things on court, in the other hand Billups is getting older and the load of work might be too much for his shoulders.

They have a weird bench with the likes of Jonas Jerebko, Will Bynum, Rodney Stuckey, recently draftee Kentavious Caldwell Pope and Italian MVP Luigi Datome. I believe this team starting five could get the job done and grab that 8th seed but it all depends on three factors, Can Josh play SF ? Maybe. Can Jennings run the show efficiently? Perhaps. Can Drummond be the beast everyone expects? I lean to yes.

They brought Maurice Cheeks from the sidelines of OKC to the coaching gig, he had a recent incident of domestic violence but the word from players like Westbrook is that the guy is awesome, Durant also has some love for him.

Toronto Raptors

Projected starting five: Demar DeRozan-Landry Fields-Rudy Gay-Tyler Hansbrough-Jonas Valanciunas

This team has a little bit of everything, they are athletic, they can score, defend and rebound. However they lost the best passer in the team, Jose Calderon and i wonder how the ball will be share, they have Kyle Lowry who is as good as Dragic but he is not starting, if were the coach, i would bring Landry or DeRozan as sixth man and start Lowry but maybe that is why i'm not a coach anyway the bench seems decent with the arrival of dead eye shooter Steve Novak, D.J Agustin and slam dunk contest champion Terrence Ross. There's also decent pieces in Amir Johnson and Dwight Buycks.

This team was close last year but i just don't see it, Rudy Gay is not near as good as the 17 million contract he has and the additions are just not enough.

Charlotte Bobcats

Projected starting five: Kemba Walker-Gerald Henderson-Jeff Taylor-Michael Kidd Gilchirst-Al Jefferson

Charlotte brought Al Jefferson surrending 41 mil in 3 year, making 13.5 this year, in hope of also reaching playoffs, much like the Wizards the roster is constructed around their PG, 3 of those 5 are developing rookies and could do much better this year, let's hope they don't. The bench has scorers like Ben Gordon, Hakim Warrick LOL and Ramon Sessions, add the bust of Bismack Biyombo who still figuring out how to play in the NBA.

Perhaps the most important move was the acquisition of the draftee Cody Zeller, who is guy that can do everything in the court, he is agile and is a seven footer but has always seen like the Robin of Batman, can he be a man? i thought he was the best big of the last draft and hope big things out of him, no so sadly i don't expect Charlotte to achieve nothing this season, Al Jefferson was a panic move, just like the Wizards deal.

Washington Wizards

Projected starting five: John Wall-Bradley Beal-Martrell Webster-Nene Hilario-Marcin Gortat

This starting five is really good but a lot of success falls on the growing of Bradley Beal. The bench is actually good too with the recently picked jack of all trades master of none Otto Porter, Eric Maynor, Trevor Ariza, Chris Singleton and Al Harris, they have the team to make it as 8th seed but health is a big BIG issue for Washington, in fact each player of the starting five had a major injury last year and because they have to heavily play all of them, things could go wrong.

Washington coach Randy Wittman has a tough job ahead of him, i'll say he and Beal hold the key to enter the playoff land.

The East Conference is depressing, or least writting this was, but things are looking good for the Suns, i believe Cleveland and Washington will take 7th and 8th seed but Detroit could surprise. Also the Bucks could crash and there would be 3 spots open, so let's just lend Aaron Nelson this season to the Wizards and enjoy our pick.

Boston wasn't taken in account because of Rondo's injury, had he been healthy, i'd picked them to reach playoffs.

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