By Cody Williams @TheSizzle20 on August 5, 2014
The time left in the NBA offseason is quickly dissipating, meaning that the outlook for the 2014-15 NBA season is almost set. There’s no doubt that the league has been shaken up quite a bit between Free Agency and various trades. As everything stands now, though, this is the greatest strength of every team in the NBA.
Especially with the return of Al Horford, the Hawks have an offensive attack that can beat you in virtually every facet of the game. It’s no accident that Atlanta under Mike Budenholzer is starting to look a little like the team from San Antonio.
Boston is still pretty clearly a flawed team in the midst of rebuilding. However, with Rajon Rondo, Avery Bradley, and rookie Marcus Smart comprising their backcourt they are going to be a beast defensively on the perimeter.
It’s actually difficult to pinpoint the single biggest strength of the Nets. If Deron Williams were healthy and the player he used to be, that’d obviously be it. The same can be said for Kevin Garnett. Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez are candidates also. In the end, though, their bevy of veterans and the experience that brings is their greatest asset.
Though the addition of Lance Stephenson is huge and the Hornets are a more complete team than they were a year ago, Al Jefferson in the middle is their ace in the hole always. There’s arguably no big man in the league as hard to guard and that’s as big of a weapon as Big Al.
If the Bulls had only the duo of Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson or only the duo of Pau Gasol and Nikola Mirotic, they’d have a pretty fearsome frontcourt. Considering they have all four guys on their roster, it’s hard to say it’s not their biggest strength.
LeBron James is LeBron James. LeBron James is back in Cleveland. LeBron James is playing for the Cavaliers. You get where this is going.
The Mavericks were clearly on the rise last year and just needed a few quality pieces to possibly put them over the hump. With all of the additions made this summer, the Mavs are deep and potentially ready to strike.
Denver was a bit of a mess and was also riddled with injuries last season. However, it’s hard to deny with guys like Ty Lawson and Kenneth Faried that the explosiveness of this team isn’t off of the charts.
There’s no denying the talent in a frontline that includes Andre Drummond, Josh Smith and Greg Monroe (if he re-signs). It didn’t work last year, but there’s no doubt Stan Van Gundy has a ton of talent to work with in Detroit.
Stephen Curry is a top-five offensive talent in this league right now and could probably be put higher than that. When you pair him with a guy like Klay Thompson and a number of other weapons, their offense is clearly their bread and butter.
You’d be crazy to say that anything other than the Rockets’ offense is their greatest strength. Their defensively deficient and they’re still waiting to show their experience. They can put up big numbers on the scoreboard, though.
Paul George would’ve been their greatest strength this year, but with him out for the season now, that’s all changed. Now they’re going to have to rely heavily on Roy Hibbert and David West on the interior, especially on defense and on offense as well.
Obviously Chris Paul and Blake Griffin are huge weapons, as are guys like Jamal Crawford. However, with a bevy of other players on the wing and the addition of a guy like Spencer Hawes, the Clippers have so many ways they can beat opponents.
There’s not a whole lot going for the Lakers right now as they try to rebuild back to their former glory. However, if Kobe can come back and be at least half of the player that he used to be, it will at least give the team and fans something to hang their hats on.
The core of the Grizzlies is aging, but their principles and strengths remain the same. This is a team whose success is predicated on defense and toughness and that’s not going to change this year.
Losing LeBron James is huge and seeing how the dynamic of the Heat works with Luol Deng replacing him is going to be interesting. What’s for sure, though, is that this team is going to be laden with veterans which could serve them well.
The Bucks are almost positively going to be bad once again. However, with guys like Jabari Parker, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and John Henson, the Bucks are overflowing with promising youth on their roster.
Having young guys with promise like Zach LaVine and Gorgui Dieng is a strong asset for the Wolves in general. Throw in the likely possibility of also having Andrew Wiggins and the Wolves are sitting pretty in terms of youth, assets, and potential.
There is a very good chance that Anthony Davis will be the next NBA MVP not named LeBron or Kevin Durant. As he continues to mature and develop as a player, we’re going to see special things from him.
You could argue that Carmelo Anthony is the biggest strength of the Knicks, but the biggest thing they have going for them is having Phil Jackson in the front office. Jackson’s presence gives off the air of a plan and a direction for the team, something that can’t be undervalued on a team like New York.
Remember the talk we had about LeBron James still being himself. Well the same goes for Kevin Durant. He’s still KD and he’s still in OKC. That’s undoubtedly enough.
The Magic aren’t really going to be able to score a great deal and aren’t going to be a particularly good team. However, with the youth, speed, and athleticism they have on their roster, they could be exciting to watch.
It’s hard to say anything about the Sixers being successful this season, but their future is insanely bright. They have talented prospects and draft picks galore and a plan in action. The future is what the Sixers have and it looks bright.
Assuming that the Suns re-sign Eric Bledsoe, their backcourt is going to be a formidable foe for any other team in this league. With Bledsoe, Dragic and now Isaiah Thomas running things at the guard positions, they will be hard to contain.
Lillard is an extremely rare talent that could perpetually do the Sam Cassell celebration. With him continuing to garner experience and become a bigger star, the Blazers are going to ride him to success.
DeMarcus Cousins could be the Kings’ biggest strength and biggest weakness all wrapped into one. There aren’t many players in the league, much less in Sacramento, more talented than Cousins, but there also aren’t many bigger headaches in the league. If he puts it all together, he’ll be a force not many can contain.
The Spurs have always had a ton of talent, but the reason for their dynasty lies in head coach Gregg Popovich. As long as Pop is around and they have at least some talent to work with, the Spurs are going to be contenders.
After meddling in the lottery for quite some time, the Raptors made the postseason last year. With that experience and bringing back the core of their roster, that experience and getting over the hump last season should serve them very well.
The Jazz aren’t going to be much better next season than they were last year, but they have two young guards in Trey Burke and Dante Exum to put faith in. That’s at least something promising for the people in Utah.
That may seem like a cliché, but having hope is huge for this Wizards team. With John Wall, Bradley Beal and company in tow and tasting success, they have potential to take huge steps forward.
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