During our 2nd Fear the Podcast, JRowan (Justin) led a group of 4 other guys: NonDairyKreemer (George), WitMi (Mike), BenMiller (Ben) and myself (also Ben.) What you are a reading is essentially a collective thought process from the group. This was written to give you a rough overview of what transpired at a particular segment (for those of you who aren't as into the podcast thing...or who are interested in specific segments.) You may notice a theme were certain ideas are rehashed based on stuff that's already been said here. That should come as no surprise because...we've already done some of this.
At this point, I'm tired of doing these write ups...so I'm going to do our predictions on both defense and win totals/playoff seeding.
WitMi believed we could get to somewhere in the 15-19th best defense. Essentially we need players who knows Mike Brown's scheme...and that's only Varejao and Bynum. Two injury riddled guys playing the same position. They'll help coach the young guys...but that's about it. Earl Clark had 5 games with Mike Brown. So I'm not expecting much help from him. Especially after spending the rest of the season unlearning the scheme under Mike Dantoni's direction. His biggest concern was our wings hemorrhaging penetration. Unless TT really improves on D (and Bynum can get healthy), we'll get destroyed if our wing D doesn't improve. (Good reason to think that Gee might continue starting.) He's also looking between 35-50 wins (depending on health, particularly from our two centers.) Should be no less than 40 wins.
Ben Miller believes our defense really needs rim protection. He thinks (though) that Kyrie will take a big leap defensively with the additions of Jack and Clark...because there are other offensive guys on the team so Kyrie won't have to carry the load all by himself on offense. He also believes that 50 wins is the minimum out of this team next year. The East looks like it's spinning it's wheels with some teams making marginal improvements...and others actually being weaker. He also believes that this will happen despite "seeing nothing from Bynum except new haircuts." (If I could rec a podcast comment, that would have gotten it.) If we were in the Western conference, we'd be a horrible team...but the East is weak enough for us to basically own them. He also gave Chris Grant a B+ based off of Earl Clark. After we piled on he changed his answer to Jarrett Jack. I hope this part of the conversation makes it through the final edit. Want him to pay for it. ;)
NDK wants to say we'll get a Top 15 defense just because of coaching...but thinks that 18-20 is reasonable (and likely.) We were really just that bad last year. However, our offense should be so good that it will compensate for a lack of defense. Dion's defense should see a huge jump now that he's had a year of NBA training (and a year of being schooled by NBA guards.) Also believes/hopes that TT will augment more help defense to his already fairly good man defense. He has a 3-year vision that our defense will be 18th this year, 12th next year and 7th the following year. Pointed out that our defense last year was 25th in the NBA. However, that was just straight points. We were actually tied for 26th usiIng Hollingers defensive efficiency tracker. This is important because there's actually a bigger gap between where we are at now (just shy of 4 PPG in pace adjusted defense) and where we would be at if it was just based off of straight PPG (3 PPG difference.) He was quite the pessimist in our win total projection figuring that we'd get 42 wins and make it into the playoffs as a 7th seed. Possibly a game back from 6th seed. He also hopes we don't play Indiana. I say bring em on (as long as Bynum is healthy.)
JRowan thinks that we'll actually get to a Top 15 defense (barely) and that we'll win 44 games as a 6/7 seed. He's also hoping for a series against Miami.
I'm sort of in the WitMi camp. My projection is 45 wins...with a caveat. We need at least 70 combined games from Andy and Bynum. If we can get 80+ games from them, we're looking at 50 wins. If we see 60 or less combined games, I think that we are looking at Mid to high 30's. Defensively, 18 is probably a high projection. That's probably my most ideal one. We can get as high as a 4 seed if all things are perfect (70+ games from both Bynum and Andy...75+ Games from Kyrie) and our defense takes a big leap. Coach Brown made a good defense (11th in the league) better (10th in the league). It's hard to say just what he can do with a horrid defense...but my hopes aren't too high this year.
And thus, you have the final segment of Fear The Podcast 2.