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HOOPSWORLD Week In Review
Posted By Mark Nugent On August 19, 2012 @ 7:00 am In All,Main Page,NBA | No Comments
Ranking The NBA Western Conference
By Derek Page
As NBA fans glance in the distance and spot the start of preseason just on the horizon, numerous teams around the league are planning to introduce vastly different rosters come media day. This fact is especially accurate in a Western Conference that saw the best center in basketball transported out to Los Angeles and multiple stars switching uniforms searching for greener pastures.
Obviously with training camp still a few months away, it remains to be seen just how quickly some of these teams will be able to gel together to launch the season. That being said, it’s a good idea to start looking at how the Western Conference might be won with most NBA teams now featuring a full roster.
With the NBA Eastern Conference rankings already in the books, let’s take a look at how things are shaking out in the West with the dust nearly settled from the summer of 2012:
Ranking The NBA Eastern Conference
By Stephen Brotherston
The NBA’s Eastern Conference is awash with change. All-Stars have changed teams, restricted free agents were unexpectedly lost, massive contracts have been handed out and some desperate tinkering around the edges of some rosters will ensure last season’s results will not be repeated this time around.
Most teams will be facing some big changes to their starting lineups and rotation heading into next season, but out of the confusion, their rosters are coming into enough focus to get an early start on ranking the Eastern Conference.
1. Miami HEAT, 46-20 last season
Key Additions: Ray Allen, Rashard Lewis
Key Subtractions: N/A
Key Draft Additions: Justin Hamilton
Top 5 NBA Olympic Teams
By Joel Brigham
Back in 1989, FIBA decided to allow professional basketball players to compete in the Olympic Games, and that decision ended up changing the game of basketball forever. The 1992 U.S. Men’s Olympic basketball team was legendary in every sense of the word, and they inspired about a gajillion international players to pick up a ball.
But despite the fact that—spoiler alert!—the ’92 team is far and away the greatest basketball team ever assembled, there have been five other U.S. Olympic hoops teams assembled from NBA players since then, and today’s list looks at which of those groups comes closest to matching ‘92’s awesomeness.
Without further ado, the top five NBA Olympic teams since FIBA changed the rules in 1989:
How Exactly Was Dwight Howard Traded?
By Eric Pincus
The Orlando Magic finally put an end to the Dwight Howard era with a massive four-team trade this past Friday.
After protracted negotiations with the Brooklyn Nets and then the Houston Rockets, the Magic found a key partner in the Philadelphia 76ers. Once the Nets exited the picture in early July, momentum suggested the Rockets would either get Howard or Andrew Bynum (via the Los Angeles Lakers).
The Lakers were willing to give up Bynum for Howard but need a third team to broker a deal. If not Houston, the Cleveland Cavaliers were a possibility, and yet Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak did not believe anything was likely to come of talks.
Olympian Leandro Barbosa Remains Unsigned
By Stephen Brotherston
The 2012 Olympics are over and NBA veteran Leandro Barbosa remains unsigned after personal success on the world’s biggest stage.
Barbosa led Brazil in scoring by a wide margin over the past two weeks. His 16.2 points per game and 40 percent three-point shooting at the Olympics was indicative of Barbosa’s play in the NBA over his career. Barbosa has a much bigger role on his national team and in the Quarter Finals loss to Argentina, it was Barbosa who almost led them back with a team-high 22-point performance.
Last season, Barbosa was still one of the fastest guards in the league and deserving of his “Brazilian Blur” nickname. A one-man fast break over his nine NBA seasons, Barbosa can be nearly unstoppable on straight-line drives to the basket and his career 39.1 percent three-point shooting is a constant threat.
Baron Davis Hoping To Return This Season
By Eric Pincus
Over the weekend, Baron Davis hosted his 3rd Annual Kickball Game to benefit the Rising Stars of America. While Davis, a free agent of the New York Knicks, is currently recovering from a significant knee injury, he looked trim and healthy considering how badly he was hurt.
“I’m feeling good, getting there,” Davis said on Sunday. “A lot of rehab. A lot of rehab. My summer is just consisting of rehabbing, focusing in on this foundation and these kids and doing as much good as I possibly can with my time off.”
A source close to Davis said he intends to return to the league this season.
Given he tore the ACL and MCL of his right knee back in May, a recovery any time sooner than a full year may be a stretch but Davis is committed to getting back in the league. It just might take another season for that to happen.
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