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Tuesday, September 9th, 2008 at 8:00 am  |  141 responses

SLAMonline Top 50: Jermaine O’Neal, no. 42

The definitive ranking of the best players in the NBA today…

by Marcel Mutoni

Jermaine O’Neal deserves better than this.

For a guy who’s been named to the All-Star Team six times, averaged a double-double (including two straight 20 and 10 campaigns) for three consecutive seasons, was named to the Olympic squad in 2004 (only to bow out due to *surprise, surprise* injury), garnered serious MVP consideration once upon a time, and who famously (and hilariously) impaled the face of an obnoxiously drunk Pistons fan, Jermaine O’Neal deserves better than to be ranked as the 42nd best player in the League.

Due to injures, his SLAMonline Top 50 ranking tumbled by 19 spots since we last partook in this exercise.

Not to say he should be ranked higher – if anything, he’s probably ranked too high all things considered. I’m talking about what he once was, which of course, hardly anyone still cares about.

The only thing on people’s minds are the missed games and the nightmarish way in which his career in Indiana came to an end. The engaging interviews, the social awareness, the man’s irrepressible joie de vivre are all figments of the past.

To give you an idea as to just how bad this man once was, a few years ago, no one would’ve blinked if you informed them that O’Neal is owed a gargantuan $44 million over the next two seasons. That is a lot of scratch for anyone; it’s an insane amount of money for a player who, by his own admission, has competed against the best on Earth with just a single fully-functioning leg for the past couple of years.

(Forget the money for a moment. Seriously, would any sober League exec take O’Neal right now over any of the guys currently ranked below him – with the possible exception of Marcus Camby?)

Jermaine O’neal will turn 30 years old next month; Bryan Colangelo is gambling heavily that – thanks, I suppose, to poutine and cheap Canadian cigarettes – J.O. will suddenly find the fountain of health in a Raptors uniform.

The popular GM is also banking on the possibility that going to Toronto is the best thing that could’ve happened to Jermaine O’Neal’s career at this point. Otherwise, he and Colangelo will be spending a lot of time together, grimly shopping for designer suits.

Jermaine and his gimpy knees will no longer be asked to be the go-to-guy (and his reaction to this inevitable fate will certainly be something worthy of close observation); Toronto is nowhere near the basketball pressure-cooker that Hoosier Country is; the Raptors are a good Eastern Conference team that will make the Playoffs and, if the stars correctly align, could even win a series next May.

All J.O. has to do is stay relatively healthy (read: participate in somewhere between 65-75 games), grab a few boards, block the occasional shot, hit a couple of turnarounds per night, find the shooters on the perimeter when the defense collapses on him, and play nice with the media. He manages to do all of that, and he’ll be golden.

To see such a gifted player reduced to a shell of his former self might make the rest of us feel depressed, but if he can put together a relatively healthy (and productive) 2008-’09 campaign, Colangelo, his trusted bean counters, and the passionate fans of Toronto won’t need to sweat that minor detail.

Want more of the SLAMonline Top 50? Check out the archive.

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  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    How far the mighty have fallen ( or something like that). In 04 or so he would’ve been around 10-20 at least. 1st?

  • http://slamonline.com/ Ryne Nelson

    So now I know Colangelo’s secret sauce…fried potatoes, cheese and gravy.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    Well maybe not 10-15 but I was close enough in ’06 predictions but that was a bit off, pretty good without reading though. Surprise surprise that Mutoni is doing it though :) Does this mean that Holly might do the Jose Calderon piece?

  • andrew

    I was meant to eat poutine at the weekend. I’m sad that I didn’t. JO will be on my fantasy roster this year. I don’t know exactly why really.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    Hard to think that 4 years ago the Nets had been in the finals 2 years straight prior to the Lakers, Shaq was about to leave, Vince was finished in Toronto, Miller was around still, T-Mac was the scoring champ and Stevie and Cat were one of the leagues best 1-2 combos at the guard spots. TNT was just becoming the power it is today (no Reggie) and Ron Artest was coming off a DPOY and ( along with J.O’Neal) was also a dark horse MVP Candidate. Wow…

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    If healthy last year JO would be around 10 spots lower imo even if the Pacers still sucked and didnt make the playoffs (which they didn’t. Again.) Im out.

