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2014-15 NBA Preview: All Roads Lead to San Antonio

( [email protected] ) Oct 30, 2014 07:40 PM EDT
Get ready everyone the 2014-15 NBA season is upon us. With an off season of trades, injuries, and team shuffling, the players and coaches are ready to set course for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, The Larry O'Brien Trophy.

Get ready everyone the 2014-15 NBA season is upon us. With an off season of trades, injuries, and team shuffling, the players and coaches are ready to set course for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, The Larry O'Brien Trophy.

Although many have aspirations of bringing it back to the arena, only a few have legitimate reasons to believe it can happen:

EASTERN CONFERENCE

NEW YORK KNICKS:

The New York Knicks have kept Carmelo Anthony in the fold, which means less ball time for everyone else. But with new team President Phil Jackson at the helm, and new head coach Derek Fisher, the future seems brighter than last year. Jose Calderon is probably their best off-season acquisition. Tall, handles the ball well, and can score when needed, look for him to be the new floor general. Good role players throughout the roster, look for the Knicks to make it to the first round of the playoffs. Second round win a possibility.

BOSTON CELTICS:

Still a work in progress. Good pick-up in James Young.  Marcus Smart will fill the hole left by Rondo, (who will probably be traded) but the rest of the roster is not yet good enough to make the playoffs.

MIAMI:

Having gotten over the loss of Lebron the Heat have made it a priority to move forward, and keep their fan base happy. Shabazz Napier will fit in nicely, directing the team on the floor. The addition of Luol Deng will help the offense. A playoff birth should be in the cards.

BROOKLYN NETS:

Jason Kidd must have seen the writing on the wall. Knowing that this years team would not be as good as last years, he went to another area and zip code, calling cold Milwaukee his new home.  New head coach Lionel Hollins has his work cut out for him.

Brook Lopez is already hurt,  and Deron Williams' stock is dropping daily. A playoff birth will not take place in Brooklyn this year.

ATLANTA HAWKS:

Maybe it's time to move this team.  Poor fan base primarily because ownership won't spend money for talent.  And after the comments by GM Danny Ferry, players will go to the d-league before playing for him.

CHARLOTTE HORNETS:

Nice variety of old and new players. Team owner Michael Jordan has finally gotten it right. Lance Stephenson will bring swagger, defense and points to the Hornets Nest.  Look for this this team to make the playoffs and move into the second round.

INDIANA PACERS:

From NBA Championship contention to "hope we make the playoffs,"  this team has gone in the wrong direction. A meltdown in last years playoffs at the center position has left them looking for answers. With Larry Bird at the helm they will be competitive, but the east has gotten much stronger, and the west, well IT'S THE WEST !

CLEVELAND  CAVALIERS:

The move back to Cleveland by Lebron James was a classy one.  My first reaction was, "here we go again," but after much thought I agreed with  his choice. In one move an NBA player has changed the economic structure of an entire state!  This team is built to win now, and Ray Allen still may join them.With a great starting line-up, the key to their season will be staying healthy and a strong bench.

MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES:

Point guard Ricky Rubio is now the leader of this team. The addition of Anthony Bennett and Andrew Wiggins will add excitement to the building but it will not be enough to obtain an above 500 winning percentage for a while. 

DETROIT PISTONS:

New head coach Stan Van Gundy is going to have to be a miracle worker to change this team. Like the city of Detroit, the Pistons need a wide variety of support systems.  The only way for them to move forward is to move Josh Smith, Brandon Jennings, and Andre Drummond and start over.

ORLANDO  MAGIC:

The Magic are one of the youngest teams in the league.  Channing Frye, cousin of Magic forward Tobias Harris has been brought into the fold. Draft choices Elfrid Payton and Aaron Gordon will add speed to the lineup, but this team is at least 2 years away from any thought of a playoff birth.

PHILADELPHIA 76ers:

Many young players throughout the roster.  Top draft pick Joel Embid will be exciting to watch, and to finally see Nerlens Noel on the court should put a few more fans in the seats, and suites. The 76ers could surprise a lot of people.

TORONTO  RAPTORS:

A hungry team with something to prove from last year's early playoff exit, the Raptors return an almost identical squad as last year. The should make the playoffs, but lack the depth to go past the second round.

WASHINGTON  WIZARDS:

Watch out for this team! A combination of young guns and veteran players make them very dangerous. The early absence of Bradley Beal will slow their start, but once he returns look for high octane energy to return, 24/7.

WESTERN CONFERENCE

PHOENIX SUNS:

The best thing about this team is that they have Goran Dragic.  Besides that this team has no hope of reaching the playoffs until they give Goran some help. 

NEW ORLEANS PELICANS:

With all-star center Anthony Davis anchoring the middle, the Pelicans have a strong base in which to operate from.  A young and talented team, a playoff birth is theirs for the taking.

DENVER NUGGETS:

With the addition of Arron Afflalo the Nuggets have added scoring punch to the roster. Kenneth Faried is on an all-star pace.  The problem for Denver is that they're in the western conference.  First round exit in the playoffs. 

MEMPHIS GRIZZLES:

A good team, but not enough support for Marc Gasol, and Zach Randolph.

DALLAS MAVERICKS:

A number of trades in the off-season has reshaped this team, but Dirk Nowitzski still does not have enough support for a championship.

GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS:

The firing of Mark Jackson has left a sour taste in my mouth.  How do you take a team to the next level and still lose your job? New head coach Steve Kerr will not last the entire season, and the team will struggle, make the playoffs and be gone in the first round. defense is not a priority.

PORTLAND TRAILBLAZERS:

Great talent but what's missing? A strong bench.

LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS:

If they stay health and the bench comes through in the clutch, they could make it deep into the playoffs.

LOS ANGELES LAKERS:

Sorry Laker fans.  Since no top free agents will ever go near the Staple Center as long as Kobe Bryant is there, it's going to be a while until you see a new banner raised in your arena.

HOUSTON ROCKETS:

A veteran squad, and with the addition of Chandler Parsons and Trevor Ariza, the Rockets are stronger. A deep run into the playoffs should be in their future.

OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER:

Does anybody know the name of the person who authorized the James Harden trade?  With an injured Kevin Durant, it now fall on fashion icon Russell Westbrook to lead this squad. With support from Reggie Jackson, they will keep the ball moving and in the hoop often.

If they get off to a slow start, forget about going deep in the playoffs, a low seed will match them up with the best in the west.

SAN ANTONIO SPURS:

All roads lead to San Antonio.  With all the starters returning an improved bench with the acquisition of Kyle Anderson, the Spurs have only to stay focused, healthy and humble to win their fifth championship.

FINAL PREDICTION:  The San Antonio Spurs will defeat the Chicago Bulls in six games.

DETROIT PISTONS:

     New head coach Stan Van Gundy is going to have to be a miracle worker to change this team. Like the city of Detroit, the Pistons need a wide variety of support systems.  The only way for them to move forward is to move Josh Smith, Brandon Jennings, and Andre Drummond and start over.

PHOENIX SUNS:

     The best thing about this team is that they have Goran Dragic.  Besides that this team has no hope of reaching the playoffs until they give Goran some help. 

MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES:

     Point guard Ricky Rubio is now the leader of this team. The addition of Anthony Bennett and Andrew Wiggins will add excitement to the building but it will not be enough to obtain an above 500 winning percentage for a while. 

DENVER NUGGETS:

     With the addition of Arron Afflalo the Nuggets have added scoring punch to the roster. Kenneth Faried is on an all-star pace.  The problem for Denver is that they're in the western conference.   First round exit in the playoffs.