Any knowledegable & objective NBA observer can reasonably say that our C's can still beat them in the Finals come June. Why?
Because we almost beat them last June in their own turf yet our team now is so much deeper than last year's.
And even if LA also improved their team with Blake, Ratliff, & Barnes, the improvement we made is much better & more critical than the ones they made.
Just look at the 2 O'Neals. Shaq gives us a legitimate scorer inside which Perk is not.
In the year's past, we play 4 versus 5 on offense as Perk always wastes Rondo's precision assists inside.
But with Shaq, it's usually an automatic dunk via Rondo. As for JO, he may not be a scorer down low like Shaq, but his defense & rebounding is superb which is what killed us last year versus so many teams.
And with the surprise that Semih is, then our C's frontcourt is indeed so much better than last year - & we came so close to beating LA!
Have we had these 3 biggies last year, then rest assure we would've surely beaten LA without a doubt!
Now, we have true & reliable 7-footers that can really match LA's bigs instead of having only thin-KG & undersized Perk, BBD, & the aged Sheed (only 6'10" who shoots outside & not as active in defense & rebounding like 7ft. JO).
Of course, we still need Perk's brute physicality & smart defense come the playoffs. First, against the ever improving D. Howard, then Miami's big 3, then LA come June. (LA has it so easy since they have no competition out West while we have to play Orlando & Miami.)
Last year, when KG was out or in foul trouble, we were in deep crap! Now, we have so many reliable biggies that the only thing that can hurt us is injuries.
But as long as the injuries happens in the regular season, then it's actually a "blessing in disguise" as the young Semih & BBD gets to play & improve more while the O'Neals gets to rest as it's a long & grinding 82-games season.
Hence, it won't matter if we don't get homecourt like last year, we're a much better team this year which any knowledgeable & objective NBA observer can reasonably & honestly say.
Last but not the least, can't wait till Delonte joins the team as that guy can shoot outside (trey or the perimeter), penetrate inside, play some point effectively, move without the ball, & most importantly, play D on opposing top guards of the league. West does fits well with the C's brand of game!
In Delonte, we have another Quis-like player unlike last year where we only had the aged Finley.
If Quis stays healthy (as well as the O'Neals & the rest of the gang come playoff time), then everyone can put a wager on us especially now that KG's 100% while Ray & Paul are still the same.
Now, we have guys who can step-up in case one of the Big 3 struggles, like how Ray did after Game 2.
Still, Ray is SO VALUABLE as he carries the team in other [numerous] games. Too bad, we didn't have a guy like West nor a 100% Quis last June yet we still almost beat LA in their turf!
Come June, it will be a lot more sweeter if LA breaks Chicago's all-time record for the most wins in a regular season, but only for us to beat them in their home turf provided every C's are healthy come the playoffs. But first, we have to beat Orlando & Miami which is no easy task!