Posted on: September 30th, 2014 by Devin Kharpertian Comments

 

Projected record: 56-26 (1st in East)

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Kevin Love, LeBron James, Kyrie Irving

Possibly the most explosive "Big 3" in the NBA. (AP)

Head coach: David Blatt
2013-14 record: 33-49
2013-14 ORtg: 101.3 (23rd)
2013-14 DRtg: 104.8 (T-17th)
Players in: David Blatt (coach), Joe Harris, Brendan Haywood, LeBron James, James Jones, Alex Kirk, Kevin Love, John Lucas III, Mike Miller, Erik Murphy, Malcolm Thomas, rights to Edin Bavcic, rights to Ilkan Karaman
Players out: Mike Brown (coach), Anthony Bennett, Luol Deng, Carrick Felix, Alonzo Gee, Spencer Hawes, Scotty Hopson, Jarrett Jack, Sergey Karasev, C.J. Miles, Tyler Zeller
Projected Starting Lineup: Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters, LeBron James, Kevin Love, Anderson Varejao

You already know what happened. Let's get right to it.
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Posted on: September 30th, 2014 by Ryan Carbain Comments

 

Projected record: 54-28 (2nd in East)

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Derrick Rose

After a rough FIBA World Cup, former MVP Derrick Rose looks to prove he still has it. (AP)

Head coach: Tom Thibodeau
2013-14 record: 48-34
2013-14 ORtg: 99.7 (T-27th)
2013-14 DRtg: 97.8 (2nd)
Players in: Aaron Brooks, Cameron Bairstow, Pau Gasol, Doug McDermott, Nikola Mirotic, rights to Milovan Rakovic, rights to Tadija, Dragicevic
Players out: Lou Amundson, D.J. Augustin, Carlos Boozer, Ronnie Brewer, Jimmer Fredette, Mike James, Greg Smith
Projected Starting Lineup: Derrick Rose, Jimmy Butler, Mike Dunleavy, Pau Gasol, Joakim Noah

This is not an article about Derrick Rose’s knee.
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Posted on: September 30th, 2014 by Devin Kharpertian Comments

 

Projected record: 47-35 (3rd in East)

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DeMar DeRozan, Kyle Lowry

Can these Raptors bounce back from crushing defeat at the hands of Brooklyn? (AP)

Head coach: Dwane Casey
2013-14 record: 48-34
2013-14 ORtg: 105.8 (9th)
2013-14 DRtg: 102.4 (T-9th)
Players in: Bruno Caboclo, Will Cherry, Jordan Hamilton, James Johnson, Lou Williams, rights to DeAndre Daniels
Players out: Dwight Buycks, Steve Novak, Julyan Stone
Projected Starting Lineup: Kyle Lowry, Terrence Ross, DeMar DeRozan, Amir Johnson, Jonas Valanciunas

The Raptors are the anti-Nets.

That's probably a good thing.
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Posted on: September 30th, 2014 by Benny Nadeau Comments

 

Projected record: 47-35 (4th in East)

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Bradley Beal, Paul Pierce, John Wall

John Wall, ex-Nets forward Paul Pierce, and Bradley Beal form Washington's starting frontcourt. (AP)

Head coach: Randy Wittman
2013-14 record: 44-38
2013-14 ORtg: 103.3 (T-16th)
2013-14 DRtg: 102.3 (T-9th)
Players in: DeJuan Blair, Kris Humphries, Paul Pierce
Players out: Trevor Ariza, Trevor Booker, Al Harrington, Chris Singleton,
Projected Starting Lineup: John Wall, Bradley Beal, Paul Pierce, Nene, Marcin Gortat

DIARY ENTRY
SEPTEMBER 24, 2014
DURANT, KEVIN

Kevin, this is your conscience speaking.
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AP

AP

Kevin Garnett isn't surprised he's made it this far, but one front-office executive didn't see it coming.
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Posted on: September 30th, 2014 by Devin Kharpertian Comments

 

Projected record: 45-37 (5th in East)

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Lionel Hollins

The Nets look to reboot under new coach Lionel Hollins. (AP)

Head coach: Lionel Hollins
2013-14 record: 44-38
2013-14 ORtg: 104.4 (14th)
2013-14 DRtg: 104.9 (19th)
Players in: Lionel Hollins (coach), Bojan Bogdanovic, Markel Brown, Jarrett Jack, Cory Jefferson, Sergey Karasev, Jerome Jordan (camp), Willie Reed (camp)
Players out: Jason Kidd (coach), Andray Blatche, Shaun Livingston, Paul Pierce, Marcus Thornton
Projected Starting Lineup: Deron Williams, Alan Anderson, Joe Johnson, Kevin Garnett, Brook Lopez

Look, we're not fooling anybody: nobody knows where this team's going to end up.
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Posted on: September 29th, 2014 by Anthony Pignatti Comments

 

Projected record: 43-39 (6th in East)

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Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade

Chris Bosh & Dwyane Wade have to move on in the post-Heatles era. (AP)

The poor, poor Miami Heat.
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Posted on: September 29th, 2014 by Alex Mazer Comments

 

Projected record: 43-39 (7th in East)

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Lance Stephenson

Now in Charlotte, Lance Stephenson looks to silence his doubters. (AP)

Head coach: Steve Clifford
Projected record: 43-39 (7th)
2013-14 record: 43-39
2013-14 ORtg: 101.2 (24th)
2013-14 DRtg: 101.2 (6th)
Players in: Brian Roberts, Lance Stephenson, Noah Vonleh, Marvin Williams
Players out: Chris Douglas-Roberts, P.J. Hairston, Josh McRoberts, Luke Ridnour, Anthony Tolliver
Projected Starting Lineup: Kemba Walker, Lance Stephenson, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Cody Zeller, Al Jefferson

