Competition Discussion: Rest of the East/Tonight's open thread

...because I never finished the job.  Previous links can be found here.

Milwaukee: Here's a question: is Scott Skiles really the master of the quick turnaround?  Look at his coaching record.  He took over a Phoenix team that was already very good and kept them there for a couple years.  He did turn Chicago around in his first full year, but that was after a 19-47 start the year before.  Can he really get through to a Milwaukee team that decided it'd rather have a declining small forward than a young point guard?  Can he get through to a Bucks team that won't play defense?  I'm dubious. Prediction: 32-50.

New Jersey: They have exactly two above-average players, and one of them (Vince Carter) has a history of tanking on bad teams and may well be traded in midseason.  Not sure why they're acquiring all these vets (Najera, Dooling, Simmons, Arvis) when they're rebuilding. Prediction: 21-61.

New York: For all the talk about how this roster can't fit into D'Antoni-ball, there are some guys (Nate Robinson, David Lee, Wilson Chandler, even Zach Randolph) who will benefit.  That said, there are plenty others (Eddy Curry, Jamal Crawford) who won't. Prediction: 25-57

Orlando: I really, really didn't like their offseason.  Swapping Mo Evans, Keyon Dooling and Carlos Arroyo for the brain-dead Mickael Pietrus, rookie Courtney Lee and the decrepit Anthony Johnson is a downgrade.  Tony Battie helps a little, but we can't expect that Hedo Turkoglu will be that awesome again.  Before our injuries, I think we could have challenged them in the East.  Now, they'll probably be about the same as last year. Prediction: 50-32.

Philadelphia: I had them higher before their preseason.  Elton Brand looked really bad, Samuel Dalembert looks lost and Mo Cheeks is, for some reason, talking about starting Kareem Rush instead of going to a Iguodala/Thad Young wing tandem.  There's no outside shooting, not much depth and not too many tradeable assets.  That said, I see them finishing strong because they'll be great defensively and because everyone will eventually get adjusted to each other. Prediction: 48-34.

Toronto: Why are they receiving all this love?  Jermaine O'Neal is no good anymore, healthy or not healthy.  He'll help a bit defensively, sure, but his offensive skills are redundant with Chris Bosh's and he's not the rebounder everyone thinks he is.  Plus, he won't stay healthy.  Is that the type of person you want to rob your depth to get?  Jose Calderon and Bosh are great, but I'm so underwhelmed by the rest of the club.  Prediction: 44-38.

Full predictions below the jump:

Eastern Conferece

1.  Boston Celtics: 58-24
2.  Cleveland Cavaliers: 54-28
3.  Detroit Pistons: 53-29
4.  Orlando Magic: 50-32
5.  Philadelphia 76ers: 48-34
6.  Toronto Raptors: 44-38
7.  Indiana Pacers: 40-42
8.  Washington Wizards: 40-42
9.  Miami Heat: 37-45
10.  Atlanta Hawks: 35-47
11.  Chicago Bulls: 33-49
12.  Milwaukee Bucks: 32-50
13.  Charlotte Bobcats: 31-51
14.  New York Knicks: 25-57
15.  New Jersey Nets: 21-61

Western Conference

1.  Los Angeles Lakers: 65-17
2.  New Orleans Hornets: 57-25
3.  Utah Jazz: 55-27
4.  Houston Rockets: 55-27
5.  San Antonio Spurs: 51-31
6.  Dallas Mavericks: 50-32
7.  Phoenix Suns: 48-34
8.  Portland Trailblazers: 45-37
9.  Denver Nuggets: 43-39
10.  Los Angeles Clippers: 36-46
11.  Minnesota Timberwolves: 30-52
12.  Sacramento Kings: 29-53
13.  Golden State Warriors: 28-54
14.  Memphis Grizzlies: 19-63
15.  Oklahoma City Thunder: 18-64

MVP: LeBron, begrudgingly
Rookie: Greg Oden
Coach: Phil Jackson
DPOY: Tyson Chandler (dark horse)
Sixth Man: Andrei Kirilenko
Most Improved: Nate Robinson

Boston 4, Washington 2
Cleveland 4, Indiana 0
Detroit 4, Toronto 1
Philadelphia 4, Orlando 2

LA Lakers 4, Portland 1
New Orleans 4, Phoenix 2
Utah 4, Dallas 3
Houston 4, San Antonio 3

Boston 4, Philadelphia 3
Cleveland 4, Detroit 2

LA Lakers 4, Houston 3
New Orleans 4, Utah 3

Cleveland 4, Boston 1
LA Lakers 4, New Orleans 2

LA Lakers 4, Cleveland 3

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