What is the best case scenario for Paul Pierce, post Rajon Rondo injury? The realistic scenario?
Kevin Draper: Best case scenario is that he gets traded to a team looking for the “final piece”, and despite his sadness he delivers. Realistic scenario is that his per-game numbers go up in Rondo’s absences, but the Celtics wins do not.
Jairo Martinez: In the best case, Paul Pierce will reclaim his status as “the man” for Boston. He will play his ass off like it is 2003 and MVP chants will rain down from the stands. Yeah, that won’t happen. He will be asked to succumb to trade talks and go to either a rebuilding team (Pelicans, Bobcats, Lakers) or a contender (Grizzlies, Clippers, Mavericks).
Jacob Greenberg: Best case, he keeps the passing up and the turnovers down and keeps his team in the hunt for the tournament. Realistically, I think he actually will do this (I believe in the C’s).
Symbol Lai: Best case, his age catches up with him and he’s unable to rally the troops because his level of play wavers thereby allowing the 76ers to claim the 8th and final spot in the playoffs. Realistically, Pierce and the Celtics keep it together enough to stay in playoff contention. Editor’s Note: In case it wasn’t plainly obvious, Symbol is a 76ers fan.
What is the best case scenario for the rest of Dirk Nowitzki’s year? The realistic scenario?
Kevin Draper: Best case scenario is that he returns to the Dirk of old and leads the Mavericks to the playoffs. The realistic scenario is that he is an old player, with lots of playoff mileage on him, coming off of a major injury.
Jairo Martinez: Dirk will coast, averaging 18/6/2 while Dallas tries to keep him happy. The Mavs make a few splashes come trade deadline, and make a second half run. Realistically, he will still labor and play gingerly for the rest of the year while OJ Mayo takes over the franchise. Sadly, the Mavs will be relegated to play a part in the Dwight Howard sweepstakes this offseason.
Jacob Greenberg: Best case is that he doesn’t get injured. Realistically, he will get injured.
Symbol Lai: Best case scenario: he’s old and good. Worst case scenario: he’s old and injured.
What is the case scenario for the Philadelphia 76ers season? The realistic scenario?
Kevin Draper: The best case scenario for the Philadelphia 76ers is that Andrew Bynum comes back, the team sneaks into the playoffs, and they make some noise. The realistic scenario is that Bynum comes back with limited effectiveness, the team sneaks into the playoffs, and lose in the first round.
Jairo Martinez: Andrew Bynum makes a furious comeback, which will live on in 76ers infamy, which will further justify the need to pay him an insane contract. The team will make some noise in the playoffs, but nothing more than a second round edit. Realistically, Bynum isn’t playing and will still get paid.
Jacob Greenberg: Best case, the Sixers get a fixed Bynum back and climb their way up to the 7th seed (currently 6 games behind Milwaukee). Realistically, they finish 9th, and Bynum is eventually (and wisely) shelved for next season.
Symbol Lai: Best case, Bynum returns after the All-Star break and becomes the missing piece to a noticeably improved system and the Sixers make the playoffs. Realistically, Bynum and the rest of the team will some trouble adjusting to the new offense, the Sixers will miss the playoffs, and Bynum will resign with another city.
What is the best case scenario for the Portland Trail Blazers season? The realistic scenario?
Kevin Draper: The best case scenario is that Lillard continues to grow, the team barely misses out on the playoffs, and miraculously wins the lottery and the number one pick. The realistic scenario is Lillard hits a bit of a rookie wall but still wins ROY, and they get the 13th pick in a weak draft.
Jairo Martinez: Portland may make a few questionable roster moves that will pay dividends in the standings, for the sake of relevancy. The Blazers will re-enact the Warriors playoff upset special, and will make some noise. Seriously though, who even cares about the Blazers?
Jacob Greenberg: Best case, Trail Blazers win while other lower West seeds struggle a bit. Realistically, they will compete with the Rockets, Jazz and Lakers (!) for a low seed. But they do get into the final 8.
Symbol Lai: Best case, they decisively claim a playoff spot because the Jazz and Rockets struggle more in the intensified end-of-season play and the Lakers continue to fumble around. Realistically, the Blazers can’t sustain playoff caliber play enough to overtake the other struggling teams and barely miss the playoffs.