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Well, the first beef i’ve had with the list to this point. Not surprising since O’Neal has been M.I.A. the last two seasons. Thinking back, Jermaine was a multiple All-Star who put up double-doubles with the ease of the next Ryan Jone’s joke, but the injuries cannot be ignored if you ask me. Two years missed in the NBA is like 10 years in any other walk of society. I feel like he has to prove himself again and shouldn’t have been included on this list.

  • http://twentythreenine.blogspot.com Russ Bengtson

    In the ’06-07 season, JO played 69 games and averaged 19.4 points, 9.6 boards and 2.6 blocks per game. I wouldn’t call that “MIA.” I’d call that “better than Yao Ming’s career averages across the board.”

  • http://www.myspace.com/2536545 Bryan

    Way too hight… is this where you think he will rank at the end of a season or where he ranks now?

  • http://slamonline.com/ Ryne Nelson

    J.O. can still be a force, in my opinion. Watching how many games both Yao and O’Neal play next year will be interesting…Who thinks Jermaine will appear in more games next season than the big No. 11?

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com DP

    I forgot JO even existed. Damn this man used to on top of the world and he even had his own shoe. How the mighty have fallen. But hopefully like Artest, with a change of scenery, he can rise to the top. Chris Bosh is going to benefit from this the most, not JO. Rasha or whatever wasn’t cutting it at center.

  • underdog

    Co sign Ted. Besides that, I’m curious what J.O. and Bosh manage to do in the Eastern Conference. Maybe the Raptors become, a interesting team again.

  • Clockwork

    Maybe he sould punch Artest to make him feel better. Indiana was gonna win it all in 2005 if it weren’t for the brawl.

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Well, he obviously played in more games that season than I figured, but he still played in only 42 last year and averaged 13.6, 6.7, and 2.1 per game. Also, isn’t kind of unfair to compare someones one year average to someones career averages? For the record, Jermaine’s career averages are 14.3, 7.7, and 1.9 per game. Now, I know that he basically didn’t play his first four years in the league when he was in Portland and his career average will suffer because of that. Also, I like Jermaine and actually defended him and his game after he was traded to Toronto and some people asked “why?!” It is just my opinion that he should have to play his way onto the list again.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com DP

    Yao will last longer. I don’t believe that JO will ever be 100 percent healthy again and something is bound to happen with those weak knees. JO should have been lower but if he plays decently this season, this ranking will be just.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com DP

    well said, TAD. sub-par performances in the past few years would make JO around 56 on my list.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    Barring injury and playing with passion, JO can be a top 8 PF and among one of the top 35 players in the league.

  • http://twentythreenine.blogspot.com Russ Bengtson

    I’m comfortable with Jermaine where he is. But what do I know.

  • http://www.another48minutes.blogspot.com Gerard Himself

    in other news: why is he holding that devil’s ball?

  • http://www.nrl.com.au Money Bill Williams

    Hursty, back in 04 JO was the man! i think he went 2nd or 3rd in MVP voting. he was most def a top 10 to 15 player four years ago. that being said, i agree totally with TAD, he should have not have been on the list and had to reprove his worth in the top50

  • http://www.nrl.com.au Money Bill Williams

    he should grow back the ‘rows

  • scott

    I don’t think O’Neal belongs on this list. O’Neal never was and never will be a franchise player. O’Neal has suffered too many injuries and with him turning 30 I can’t see him regaining his health. If O’Neal plays in 70 plus games he should be on the list. If he misses 25 to 30 games…nope.

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Russ: I wasn’t attacking you my man, just giving my opinion. Again, I like Jermaine and I know exactly what he is capable of. But from every one of the players already listed on here, I just feel that maybe Jermaine should prove his worth again. If he plays like we all know he can, then I actually would list him higher than this, but I want to see that he is completely healthy is all. Knee injuries have a way of wrecking a players confidence and game.

  • scott

    I agree with TADOne completely

  • http://www.myspace.com/2536545 Bryan

    The reason I have a problme with this ranking is because I feel its based on a probable, and if that’s the case there is a good chance Josh Smith jumps to 20 10 5 and 3 a game this year and surpasses a lot of people. Based on last years production and the steady decline over the last few JO could fall off this list altogether… He could put up 18 and 10 but its just as much of a chance that he doesn’t.

