This is a thoroughly unscientific piece of research, but after Greg Oden's season-ending microfracture surgery on Thursday, the oddsmakers have made some changes as to how likely the Blazers are to win the Finals.
Previous to yesterday, you could get about 50/1 odds on either Seattle or Portland to win the Finals. However, at newbodog.com this morning, the Sonics are still listed at 50/1, while the Blazers have dropped to 65/1.
The crazy thing is, the Blazers are still better than the Sonics, even without Oden, right? Yes, they've lost Zach Randolph and now Oden, but they've got Brandon Roy back in what should be an even better season, Jarrett Jack, and improving LaMarcus Aldridge, Rudy Fernandez, a healthy Raef LaFrentz (I kid), and, well, I just see the Blazers winning more games this season than a Sonic team that features two rookies and a bunch of other guys. Maybe the oddsmakers expect more from Kevin Durant than me, but I just can't see the Sonics winning more games than Portland this season, injuries aside.
Either one would be a sucker bet but yeah, I agree that Portland will be better than the Sonics (much better, imo). Word out of Portland is that Aldridge is going to be a monster this season.
With swift back and a new "team oriented" Sonics we should fare even better when our all stars were here. Weve added a few defensive pieces and a defensive minded coach. Im looking at around 40 wins for this team and challenging to that 8th playoff spot. Portland is just hard to figure out, Oden or no Oden. But Ill give them about 36 wins.
I don't know, losing Lewis and Allen is a hell of a lotta points. Sure, the Sonics may be better at stopping people, but remember that KD and Green are both rookies, and it always takes rookies longer to learn their way defensively than offensively. I think the Sonics will shoot a much lower percentage this year on offense b/c of all the younger players, and rebounding may be a key factor, especially on the offensive end. I think 35 wins is realistic and that 40 is too optimistic. Worst-case, we could be looking at fewer than 30 wins this year.
Of course, I've got as much insight as the next guy, and the Sonics might just prove me horribly wrong. I sure hope that's the case.
The Blazers never had Oden, so they won't "miss" him. However,
they will definitely miss Zach Randolph's huge production on the court. Portland might be a bit worse this year.
I agree with nuss about the contributions of Seattle's rookies. Green might not start and my guess is that he will probably only get limited minutes this season, unless the Sonics trade Wally & Wilkins.
I see where you are coming from, Nuss, but what you have overlooked is the fact that Durant and Green are not the only additions to our team that could play a significant offensive role. We lost 48 ppg with the departure of Lewis and Allen. Thomas, Szczerbiak, and West combined for an average of 31.8 ppg last year and let's assume that Durant and Green would combine for 30 ppg next year. Add that together and you have 61.8 ppg. Even if you take 10ppg off that total, it would still offset the points lost without Allen and Lewis. And this doesn't even take into the account the improved defense, the addition of Swift, and expected improvements in offensive contribution from Ridnour/Watson, Collison, Wilcox, or even Wilkins/Petro/Gelabale. Mark my word for it, we will be better than we were last year and an Oden-less Portland team for you must keep in mind that they not only lost their top scorer, but also their top perimeter defender in Udoka and that means a lot considering how poor their defense was even with him on the roster.
Shame we can only play 5 guys at once Wyatt. I can just imagine it "the Sonics call timeout, and substitute Wally, Kurt, Delonte, Green and Durant for Allen and Lewis..." We are going to struggle at both ends of the floor this year, but watch out in a year or two once we've seasoned KD, cleared Wally's contract and added a draft pick or two! Just enjoy the KD highlights in the meantime!!
I think Seattle will surprise a lot of people including me. With all the bad news around, the rookies will play inspired ball throughout the year. I look for them to overtake Blazers who are riddled with bad luck at times.
On a high note, I will attach a rumor on a new agree between Muckleshoot Tribe and Sonics for a new ARENA AGREEMENT to be announced today at 10am.
Keep in mind. It is a rumor, but couldnt resist passing it on. Too tempting. Have fun and get your hopes up HIGH!!!!
I've seen the rumor, and it looks as though today's announcement is more about the feasibility of the Muckleshoot site as opposed to any actual agreement between the two parties. Keep hope alive, though.
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