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Wizards Fan

2014 Washington Wizards Preseason Report posted by Wizards Fan

2013-14 was a good season for the Washington Wizards, even though they were defeated by Indiana pacers in the semifinals of the Eastern Conference. Up to now, the Wizards were considered a mediocre team, as they have never made it to the playoffs since 2008. However, last February, the team had risen above .500 in standings, and managed to defeat the Bulls in the first playoff round. They ended the season with an impressive 44-38 record.

In season 2014-15, Washington Wizards could come in the top three spots in Eastern Conference, provided the team remains healthy. The Wizards are primarily focusing on John Wall and Bradley Beal, who are the young duo in the backcourt. Wall, who was first overall pick in the draft has performed excellently in breakout season, and could be the best point guard of the league. Beal on the other hand is SG and he has averaged over 17 points per game. If the duo is rested adequately and they stay focused, the team could perform much better.

Marcin Gortat has been re-signed for anchoring in C, and Nene in F/C could have a productive year. This duo with their size and toughness can provide excellent inside presence to the team. Last season, Otto Porter displayed mediocre performance at small forward, but he could improve under the mentorship of Paul Pierce, who has been brought in through free agency.

Randy Wittman, the head coach, was able to generate good performance from the team last season, and his contract has been extended. This means the team could improve under his guidance and make more progress in the playoffs. The 2014 draft was loaded, but Washington Wizards did not have a pick in the first round. Hence, whatever improvement is expected has to come from the available talent. Winning the championship might be a stretch, but they can manage second seed position in the East.

Continue reading "2014 Washington Wizards Preseason Report"


Charles Bisbee

Celtics Thoughts posted by Charles Bisbee

Here are some thoughts on the Celtics as training camps open:

·      It’ll be interesting to see how much KG has left in the tank. His numbers have regressed across the board from just a couple seasons ago. Nonetheless, the intangibles and the desire remain intact and it’s impossible to discount the role they’ll play on a young Celtics squad. Rondo may be the C’s best player, but KG remains the team's heart and soul.

·      Here’s hoping Garnett can effectively light a fire under rookie Jared Sullinger, the talented but scatter-brained big man from Ohio State. Sullinger impressed during Orlando Summer League action, scoring 20 points and grabbing 6 rebounds in just 24 minutes of action during his first game. Talent, however, has never been the issue. If KG can continually keep Sullinger focused and dedicated, the Celts may have the answer at power forward over the next 10-15 years.

·      I’m interested to see how Avery Bradley handles an increased workload when he returns in January. With Keyon Dooling retired and Ray Allen in Miami, Bradley will get the bulk of the load backing up Rondo and aging (but still effective) combo-guard Jason Terry. Bradley is a shut-down defender, but I'm not sure he can produce enough offensively to warrant the minutes. Relatedly, the Celtics lack of depth at guard scares me. Outside Rondo, Terry, and (possibly?) Courtney Lee, there are a lot of unproven youngsters.

·      Paul Pierce refuses to show his age. As the years go by, he only gets craftier. His array of start-and-stops, head fakes, and up-and-unders would make Kevin McHale proud. I think Pierce should play until he’s 50.

Continue reading "Celtics Thoughts"


Larry Hinders

Formula for Road Success Eludes the Wiz posted by Larry Hinders

When you are in the midst of a franchise-worst road losing streak, there are a few things a team must do to break out of its funk. The Wizards have one half of the game going in the right direction. Over the past few weeks, they have been holding their opponents under 100 points. It is at the offensive end that they have failed to heed the tried and true rules of NBA road success. Flip, guys, pay attention please. We’ll use today’s loss to the Pacers as a teachable moment.

Rule #1: Take quality shots

                                                  

On the road you can’t rely on jump shots.  To compete at unfriendly arenas, you must get quality shots, preferably in the paint, and get to the foul line with some frequency. Against the Pacers today, the Wiz shot 39% from the field and 31% from beyond the arc. There were too many possessions during which the ball stopped in a Wizard player’s hands early in the shot clock and a long, often contested, jump shot was taken. The Pacers outscored the Wiz in the paint by 30 points.

