Home Brooklyn Nets New York Knicks: NBA Preview Part 2

New York Knicks: NBA Preview Part 2

by Andrew Elderbaum
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And now we move onto that den of mediocrity….the eastern conference….click here for part 1 of this preview.

 

  1. Boston Celtics: I think people are underestimating the amount of damage Kyrie did here. Tatum and Jaylen Brown should be infinitely better without Kyrie complaining to the media the team needs Channing Frye and Richard Jefferson.  Gordon Hayward will be totally back from his devastating ankle injury, and Kemba Walker will provide 90 percent of Irving’s production with 0 percent of the drama. They will pick up a big on the buyout market at some point, and Enes Kanter can score and rebound. If they can replace Al Horfords defense this team will be the surprise top team in the east.
  2. Philadelphia 76’ers: Anytime you can move on from noted motivational speaker Jimmy Butler you will improve your team. Replacing him with Josh Richardson is a huge win for Philly. Al Horford provides shooting, team defense, and Joel Embid injury insurance.  They have a lot of talented young players on the bench, but I’m not sure just how ready they are to contribute. Losing JJ Reddick hurts their spacing, and T.J McConnell was a bigger part of the team than people realize. At the end of the day, this team will go as far as Ben Simmons ability to improve his shooting will take them.

  3. Milwaukee Bucks- They have Giannis, who still hasn’t reached his ceiling as a player. They were able to retain Brook Lopez and Khris Middleton and add Robin Lopez for comedies sake. Losing Malcolm Brogdon is huge for this team, especially since Eric Bledsoe turns into a pumpkin in the postseason. Milwaukee needs to find a guard who can create offense and play defense to replace the underappreciated Brogdon if they want to be a true title contender.

  4. Indiana Pacers:  Speaking of Malcolm Brogdon, he joins T.J. McConnell,  T.J. Warren, Jeremy Lamb and the brothers Holliday as new additions on the Pacers. Indiana still has Victor Oladipo, Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis from last year’s team. With that many guards and with the overlapping skill sets of Turner and Sabonis this team has a trade still to come. If Oladipo returns at full strength and they add a two-way wing this team could potentially surprise some people and make it to the conference finals.

  5. Miami Heat: In a race to the bottom the team treading water moves up. As currently constructed the heat have a solid starting five with a few decent bench players. In the east that makes you a 5 seed apparently. Jimmy Butler and Goran Dragic will provide most of the offense, and Butler, Winslow, and Bam Abadeyo have the potential to be solid defensively. They have big men who can space the floor in Kelly Olynyk and Meyers Leonard, and Dion Waiters can be thrown on the court to see if he can provide some offense when they need a spark. They also have Kentucky’s Tyler Herro who has drawn rave reviews heading into the pre-season. They are probably a player or two away from true contention, and that’s only if nobody regresses or gets injured this year.

  6. Brooklyn Nets: The Nets added Kyrie Irving, but lost D’Angelo Russell. Irving has a ton of talent and playoff experience, but also has had health issues and is coming from a team he destroyed from the inside. I’m not so sure I would have swapped the two given Russell’s fit in the locker room and relative health and youth. They also added Kevin Durant, and we will see what that means next year when the veteran returns after his Achilles injury. DeAndre Jordan was last good 3 years ago, Caris Levert needs to show he can stay healthy and Jarret Allen needs to continue to develop for the team to improve on last season.

  7. Toronto Raptors: The defending champs will not be repeating this season. Stanley Johnson is replacing Kawhi Leonard and, well…he’s not as good. Kyle Lowry has been in a steady decline, and Fred VanVleet is not the all-star he looked like in the finals. Pascal Siakam is a nice player but before we anoint him a franchise cornerstone let’s see how he does as the primary option on offense. They have some solid role players and will make the playoffs in a weak conference but that’s about it.

  8. Atlanta Hawks: This is probably wishful thinking on my part but wouldn’t you rather see Trae Young and a team of young exciting players over the Magic or Pistons mediocrity again?  Young and John Collins are great young players, and I like Kevin Huerter and De’Andre Hunter a lot. Evan Turner and Alex Crabbe are solid role players, and Alex Len was starting to look like less of a stiff on this team last year. They even have Charlie Brown’s son on the roster, good grief I like these guys.

  9. Orlando Magic: Knicks fans if your not careful this could be you. The team currently has Aaron Gordon, Jonathan Isaac, Nik Vucevic, Mo Bamba, and Al Farouq Aminu for their frontcourt and somehow don’t have a single player who can play well on both ends of the floor. Their point guard is D.J. Augustin who I was shocked to see is only 31, I would have sworn he has been in the league since 1997. Behind him is failed 76ers draft pick Michael Carter- Williams. Behind him is failed 76ers draft pick, Markelle Fultz. When I can cut and paste that sentence and just switch names you know your GM is garbage.  I think Dennis Scott is still playing 2 guard for them.

  10. Detroit Pistons: Blake Griffin hasn’t dunked in 3 years, they have wanted to trade Reggie Jackson from pretty much the moment they got him and Luke Kennard is going to be a starter. Somehow they are a playoff contender, the east is the worst.

  11. Chicago Bulls: Quietly the Bulls are starting to put together a solid team. Zach Lavine can score, Lauri Markkanen can shoot and the Jrs. (Otto Porter and Wendell Carter) can do a little bit of everything. I like the signing of Tomas Satoransky to run the offense, and Thad Young is a solid veteran presence. Coby White looked great in summer league, and at the very least brings athleticism and defense. I don’t think of any of these guys are superstars and that’s all that’s holding this team back from crashing the playoff party this year.

  12. New York Knicks: The Knicks are in a rough spot this year, too bad to go for the postseason but not bad enough to be a bottom 3 team thanks to some truly wretched competition. Last years top pick Kevin Knox was arguably the WORST player in the league. R.J. Barrett is either going to be the next James Harden or the next Stanley Johnson. Frank Ntikilina hasn’t learned to shoot in two years, and probably never will. They signed Julius Randle, Taj Gibson, Bobby Portis, and Marcus Morris to have them all fight each other and their one promising player from last year for minutes. They added Elfird Payton to ensure they have no guards who can shoot, and still have selfish gunners Dennis Smith Jr. and Alonzo Trier. After a season of promising being major players in the craziest offseason in years, the team now has eight 8th men and two lottery tickets.  They will not be scooching into the playoffs this year.

  13. Charlotte Hornets: Tony Parker retired and the Hornets were hoping he would take Nic Batum with him. They lost their franchise player and replaced him with a guy who is so up and down he was nicknamed “Scary Terry” for 20 million a year. Malik Monk still wishes he was drafted by the Knicks and Miles Bridges wishes he was drafted by anyone else. Bismack Biyombo is the third-string center because Cody Zeller is the starter. Michael Jordan is the Charlie Ward of league executives.

14.  Cleveland Cavaliers: Maybe after the Lakers debacle is over Lebron can “come home” again and passive-aggressively tweet at Kevin Love who they still would not have traded.

  1. Washington Wizards: Washington owes John Wall $37.8M in 2019-20
    $40.8M in 2020-21
    $43.8M in 2021-22
    $46.8M in 2022-23

drops mic



 

 

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