The 2007-2008 NBA Basketball Season is just around the corner. The teams are already back at training camp, and it is just a matter of time before pre-season games are wrapping up and people are dunking, shooting and traveling all over the basketball court.
So is this year’s favorite? What team is the sheik pick of the year? Well, I will let you take what you can from the first of this season’s NBA Power Rankings. Here are the teams, 28-30:
28. Atlanta Hawks (30-52)
Once upon a time, the Atlanta Hawks were actually good. They had Dikembe Mutombo, Steve Smith and Mookie Blaylock running things a perennial playoff contender in the Eastern Conference for several years. None of those players, with the possible exception of Dikembe Mutombo, were ever franchise players, but the Hawks were good at getting mid-level players and surrounding them with players to feel specific roles. However, they seem to have forgotten how to repeat what they did in the late ’90’s and early years of this decade. They have taken on horrific contracts, involved the same players in two trades in a season and have consistently traded away players that have went on to be great for other teams. It does not look like they will get any better this season. Their best player Joe Johnson cannot be the best player on their team if they expect to win. They have no low-post threat, and their defense is lacking on the interior. If one of those young big-men does not mature this season, the Hawks might be able to draft one after the 2008 NBA Lottery.
29. Indiana Pacers (35-47)
I am not sure how this team is coming back with the same people. I thought Jermaine O’Neal said he wanted out? And I thought they were supposed to be involved in some sort of three-man trade involving Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett. I guess that all fell through though, along with the Pacers’ season. However, one should never count out a team with Jermaine O’Neal at center, but he has consistently been injured and his ability to be the anchor of a team for 82 games is now in question. I expect there will be another trade of some sort involving the Pacers, because there is little growth that can be expected from a cellar team that comes back with no changes.
30. Minnesota Timberwolves (32-50)
Well, they traded away the franchise for bunch of “potential.” I guess we could not have expected much more from them. No one is going to trade their best player for KG, or any superstar in most cases, and they can’t do much better than getting the most players for one player in the history of the NBA. It will be a long time before we see this team develop into what it could be, and we will probably see signs here and there this season. Moreover, if they do meet their potential 2, 3 or 4 years from, those Boston Celtics’ better have won something, or else they will wonder what could have been with all the young talent they traded away.