NBA

NBA 2009-10: Team-by-team capsules

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A look at the 30 NBA teams as they head into the 2009-10 season, in predicted order of finish by division:

EASTERN CONFERENCE

ATLANTIC DIVISION

BOSTON CELTICS

LAST SEASON: 62-20, lost to Orlando 4-3 in second round of the playoffs.

STARTING FIVE: G Rajon Rondo (11.9 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 8.2 apg), G Ray Allen (18.0 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 2.8 apg), F Paul Pierce (20.5 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 3.6 apg), F Kevin Garnett (15.8 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 2.5 apg), C Kendrick Perkins (8.5 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 2.0 bpg).

KEY ADDITIONS: F Rasheed Wallace (free agent, Pistons), G-F Marquis Daniels (free agent, Pacers).

KEY LOSSES: F Leon Powe (free agent, Cavaliers).

COACH: Doc Rivers, sixth season with Celtics, 11th season overall; 401-348.

EYES ON: Wallace. Average of 12.1 points for Detroit last season, when he battled injuries, was lowest since his rookie season. The 35-year-old forward must show he only lost his spirit last season, not his game.

OUTLOOK: Depends on the health of Garnett, who was limited to 57 games before he was shut down in March because of knee trouble, then still wasn't back to 100 percent when training camp opened. Another title is possible if he stays healthy; if not, hard to see Celtics getting past Cleveland or Orlando.

TORONTO RAPTORS

LAST SEASON: 33-49, missed playoffs.

STARTING FIVE: G Jose Calderon (12.8 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 8.9 apg), G DeMar DeRozan (rookie), F Hedo Turkoglu (16.8 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 4.9 apg), F Chris Bosh (22.7 ppg, 10.0 rpg, 2.5 apg), C Andrea Bargnani (15.4 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 1.2 bpg).

KEY ADDITIONS: F Turkoglu (trade, Magic), G DeRozan (draft, No. 9), G Jarrett Jack (free agent, Pacers), F Reggie Evans (trade, 76ers), G Antoine Wright (trade, Mavericks), G Marco Belinelli (trade, Warriors), C Rasho Nesterovic (free agent, Pacers).

KEY LOSSES: F Shawn Marion (trade, Mavericks), G Anthony Parker (free agent, Cavaliers), F Jason Kapono (trade, 76ers), F Joey Graham (free agent, Nuggets).

COACH: Jay Triano, second season; 25-40.

EYES ON: Bargnani. Italian finally showed under Triano the level of play that spurred Toronto to take him with No. 1 pick in 2006 draft. The Raptors then gave him a huge extension during the summer, so they'll expect continued improvement from the 7-footer.

OUTLOOK: After a dismal 2008-09, no team is more changed than Toronto, which returns only three players from last season. If the changes are for the better, the Raptors can vault right back into the playoffs - which could influence Bosh's decision when he becomes a free agent next summer.

PHILADELPHIA 76ERS

LAST SEASON: 41-41, lost to Orlando 4-2 in first round of playoffs.

STARTING FIVE: G Louis Williams (12.8 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 3.0 apg), G Andre Iguodala (18.8 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 5.3 apg), F Thaddeus Young (15.3 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 1.2 apg), F Elton Brand (13.8 ppg, 8.8 rpg, 1.6 bpg), C Samuel Dalembert (6.4 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 1.8 bpg).

KEY ADDITIONS: F Jason Kapono (trade, Raptors), G Jrue Holiday (draft, No. 17).

KEY LOSSES: G Andre Miller (free agent, Trail Blazers); F Reggie Evans (trade, Raptors).

COACH: Eddie Jordan, first season with 76ers, ninth season overall; 230-288.

EYES ON: Brand. Even before his season-ending shoulder injury, he was on the way to his worst offensive campaign playing in an up-tempo system he didn't fit into. Should be more comfortable in Jordan's Princeton offense, but has to stay on the floor after being limited to just 37 games the last two seasons.

OUTLOOK: Philadelphia has spent the last couple of seasons fighting for a spot at the bottom of the Eastern Conference playoff race, and that will likely remain the case this time. Brand has to stay healthy and Iguodala has to show he can flourish while playing a more deliberate pace.