  • http://twentythreenine.blogspot.com Russ Bengtson

    If Bernard King could return from severe knee injuries back in 1542 and regain his All-Star status, I have faith that Jermaine can do it now with all the wonders of modern medicine. You don;t lose your starting spot because of injury, and you shouldn’t lose your status as a top 50 player, either. Once again, just my opinion. I’ve been wrong before and I’ll be wrong again. But I still like Jermaine here.

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Good point. I would love to see Jermaine back at his All-Star level. The Bernard King mention made me smile.

  • scott

    Three Raptors in the top 50.

  • starbury&stevey

    i hoop you´ll respect starbury´s career numbers too,and place him in the top20,at least top30…

  • http://sdfjkl.com Jukai

    Well, I listed him as twenty six because I was ignoring injuries. You know, because if I had to take injuries into consideration, T-Mac would be 40, Yao would be 45, Arenas and Brand would not make the list. Yet I bet they’re all going to be way higher. I wonder if TADOne will speak against those guys.

  • scott

    Jukai even though T-Mac and Yao have suffered injuries at least they look like they can still play. However, O’Neal in the past few years not so much.

  • http://www.myspace.com/2536545 Bryan

    You do lose your starting spot due to injury is the person replacing you turns out to be a superior player, ask Drew Bledsoe. The point is, regardless of what we think JO is capable of he hasn’t shown it, 19.4 and 9.6 were hollow numbers for a mediocre team. Where is the leadership and the ability to actually dominate a game ? Even on a 10 win team somebody puts up numbers, when was the last time he exerted his will on a game?

  • starbury&stevey

    ..plus,david west is simply beter…

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    I may, Jukai. Of those you mentioned, i’m not sure they would be WAY higher.

  • http://sdfjkl.com Jukai

    Scott: Instead of responding to your ignorant comment, I’ll simply repost Russ:
    “In the ‘06-07 season, JO played 69 games and averaged 19.4 points, 9.6 boards and 2.6 blocks per game. I wouldn’t call that “MIA.” I’d call that “better than Yao Ming’s career averages across the board.””

  • http://sdfjkl.com Jukai

    Well, my list is going to be ridiculously different. I’m not thinking of injuries, I’m thinking, if healthy, how well will these guys play. I don’t think injuries is a fair thing to take into account. For all we know, Lebron will hurt his little toe and be out for the season.

  • starbury&stevey

    @ scott whos the 3rd?boss,o´neil and?

  • http://twentythreenine.blogspot.com Russ Bengtson

    Two years ago he was top 25 in scoring, top 10 in rebounding and third in blocks. I don’t see those as “hollow numbers.” Are you gonna blame Jermaine for Artest and Tinsley and Jackson (oh my!) being knuckleheads? For Bird making lousy trades? Kobe didn’t make the playoffs one year, would you have dropped him out of the top 50? Why not? Obviously he didn’t exert his will. Sometimes a bad team is just a bad team. Is Jermaine an alpha dog kind of guy? Maybe not. But that’s why he’s No. 42 and not No. 22 or No. 12.

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Well, list’s are utterly and completely objective and subjective, so i’m quite sure you or anyone else will not have the same list. I’m sure there were plenty of angry and disagreeable emails back and forth between Russ and Myles.

  • scott

    @jukai..If were comparing career number O’Neal’s are much worse then Yao.

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Oh, and that was at Jukai.

  • overtime

    Waaaayy tooo high, probably undeserving of being in the top 50. No denying what a beast he was back in 04, but if we’re going by that logic how high is a certain other O’Neal going to be ranked? He COULD do well this year, but i don’t think this should be based on what could be

  • overtime

    @hursty: A different time…

  • http://sdfjkl.com Jukai

    Your arguments are worthless guys, he’s two years removed from 20s or 30s stats. Monta Ellis should not have been on this list either if we had to take injuries into consideration.

  • http://www.myspace.com/2536545 Bryan

    Kobe didn’t fall off the map completely his skills were still there…. I don’t care what he was top ten in, his skills have eroded in my opinion his numbers have been in decline, his attitude also.

  • G-Man

    I have watched Chris Bosh eviscerate JO over the last couple of years. Now I am drinking the Jermaine Kool-aid. What else can I do? The Raptors season depends on him playing in 65 games and averaging 12-9-2bpg.