The two players who were most at fault for the launching of ill-advised shots were the Wizards’ two most undisciplined players, Nick Young and Andray Blatche.  Young has been making an effort of late to play a complete game and expend energy at both ends. Blatche is playing the worst basketball of his career of late. He refuses to finish tough at the basket and seems to prefer off-balanced shots. These two starters must be brought in line for the road losing streak to come to an end.

Continue reading "Formula for Road Success Eludes the Wiz"

Larry Hinders

Five Reasons We Should Be Glad Gilbert Arenas Played for the Wiz posted by Larry Hinders

I side with those who believe that Gilbert’s move to sunny Orlando was in the best interest of the Wizards. His departure provides fans the opportunity to look back on the full impact of his time spent in the Nation’s Capital. Despite his hand in bringing our franchise to some of its lowest points ever, Gilbert’s overall impact on this team has been positive. Here’s why:

1.      A Lesson Learned

The Wizards invested a tremendous amount of money in Gilbert Arenas, a player they knew to be eccentric at best. When things went sour, the franchise was handcuffed because his contract was next to impossible to unload. Both Ted Leonsis and Ernie Grunfeld are bright guys. I have to believe that the Wizards will be reluctant to mortgage the team’s future to sign a player who is anything but a solid and dependable person.

2.      A Clean Slate

When Ted Leonsis took over control of this team last June, some of the house cleaning was already under way. The Wizards needed for Gilbert to move on so that the last chapter of an era that carried so much promise could finally closed. With Gilbert gone, Leonsis and the rest of the ownership team can build around John Wall, provided he can remain healthy, and shape the team that will hopefully return the Wizards to playoff contenders.Gil defined Wizards basketball, good and bad, for an era. His ability to do so made the transition to a new era easier.

3.      Washington as Superstar Pedestal

Continue reading "Five Reasons We Should Be Glad Gilbert ..."


Larry Hinders

Results are in from Wizards' Blatche Experiment posted by Larry Hinders

     The findings from the Washington Institute for Advance Roundball Research’s half-decade long Andray Blatche experiment are in; conclusive evidence indicates he is not worth the continued investment of time or money by the Wizards franchise. Blatche is nearly impossible for an NBA GM to resist. He puts up pretty solid numbers, has length and decent agility, and he is young despite having spent five years as a professional basketball player. Only close observation over a long period of time can reveal that his minuses outweigh his pluses.

     Blatche’s biggest problem is that he seems incapable of growing up. Each of the last two seasons the Wizards have sold Blatche as a young man who is ready to step up and assume a leadership role on the team. Instead the team has been fed a steady diet of immature behavior and selfish antics. Consider his history:

·         Charged with sexual solicitation in August of 2007

·         Arrested and charged with reckless driving and driving on a suspended license for the third time in June of 2008

·         Fined by the Wizards for involvement in the infamous “gun dance” incident in January of 2010

·         Later that same season Blatche refused to reenter a game when asked to do so by Flip Saunders

·         Enters the current season overweight and out of shape (Blatche was apparently unaware that some exercises do not require the use of injured feet)

Continue reading "Results are in from Wizards' Blatche Experiment"


john howard

New faces, early dividends posted by john howard

Dallas Mavericks' new players played well last night, beating the top team in the east in Orlando Magic.

Caron Butler and Brenden Haywood combined for 73 minutes 16 rebounds and 31 points.  A really good bigman and another scorer.  Good Job Dallas.

Another top team fell to newcomers.  Denver fell to Washington and their new lineup.  No Arenas, no Jamison, no Butler, no problem.  Josh Howard had 20 points in 23 minutes. More stunning was the 25 points the Wizards outscored the Nuggets in that 23 minutes.  Also, Al Thornton (just acquired from the Clippers) had 21 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 block shots in 31 minutes. Oh I can't wait until Ilgauskas joins the group. 

