The Baseline continues its preview coverage of the NBA as we breakdown the Atlantic Division. Special guest Freddie Coleman from ESPN host of The Freddie Coleman Show on ESPN radio weeknights at 10pm joins the show as we discuss:
- Can the Toronto Raptors take their game to the next level after an impressive run to a division title last season? Can Kyle Lowry stay healthy to lead this young Raptors team to a top 4 seed in the Eastern Conference. Is there a ceiling on DeMar DeRozan or are we witnessing Canada’s next Vinsanity? Is Jonas Valanciunas ready to man up and play big boy basketball in the paint?
- The exodus of Jason Kidd may the be best remedy for the Brooklyn Nets who have underachieved over the last two seasons. Lionel Hollins comes in with the pedigree of success, but will he be enough to help resurrect the game of Deron Williams who has been MIA since he received that lucrative contract extension? Can Brook Lopez and Kevin Garnett stay healthy? Can the Nets collectively play as good as their individual names suggests they should?
- Phil Jackson took on the challenge as President of Basketball Operations for the New York Knicks, hires his protege Derek Fisher as the head coach, and somehow managed to get Carmelo Anthony to sign to a near max deal. Will the Knicks and the new triangle offense defy the laws of mediocrity and exceed expectations? Will this offense make Carmelo an even more complete player than before? Is J.R. Smith a capable second scorer or will another player step up?
- The Boston Celtics struggled to keep their best players healthy, only getting Rajon Rondo for two thirds of the season. With all the offseason moves it seems their are more questions than answers about this roster. Evan Turner, Marcus Thornton, Jeff Green, Gerald Wallace and James Young provide depth but will be fighting for minutes as swingmen. Jared Sullinger looks to increase his production after loosing weight this summer but will Boston be any better than a season ago?
- The rebuild is real in Philly and the 76’ers aren’t being bashful about it. Michael Carter-Williams stars on a roster void of recognizable names (and talent in some people’s opinion). Nerlens Noel will make a run at Rookie of the Year while Joel Embiid tweets away during his recovery process. Philly is comfortable in their own skin which will be lottery bound yet again.
All this and more on The Baseline…