In memoriam of the players who take the summer off completely and hopefully gain 30 lbs. of unwanted weight, the crack staff at The Shamrock Headband have been lying low for the past few weeks in hopes of someone springing us a max contract. Seriously though - what the hell is worth writing about these days that hasn't already been said? The free agency period has been predictably silly, summer league has shown me nothing significant, and KG has not been offered for Ronald Reagan yet, so he's not worth scribing about.
Not that one should complain, and it is pretty amazing that the league has basically become a year-round thing. I like having Michael Smith in my life on July nights. But there is not much I have to say concerning any of it. For Celtics fans the quietness has an added meaning this summer, because so many of us are hoping that a big trade will happen, and really next season doesn't become next season until it does (and until Doc is fired.) But maybe we are only dreaming, and there will be no significant trade for Garnett, or even Camby; and maybe Doc will ride out the entire '07-08 year, making it surely one of the most horrific in Celtics history.
But we just don't know yet. The one thing I am pretty sure upon is that the Eastern Conference will be profoundly adequate this year. Maybe to a previously unknown level. There is plenty of time for a team like Chicago to pull off a blockbuster trade and become clearly the dominant team, but as it stands now we could have a whole conference where every single team finishes with between 32 and 50 wins. It is truly wide open - and that kind of sucks, because it just means we are gonna see a lot of lousy basketball. Let me give you a quick rundown of our fifteen Eastern Conference teams, alphabetically, because at this point that makes as much sense as ranking them.
Atlanta - They always have lots of young talent, and if there was ever a year where that could mean playoffs this would be it. Josh Smith is about to get very expensive.
Boston - I don't really follow this team so I don't know what to say. With Doc at the helm you are being delusional if you think they win more than 40 as presently constituted.
Charlotte - If Sam Vincent is a decent coach, the pieces are there to make a march for a .500 winning percentage! I'm sure they're dancing in the streets in Charlotte.
Chicago - I've said the last few years that the Bulls needed a real star to make them viable contenders in the East. Well, guess what? This year they might not. Probably will win more games than anyone else on this list (which is like 50...whooey.)
Cleveland - I'm afraid that Mike Bibby will not destroy the shadow cast by Mike Brown.
Detroit - They need Maxiell or Rodney Stuckey to surprise a lot of people, otherwise get ready for the slow decline.
Indiana - Jim O'Brien might be able to get this team to the finals if the conference is this crappy.
Miami - Watch out world. Dwayne Wade is gonna be a one man wrecking crew come playoff time next year. He might take them to the finals by himself. Help would be appreciated.
Milwaukee - On paper they have as much talent as anyone. Funny how that paper thing works. By the way, twenty year old Ersan Ilyasova is a free agent. Why isn't anyone talking about him? That's probably who the C's should go after...
New Jersey - Rod Thorn, fucking do something! How many years do we have to watch the same team over and over? Please.
New York - Look at their roster. There is so much potential humor and tragedy that I almost want to praise Isiah. Sublimely mediocre.
Orlando - Chad Ford summed it up well enough today.
Philadelphia - My pick right now to win the Atlantic. Fun team that likes to pass and is super athletic. Almost guaranteed to not be shown on national TV, because we would all rather watch Eric Snow miss 15 footers for the Cavs every week.
Toronto - It's just fascinating how European Bryan Colangelo is making the team. I'll be interested to see how it plays out this year. If they succeed it could send waves through the league.
Washington - Ernie Grunfeld is almost as bad as Rod Thorn. Shake it up some! You've got Hibachi for God's sake, and you're still boring.
That, ladies and gents, is your Eastern Conference. Let's hope something happens. Otherwise I'll have to come up with a more depressing Bergman-esque title in a few months.