|NBA 2007-08: Team-by-team capsules|
|Written by Admin|
|Wednesday, 17 October 2007 18:20|
LAST SEASON: 24-58, missed playoffs.
STARTING FIVE: G Rajon Rondo (6.4 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 3.8 apg), G Ray Allen (26.4 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 4.2 apg), F Paul Pierce (25.0 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 4.1 apg), F Kevin Garnett (22.4 ppg, 12.8 rpg, 4.1 apg), C Kendrick Perkins (4.5 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 1.3 bpg).
KEY ADDITIONS: C Garnett (trade, Timberwolves); G Allen (trade, SuperSonics), F James Posey (free agent, Heat), G Eddie House (free agent, Nets).
KEY LOSSES: C Al Jefferson (trade, Timberwolves), F Ryan Gomes (trade, Timberwolves), F Wally Szczerbiak (trade, SuperSonics), G Delonte West (trade, SuperSonics), G Gerald Green (trade, Timberwolves), G Sebastian Telfair (trade, Timberwolves).
COACH: Doc Rivers, fourth season with Celtics, ninth season overall; 273-312.
EYES ON: Rondo. With three superstars around him, the second-year point guard has to take care of the ball and make sure all of them get it in the spots they like. And he'll have to hit open jumpers, because teams will double off him to help on others.
OUTLOOK: Getting Garnett and Allen, both perennial All-Stars, in offseason trades to team with Pierce makes the Celtics an immediate threat again in the East. But they have to stay healthy, which Allen and Pierce couldn't do last season, because there's not much talent around them.
NEW JERSEY NETS:
LAST SEASON: 41-41, eliminated by Cleveland 4-2 in second round of playoffs.
STARTING FIVE: G Jason Kidd (13.0 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 9.2 apg), G Vince Carter (25.2 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 4.8 apg), F Richard Jefferson (16.3 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 2.7 apg), F Jason Collins (2.1 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 0.6 apg), C Nenad Krstic (16.4 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 1.8 apg).
KEY ADDITIONS: F Malik Allen (free agent, Bulls), G Darrell Armstrong (free agent, Pacers), C Jamaal Magloire (free agent, Trail Blazers).
KEY LOSSES: F Mikki Moore (free agent, Kings), F Clifford Robinson (not re-signed).
COACH: Lawrence Frank, fourth season, 157-129.
EYES ON: Jefferson. Limited to 55 games last season by injury, and his scoring average dropped for the second straight season. The term ``Big 3'' gets used often in New Jersey, but it only fits in Boston now unless Jefferson can reach the elite level he once seemed destined for.
OUTLOOK: Favored to win the division at the start of the season, the Nets nearly traded Kidd and broke the team up at the trade deadline before a late surge got them into the playoffs. Again opted to keep the team together, and should be improved if Krstic and Jefferson can play close to a full season at a high level.
LAST SEASON: 47-35, lost to New Jersey Nets 4-2 in first round of playoffs.
STARTING FIVE: G T.J. Ford (14.0 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 7.9 apg), G Anthony Parker (12.4 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 2.1 apg), F Andrea Bargnani (11.6 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 0.8 apg), F Chris Bosh (22.6 ppg, 10.7 rpg, 2.5 apg), C Rasho Nesterovic (6.2 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 1.1 bpg).
KEY ADDITIONS: G Carlos Delfino (trade, Pistons), F Jason Kapono (free agent, Heat).
KEY LOSSES: F Morris Peterson (free agent, Hornets).
COACH: Sam Mitchell, fourth season, 107-139.
EYES ON: Kapono. Attention on Shaquille O'Neal and Dwyane Wade got Kapono plenty of open looks last season, and he shot 51.4 percent from 3-point range to lead the NBA and earn a multiyear deal from the Raptors. Toronto loves to shoot the 3, and Kapono will be worth the money if he keeps making them.
ummer and must stay on the floor.
NEW YORK KNICKS:
LAST SEASON: 33-49, missed playoffs.
STARTING FIVE: G Stephon Marbury (16.4 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 5.5 apg), G Jamal Crawford (17.6 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 4.4 apg), F Quentin Richardson (13.0 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 2.2 apg), F Zach Randolph (23.7 ppg, 10.1 rpg, 2.2 apg), C Eddy Curry (19.5 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 0.8 apg).
KEY ADDITIONS: F Randolph (trade, Trail Blazers); F Fred Jones (trade, Trail Blazers).
KEY LOSSES: G Steve Francis (trade, Trail Blazers), F Channing Frye (trade, Trail Blazers).
COACH: Isiah Thomas, second season with Knicks; fifth season overall, 164-164.
EYES ON: Richardson. Was having a good year before back injury ended his season a month early. A strong defender and rebounder on a team that does neither well, Knicks need his 3-point shooting to open room on the inside for Curry and Randolph.
OUTLOOK: Had a shot at the playoffs in 2006-07 before collapsing after late-season losses of Crawford, Richardson and sixth man David Lee. If Curry-Randolph pairing works, Knicks could be a postseason team this time if they can avoid injuries. Desperate to turn the attention back to basketball after embarrassing summer that included ruling against Thomas and Madison Square Garden in sexual harassment trial.
LAST SEASON: 35-47, missed playoffs.
STARTING FIVE: G Andre Miller (13.6 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 7.3 apg), G Andre Iguodala (18.2 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 5.7 apg), F Rodney Carney (6.6 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 0.4 apg), F Reggie Evans (4.9 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 0.7 apg), C Samuel Dalembert (10.7 ppg, 8.9 rpg, 1.9 bpg).
KEY ADDITIONS: F Evans (trade, Nuggets), F Thaddeus Young (draft, No. 12) F Jason Smith (trade, Heat).
KEY LOSSES: F Joe Smith (free agent, Bulls), F Steven Hunter (trade, Nuggets)
COACH: Maurice Cheeks, third season with 76ers; seventh season overall, 235-230.
EYES ON: Cheeks. Kept his team playing hard all season after the departures of Allen Iverson and Chris Webber, even getting the 76ers to the fringe of the playoff race to earn his return this season. But with Larry Brown still sitting there as executive vice president, the questions about Cheeks' job security will return once the losses come.
OUTLOOK: Iguodala isn't far from an All-Star level and Miller is a solid point guard, but that's about it for Philadelphia. The 76ers might be the only Atlantic Division team that didn't improve over the summer, and they could pay for it this winter.