Expect Thornton and Howard to play with a chip on their shoulders, showing the teams that didn't want them that they were wrong. The Wizards have players that are auditioning for the big free agent bucks.  They are going to be competitive for the rest of the season.

Continue reading "New faces, early dividends"


john howard

Cleveland set for title run posted by john howard

Cleveland just got a lot better.   They traded Zydranus Ilgauskas and his 11million dollar expiring contract to Washington for Antwain Jamison who has the same salary.      This adds a power scorer to the lineup while giving up nothing.  Anderson Varejo has been the backup at both power forward and center. This will continue.  Hickson's minutes may decrease, but he is still developing so that is ok.  The first pick won't matter if they win the title.       Also acquired is Sebastian Telfair an up and down career since joining the NBA.  They have point guard injuries so that is an added bonus.

Washington continues to dump salary by trading for Ilgauskas. His 11 mil is the same as Jamison's but expires this year.  They also unloaded Drew Gooden whom they acquired from Dallas last week.  Washington gets Al Thornton who is young and improving. 

The Clippers continue to confuse.  They gave up Telfair for Drew Gooden?  Whatever.

Continue reading "Cleveland set for title run"


john howard

Mavs A Wizards--gambling posted by john howard

Dallas and Washington traded talent this week. 

First Dallas---they get Caron Butler an all star that is almost averaging 17 points and 7 rebounds.  He will replace Josh Powell which is a huge up grade.  Brendon Haywood also joins the Mavs.  This was a good move because Eric Dampier hasn't been effective since hurting his knee.  Haywood is averaging 10 rebounds a game.  The Mavs also get Deshaun Stevenson.  A decent backup.

Washington is clearing house by unloading contracts and gaining potential.  What kind of potential is the question.  Josh Howard averaged 19 points last year.  Injuries and attitudes have landed him on the bench with decreasing minutes.  He has potential to be the team's leading scorer.  Sorry to say that his behavior could land him sitting next to Gilbert Arenas.  I'm not sure this was  a good move.

Continue reading "Mavs A Wizards--gambling"


john howard

McGrady sweetstakes---Knicks? posted by john howard

Houston has been shopping Tracy McGrady all year and something is a about to happen.  The leading candidate is the New York Knicks.  McGrady could be a 20pt scorer again with the up tempo style of play New York has. I think he would be a perfect fit for them. 

A third team may have to be involved and latest rumor has the Wizards.  Houston might get Caron Butler from Washington and the Knicks would send much traveled Al Harrington to DC.  Sounds like a swapping of big salaries and not much improvement.  There will be other players involved and draft picks for sure.  But, the main thing is McGrady in the biggest market.  If he could stay healthy for any length of time, he could really profit well.  He might be enough of a surge to get them into the playoffs this year. 

Continue reading "McGrady sweetstakes---Knicks?"


Andy Charles

No place for guns in Washington posted by Andy Charles

As if things weren’t bad enough for the Washington Wizards, Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton have now apparently decided that the locker room is the right place to show off their guns.

No, I am not talking about the size of their respective biceps, but I am referring to the weapons pulled in the locker room after an argument over a gambling debt got out of hand.

Guns? Gambling? Sounds like Arenas and Crittenton are trying to break all of the NBA’s strict rules in one fell swoop.

Although many of the reports last week made it sound like the new version of Gunfight At The OK Corral, and may well have been over-playing it, the fact that both players seemingly had unloaded firearms in their lockers is bad enough.

Only just over a year after Plaxico Burress managed to shoot himself in the thigh, firearms are back on the sports pages and both players may find themselves having to explain their actions to David Stern, with the chance of heavy fines and suspensions possibly following.

The incident could also be the perfect way for Washington to get out of the $100m+ deal they signed Arenas to before his two injury-plagued seasons.

But at least Agent Zero appears to be contrite, as he said: “Joke or not, I now recognize that what I did was a mistake and was wrong. I should not have brought the guns to DC in the first place, and I now realize that there’s no such thing as joking around when it comes to guns, even if unloaded.”

