Five Things To Watch: Phoenix Suns

BledsoeSigns

The Phoenix Suns surprised everyone last season – including themselves – when they won 48 games and missed the playoffs only due to a couple of tough losses in the final week of the season. Goran Dragic had the best season of his career, Eric Bledsoe lived up to the potential his biggest fans envisioned and both Markieff Morris and Gerald Green were in the running for Sixth Man Award. Now entering their second season together – with a new key piece

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Five Things To Watch: Memphis Grizzlies

Grizzlies Knicks Basketball

The Memphis Grizzlies begin the 2014-15 season with high hopes. With the core in place and an exceptionally deep bench, making a return to the Western Conference finals – or further – is the goal. Last season, the injury bug bit the Grizzlies. Multiple key players missed extended time, and the Grizzlies couldn’t separate themselves in the West as a result. Ending the season contemplating what could have been is unpleasant, and it’s a situation the Grizzlies don’t care to find themselves

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Five Things To Watch: Boston Celtics

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In all their years in the NBA, the Boston Celtics had only put together six seasons worse than the one they muddled through in 2013-14.  The shattered remains of their former glory were cobbled into a team built to lose games and win ping pong balls in a draft allegedly top-heavy with potential franchise players. But 25 wins and the sixth pick later, the Celtics are setting forth on the slow journey upward.Their coach, Brad Stevens, having suffered through the

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Five Things To Watch: Los Angeles Lakers

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Over the last 35 years, the Los Angeles Lakers have been the gold standard for success, not just in the NBA, but across the Big Four sports in America. That’s the big picture. Little picture? The Lakers last season set a new standard for futility: 55 losses, more than any other team in franchise history. Nearly from start to finish, the 2013-14 campaign was a disaster of injuries and ire, much of it directed at owner and basketball operations head Jim

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Five Things to Watch: Chicago Bulls

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For the first time in years, the Chicago Bulls entered the offseason with salary cap flexibility and great expectations in the free agent market. But they finished second in the Carmelo Anthony sweepstakes, whiffed on Kevin Love and settled for veteran Pau Gasol as a consolation prize. However, if this team has the look of the same old Bulls, that may not be all bad. Derrick Rose returns from what amounts to a two-year layoff, and if the former MVP can

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Five Things to Watch: Atlanta Hawks

Hawks core for 2014

When the Atlanta Hawks hired Danny Ferry as general manager in the summer of 2012, one of the first things he impressed upon the organization was the importance of patience. The Hawks promptly traded Joe Johnson for replacement-level flotsam to keep their payroll flexible and patiently waited for Josh Smith’s contract to expire to determine where their newfound wealth would be allocated. With the exceptions of signing Paul Millsap to a two-year, $19 million deal and re-signing Jeff Teague for four years

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Five Things To Watch: Portland Trail Blazers

LaMarcus Aldridge

Things have changed in Rip City. For the Portland Trail Blazers, the 2013-14 season not only represented a return to the playoffs, it ended a drought of not making the second round that had lasted longer than a decade.Yes, the Trail Blazers got taken to the woodshed by the San Antonio Spurs in the conference semifinals, doing just enough against the eventual champions to avoid a sweep. But plenty of other teams got whooped by the Spurs, too. Winning against the Houston

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Five Things To Watch: Washington Wizards

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It’s been a long, long time since the Washington Wizards were expected to be a top team in the Eastern Conference. But after defeating the Chicago Bulls in the first round of the 2014 NBA playoffs for their first postseason series win in nine years, the Wizards are entering a season with high expectations. How high? Well, there is some talk that after last season’s 44-38 mark, the Wizards could win 50 games – which they haven’t done since the 1978-79 season. Here

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