There for the taking (cont.)
Posted: Wednesday August 1, 2007 12:07PM; Updated: Wednesday August 1, 2007 12:23PM
8. NETS: Like the Celtics and Wizards, they have a star trio of their own in Jason Kidd, Vince Carter and Richard Jefferson. They also should benefit next season from center Nenad Krstic's return from knee surgery. Still, there is something about this team that screams out for a need for change.
9. MAGIC: They added the biggest catch on this year's free-agent market in sharpshooting forward Rashard Lewis. He should join with Dwight Howard to form a potent frontcourt in Orlando for years to come. But the Magic are still too young at the point, and they might miss the leadership of Grant Hill, who bolted for Phoenix.
10. KNICKS: With Zach Randolph joining Eddy Curry, Stephon Marbury and Jamal Crawford, they certainly have the firepower to match up with any team. The big question will be whether they can play together -- especially on the defensive end -- and whether Randolph can stay focused amid all the distractions in Gotham.
11. BUCKS: They would have been a playoff contender a year ago were it not for a slew of injuries that knocked out Michael Redd, Charlie Villanueva, Bobby Simmons and Andrew Bogut, among others. With Mo Williams back in the fold, and Desmond Mason reacquired via free agency, they should bounce back. But can they stop anybody defensively?
12. BOBCATS: Jason Richardson joins a promising young core that includes Gerald Wallace, Emeka Okafor and Raymond Felton. It should make the 'Cats fun to watch, at least. Unfortunately, they are still too young and clueless defensively to make a big move in the standings next season.
13. HAWKS: So much for their fans' hopes of making a big splash this summer. Al Horford and Acie Law are decent prospects, but neither is likely to come in and make a big impact right away. It means another season of slow growth for Joe Johnson, Josh Smith and Marvin Williams.
14. PACERS: They accomplished their goal of cleaning house and ridding themselves of distractions. Now, they just have to find a way to restock the roster. Jermaine O'Neal, Troy Murphy, Mike Dunleavy and Danny Granger aren't enough to get it done. It might be time to trade O'Neal and start a real rebuilding program.
15: SIXERS: Led by their two Andres (Iguodala, Miller), they showed signs late last season, while playing with a renewed spirit and energy. But they haven't made any significant additions to the roster while losing a key veteran in Joe Smith.
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