Is an apology going to work though? Seems strange to think it’s been so long since the brawl at the Palace of Auburn Hills, but this incident could be just as damaging to the sport – if the players escape lengthy bans they can definitely consider themselves a touch lucky.

Continue reading "No place for guns in Washington"

Washington Wizards News

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BDL's 2014-15 NBA Season Previews: All 30 team previews, collected in one spot (Ball Don't

It's been 136 days since the San Antonio Spurs put the finishing touches on their five-game demolition of the Miami Heat to win the 2013-14 NBA championship. Since then, we've seen a new decision that knocked over the dominoes that shifted the balance of power in the Eastern Conference, a foot fracture that could tilt the brutal West, a long overdue change in L.A., and more movement —of players, coaches, front-office staffers and everything else —than you can shake a stick at ... except in San Antonio, of course, where the Spurs brought back their entire O'Brien-winning roster in pursuit of the repeat title that's thus far eluded them. [ Yahoo Sports Fantasy Basketball: Sign up and join a league today! ] It's been a long summer and early fall, and our seemingly interminable wait is now over. The 2014-15 NBA season tips off tonight, with looming monster /2014 FIBA World Cup star Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans hosting the Orlando Magic, the Spurs (and their fans ) getting their rings before taking on the retooled Dallas Mavericks, and Dwight Howard leading the Houston Rockets back to Hollywood to square off with the once-again-healthy Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers. It ought to be a pretty fun night. We've spent the last month preparing for tonight, putting together in-depth looks at all 30 NBA teams —how we left them last season, what they did on their summer vacations, their big moves, big questions and all the storylines and subplots to keep an eye on this coming season. They're all collected here, in case you missed any, would like to take another look, or just want to study up before the opening buzzer. You can also find our predictions for the season ahead —our picks for the 2014-15 champion, who'll win each major individual award and more —right here . The links below point to each team's season preview, along with predicted records and playoff seeding.* Dig in, enjoy, and feel free to tell us where you think we've gone wrong —today, tomorrow, all season long and always —on Twitter , Facebook and Tumblr . * NOTE: A few of the Western Conference records listed below differ from those that appear in the team-by-team previews, many of which were published before Kevin Durant suffered the Jones fracture that will keep him out for the first six or so weeks of the season. That, as you might expect, led us to juggle a few things. Now, let's get to it: EASTERN CONFERENCE Atlantic Division 1. Toronto Raptors —50-32 2. Brooklyn Nets —38-44 3. New York Knicks —37-45 4. Boston Celtics —28-54 5. Philadelphia 76ers —15-67 Central Division 1. Cleveland Cavaliers —60-22 2. Chicago Bulls —57-25 3. Detroit Pistons —32-50 4. Indiana Pacers —28-54 5. Milwaukee Bucks —20-62 Southeast Division 1. Washington Wizards —48-34 2. Charlotte Hornets —46-36 3. Miami Heat —43-39 4. Atlanta Hawks —41-41 5. Orlando Magic —25-57 Which would mean, playoffs-wise ... 1. Cleveland 2. Chicago 3. Toronto 4. Washington 5. Charlotte 6. Miami 7. Atlanta 8. Brooklyn WESTERN CONFERENCE Northwest Division 1.** Oklahoma City Thunder —55-27 2.** Portland Trail Blazers —55-27 4. Denver Nuggets —36-46 4. Utah Jazz —24-58 5. Minnesota Timberwolves —20-62 Pacific Division 1. Los Angeles Clippers —59-23 2. Golden State Warriors —58-24 3. Phoenix Suns —47-35 4. Sacramento Kings —35-47 5. Los Angeles Lakers —27-55 Southwest Division 1. San Antonio Spurs —57-25 2.** Dallas Mavericks —50-32 3.** Houston Rockets —50-32 4. Memphis Grizzlies —45-37 5. New Orleans Pelicans —44-38 Which would mean, playoffs-wise ... 1. L.A. Clippers 2. Golden State 3. San Antonio 4. Oklahoma City/Portland** 5. Portland/Oklahoma City** 6. Dallas/Houston** 7. Houston/Dallas** 8. Phoenix ** depending on tiebreakers More NBA coverage: [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

