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.
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
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.
For the Charlotte Hornets, it has been a summer filled with excitement after yet another disappointing season of missing the playoffs. After the Hornets held some hope for the future by making the playoffs in the 2013-2014 season, last year was plagued by injuries to Kemba Walker and Al Jefferson and the team finished 33-49, 10 fewer wins than the previous season. A year ago, there was plenty of excitement and hope surrounding the signing of Lance Stephenson, but that plan didn’t work
For almost a decade, the Atlanta Hawks remained stuck in a purgatory of NBA mediocrity. Too good to select prospects in the early draft lottery and not good enough to compete deep into the playoffs, there was no obvious escape route. Although the team had the longest postseason streak in the Eastern Conference, Atlanta’s futile playoff track record overshadowed its strong core of dynamic starters and capable reserves. Then a late summer scandal came in 2014, which eventually led to the sale
There is no way to sum up the 2014-15 season for the Toronto Raptors without including the word disappointment. You can debate the extent of it, of course – the team did win a franchise-record 49 games and saw point guard Kyle Lowry start in the All-Star Game – but the basic conclusion remains the same. Touted as a new power in the Eastern Conference, the Raptors exploded into last season borne on a wave of “We the North” expectation. This
The dust has pretty much settled on the NBA offseason. Sure, there’s still a player or two out there and a move or two some teams can make. But for the most part, teams have put together their rosters for the 2015-16 season. Have any teams in the Eastern Conference improved enough to climb out of the lottery and into the playoffs? And can any team threaten the Cleveland Cavaliers for conference supremacy? The Sheridan Hoops staff offers its take in this edition
In recent editions of the Three-Man Weave, we have looked at the best and worst moves made by teams in each conference. But nothing operates exclusively at extremes, including the NBA. Many teams made moves that were not among the best or worst of the offseason. In this edition of the Weave, we take a look at three specific teams in the Eastern Conference and whether or not their moves were good or bad ones that will help their long-term outlook. 1. The