    “Hey Kool-aid! Oh yah!”

  • scott

    Jose Calderon top 50!!!!!

  • Danny P

    Do the Toronto Raptors only own the new/old NBA ball?

  • http://twentythreenine.blogspot.com Russ Bengtson

    He’s got a better attitude than you, Mutt.

  • Lz – Cphfinest3

    Totally agree with TAD’s first 2 comments. If JO is ranked here, Shaq should be top ten remember when JO was averaging those numbers Russ posted. Shaq was winning a ring against a very good Dallas team. Much like the other O’Neal, JO is a has been – and have no space on this list let alone being ranked over guys like Josh, Marcus, David, Monta who actually played well last year.

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Getting off the list for a second: If JO, as Marcel pointed out, plays at least 65 or more games and averages a double-double, where do the Raps rank at in the East? With Bosh teaming with him on the frontline, Calderon with a year more experience, and Parker, Moon, and Graham improving, are they a top 4 team in the East?

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    And yes, I purposely left off Bargnani’s name.

  • Lz – Cphfinest3

    TAD; yes just about top 4 in East, and around top 16-18 in the L all together. Also, don’t forget about Bargnani, as dis-interested as he has looked, I’m sure he’ll improve next year as well.

  • http://www.ravingblacklunatic.blogspot.com Allenp

    Poutine appears to be the bastard brother of those disgusting KFC bowls with gravy, mashed potatoes, chicken and corn.

  • Lz – Cphfinest3

    Haha..

  • http://slamonline.com/ Ryne Nelson

    If everything works perfectly with the Raptors, they can be the No. 3 team in the East, behind either the Pistons or Magic (Philly won’t be there yet). That said, they have a lesser chance to have everything go right than the Rockets do…

  • scott

    I still don’t see Toronto being a top 4 team in the east. Boston, Cleveland, Detroit, Orlando, and Philadelphia the east if finally getting a little better.

  • Bruno

    i was ready to completely disagree with jermaine here, but after reading everything, ok, i’ll give him another chance cause he was pretty damn good, BUT, the 1st rule of the list was the NOW-FACTOR and i’m reading a lot of “ifs”
    its unfair to see david west after jermaine… same for josh and redd.

  • scott

    Josh Smith is the most under-rated guy on this list so far.

  • Bruno

    @Jukai – why are you ignoring injuries? are you trying to fit Levingston????
    hahahahhah
    if i take injuries away, i would put Iverson top 5, maybe 3, and i might sneak the once-great Grant Hill
    :P

  • http://sdfjkl.com Jukai

    I hope then that Brand and Arenas don’t appear on your list, Bruno. T-Mac and Yao better not make it past 25 either. It’s all or nothing buddy. I’m throwing out my EXPECTATION of Jermaine next year, ignoring thoughts about his future injuries. His injuries are constant but there have been no career threatening ones. There’s no reason the kid shouldn’t be able to come back and drop 20/10/3 again. Unless, of course, he keeps getting injured. That’s a stupid thing to take into consideration. Kobe and Lebron could get injured next year too. Iverson and Hill, on the other hand, are bogged down by age and previous injuries. I’m not expecting them to come back strong.

  • scott

    Got a question for Toronto fans….Who would you rather have on the Raptors this year Marcus Camby or Jermaine O’Neal?

  • overtime

    Completely agree with Bruno, this isn’t a fantasy league, you have to take injuries into consideration because some guys are injured

  • MSkittle

    JO over Michael Redd, Kevin Martin, and David West??? You guys are crazy!

  • Bruno

    man, of course i’m kidding about AI and Hill… they are talented and i love them, but age comes to everyone…
    i dunno, but i think its unfair to compare TMAC and Yao to Jermaine…
    for me, the rockets duo have way more chance to succeed. never liked brand, but of course he is here and arenas is very questionable for the future, but as he just had the problem last season, i stll have him high
    maybe i’m misjudjing o’neal cause he played for indiana.

  • overtime

    Jukai, your missing the point. Injuries lowered Jermaine to a level where he is below everyone else, you just saw Yao playing well in the Olympics, far better than O’Neal would in any game, we’re talking about right now, today, not last year or next year

  • http://www.myspace.com/2536545 Bryan

    Mutt?