BDL's 2014-15 NBA Season Previews: All 30 team previews, collected in one spot (Ball Don't

It's been 136 days since the San Antonio Spurs put the finishing touches on their five-game demolition of the Miami Heat to win the 2013-14 NBA championship. Since then, we've seen a new decision that knocked over the dominoes that shifted the balance of power in the Eastern Conference, a foot fracture that could tilt the brutal West, a long overdue change in L.A., and more movement —of players, coaches, front-office staffers and everything else —than you can shake a stick at ... except in San Antonio, of course, where the Spurs brought back their entire O'Brien-winning roster in pursuit of the repeat title that's thus far eluded them. [ Yahoo Sports Fantasy Basketball: Sign up and join a league today! ] It's been a long summer and early fall, and our seemingly interminable wait is now over. The 2014-15 NBA season tips off tonight, with looming monster /2014 FIBA World Cup star Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans hosting the Orlando Magic, the Spurs (and their fans ) getting their rings before taking on the retooled Dallas Mavericks, and Dwight Howard leading the Houston Rockets back to Hollywood to square off with the once-again-healthy Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers. It ought to be a pretty fun night. We've spent the last month preparing for tonight, putting together in-depth looks at all 30 NBA teams —how we left them last season, what they did on their summer vacations, their big moves, big questions and all the storylines and subplots to keep an eye on this coming season. They're all collected here, in case you missed any, would like to take another look, or just want to study up before the opening buzzer. You can also find our predictions for the season ahead —our picks for the 2014-15 champion, who'll win each major individual award and more —right here . The links below point to each team's season preview, along with predicted records and playoff seeding.* Dig in, enjoy, and feel free to tell us where you think we've gone wrong —today, tomorrow, all season long and always —on Twitter , Facebook and Tumblr . * NOTE: A few of the Western Conference records listed below differ from those that appear in the team-by-team previews, many of which were published before Kevin Durant suffered the Jones fracture that will keep him out for the first six or so weeks of the season. That, as you might expect, led us to juggle a few things. Now, let's get to it: EASTERN CONFERENCE Atlantic Division 1. Toronto Raptors —50-32 2. Brooklyn Nets —38-44 3. New York Knicks —37-45 4. Boston Celtics —28-54 5. Philadelphia 76ers —15-67 Central Division 1. Cleveland Cavaliers —60-22 2. Chicago Bulls —57-25 3. Detroit Pistons —32-50 4. Indiana Pacers —28-54 5. Milwaukee Bucks —20-62 Southeast Division 1. Washington Wizards —48-34 2. Charlotte Hornets —46-36 3. Miami Heat —43-39 4. Atlanta Hawks —41-41 5. Orlando Magic —25-57 Which would mean, playoffs-wise ... 1. Cleveland 2. Chicago 3. Toronto 4. Washington 5. Charlotte 6. Miami 7. Atlanta 8. Brooklyn WESTERN CONFERENCE Northwest Division 1.** Oklahoma City Thunder —55-27 2.** Portland Trail Blazers —55-27 4. Denver Nuggets —36-46 4. Utah Jazz —24-58 5. Minnesota Timberwolves —20-62 Pacific Division 1. Los Angeles Clippers —59-23 2. Golden State Warriors —58-24 3. Phoenix Suns —47-35 4. Sacramento Kings —35-47 5. Los Angeles Lakers —27-55 Southwest Division 1. San Antonio Spurs —57-25 2.** Dallas Mavericks —50-32 3.** Houston Rockets —50-32 4. Memphis Grizzlies —45-37 5. New Orleans Pelicans —44-38 Which would mean, playoffs-wise ... 1. L.A. Clippers 2. Golden State 3. San Antonio 4. Oklahoma City/Portland** 5. Portland/Oklahoma City** 6. Dallas/Houston** 7. Houston/Dallas** 8. Phoenix ** depending on tiebreakers More NBA coverage: [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

