2010-11 NBA Season Preview

* – indicates playoffs
(R) – indicates rookie
# – indicates new to team
MVP – Kevin Durant – Thunder
Rookie – Blake Griffin – Clippers
Coach – Scott Brooks – Thunder
Defensive Player – Dwight Howard – Magic
Most Improved – Michael Beasley – Timberwolves
Sixth Man – Jamal Crawford – Hawks
Executive – Danny Ainge – Celtics
Eastern Conference Finals
Boston vs. Miami
Celtics in 7
Western Conference Finals
Oklahoma City vs. LA Lakers
Lakers in 7
NBA Finals 
Boston vs. LA Lakers
Lakers in 6
Finals MVP: Kobe Bryant
Eastern Conference
1. Miami Heat*
2. Orlando Magic*
3. Boston Celtics*
4. Milwaukee Bucks*
5. Chicago Bulls*
6. Atlanta Hawks*
7. New York Knicks*
8. Charlotte Bobcats*
9. Detroit Pistons
10. Cleveland Cavaliers
11. Philadelphia 76ers
12. Indiana Pacers
13. New Jersey Nets
14. Washington Wizards
15. Toronto Raptors
Heat – 1st in Southeast
Projected Starters
C Joel Anthony
F Chris Bosh#
F LeBron James#
G Dwayne Wade
G Carlos Arroyo
Three man rotation
F Udonis Haslem, F Mike Miller#, C Zydrunas Ilgauskas#
The Miami Trifecta is probably the greatest group of talent ever assembled since the Chicago Bulls of the 90s and the “Showtime” Lakers of the the 80s.  The most asked question about the Heat is whether they have enough to surround Wade, Bosh and LeBron.  Having shooters Miller, Eddie House and James Jones will open things up, but having Ilgauskas, Haslem and Juwan Howard in your frontcourt is a glaring weakness that won’t beat Boston or Orlando.
Magic – 2nd in Southeast
Projected Starters
C Dwight Howard
F Rashard Lewis
F Quentin Richardson#
G Vince Carter
G Jameer Nelson
Three man rotation
G Mickael Pietrus, G J.J. Redick, C Marcin Gortat
Orlando has been talking a lot of trash about Miami in the offseason.  They feel that all the talk about the Heat is undeserved.  They are right, but now they have to prove it in a new season.  Howard and Nelson have to be on their game for Orlando to be in the conversation of the top 3 in the conference.  Bringing in Richardson was a nice move that adds to their 3-point arsenal.  Carter will need to not show his age.  He needs to be the complementary piece the Magic needed from him last year.
Celtics – 1st in Atlantic
Projected Starters
C Jermaine O’Neal#
F Kevin Garnett
F Paul Pierce
G Ray Allen
G Rajon Rondo
Three man rotation
F Glen Davis, C Shaquille O’Neal#, G Nate Robinson
Boston had the right mixture of size to compete with the Magic in the East and the Lakers in the West.  Now they have doubled that size with the additions of the two O’Neal’s (Jermaine and Shaquille).  The “Big Three” of Beantown stayed intact and Rondo has joined the conversation of one of the best point guards in the game today.  Glen Davis will be more involved with Garnett’s health in question now.  When Kendrick Perkins returns around the All-Star break, that will be the perfect time for Boston’s playoff run.
Bucks – 1st in Central
Projected Starters
C Andrew Bogut
F Drew Gooden#
F John Salmons
G Chris Douglas-Roberts#
G Brandon Jennings
Three man rotation
F Corey Maggette#, G Carlos Delfino, F Ersan Ilyasova
Milwaukee has a lot to look forward to this year with Andrew Bogut healthy and Brandon Jennings coming off a great rookie season and a tremendous performance in the playoffs.  Re-signing John Salmons was the best move of the offseason for the Bucks.  What he did in his short stint in Milwaukee last year was phenomenal.  Trading for Maggette and signing Gooden provides coach Scott Skiles with two players who have a nose for the ball.  Milwaukee’s depth is among the best in the conference and they should make even more noise this year.