  • http://www.freewebs.com/betcats BETCATS

    well he is always injured, but when he isnt, this is a good place for him after all that erosin injurys have done to his stats

  • http://sdfjkl.com Jukai

    Overtime: You have no idea how well Jermaine would play right now. That’s downright ignorant. I think he’d be a top 25 player in the NBA, -RIGHT NOW-
    If you want to know, I rated Yao, T-Mac, Brand, and Arenas all higher than him. That’s also because I am not taking their season-aggrivating but not career-hurting injuries into account. As I said, Monta Ellis should not have made any list if we take how they’d play “right now” into consideration.

  • overtime

    Thats not ignorance at all,by that logic anyone on the planet could be in this list because i have no idea how good they would be this year. And no i dont want to know, as far as i know im reading SLAM’s rankings not yours

  • http://www.freewebs.com/betcats BETCATS

    if he didnt get all those injuries, he would be waaaaaay higher, but he did, so the spot is good for him

  • http://www.mybleedingfingertips.blogspot.com/ Myles Brown

    Id have put Jermaine way higher on MY-Oh wait, this is my list. He hasnt been as productive as the players preceding him on this list in the last couple of years, but hes also been far more capable of leading a team than any of the preceding players ever were. More importantly, hes also a more capable sidekick and may be the key to getting TO out of the first round.

  • http://www.freewebs.com/betcats BETCATS

    the O’neal/Bosh combo is gonna be crazy

  • http://www.slamonline.com James The Balla

    ARE YOU KIDDING ME … higher than Redd?

  • http://sdfjkl.com Jukai

    You’re right, a guy who can score double digits any night and man-to-man most power forwards/centers in the league who can also give you 3 blocks a game should not be on the list because of injuries not expected to hurt his career in the long run. You’re right guys. Great points.

  • http://sdfjkl.com Jukai

    I can’t WAIT to see where Ginobli places.

  • rainman10

    I’m just curious to see where Shaq will be on this list. And I’m not predicting Hedo crashing this list based on who we’ve seen. But he should be top 50.

  • Biz

    R.I.P JO

  • Nick

    Cheap Canadian cigarettes? Cigs cost around 3x as much up here than in the States because of taxes. How do you think we get free health care?

  • Marcel Mutoni

    regardless of his uselessness on the floor, shaq’s freestyle this summer should guarantee him an honorary spot on this list forever.

  • Bruno

    Manu is another player that drives passion/hate so his position depends a lot on that
    i imagine u hate the guy.
    @rain- don’t be surprised when they hit #5 and you are still curious where shaq is gonna be.

  • http://joeloholic.wordpress.com Joel O’s

    Yes higher than Redd. JO is more than half a foot taller. He is NOT a defensive liability. Redd scores – but doesn’t distribute, doesn’t defend, doesn’t rebound. His old role as super 6th man scorer fits him a lot better than no. 1 option – which he isn’t good at.

  • http://sdfjkl.com Jukai

    Bruno: I had Manu at 34, but the guy was injured the latter half of last season and aggrivated it during the olympics. He should be off the list, given the JO logic.

  • http://www.lkz.ch/basket Darksaber

    NOT the best picture of Jermaine’s duckface out there. But hey, this isn’t GQ. Good placement for the other O’Neal at this time in his career, i’d actually place him lower than David West and Tay right now, but guess we have to see what the two “slim towers” in Toronto can do this season.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com H to the Izzo

    People do occassionally recover from injuries.Don’t they?Or is that just on TV?

  • Phil B

    Him?

  • http://www.slamonline.com James The Balla

    @BIZ … dont use my words … i said RIP JO about 2 weeks back. Stop tryin to be me!!! lol

  • http://www.slamonline.com James The Balla

    I would take Redd over Jo’s girl calves anyday!!!

  • http://www.ravingblacklunatic.blogspot.com Allenp

    I wonder how two jump shooters like O’Neal and Bosh will mesh on offense? O’Neal can post up, but he really has fallen in love with that little pull up jumper in recent years. I’m curious to see if that trend continues and what it means to Bosh who also has been developing a disturbing fondness for long wing jumpers. However, on defense O’Neal can still be a force.