BDL's 2014-15 NBA Season Previews: All 30 team previews, collected in one spot (Ball Don't

It's been 136 days since the San Antonio Spurs put the finishing touches on their five-game demolition of the Miami Heat to win the 2013-14 NBA championship. Since then, we've seen a new decision that knocked over the dominoes that shifted the balance of power in the Eastern Conference, a foot fracture that could tilt the brutal West, a long overdue change in L.A., and more movement —of players, coaches, front-office staffers and everything else —than you can shake a stick at ... except in San Antonio, of course, where the Spurs brought back their entire O'Brien-winning roster in pursuit of the repeat title that's thus far eluded them. [ Yahoo Sports Fantasy Basketball: Sign up and join a league today! ] It's been a long summer and early fall, and our seemingly interminable wait is now over. The 2014-15 NBA season tips off tonight, with looming monster /2014 FIBA World Cup star Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans hosting the Orlando Magic, the Spurs (and their fans ) getting their rings before taking on the retooled Dallas Mavericks, and Dwight Howard leading the Houston Rockets back to Hollywood to square off with the once-again-healthy Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers. It ought to be a pretty fun night. We've spent the last month preparing for tonight, putting together in-depth looks at all 30 NBA teams —how we left them last season, what they did on their summer vacations, their big moves, big questions and all the storylines and subplots to keep an eye on this coming season. They're all collected here, in case you missed any, would like to take another look, or just want to study up before the opening buzzer. You can also find our predictions for the season ahead —our picks for the 2014-15 champion, who'll win each major individual award and more —right here . The links below point to each team's season preview, along with predicted records and playoff seeding.* Dig in, enjoy, and feel free to tell us where you think we've gone wrong —today, tomorrow, all season long and always —on Twitter , Facebook and Tumblr . * NOTE: A few of the Western Conference records listed below differ from those that appear in the team-by-team previews, many of which were published before Kevin Durant suffered the Jones fracture that will keep him out for the first six or so weeks of the season. That, as you might expect, led us to juggle a few things. Now, let's get to it: EASTERN CONFERENCE Atlantic Division 1. Toronto Raptors —50-32 2. Brooklyn Nets —38-44 3. New York Knicks —37-45 4. Boston Celtics —28-54 5. Philadelphia 76ers —15-67 Central Division 1. Cleveland Cavaliers —60-22 2. Chicago Bulls —57-25 3. Detroit Pistons —32-50 4. Indiana Pacers —28-54 5. Milwaukee Bucks —20-62 Southeast Division 1. Washington Wizards —48-34 2. Charlotte Hornets —46-36 3. Miami Heat —43-39 4. Atlanta Hawks —41-41 5. Orlando Magic —25-57 Which would mean, playoffs-wise ... 1. Cleveland 2. Chicago 3. Toronto 4. Washington 5. Charlotte 6. Miami 7. Atlanta 8. Brooklyn WESTERN CONFERENCE Northwest Division 1.** Oklahoma City Thunder —55-27 2.** Portland Trail Blazers —55-27 4. Denver Nuggets —36-46 4. Utah Jazz —24-58 5. Minnesota Timberwolves —20-62 Pacific Division 1. Los Angeles Clippers —59-23 2. Golden State Warriors —58-24 3. Phoenix Suns —47-35 4. Sacramento Kings —35-47 5. Los Angeles Lakers —27-55 Southwest Division 1. San Antonio Spurs —57-25 2.** Dallas Mavericks —50-32 3.** Houston Rockets —50-32 4. Memphis Grizzlies —45-37 5. New Orleans Pelicans —44-38 Which would mean, playoffs-wise ... 1. L.A. Clippers 2. Golden State 3. San Antonio 4. Oklahoma City/Portland** 5. Portland/Oklahoma City** 6. Dallas/Houston** 7. Houston/Dallas** 8. Phoenix ** depending on tiebreakers More NBA coverage: [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