Bulls – 2nd in Central
Projected Starters 
C Joakim Noah
F Carlos Boozer#
F Luol Deng
G Ronnie Brewer#
G Derrick Rose
Three man rotation
G C.J. Watson#, G Kyle Korver#, F Taj Gibson
The Bulls were seen by most as the team with the greatest chance of landing one of the top 3 free agents in Wade, Bosh and LeBron.  They struck out, but managed to build a talented roster around their franchise player Derrick Rose.  Boozer was the main piece.  He will provide added rebounding and second chance scoring opportunities for the Bulls.  Brewer and Korver were teammates of Boozer’s in Utah and both give Chicago some added scoring on the wings.  Deng, Noah and Gibson had a productive season, but they need to do more to get Chicago out the bottom of the conference contenders.  Watson is what the Bulls used to have with Ben Gordon.  Watson is capable of matching what Gordon provided for them before.
Hawks – 3rd in Southeast
Projected Starters
C Al Horford
F Josh Smith
F Marvin Williams
G Joe Johnson
G Mike Bibby
Three man rotation
G Jamal Crawford, C Zaza Pachulia, G Jeff Teague
Atlanta gave Johnson a max-contract and Johnson believes that there is still unfinished business in Atlanta.  That means that him, Smith and Horford will have to be better than advertised for the Hawks to make a dent in the playoffs.  Crawford will have to match his production from a year ago.  Teague will see more playing time with Bibby losing a step.  The Hawks will need to see more out of Williams if they are to get a return on their investment of a top 5 pick in him.  Atlanta has overachieved in the regular season, but have underachieved so much in the playoffs.
Knicks – 2nd in Atlantic
Projected Starters
C Timofey Mozgov (R)#
F Amar’e Stoudemire#
F Wilson Chandler
G Bill Walker
G Raymond Felton#
Three man rotation
F Danilo Gallinari, G Toney Douglas, F Anthony Randolph#
The Knicks got a star player, but he wasn’t their first choice. That’s not to say they aren’t satisfied with their decision to sign Stoudemire.  He is now the face of one of the worst franchises in the past decade in the NBA.  He instantly makes them a playoff contender in the East.  With Felton as his new point guard, they both will need to be on their A game to get the Knicks back into the lime light.  Gallinari, Douglas and Chandler provided some scoring last year and look to provide great support on the depth chart.  Randolph will be the key as he’s seen as the missing piece to what coach Mike D’Antoni wants to build in New York.
Bobcats – 4th in Southeast
Projected Starters
C Nazr Mohammed
F Boris Diaw
F Gerald Wallace
G Stephen Jackson
G D.J. Augustin
Three man rotation
F Tyrus Thomas, G Shaun Livingston#, C DeSagana Diop
They will be looking to make their second consecutive appearance in the playoffs this year and they believe they can do it with the same cast of characters.  Larry Brown decided to stay for another year as the head coach and there shouldn’t be any learning curves with the same players.  Jackson and Wallace had productive seasons under Brown and he will be looking for repeat performances from them.  Augustin will be running the show at point guard.  How he will fare will depend on if Livingston can regain his old form before his catastrophic knee injury with the Clippers.  Charlotte expects another playoff berth, but they won’t be getting very far if they do.
Pistons – 3rd in Central
Projected Starters
C Ben Wallace
F Austin Daye
F Tayshaun Prince
G Richard Hamilton
G Rodney Stuckey
Three man rotation
F Charlie Villanueva, G Ben Gordon, F Jason Maxiell
Detroit believes they have enough talent to get back into the playoff race this year after a dismal 09-10 season.  Gordon and Villanueva need to be healthy for the entire year for that to happen.  So much of their depth depends on their health.  Hamilton and Prince struggled to stay healthy as well which the same can be said for them to stay healthy if the Pistons want to get to the playoffs.  Stuckey is in a contract year and the Pistons expect him to be just as good maybe even better.  They have tremendous depth in the frontcourt, but no one has stepped forward to add needed offense to the position.  They will need that this year.
Cavaliers – 4th in Central
Projected Starters
C Anderson Varejao
F J.J. Hickson
F Antawn Jamison
G Anthony Parker
G Mo Williams
Three man rotation
G Ramon Sessions#, F Jamario Moon, G Daniel Gibson
No LeBron means that they have to find a new face or faces for the franchise.  Head coach Byron Scott has his hands full in his third assignment in the NBA.  He will have to maximize the most out of Jamison and Williams, both of whom had disappointing seasons last year.  Hickson and Varejao showed flashes of amazing ability last year.  Now they will be part of the offensive attack for the new look Cavaliers.  Sessions was a great pickup in a trade with Minnesota.  He will provide steady leadership for the offense that will need someone to call the shots night in and night out.  It will be tough, but Cleveland has the right coach to ride this ship.
