David Gaulman’s 2012-2013 NBA Eastern Conference Pre-View
- Miami Heat (65-17)
The additions of Rashard Lewis and Ray Allen will give the Miami Heat a legit chance to repeat as NBA Champions. The problem with that is neither of those guys are known for defense and that’s what Miami hangs its hat on. Now that LeBron James has the proverbial “monkey off his back” this will allow him to play with a clear mind and possibly add another ring to his collection.
- Boston Celtics (58-24)
The C’s gave the Heat all they could handle in the Conference Finals last season and now with former Dallas Mavericks sharp shooter Jason Terry, Boston isn’t ready to just relinquish the East crown. The big question come postseason will be Kevin Garnett and can he duplicate his dominant 2011 performance. Danny Ainge took a page out of the Spurs book by adding young guns like Courtney Lee, Jarred Sullinger and Fab Melo to go along with a strong cast of veterans.
- Chicago Bulls (57-25)
With Derek Rose sidelined for what seems to be most of the season with a torn anterior ligament in his left knee and no real off-season moves Chicago will look to their bench and Coach Tom Thibodeau to keep them relevant in the Eastern Conference. I think the Bulls will be just fine in the regular season with defense but come May and June they will need their MVP Rose.
- New York Knicks (55-27)
The Knicks are now the oldest team in NBA history, with Jason Kidd and Rasheed Wallace New York is hoping these two veterans can bring a swagger and intelligence the team has lacked. I love the addition of Sheed; he will bring an attitude to the locker room that will be needed if Melo is going to get past the Heat in the postseason, or at least the first round. Melo its on you.
- Brooklyn Nets (52-30)
I’m not sure if you heard but the Nets moved to Brooklyn. Owner Mikail Prokhorov put his money where his mouth is and got Joe Johnson to pair with Deron Williams. For me the key players will be MarShon Brooks, Brook Lopez, Kris Humphries and Gerald Wallace. If this team is going to be heard in the Eastern Conference the role players will need to step up and play like All-Stars.
- Indiana Pacers (49-33)
The Pacers played extremely well last season and seemed to have the Heat eliminated in the playoffs but couldn’t finish it out. Indiana doesn’t have a “closer” or “go to guy” and because of that simple fact, the Pacers will be an average team at best.
- Philadelphia 76ers (47-35)
Doug Collins has done an amazing job with this young group of guys. Andrew Bynum will bring a great post presence to the team and IF he allows Collins to teach him he can become the CONSISTANT great center he has the ability to be.
- Atlanta Hawks (42-42)
Going into the season the Hawks wallet is a little fatter. With Joe Johnson gone Atlanta will look to Josh Smith and Jeff Teague to revamp a team that seems to be ok with being just a playoff team.
- Toronto Raptors (40-42)
Toronto has talent in Andrea Bargnani, Kyle Lowry, and Landry Fields but not enough to make the playoffs. Jose Calderon is a solid point guard and is very crafty, his ability to score and get guys involved will make the Raptors fun to watch.
- Cleveland Cavaliers (35-47)
Kyrie Irving may not be LeBron James but he definitely has Cleveland buzzing and rightfully so. This kid is an All-Star caliber player with tons of upside; unfortunately that’s where the great ends for the Cavs. With a roster filled with guys like Luke Walton and Daniel Gibson the Cavaliers aren’t a team prepared to contend, but hey its not the first time the team has had a bad roster around a superior player.
- Orlando Magic (30-52)
With Superman in Los Angeles the Magic will feel the growing pains of not having a top three player in the league anymore. I mean its not like they haven’t lost the best center in the game to the Lakers and become irrelevant before.
- Milwaukee Bucks (28-54)
Offense wasn’t an issue with the Bucks last season, 5th in points per game (99.0) and 3rd (23.5) assists per game. Unfortunately with a backcourt of Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis Milwaukee they wont be able to guard a shadow and at some point the two ball hogs will realize only one can shoot at a time.
- Detroit Pistons (20-62)
Tayshaun Prince is the only member left from that 2004 Pistons Championship team that beat the Lakers. This team frankly isn’t good, with a roster full of bench players and guys past their primes. Detroit will be rebuilding for a long time coming.
- Washington Wizards (17-65)
Rookies Bradley Beal and Shelvin Mack will need to pick up the slack at the guard position with John Wall sidelined due to a patella injury in his left knee. However even with Wall this Wizards team is not even close to a good team but have an upside with such young talent.
- Charlotte Bobcats (15-67)
The Bobcats were HORRIBLE last season………..that’s all.