Archives For September 2013

2012-13 Record: 31-51 (12th in West) z-Minnesota

Playoff Result: N/A

Key Additions: Nikola Pekovic (re-signed), Kevin Martin (trade), Corey Brewer (free agent), Shabazz Muhammad (draft), Gorgui Dieng (draft)

Key Losses: Luke Ridnour (trade), Andrei Kirilenko (free agent), Mickael Gelabale (He was important, I swear!)

Predicted 2013-14 Record: 45-37 (7th in West)*

What to Expect: I think we can expect the end of Kevin Love doing knuckle push ups, right? The Timberwolves again have playoff aspirations that they hope won’t be derailed by the injury bug that they’ve been plagued with over the past couple of seasons. First it was Ricky Rubio, then it was Kevin Love, then it was… well, everybody.

However, the additions of Kevin Martin and Corey Brewer creating a rather interesting starting lineup with Rubio, Love, and Pekovic. Behind all of that, they will still have Shved, Dieng, Muhammad, Budinger, and Derrick Williams to come off the bench. With a coach as good as Rick Adelman, the only reason the Timberwolves SHOULDN’T make the playoffs is if devastating injuries pop up again. They were 25th in offensive efficiency, but that should vastly improve with Love returning from injury and with the ├╝ber-efficient Martin joining the team. The only concern could be the defense taking a step back with the departure of AK-47 and the aforementioned addition of K-Mart. Continue Reading…

HH Team Preview: Miami Heat

Bo Churney —  September 5, 2013

2012-13 Record: 66-16 (1st in East)Z-Miami

Playoff Result: Won NBA Finals

Key Additions: Chris Andersen (re-signed), Greg Oden (free agent)

Key Losses: Mike Miller (amnesty provision)

Predicted 2013-14 Record: 63-19 (1st in East)*

What to Expect: Miami will be looking to three-peat as NBA champions, something that hasn’t been done since the early 2000’s Lakers. At 28, LeBron James appears to keep getting better as he continues to work on the more technical aspects of the game. James will look to lead the league in PER for a 7th consecutive season, which would tie Michael Jordan for most consecutive seasons of leading the league in that stat.

However, despite being the favorites for the title again, Miami is starting to show some cracks in their armor. Both Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh experienced injury problems for a second straight postseason, leading some to wonder if the two will be able to hold up for at least one more year. There’s no denying that Wade looked awful during the playoffs (TS% under .500), but with the injuries he had, it’s hard to say that performance is the new norm for him. Sure, he may have had his injury issues throughout the year, but he still managed to put up great stats during the regular season. If coach Erik Spoelstra can manage him minutes properly, Wade could continue to be the force that we’ve come to expect from him since he entered the league. Continue Reading…

Defense the Key for Teague?

Bo Churney —  September 4, 2013

Last year, the Hawks ranked 10th in defensive rating, allowing 104.4 points per 100 possessions. Of course, that was with Josh Smith, who is one of the best defensive players in the NBA. With Smith off to Detroit, how will the Hawks try to maintain a top 10 defense?

It all starts with Jeff Teague.

Last year, Teague was abysmal on the defensive end. According to MySynergySports, Teague ranked 342nd in the league in overall defensive plays. Not privy to those kind of stats? Well, here was my breakdown of how Teague’s awful pick-and-roll defense was a major factor in the Hawks giving up 42 points to Carmelo Anthony in a loss at New York.

You see, when Jeff struggled to get through screens, or if he got lost in traffic on D, he forced Smith and Horford to help too much. Teams, like New York as described in the post linked above, Continue Reading…