Weekly Countdown: Peek at '09-10
As free agency slows down and the summer league wraps up, we look forward to 2009-2010.
Before he sustained his latest knee injury in January, Bynum assembled a five-game stretch of 26.2 points, 13.8 rebounds and 3.2 blocks in 31.8 minutes. That 10-day span was an extreme example of his talent -- it involved only one playoff opponent (the Spurs) -- but it shows his upside. The 7-foot, 285-pound, Bynum combines with power forward
Bynum was unable to avoid foul trouble throughout the playoffs, and he averaged just 19 minutes in the Finals against
The mistake will be to view the Magic as likely runners-up to the 2007-08 champion Celtics, who upgraded by signing
The Magic play hard at both ends, they make big shots and they're thoroughly prepared under coach
Instead of hoping for a Hail Mary signing of LeBron or
The Knicks need to stop trying to recruit veterans like
The Knicks should continue trying to weed out bad contracts while building up cap space next summer, and of course they should make a run at signing LeBron. But fans have the idea that everything in New York depends on signing him -- and that shouldn't be the case, not with a coach as talented as D'Antoni running the program.
In terms of contenders, which conference has the better trio? Is Orlando-Cleveland-Boston more formidable than Lakers-San Antonio-Denver? It's going to be a close race, but right now I give the East the edge.
I like the now-rather-than-later approach. Each season is a long and expensive undertaking, and why not make the most of it now? There are going to be an awful lot of teams with cap space next summer bidding on a few expensive players.
A franchise like Oklahoma City is wise to be patient in building around
They claim they're willing to pay the luxury tax next season, but their rivals don't believe a word of it. The Hornets may need to trim close to $10 million in payroll to avoid paying the tax. One likelihood is to hope that offseason toe and ankle surgeries will allow
No, that incident won't affect any team's feelings about Boozer. The bigger worry is that he is a 27-year old who has missed 134 games since he signed the big contract with Utah in '04. What kind of return will his next employer receive for extending Boozer?
As you know, Kevin, there have been rumors for years of a possible sale. The Warriors' record during
The NFL and MLB thrive in times of parity, when you never know which team is going to win the title. But that dynamic doesn't apply to the NBA, where the same few franchises and players dominate the championships. The expansion of recent decades has weakened rosters of NBA contenders, but that strength has been restored over the last year by the movement of talent from the have-not teams to the haves. The league has long-term financial problems that must be addressed, but for the time being the best teams will thrive -- and that's not such a bad thing at all.