Teams to watch

NBA BUZZ - Bobby Motus (The Freeman) - December 9, 2020 - 12:00am

Training camp had started and in three weeks, the 2020-2021 NBA season opens.  With all the player transfers and restructuring of rosters, aside from the souped-up LA Lakers, editors of Sports Illustrated magazine had picked these teams with the most interesting lineups.

BROOKLYN NETS - What makes this team interesting is the duo of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.  How well can they blend with each other still remains to be seen as they still have to play together.  Newbie head coach Steve Nash never had a coaching experience in the pro ranks and this will be a challenge for him handling superstar egos.  Nash will lean heavily on his former coach Mike D’Antoni, who is his chief assistant with the Nets.  Interesting?  Yes, but definitely intriguing.

PORTLAND TRAILBLAZERS - Carmelo Anthony got his cornrows back from his Denver days and hopefully this brings back the fire, if not half of it.  Newly acquired wings Derrick Jones and Robert Covington makes a strong frontline with Jusuf Nurkic.   Gary Trent and Rodney Hood proved able backups to Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum and could very well be in the top eight of the the loaded Western Conference.

PHILADELPHIA 76ers - Philly offense revolved mainly around their three stars - Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and Tobias Harris.  They now have legit outside scoring threats in Danny Green and Seth Curry in addition to Turkish international Furkan Korkmaz who made 40% of his shots from beyond the arc.  Al Horford and his production was not proportionate to his huge contract and in his stead comes Dwight Howard, who might not be the scorer he used to be, but will give Embiid the much needed down time.

ATLANTA HAWKS - Young talents Trae Young, Cam Reddish, John Collins and DeAndre Hunter now have their sights to the post season for good reason.  The Hawks shelled out a combined $132 million for Danilo Gallinari and Bogdan Bogdnovic for serious firepower.  With Clint Capela manning the slot, things look good for the Hawks but it’s still a long shot for them to grab the EC crown.

GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS - Klay Thompson is again out for the season with another leg injury and looks like another dreary season for GSW.  Stephen Curry returns and is hoped to be back to his deadly form. With Andrew Wiggins and Draymond Green, they must hold the team together.  Number 2 pick James Wiseman, at 7-1, just might be the answer to their post problems.

HOUSTON ROCKETS - James Harden is making things difficult for the Rockets.  Instead of reporting to training camp, he was seen partying around Las Vegas, yes, with the clear and present danger of Covid.  It’s still a question if he and John Wall can co-exist but considering Harden’s intention of wanting out of Houston, there will be problems on the rocket liftoff.  Yeap, interesting.

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