  • namik

    Man that DVD “The Foundation” laid to waste almost all the players in it. T-Mac, Yao, Vince, Steve Francis, JO and KG. Only Tim Duncan was unaffected and KG finally made it out of Minny. This is on some SLAM-cover-curse type ish.

  • MeloMan13

    OK RAPTORS!!!!

  • FLUXLAND

    @Allenp: that KFC thing you speak of would be more of an offspring of the poutine.

    I’m surprised Marcel didn’t list superior Canadian beer as another ingredient in BC success sauce

    Also.. the Raps won’t even make the playoffs. Orlando, Detroit, Philly, Boston, Washington, Cleveland are in, at the very least. Somehow I don’t see TO beating out the rest of the teams for the last 2 spots.

  • http://sdfjkl.com Jukai

    Well, Boston, Orland, Detroit, Philly, and the Cavs are all shoe-ins. Reallllllly not sure about Washington. Sure, they play great sometimes, but they have chemistry issues. They have to contend with Toronto who now have JO, Chicago with Rose leading the way, and a healthy Miami. Thoughts?

  • http://joeloholic.wordpress.com Joel O’s

    TO made a step forward, but not a big enough to compete with Boston of the Cavs; that said, they’ll be in the playoffs – maaaybe with a top 4 seed. Detroit is gone – whether they make the playoffs or not is irrelevant since they’ll defeat themselves again. Orlando improved too, but just as marginally as the Raps did. Philly improved tremendously, but they’re still bench-less and without a shooting guard. Miami and Chicago aren’t ready YET, but give em a year or two and I think they’ll be up there.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com DP

    Washington is the PHX of the east. High powered offense, sorry ass defense. I hope Gilbert can come back from his injury 100 percent and be a leader this year. All the antics were fun and all but if you’re not winning and losing against LeBron by himself, it’s not going anymore. Jamison and Butler have been doing their job. It’s time for Gil to do his as well.

  • http://sdfjkl.com Jukai

    Joel, who will be the 5-8th seed in the East, in yer opinion?

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com DP

    Yeah Joel is right about Det. They are through and you can stick a fork in them. They might as well be prepping rodney to take the throne from Billups.

  • http://joeloholic.wordpress.com Joel O’s

    As for Washington, I’d have to sliiightly disagree with you, Jukai. This same bunch has shown great resiliency in their mediocrity – making the playoffs as a middling seed every year since 2005. And lost to Wade and then Lebron teams every single time. They’ll definitely be in the mix this time again, with the same exciting but ultimately ambitionless 40-something win season and an early playoff exit.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com DP

    Year of Thaddues Young. bet on that.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com DP

    Nick Young? not so much.

  • http://joeloholic.wordpress.com Joel O’s

    Probably Philly, the Wizards, & the Heat or the Bulls might get a low seed if the rookies are as a good as advertised. Atlanta looked really inspiring in the playoffs but losing Childress hurts bad. And I doubt D’antoni can work his magic that quickly with this Knicks bunch, but if he of all people could probably harness that bunch better than anyone else.

  • FLUXLAND

    The same can be said about TO. Even if they make it – they will have another 1st round exit. And, at the end of the day, we are not talking about a team that’s a chip taking threat… so does it really matter if the make the show or not? They will be a doormat.
    Also, I don’t know how quickly I am sticking a fork in a Detroit team.. that is their MO. Say something and they slap you. Plus they got Kwame… now THAT is a chip taking move!!

  • FLUXLAND

    Agree with Joel.. I am not dismissing Washington in any way and I would have thrown ATL in that initial mix..but losing Josh changes things IMO.

  • Fresh

    This is really fun because I had Jermaine ONeil at 43 on my list. But on the real he would be way higher if he had been healthy the past couple years I hope everyone knows that. But Jermaine ONeil is a very talented player offensively and defensively. His forte may on be on the defensive end where he is a stellar at blocking shots. What makes ONeil shot blocking ability to beautiful besides athleticism and good timing is his ability to block with either hand. ONeil has many allocates and he might look to regain some of those now being healthy. Even though Toronto is Chris Bosh city (or maybe still Carter) looks for him to maybe out shine CB4 because he is just a more dominate player when healthy.

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Yep, Detroit is done. What jokes they are.