BDL's 2014-15 NBA Season Previews: All 30 team previews, collected in one spot (Ball Don't

It's been 136 days since the San Antonio Spurs put the finishing touches on their five-game demolition of the Miami Heat to win the 2013-14 NBA championship. Since then, we've seen a new decision that knocked over the dominoes that shifted the balance of power in the Eastern Conference, a foot fracture that could tilt the brutal West, a long overdue change in L.A., and more movement —of players, coaches, front-office staffers and everything else —than you can shake a stick at ... except in San Antonio, of course, where the Spurs brought back their entire O'Brien-winning roster in pursuit of the repeat title that's thus far eluded them. [ Yahoo Sports Fantasy Basketball: Sign up and join a league today! ] It's been a long summer and early fall, and our seemingly interminable wait is now over. The 2014-15 NBA season tips off tonight, with looming monster /2014 FIBA World Cup star Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans hosting the Orlando Magic, the Spurs (and their fans ) getting their rings before taking on the retooled Dallas Mavericks, and Dwight Howard leading the Houston Rockets back to Hollywood to square off with the once-again-healthy Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers. It ought to be a pretty fun night. We've spent the last month preparing for tonight, putting together in-depth looks at all 30 NBA teams —how we left them last season, what they did on their summer vacations, their big moves, big questions and all the storylines and subplots to keep an eye on this coming season. They're all collected here, in case you missed any, would like to take another look, or just want to study up before the opening buzzer. You can also find our predictions for the season ahead —our picks for the 2014-15 champion, who'll win each major individual award and more —right here . The links below point to each team's season preview, along with predicted records and playoff seeding.* Dig in, enjoy, and feel free to tell us where you think we've gone wrong —today, tomorrow, all season long and always —on Twitter , Facebook and Tumblr . * NOTE: A few of the Western Conference records listed below differ from those that appear in the team-by-team previews, many of which were published before Kevin Durant suffered the Jones fracture that will keep him out for the first six or so weeks of the season. That, as you might expect, led us to juggle a few things. Now, let's get to it: EASTERN CONFERENCE Atlantic Division 1. Toronto Raptors —50-32 2. Brooklyn Nets —38-44 3. New York Knicks —37-45 4. Boston Celtics —28-54 5. Philadelphia 76ers —15-67 Central Division 1. Cleveland Cavaliers —60-22 2. Chicago Bulls —57-25 3. Detroit Pistons —32-50 4. Indiana Pacers —28-54 5. Milwaukee Bucks —20-62 Southeast Division 1. Washington Wizards —48-34 2. Charlotte Hornets —46-36 3. Miami Heat —43-39 4. Atlanta Hawks —41-41 5. Orlando Magic —25-57 Which would mean, playoffs-wise ... 1. Cleveland 2. Chicago 3. Toronto 4. Washington 5. Charlotte 6. Miami 7. Atlanta 8. Brooklyn WESTERN CONFERENCE Northwest Division 1.** Oklahoma City Thunder —55-27 2.** Portland Trail Blazers —55-27 4. Denver Nuggets —36-46 4. Utah Jazz —24-58 5. Minnesota Timberwolves —20-62 Pacific Division 1. Los Angeles Clippers —59-23 2. Golden State Warriors —58-24 3. Phoenix Suns —47-35 4. Sacramento Kings —35-47 5. Los Angeles Lakers —27-55 Southwest Division 1. San Antonio Spurs —57-25 2.** Dallas Mavericks —50-32 3.** Houston Rockets —50-32 4. Memphis Grizzlies —45-37 5. New Orleans Pelicans —44-38 Which would mean, playoffs-wise ... 1. L.A. Clippers 2. Golden State 3. San Antonio 4. Oklahoma City/Portland** 5. Portland/Oklahoma City** 6. Dallas/Houston** 7. Houston/Dallas** 8. Phoenix ** depending on tiebreakers More NBA coverage: [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

