Five Things To Watch: Boston Celtics

Brad stevens Celtics

This is a really interesting season for the Boston Celtics. Fresh off an improbable – and for some fans, unforgivable – playoff run, the Celtics are looking at what might be a quicker-than-anticipated rebuild. Think of this Celtics team as a hurricane brewing in the Atlantic Ocean. They are at that early stage where the meteorologist tells us, “It’s trying to get its act together, and if it does, it could develop into a big storm.” Sometimes those become Category 5 monsters.


Five Things To Watch: New Orleans Pelicans

Anthony Davis

Superstars change everything for NBA teams. For any team without one, the goal becomes finding a way to get a hold of one, either via trades or in the draft. Once a team is able to land one, however, everything changes. For the New Orleans Pelicans, everything changed in the 2012 draft when they landed Anthony Davis. Last season, they watched him emerge as – at worst – the third best player in basketball, and everything changed again. Coming off their first playoff


Five Things To Watch: Philadelphia 76ers


Once again, to the dismay of GM Sam Hinkie and the rest of the folks running the Philadelphia 76ers,.the NBA will insist the franchise play all 82 games this season rather than just skip straight to the only part they seem to care about:  the draft lottery. After all, no team has seemed to make less of what goes on between the lines from late October through mid-April than the team that has openly flaunted the rules, believing it is the


Five Things To Watch: Orlando Magic

Magic Rob Hennigan Mario Hezonja

It has been three seasons since the Orlando Magic have had to change their franchise’s future and goals by trading Dwight Howard. Three seasons since GM Rob Hennigan was installed and broke everything down, sold off everything that was not bolted down and committed to a long rebuilding process centered on the draft and sustainability. And so here the Magic sit, three years after that fateful decision. And with what? The Magic professed that 2015 would be the season the team showed


Five Things To Watch: Brooklyn Nets

Lionel Hollins Barclays Center Sign

Three years ago, the slogan was “Hello Brooklyn” when Deron Williams signed his five-year, $98 million maximum contract to be the face of the Nets. This summer, the slogan was “Goodbye Brooklyn” after Williams agreed to a buyout, prematurely ending the D-Will era. During his time with the Nets, Williams was derailed by ankle injuries that never allowed him to sustain his All-Star form. He teased fans with flashes, such as his franchise-record 57 points against the Charlotte Bobcats in 2012.


Five Things to Watch: Minnesota Timberwolves

Andrew Wiggins

After failing for two decades to pair their franchise cornerstone – be it Kevin Garnett or Kevin Love – with a complementary superstar, the Minnesota Timberwolves finally have reason to believe they have found a perfect two-man combination for sustainable long-term success. With Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns on hand, Minnesota has the NBA’s most promising 1-2 punch since Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook joined forces with the Oklahoma City Thunder seven years ago.  So despite finishing last season with an NBA-worst 16 wins,


Five Things To Watch: Houston Rockets

James Harden

The 2014-15 Houston Rockets were a feel-good story, shaking off major injuries and muted preseason forecasts to become the Western Conference’s second-best team. The 2015-16 Rockets, on the other hand, shouldn’t come as such a surprise. Following the bold offseason trade for former Denver point guard Ty Lawson, the story in Houston is back to being about what is, rather than what might be. In other words, GM Daryl Morey is finally “all-in” on his roster. While Lawson fills the obvious need of


Five Things To Watch: Sacramento Kings


Under the guidance of Sacramento Kings legend and current VP of basketball operations and GM Vlade Divac, the Kings have assembled the most talented roster they have had in nearly a decade. So why are so many expecting the worst out of Sacramento this season? It’s complicated. The long-term consequences for how Divac went about creating enough cap space to acquire the likes of Rajon Rondo, Kosta Koufos, Marco Belinelli, Caron Butler, Seth Curry, James Anderson, Quincy Acy and Duje Dukan