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HOOPSWORLD Week In Review
Posted By Kyle Cape-Lindelin On August 25, 2013 @ 5:00 am In Main Page,NBA | No Comments
Five Rookies to Watch in 2013-14
By Bill Ingram
Generally speaking, the cream of the crop in any given NBA draft class is literally the top of the draft. Players taken in the top 10 are expected to be the impact guys, with the rest being hit and miss in terms of how likely they are to make significant contributions to their teams in year one. This season, however, there are a number of players lower in the draft order who might actually have a big impact on their respective teams. Here’s a look at five rookies who could very well fall into that category.
Available NBA Roster Spots Dwindling
By Eric Pincus
With likely the last big dollar free agent signing (Nikola Pekovic with the Minnesota Timberwolves), the list of available impact players has thinned to scant numbers.
With 428 players already under contract, there may not be many spots left for free agency. The maximum count for 30 teams with 15 players apiece would be 450 — but many franchises stop at 14 or even 13 players.
Additionally, four spots will go to recent first-round picks, each likely to sign soon (including June’s top overall selection, Anthony Bennett of the Cleveland Cavaliers).
That doesn’t mean there are no remaining jobs to be had. About 37 under contract have either partially or non-guaranteed deals. About two dozen are likely to stick to at least October 29 when the 2013-14 NBA season begins, but another 13 spots may open.
Are Team Workouts In The NBA Rare?
By Steve Kyler
While training camps in the NBA don’t open until the end of September there is an unspoken schedule of events that’s starting to take place. While some of those actions are getting some attention in the media, there is a normalcy to all of it.
The Brooklyn Nets are getting a little love in the media as the bulk of their squad is headed to Los Angles for some “team building”. Because it’s Brooklyn and because it’s one of the biggest media markets in the world, this is obviously going to be basketball news in August, but the truth is this is really common in the NBA.
In NBA gyms around the country groups of teammates are going at each other. The New York Knicks will be doing it as well. The Orlando Magic have also been doing it for most of the summer.
Most teams encourage their guys, especially teams with lots of new faces, to get into the gym together. In fact most teams want their players in town the first week of September and in their practice facility well in advance of the opening of camp for this very reason.
The quicker guys can find a rhythm, the faster they can find a pecking order, a rotation and ultimately success.
Ginobili Discusses Last Year’s Woes
By Yannis Koutroupis
Last season was a resurgence for the San Antonio Spurs in which they showed that they are still very much one of the best teams in the league. They lost just two games en route to their fifth Western Conference championship in franchise history; they were just a possession away from beating the Miami HEAT in the NBA Finals.
They looked just like the Spurs’ championship teams of the past. Crisp, efficient and well-rounded offensively. Defensively they were quite solid, much improved from year’s past where their defense had slipped.
The only glaring difference: Manu Ginobili, one of the greatest international players to ever come from abroad and a catalyst in the Spurs’ previous four championship runs, never looked like himself.
Predicting Wins For NBA’s Southwest Division
By Jabari Davis
The Southwest just may have endured the most combined changes of any division throughout the league over the offseason. From a new coach in Memphis to new players in each city, including several big-name players, the division appears to be stronger than it has been in several years.
We have a rookie head coach in Memphis, new star player in Houston, entirely new backcourt in Dallas, and a completely revamped starting lineup in New Orleans while San Antonio (additions/subtractions aside) look to be as steady as they always seem to be.
Over the past week, we’ve been predicting the win totals for each team by division, and here is how the Southwest could play out in 2013-14:
Coaching Seat Check: Eastern Conference
By Moke Hamilton
Since the beginning of the 2012-13 NBA season, Mike Brown, Avery Johnson, Lionel Hollins and even reigning NBA Coach of the Year George Karl found out the hard way that success in the NBA as a head coach is fleeting.
Inexplicable losses, superstars losing faith and high expectations not being met are the most common reasons why NBA head coaches are sent packing. This past summer, for whatever reasons, there were 13 head coaching changes across the league.
Yes, the coaching carousel spins, and the immediate past head coach of the Charlotte Bobcats learned that quite well. After inheriting a roster featuring the young Kemba Walker as its best piece, former Bobcats head coach Mike Dunlap was fired this past April after coaching the Bobcats for all of one season. The team finished the 2012-13 season with a 21-61 record.
Ironically, Dunlap’s Bobcats were the opponent of the Brooklyn Nets in the Nets’ very first game following the surprising firing of Avery Johnson. Dunlap, surprisingly, spoke candidly about what he felt was the unfair and expendable manner in which NBA head coaches are treated. He expressed sympathy and support for Johnson and said that coaches always get the short end of the stick.
Just four months later, Dunlap met the same fate as Johnson, ultimately getting fired.
And by July 1, 2013, it was known that 13 NBA coaches—including eight in the Eastern Conference—would change jobs.
The Pressure Is Now On Kevin Love
By Lang Greene
Let’s be upfront. While Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love is a phenomenal basketball player, after five seasons in the league the question remains on whether he is an elite level guy.
Love’s resume features plenty of accomplishments since entering the league in 2008. There’s a Most Improved Player Award, two All-Star game appearances, an All-NBA second team nod and a gold medal from the 2012 Olympic Games.
Despite all of those notable accolades, there is one glaring hole on the resume: the lack of a trip to the postseason where the game’s stars typically shine the brightest.
LeBron James Won’t Discuss Future
By Alex Kennedy
The 2014 NBA free agency class could go down as one of the best in league history. However, if stars like LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh decide not to opt out, it will be a mediocre class that just features aging future Hall of Famers like Kobe Bryant, Dirk Nowitzki and Paul Pierce among others.
The biggest potential free agent, James, isn’t giving any hints about what his future holds. As has become commonplace in the NBA, free agents to-be refuse to discuss anything beyond the present. Every answer is about “right now” or “today,” with no comment on next summer or season.
This is the same approach that James took during the 2009-10 season, when he dodged free agency questions before and after every game until he finally refused to address the topic altogether.
James will hear many more questions between now and next summer, but don’t expect him to deviate from the script.
Thompson and Waiters: Cleveland’s Future?
By Nate Duncan
The Cleveland Cavaliers are finally one of the more intriguing teams in the NBA following three years in lottery purgatory after the departure of LeBron James. While the traditional team building ethos would view this as a consolidation year for the Cavs to learn exactly who among their myriad young players will be a part of the next great Cavs team, owner Dan Gilbert has accelerated the timetable by demanding a playoff berth this year. Part of the impetus is the worry that star Kyrie Irving may grow frustrated with another losing season as the time for his rookie extension comes near next summer. Fortunately, the Cavs’ dreams of luring LeBron back to Cleveland has prevented them from cashing in their young players or giving up flexibility in favor of long-term contracts for middling veterans.* As a result, the Cavs are in an enviable position with a host of young assets and ample cap space in the summer of 2014.
Top 5 NBA Arenas
By Joel Brigham
While putting good players on the floor is an important aspect of watching live basketball, there’s a lot more to the experience than just the game itself. Certain NBA buildings stand out because they make being a fan of a team more fun due to the atmosphere they help to create around the game. Today’s list of top five NBA arenas explores which organizations do the best job of that.
To assemble this list, the top-rated arenas were broken down in terms of design quality, how much history the building boasts, the amenities offered, the quality of the product on the court, the enthusiasm and support of the fans, and a wild card, which could cover any extra pros or cons of the arena.
Each category was given a score out of ten, and those points were then added up. The results are listed here in terms of total points.
With that said, here are the top five arenas in the NBA today:
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