BDL's 2014-15 NBA Season Previews: All 30 team previews, collected in one spot (Ball Don't

It's been 136 days since the San Antonio Spurs put the finishing touches on their five-game demolition of the Miami Heat to win the 2013-14 NBA championship. Since then, we've seen a new decision that knocked over the dominoes that shifted the balance of power in the Eastern Conference, a foot fracture that could tilt the brutal West, a long overdue change in L.A., and more movement —of players, coaches, front-office staffers and everything else —than you can shake a stick at ... except in San Antonio, of course, where the Spurs brought back their entire O'Brien-winning roster in pursuit of the repeat title that's thus far eluded them. [ Yahoo Sports Fantasy Basketball: Sign up and join a league today! ] It's been a long summer and early fall, and our seemingly interminable wait is now over. The 2014-15 NBA season tips off tonight, with looming monster /2014 FIBA World Cup star Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans hosting the Orlando Magic, the Spurs (and their fans ) getting their rings before taking on the retooled Dallas Mavericks, and Dwight Howard leading the Houston Rockets back to Hollywood to square off with the once-again-healthy Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers. It ought to be a pretty fun night. We've spent the last month preparing for tonight, putting together in-depth looks at all 30 NBA teams —how we left them last season, what they did on their summer vacations, their big moves, big questions and all the storylines and subplots to keep an eye on this coming season. They're all collected here, in case you missed any, would like to take another look, or just want to study up before the opening buzzer. You can also find our predictions for the season ahead —our picks for the 2014-15 champion, who'll win each major individual award and more —right here . The links below point to each team's season preview, along with predicted records and playoff seeding.* Dig in, enjoy, and feel free to tell us where you think we've gone wrong —today, tomorrow, all season long and always —on Twitter , Facebook and Tumblr . * NOTE: A few of the Western Conference records listed below differ from those that appear in the team-by-team previews, many of which were published before Kevin Durant suffered the Jones fracture that will keep him out for the first six or so weeks of the season. That, as you might expect, led us to juggle a few things. Now, let's get to it: EASTERN CONFERENCE Atlantic Division 1. Toronto Raptors —50-32 2. Brooklyn Nets —38-44 3. New York Knicks —37-45 4. Boston Celtics —28-54 5. Philadelphia 76ers —15-67 Central Division 1. Cleveland Cavaliers —60-22 2. Chicago Bulls —57-25 3. Detroit Pistons —32-50 4. Indiana Pacers —28-54 5. Milwaukee Bucks —20-62 Southeast Division 1. Washington Wizards —48-34 2. Charlotte Hornets —46-36 3. Miami Heat —43-39 4. Atlanta Hawks —41-41 5. Orlando Magic —25-57 Which would mean, playoffs-wise ... 1. Cleveland 2. Chicago 3. Toronto 4. Washington 5. Charlotte 6. Miami 7. Atlanta 8. Brooklyn WESTERN CONFERENCE Northwest Division 1.** Oklahoma City Thunder —55-27 2.** Portland Trail Blazers —55-27 4. Denver Nuggets —36-46 4. Utah Jazz —24-58 5. Minnesota Timberwolves —20-62 Pacific Division 1. Los Angeles Clippers —59-23 2. Golden State Warriors —58-24 3. Phoenix Suns —47-35 4. Sacramento Kings —35-47 5. Los Angeles Lakers —27-55 Southwest Division 1. San Antonio Spurs —57-25 2.** Dallas Mavericks —50-32 3.** Houston Rockets —50-32 4. Memphis Grizzlies —45-37 5. New Orleans Pelicans —44-38 Which would mean, playoffs-wise ... 1. L.A. Clippers 2. Golden State 3. San Antonio 4. Oklahoma City/Portland** 5. Portland/Oklahoma City** 6. Dallas/Houston** 7. Houston/Dallas** 8. Phoenix ** depending on tiebreakers More NBA coverage: [read full article]

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