  • Bruno

    hahahahhahha @ Jukai’s ginobili post
    man, your “strict” sense of humor really makes me laugh
    manu out of the 50????
    hahahahaha nice.

  • FLUXLAND

    Joel, some other food for thought: all this talk about JO is nice and dandy… I want to know how much confidence you have in a no name and a scrub backing up Jose and what do you think
    burning him for 34 to 42 minutes a night will do to him, by say … Aprilish?

  • http://sdfjkl.com Jukai

    I hope your helmet is on right now Bruno, I don’t want you to laugh yourself into a wall and hurt yourself

  • http://joeloholic.wordpress.com Joel O’s

    Well as a TO resident I think they’ll be fine. I didn’t like the direction where the Raps went the last year or two, stockpiling Euro/shooty small forwards to complement a star pf who’s at his best where he can use his mid range jumper. A no-name scrub might be backing up Jose Calderon, but Jose Calderon himself was a no-name guy to non-Raptor fans until just a season or two ago. I dunno, maybe I’m being too hopeful. Is Darrick Martin still with the club? He’s a pretty decent reserve journeyman guy.

  • crazylee12

    I will be at most of the Raptors home games this year(whether it be working the bar or as a fan), and my hopes are cautiously high for this squad.
    If JO can stay healthy we’ll have 2 LEFT HANDED bigs who could average close to 20&10, plus a few assists(kick-outs, to eachother, or to a slashing wingman) and a block or 2 and a steal.
    Jose is gonna be on point at the point, and I’m optimistic about Roko Ukic having some good back up moments amongst his rookie struggles.
    Kapono is gonna light it up from long range when defences collapse on the bigs, and perhaps Bargnani can do some of the same(if he gets some of his confidence back, cuz despite his struggles last season, the dude has a pure shooting stroke).
    Losing Delfino was, IMO, a big hit to the team, but I still think that the Raps can secure the 5th spot in the East, giving them a chance to make it out of the first round.

  • http://its-mitch.blogspot.com/ Paps

    I’m cool with J.O on here. I don’t think T.O. will be a doormat come playoffs. 3 East teams are solid Boston, Detroit and Lebron. What J.O brings healthy or not is an experienced, gritty player who’s been through everything. He can help this club loaded with green and finesse players get over the hump.

  • http://www.nba.com/celtics/ Moose

    Paps, its boston, detroit, philly, and kinda atlanta, cleveland and toronto.

  • white castle

    jermaine has a big forehead

  • http://www.truthismygame.com/ Kevin

    i would take Jermaine O’Neal over David West if i were only to consider this next season, in all honesty. maybe i’m dumb, but i think Jermaine at the low 40s is a good spot given where he is at in his career.. in his hayday, he’d be a regular top 20 player.

  • http://joeloholic.wordpress.com Joel O’s

    “Injuries lowered Jermaine to a level where he is below everyone else”.

    JO put up up 13 ppg, 6 rpg and 2 bpg – in *just* 28 minutes a night. From 2006-2007 to 2007-2008, JO’s minutes went down by a fifth. His bpg went down by a fifth. His maintained his assists per game with 7 less minutes. His scoring and rebounds went down by slightly more – about 30%. My point? Considering he played a lot less minutes, he’s nearly the same player he was 2 years ago.

  • http://its-mitch.blogspot.com/ Paps

    Moose, Philly and Atlanta had a good run last year but I will not say there a solid club until they can do it again. The Hawks could be brutal again because there the Hawks and Philly has new faces but how good they will be is still unsure. That’s why I think there’s only 3 solid east clubs.

  • The Biz

    Jo’s forehead alone needs a spot on this list

  • overtime

    @Joel O, great another number comment, but besides that, the point that J.O can’t play those amount of minutes anymore. He is still talented, but you can’t argue that he is a former shell of himself, and that while he might just edge on2 the top 50, he’s herefor more of what he did in the past than what he’s going to do

  • http://www.nrl.com.au Money Bill Williams

    white castle: in the photo the ball is waaay bigger than his head too. did you see that one?