The buzz is back: factor in the motivation of rebranding, new guard Lance Stephenson, and a young playoff team, and you’ve got one frightening bug in North Carolina.
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Posted on: September 29th, 2014 by Devin Kharpertian Comments

 

Projected record: 41-41 (8th in East)

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Danny Ferry

Embattled GM Danny Ferry has taken the spotlight off the solid Hawks. (AP)

ATL
Head coach: Mike Budenholzer
Projected record: 41-41 (8th)
2013-14 record: 38-44
2013-14 ORtg: 103.4 (15th)
2013-14 DRtg: 104.1 (T-14th)
Players in: Kent Bazemore, Adreian Payne, Dexter Pittman, Thabo Sefolosha, rights to Walter Taveras
Players out: Gustavo Ayon, Cartier Martin, Lou Williams, rights to Lucas Nogueira, rights to Sofoklis Schortsanitis
Projected Starting Lineup: Jeff Teague, Kyle Korver, DeMarre Carroll, Paul Millsap, Al Horford

Remember when the Hawks were boring? When they were early-round playoff fodder year after year, without so much as a whisper from Atlanta? So much for that.... ">MORE →

Posted on: September 29th, 2014 by Devin Kharpertian Comments

 

Projected record: 39-43 (9th in East)

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Derek Fisher, Steve Mills, Phil Jackson

Derek Fisher (center) and Phil Jackson (right) with Steve Mills (left), who allegedly is the GM. (AP)

Head coach: Derek Fisher
2013-14 record: 37-45
2013-14 ORtg: 105.4 (11th)
2013-14 DRtg: 106.5 (24th)
Players in: Derek Fisher (coach), Quincy Acy, Jose Calderon, Samuel Dalembert, Cleanthony Early, Travis Outlaw, Jason Smith, rights to Thanasis Antetokounmpo
Players out: Mike Woodson (coach), Tyson Chandler, Raymond Felton, Kenyon Martin, Toure' Murry, Lamar Odom, Jeremy Tyler
Projected Starting Lineup: Jose Calderon, Iman Shumpert, J.R. Smith, Carmelo Anthony, Amar'e Stoudemire

Let's start with the best-case: Amar'e Stoudemire rediscovers some offensive magic, Jose Calderon hums along and keeps erratic Knicks shooters in check, Iman Shumpert puts together a full season of locking down opposing scorers, efficiency bursts out of Carmelo Anthony for the second straight year, Andrea Bargnani is only kind of terrible, and they score enough points game in and game out to offset their average defense and surge into the playoffs behind first-year coach Derek Fisher.

Worst-case? Stoudemire can't stay healthy and can't defend the paint when he is, Calderon's efficiency drops back to earth after two incredible seasons, Bargnani is fully terrible, Anthony sulks through a season with disappointing teammates, Fisher tries to usurp Phil Jackson's job, gets "released," and heads off to coach the Milwaukee Bucks while Spike Lee takes his job on the sidelines.

The truth will probably lie somewhere in the middle.

Is that a playoff team in the East?
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Posted on: September 29th, 2014 by Jaymz Clements Comments

 

Projected record: 38-44 (10th in East)

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Paul George

Paul George's leg injury was a big blow to the Pacers' chances. (AP)

Head coach: Frank Vogel
2013-14 record: 56-26
2013-14 ORtg: 101.5 (22nd)
2013-14 DRtg: 96.7 (1st)
Players in: C.J. Miles, Arinze Onuaku, Chris Singleton, Damjan Rudez, Rodney Stuckey, Shayne Whittington
Players out: Rasual Butler, Andrew Bynum, C.J. Fair, Paul George (injury), Lance Stephenson, Evan Turner
Projected Starting Lineup: George Hill, C.J. Miles, Chris Copeland, David West, Roy Hibbert

That sound? Oh, that’s just Pacers GM Kevin Pritchard softly crying in his office, adding the date of the 2015-16 NBA Draft Lottery draw to his Yahoo Calendar.

The other sound? Burning, as Larry Bird stared so long and hard at his desk that it lit itself on fire.
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Deron Williams

AP

Getting trimmer and shedding muscle was this summer's NBA trend, as stars like Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James, as well as Nets guard Joe Johnson, entered training camp noticeably slimmer than in seasons past. But Deron Williams went in the opposite direction, using his time in walking boots to put on muscle on his upper body.

"(I added a) little bit (of muscle)," Williams said. "When you're in two boots, and then you get out of one boot and you can't put the other foot down on the ground, all you can do is lift weights. So I ate weights for a little bit. That helps."

Williams added he came in at the same weight as he's been in years past, so the bulk-up could've been either purely toning his upper body, or adding upper-body strength to compensate for his inability to work out his lower body in the boot.

Listed at 6'3" and around 210 pounds, Williams already has a size advantage over most point guards, and may look to post up more. Only 27 of Williams's possessions came in the post-up last season, according to Synergy, less than 2.5 percent of the time. In his last full season in Utah, Williams went to the post-up about 4 percent of the time.

"I did that in Utah as well," Williams said about using his size to post up smaller guards. "I just got to get back to playing basketball, man. Y'all want me to predict what the hell's going to happen this whole year, I'm just going to go out and play basketball, have fun, that's all it's about, man. Just having fun."