76ers – 3rd in Atlantic
Projected Starters
C Spencer Hawes#
F Elton Brand
F Thaddeus Young
G Andre Iguodala
G Jrue Holiday
Three man rotation
G Louis Williams, F Andres Nocioni#, G Evan Turner (R)
Doug Collins left the broadcast booth to become the head coach of a disappointing franchise.  They have a legitimate star in Iguodala, but no one else has been able to step in to take the pressure off him.  Brand needs to be that guy, but with injuries and a bruised psyche it might have to be someone else.  Hawes and Nocioni were acquired during the offseason in a trade with Sacramento.  Both weren’t given much of an opportunity to play there, but Collins knows what they both bring and will see plenty of minutes.  Holiday showed promise as a rookie last year running the offense, but must limit his turnovers.  Williams and Turner both provide an offensive spark off the bench, but don’t be surprised if you see Turner work his way into the starting lineup.  Collins will have to be patient with the new look Sixers as this is a work in progress.
Pacers – 5th in Central
Projected Starters
C Roy Hibbert
F Josh McRoberts
F Danny Granger
G Brandon Rush
G Darren Collison#
Three man rotation
G T.J. Ford, G James Posey#, F Mike Dunleavy
The Pacers feel they are just a few steps away from being contenders in the Eastern Conference.  That’s what led to the acquisition of Collison and Posey from New Orleans.  Collison showed amazing playmaking ability filling in for Chris Paul last year and the Pacers were in desperate need of a point guard.  Hibbert should have a nice season after his strong finish to last year.  Granger struggled with injuries, but is still considered an elite talent even though there isn’t much help around him.  Dunleavy will have to be healthy for the Pacers to make any noise in the standings.  They won’t be anywhere near the bottom, but they won’t be near the top anytime soon.
Nets – 4th in Atlantic
Projected Starters
C Brook Lopez
F Troy Murphy#
F Travis Outlaw#
G Anthony Morrow#
G Devin Harris
Three man rotation
G Terrence Williams, G Jordan Farmar#, F Kris Humphries
They didn’t make the kind of splash they were hoping for when Free Agency 2010 started, but they still have plenty of space to make a run at other future free agents.  Harris and Lopez are still the faces of the franchise that is full rebuild mode this year.  Both should continue to put up stellar numbers and new head coach Avery Johnson will be able to mold the rest of the roster will them.  Murphy and Morrow were acquired in trades.  Murphy provides excellent help for Lopez down low and Morrow will provide some added scoring from the outside.  Outlaw was given a pretty hefty contract and will given every opportunity to prove his worth.  Farmar was signed to provide a steady backup to Harris in case he is lost to injury.  Williams showed a lot of upside last year, but will have to continue on an offensively challenged team.
Wizards – 5th in Southeast
Projected Starters
C JaVale McGee
F Andray Blatche
F Al Thornton
G Kirk Hinrich#
G John Wall (R)
Three man rotation
G Gilbert Arenas, F Yi Jianlian#, G Nick Young
The lowly Wizards were perhaps the luckiest team in the offseason.  When they were awarded the number one pick of the 2010 draft, everyone knew they would be drafting John Wall.  With there being no surprise there, the Wizards are now left with a logjam at point guard.  For now they will give Wall as much playing time as possible and have Kirk Hinrich play off the ball with Wall.  Hinrich is an excellent outside shooter and ball-handler.  Troubled point guard Arenas will get playing time, but for how long will Arenas stay down is the question.  Blatche and McGee have a lot of upside and should provide some needed youth in the frontcourt.  Thornton and Jianlian will need to live up to their potential.  
Raptors – 5th in Atlantic
Projected Starters
C Andrea Bargnani
F Amir Johnson
F DeMar DeRozan
G Sonny Weems
G Jose Calderon
Three man rotation
G Jarrett Jack, G Leandro Barbosa#, F Linas Kleiza#
Toronto has good intentions for their team this year.  The problem will be a lack of consistent talent.  Calderon and Bargnani are good players, but they need at least two other pieces to maximize their abilities.  DeRozan will be given a bulk of playing time, but has to do more than attack the rim.  Jack and Barbosa provide a nice combination at the two guard positions, but their lack of size will hurt the team.  Kleiza was a nice pickup in a trade with Denver.  He can score a ton of points on any given night.  Johnson was given a big contract for being an average player so far in his career.  He will have to step up and provide a boost around the basket.