  • http://fjsdklf.com Jukai

    Moose: Atlanta lost Josh Childress this year. The majority of the east has gotten far, far better. Exactly how will Atlanta make the playoffs? You know Boston, Detroit, Cleveland, and Orlando will make it. Washington’s top three of Caron, Jamison, and Gilbert are probably going to be there. Toronto probably will squeeze in with or without JO’s help. Phili will be deadly with Brand in there. That leaves ONE SPOT for Atlanta. Do you think Atlanta will be better than the Wade + Beasley + Marion combo in Miami or Chicago’s rejuvenated squad under Rose? Not a chance, in my mind.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    I would definitely put him hire, had it not been for his rather tragic injuries. Pretty good placement, though. The Toronto Raptors have a good squad this year. Anthony Parker is so underrated, but he DOES have the skills and the work ethic to be the go-to shooting guard when the going gets rough for the twin towers. With Jemario Moon at the three and Jose Calderon running point, they have a very good starting line-up. Definite contenders of the East. This is the best I’ve seen my Raps since the good ol’ Carter days, before of course, Vince Carter devolved. My Knicks on the other hand……. uhh.. Lets just say I hope they improve, really I do. And my Rockets, well, they are going to dominate this season, surprise all the doubters, mos’ def.

  • andrej

    raptors gon be sick in the post no one will stop em

  • overtime

    Chicago are not rejuvenated in any way. All they have done is added a very talented guard to a team all ready laden with guards, plus an unexperienced coach

  • Josh

    Jermaine O’Neal is Chris Bosh in a couple of years.

  • http://www.nba.com/celtics/ Moose

    @ Paps: the sixers added an all star power forward, something sorely missed from their system, who is definitely going to be high up on this list. second of all, younger guys (thaddeus young, louis williams) are getting more experienced and improving. i see no reasons how the sixers could be worse than last year.

  • A-BOI

    I’m sorry, J-O’Neal shouln’t even be ahead of any of the other guys already listed, not a single chance. Sure he was a 20-10 guy 4 years ago (key word “4″), but he hasn’t been somewhat relavent for at least a couple of years. To put him ahead of Josh Smith and Monte Ellis is just wrong.

  • http://its-mitch.blogspot.com/ Paps

    I like Philly as a team. All I’m saying is I think there’s only 3 for sure, definite solid east teams. The rest are pretty good to pretty bad.

  • niQ

    JO BETTER LAST NOW THAT HE’S IN TORONTO. that is all.

  • http://slamonline.com Lakers rule Cavs suck

    This guy should be higher than 42. He’s a si time all-star. He’s very underrated and he does not get enough respect. The All-Star game has th 24 best players in the league, so he was one of the top 24 playes in the league 6 times! not to mention he hd two twenty ten seasons. Ths guy would probably be around 37th on my list.

  • SP3

    behind boston`s KG-Pierce-Allen,
    and Detroit`s Billups-Hamilton-Sheed

    I Think Toronto has the 3rd best trio in the East Bosh-Calderon-O`Neal

    By the time the season is done don`t e surprised if Toronto moves up to number 2 on this list.

  • http://www.myspace.com/hemantsbeats what

    Co-sign TADone. Would you really take JO on your team –right now– ahead of Josh Smith, Monta Ellis, or any of the other people who are ranked below him? I wouldn’t…

  • rob stewart

    Why is J.O. pictured holding the old new NBA ball?

  • Jeter

    JO will fit well with the Team Bosh because he won’t be the main cog. If he can recovered from past injuries and just be a decent remnant of the player that he usd to be, this will be one of the best moves of the summer. Because he can be the defensive anchor. And you still can’t just leave off him on offense. The raptors will be tough enough to contend for homecourt for the East. If only they can change the Angry Barney logo and their “too-serious-Dinner-type-looking” jersey.

  • j-smoov 5

    Risky choice…

  • Teri Mah

    On nba.com the poll was who will win the east and the fans voted cleveland first and other was second im guessin other means raptors or washington maybe philly but this is gonna be a crazy year for the east

  • derek

    he probably doesnt need to play as many minutes as he does in toronto. That might lighten his load

  • Pingback: toronto raptors linkage – sept 10

  • http://sdfjkl.com Jukai

    what: I would. Monta Ellis is injured and may never come back to full strength and J-Smooth sucks.

  • B. Long

    Since I’ve been a fan since his Jailblazer days I hope he gets healthy and gets a playoff berth in Toronto.

  • mitch

    he should not be that high. I don’t even think he played a game last season.

  • Zabba

    FOREHEAD.

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