It's unnerving to many of us that we stand on the brink of another season greatly anticipated, yet, disappointed in a large way with the recent injury rash. The woe is me attitude isn't one that I see as a theme in our community. However, there is room for the reality of allowing some skepticism to creep in given our history. That horse has been deadly beaten, however, so there's no need to repave the same road.
What I'd like to cover are the possibilities that each side to the season might bring.
The team picks up right where they left off. They continue at the win rate they finished the season. Wall continues to evolve as a player, Harrington provides the added toughness and veteran leadership to complement Nene, Webster and a clean bill of health Okafor that makes a stunning return Adrian Peterson would be proud of in late November. The team is savvy. We are on the upswing and this year's Golden State. Otto Porter shows glimpses of being a top pick and provides confidence that, with added strength, he is our SF of the future. Beal, however, takes a tremendous leap and shows an incredibly polished overall game with pinpoint 3-range, mid-range, etc., and makes his first all-star appearance. All of this contributes to a 4th seed in the east, good for a 1st round win over the Knicks, and giving serious indigestion to the Heat in a 7 game series. We celebrate some great basketball in the district, lick our wounds and prepare and tinker with the lineup to build on a great 2014 campaign. We plan for life after our aging front-court in a variety of ways and it's all puppy dogs & ice cream in la la land.
Of course, there is another side to this coin...
None or some of this happens. Nagging injuries prove hard to overcome. Some players continue their ascent, some age, some look unprepared mentally and our coach seems over-matched in a number of crucial game situations, leaving us on the outside looking in with the 9th best record in the conference. We are viewed as a team that is on the cusp of making some noise with a few changes. We are widely considered ready to compete with a good nucleus and a promising draft on the horizon.
So, my question is, if you can assume that at least some portion of "The Bad" has a modicum of accuracy to it for this exercise and, ultimately, Randy Wittman is let go as a result of this - who is our guy? George Karl? Personally, I would love to see what he could do with Wall & Beal.
I'd also be interested to hear what your renewed predictions are with the current injury news rolled out over the last two weeks. The consensus seemed to be around the 7 seed the last time we polled.