Western Conference
1. LA Lakers*
2. Oklahoma City Thunder*
3. Dallas Mavericks*
4. Utah Jazz*
5. Portland Trail Blazers*
6. San Antonio Spurs*
7. Houston Rockets*
8. Memphis Grizzlies*
9. Denver Nuggets
10. LA Clippers
11. New Orleans Hornets
12. Phoenix Suns
13. Golden State Warriors
14. Sacramento Kings
15. Minnesota Timberwolves
Lakers – 1st in Pacific
Projected Starters
C Pau Gasol
F Lamar Odom
F Ron Artest
G Kobe Bryant
G Derek Fisher
Three man rotation
G Steve Blake#, F Matt Barnes#, G Shannon Brown
With all the talk of what was happening in the Eastern Conference, the Lakers stood by and got deeper.  They still have the best player in the game in Kobe Bryant.  Pau Gasol is one of the best power forwards in the game.  Artest and Fisher provide toughness and can make big shots at any given time.  Odom has his ups and downs, but he is the most difficult player to guard aside from Kobe.  Adding Blake and Barnes makes the Lakers a deeper team and perhaps even better than the last two championship teams.  Brown being re-signed shows that all these guys are committed to continue bringing championships to LA.
Thunder – 1st in Northwest
Projected Starters
C Nenad Kristic
F Jeff Green
F Kevin Durant
G Thabo Sefolosha
G Russell Westbrook
Three man rotation
G James Harden, G Eric Maynor, F Serge Ibaka
They stayed quiet and re-signed their franchise player Kevin Durant.  All of their young players gained some valuable experience by taking the Lakers to six tough games in the first round of the playoffs.  Durant has a great young point guard in Russell Westbrook.  Both will be a great duo for many years.  Green and Harden can score with the best at their positions and Maynor is a serviceable backup to Westbrook at the point.  Up front the Thunder are deep now with Kristic, Ibaka and 1st round pick Cole Aldrich.  It’s hard to find a weakness on this team, aside from their age, but that didn’t stop them last year.
Mavericks – 1st in Southwest
Projected Starters
C Brendan Haywood
F Dirk Nowitzki
F Caron Butler
G Jason Terry
G Jason Kidd
Three man rotation
F Shawn Marion, C Tyson Chandler#, G DeShawn Stevenson
Dirk decided to stay and finish what he started in Dallas.  The Mavericks hope that by keeping Haywood and trading for Chandler will be enough to help the Mavericks in the frontcourt.  Never have the Mavericks had this much depth at that position and this is their best chance to take advantage of it.  Kidd and Terry still can get the job done at their age, but Dallas may have to start thinking about the future in the backcourt.  Butler is the best wing man Nowitzki has had since Michael Finley departed.  Butler is fast and aggressive on both ends of the court.  Marion will be relegated to the bench for this season, but it probably suits him better at this stage in his career.
Jazz – 2nd in Northwest
Projected Starters
C Al Jefferson#
F Paul Millsap
F Andrei Kirilenko
G Raja Bell#
G Deron Williams
Three man rotation
F C.J. Miles, G Earl Watson#, F Gordon Hayward (R)
Utah went through a lot of turnover in the offseason, but they feel they still have enough to compete in the West.  Boozer left for Chicago and they replaced him with Al Jefferson from Minnesota.  Jefferson has all the tools needed to be an elite big man, but he must stay healthy for that talent to be seen.  Millsap will finally get a chance to start.  Some would say that he has been there best player next to Deron Williams that last two seasons.  Kirilenko and Bell are the defensive stalwarts that coach Jerry Sloan loves.  Kirilenko has been in the doghouse of late, but will get a chance to redeem himself.  Williams had a bit of a down year, but with a few new pieces, he should have another All-Star season.
Trail Blazers – 3rd in Northwest
Projected Starters
C Marcus Camby
F LaMarcus Aldridge
F Nicolas Batum
G Brandon Roy
G Andre Miller
Three man rotation
G Wesley Matthews#, G Rudy Fernandez, C Joel Przybilla
It starts and ends with Brandon Roy.  He has to be playing at a high level every game.  With him on his game, the next person will have to be LaMarcus Aldridge.  He needs to live up to his potential and continue to be a force on the offensive end.  Bringing back Camby is huge.  He protects the basket so well and when Greg Oden and Joel Przybilla return from injury, the Blazers might have enough depth at that position to challenge the teams ahead of them in the West.  Miller and Batum will need to be more involved in the offense this year.  At times they looked lost.  Fernandez seems to be happy now and the Blazers do need him as a spark plug off the bench.  Matthews was signed to a sizable contract from Utah and is a defensive specialist, but can get hot from time to time.
Spurs – 2nd in Southwest
Projected Starters
C DeJuan Blair
F Tim Duncan
F Richard Jefferson
G Manu Ginobili
G Tony Parker
Three man rotation
G George Hill, F Antonio McDyess, F Matt Bonner
You still can’t count out the Spurs just yet.  Yes they are a year older, but they have the swagger and some youth at key positions.  Duncan, Parker and Ginobili are as good as it gets in the NBA.   A lot of mileage on their legs, but they know how to pace themselves to get ready for basketball in April, May and June.  Jefferson had a rough first year in San Antonio, but he should be primed for a bounce back year.  Blair and Hill are the youth I was referring to.  Blair is a rebounding machine, but a bit undersized for his position.  Hill can play either guard position and can play some big minutes to give Parker or Ginobili some time off.  McDyess is a crafty veteran who isn’t as explosive as he once was, but can still hit an open jump shot.
Rockets – 3rd in Southwest
Projected Starters
C Yao Ming
F Luis Scola
F Shane Battier
G Kevin Martin
G Aaron Brooks
Three man rotation
G Courtney Lee#, C Brad Miller#, F Jared Jeffries
Houston’s depth looks so much better when Yao Ming is healthy.  He won’t be playing a ton of minutes coming off major foot surgery.  It helps that they signed Brad Miller.  Miller is a capable backup and with Scola primed for a big season, the Rockets shouldn’t have any trouble this year in the frontcourt.  Brooks and Martin will have to complement what Scola and Yao will setup this season.  Brooks was the most improved player last year and perhaps Martin could be this year with a full year in Houston.  Lee and Jeffries provide excellent depth at multiple positions.  Jeffries can play three while Lee can play either the shooting guard or small forward spot.  Both can score 10 points every time out.
Grizzlies – 4th in Southwest
Projected Starters
C Marc Gasol
F Zach Randolph
F Rudy Gay
G O.J. Mayo
G Mike Conley
Three man rotation
G Tony Allen#, F Darrell Arthur, G Xavier Henry (R)
Seen as a team that had a lot of young talent that was going to take time to mesh.  It didn’t take long as the Grizzlies were in contention for most of last season.  Gasol and Randolph form a formidable duo around the basket.  Mayo and Conley are good combo guards that must improve their shot selection and be more playmaker than shooter.  Gay was given a big contract extension and the Grizzlies hope he can continue his upward trend since he arrived.  They signed Allen to help solidify their bench.  Allen is a good defender, but is somewhat of a liability offensively.  Arthur and rookie Henry will need to step up and provide a spark off the bench.  Memphis doesn’t have great depth, but enough talent to get in.
Nuggets – 4th in Northwest
Projected Starters
C Nene
F Shelden Williams#
F Carmelo Anthony
G Aaron Afflalo
G Chauncey Billups
Three man rotation
F Al Harrington#, G J.R. Smith, G Ty Lawson
Denver has taken a hit in the off-season with the Carmelo Anthony trade rumors swirling.  They will continue to swirl all year long and that will lead to a lot of distractions.  Billups and Harrington are the only two viable options that can help take the pressure off Anthony to score for the Nuggets.  Smith can get hot, but has a wild streak that ends up hurting more than helping.  Lawson and Afflalo brought a nice youth movement to their depth last year.  They will need to continue bringing that added energy off the bench.  Nene will have to do a lot of work around the basket with Kenyon Martin and Chris Andersen recovering from knee surgery.  That might tax the Nuggets early in the season.
Clippers – 2nd in Pacific
Projected Starters
C Chris Kaman
F Blake Griffin (R)
F Rasual Butler
G Eric Gordon
G Baron Davis
Three man rotation
G Randy Foye#, F Ryan Gomes#, C DeAndre Jordan
It’s hard to consider the Clippers contenders, but this is the year they could easily make a run at one of the final playoff spots.  Blake Griffin is the real deal and with him the Clippers feel the offense can open up in ways that it didn’t last year.  Davis and Gordon will have to be sharp and gel with the additions of Foye and Gomes.  Kaman had an All-Star year and should continue with Griffin as his running mate.  Health will always be an issue with this group, but if they can get past that and finish with a respectable record, they could be in the playoffs in no time.
Hornets – 5th in Southwest
Projected Starters
C Emeka Okafor
F David West
F Trevor Ariza#
G Marco Belinelli#
G Chris Paul
Three man rotation
G Jerryd Bayless#, F Peja Stojakovic, G Willie Green#
Like with Denver, New Orleans had to deal with the trade rumors of Chris Paul.  Rightfully so, he is confused as to where the direction is for the Hornets.  They listened and made some moves that might help in the short term, but not the long term.  In four separate trades they acquired Green, Bayless, Belinelli and Ariza.  Out of all of them Ariza is more talented and Bayless is a good combo guard.  Belinelli will get a chance to show his skills with Paul as his wing man.  Green can score a lot of points off the bench and will provide depth.  The question becomes what will happen with West and Okafor?  West needs to return to his former self and Okafor is strictly a defensive minded Center now, with not a lot to offer offensively.
Suns – 3rd in Pacific
Projected Starters
C Robin Lopez
F Hakim Warrick#
F Grant Hill
G Jason Richardson
G Steve Nash
Three man rotation
F Jared Dudley, F Hedo Turkoglu#, G Goran Dragic
It’s amazing to see how a team can change with one player departing via free agency.  That one player was Amar’e Stoudemire.  He was the focal point of the offense and now the Suns have to find someone else to fill the void.  The problem is they need more than one player to fill the void.  Richardson will see his numbers grow, but will it help the team?  Warrick will be given the first shot at taking over for Stoudemire.  He’s not the same player, but can keep up the tempo that’s set in place with Nash leading the way.  Turkoglu was happy to have a new home, but he has added pressure in Phoenix to produce.  Dragic and Dudley figure to be more involved this year, but the roster isn’t as deep as in years past.
Warriors – 4th in Pacific
Projected Starters
C Andris Biedrins
F David Lee#
F Dorell Wright#
G Monta Ellis
G Stephen Curry
Three man rotation
F Reggie Williams, F Vladimir Radmanovic, G Charlie Bell#
The Warriors got a shot in the arm with the acquisition of David Lee.  Whether it will help long term is the question.  Ellis and Curry are great scorers, but that is the problem with Golden State is that they are scorers first and point guards second and third.  Wright hasn’t been a full time starter, but is in an interesting situation.  He will be the fourth or fifth option when he’s on the court and will be an after thought leaving him open.  As in most years the Warriors bench is thin, but more so this year.  They traded off almost every important piece in the off-season.  Now they start anew with Williams, Radmanovic and newly acquired Bell to make something out of almost nothing.
Kings – 5th in Pacific
Projected Starters
C Samuel Dalembert#
F Jason Thompson
F Donte Greene
G Tyreke Evans
G Beno Udrih
Three man rotation
F Carl Landry, F Omri Casspi, G Francisco Garcia
Sacramento has a good group that maybe only a year or two away from contending.  Evans is a legitimate star and will only get better.  Drafting DeMarcus Cousins was seen as a risk, but it has only motivated Cousins which is a good thing for the Kings.  Dalembert will be starting ahead of Cousins to ease him along.  Dalembert is among the best defensive centers in the game today.  The problem with the Kings is depth and a lack of a rotation.  Landry, Casspi and Garcia will get their playing time, but coach Paul Westpaul was constantly shuffling his rotation last year that the players never got into a groove.  They must settle on a consistent lineup or it will be a repeat of last year.
Timberwolves – 5th in Northwest
Projected Starters
C Darko Milicic
F Kevin Love
F Michael Beasley#
G Corey Brewer
G Jonny Flynn
Three man rotation
G Martell Webster#, Luke Ridnour#, F Wesley Johnson (R)
Last years debacle is over and now the Timberwolves want to see some improvement.  Flynn is the point guard now and for the near future.  Ridnour was a good pickup to help ease along Flynn’s development.  Brewer had a career year and the Wolves would like that to continue.  Love has butted heads with head coach Kurt Rambis, but that all seems to be in the past now.  Webster was a draft day acquisition from Portland.  He can get hot in a hurry and provides instant offense off the bench.  Johnson can do the same, but they don’t want to rush him in his rookie season.  Beasley will be in a surrounding with less fanfare than in Miami.  It can only be a good thing as he will be able to find his comfort zone in a small market.

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