NEW YORK KNICKS

LAST SEASON: 32-50, missed playoffs.

STARTING FIVE: G Chris Duhon (11.1 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 7.2 apg), G Wilson Chandler (14.4 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 2.1 apg), F Al Harrington (20.1 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 1.4 apg), F Jared Jeffries (5.3 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 1.4 apg), C David Lee (16.0 ppg, 11.7 rpg, 2.2 apg).

KEY ADDITIONS: C Darko Milicic (trade, Grizzlies), F Jordan Hill (draft, No. 8), G Toney Douglas (draft, No. 23).

KEY LOSSES: F Quentin Richardson (trade, Grizzlies).

COACH: Mike D'Antoni, second season with Knicks, eighth season overall; 299-222.

EYES ON: Danilo Gallinari. He played only 28 games last season before back surgery, but Knicks expect him to play a big role because of his ability from the perimeter. D'Antoni has already called him the best shooter he's ever seen.

OUTLOOK: Knicks have been cutting salary and saving their money with the hopes of making a big splash in free agency next summer. In the meantime, there may not be enough talent here to end a playoff drought that stands at eight years.

NEW JERSEY NETS

LAST SEASON: 34-48, missed playoffs.

STARTING FIVE: G Devin Harris (21.3 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 6.9 apg), G Courtney Lee (8.4 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 1.2 apg), F Chris Douglas-Roberts (4.9 ppg, 1.1 rpg, 1.2 apg), F Yi Jianlian (8.6 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 1.0 apg), C Brook Lopez (13.0 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 1.8 apg).

KEY ADDITIONS: G Lee (trade, Magic), G Rafer Alston (trade, Magic), F Tony Battie (trade, Magic), G-F Terrence Williams (draft, No. 11).

KEY LOSSES: G Vince Carter (trade, Magic).

COACH: Lawrence Frank, seventh season; 222-225.

EYES ON: Yi. His stats were nearly identical in second year to his rookie season. The Nets need him to show there's a reason to believe he can turn into anything more than he's shown so far.

OUTLOOK: Having traded Jason Kidd, Richard Jefferson and Carter in a relatively short time, most of the talent left in New Jersey is young. But with Harris and Lopez, plus plenty of money to spend in free agency next summer, there is hope the Nets can be in good shape if they ever get to Brooklyn.

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SOUTHEAST DIVISION

ORLANDO MAGIC

LAST SEASON: 59-23, lost to Los Angeles Lakers 4-1 in NBA finals.

STARTING FIVE: G Jameer Nelson (16.7 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 5.4 apg), G Vince Carter (20.8 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 4.7 apg), F Matt Barnes (10.2 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 2.8 apg), F Rashard Lewis (17.7 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 2.6 apg), C Dwight Howard (20.6 ppg, 13.8 rpg, 2.9 bpg).

KEY ADDITIONS: G Carter (trade, Nets); F Barnes (free agent, Suns), F Brandon Bass (free agent, Mavericks), G Jason Williams (free agent, didn't play last season).

KEY LOSSES: F Hedo Turkoglu (trade, Raptors), G Courtney Lee (trade, Nets), G Rafer Alston (trade, Nets).

COACH: Stan Van Gundy, third season with Magic, sixth season overall; 223-126.

EYES ON: Carter. The Magic had all the inside power and perimeter shooting a team needs last season. They were missing someone who could put the ball on the floor and get to the basket, and Carter is still one of the best in the league at that.

OUTLOOK: Loss of Turkoglu, who was perfect in their system, will hurt. But if the players they brought in fit, and Nelson is all the way back from his shoulder injury, the Magic could get back to the finals. Have to go the first 10 games without All-Star Lewis, who is suspended after testing positive for an elevated testosterone level.

ATLANTA HAWKS

LAST SEASON: 47-35, lost to Cleveland 4-0 in second round of playoffs.

STARTING FIVE: G Mike Bibby (14.9 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 5.0 apg), G Joe Johnson (21.4 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 5.8 apg), F Marvin Williams (13.9 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 1.3 apg), F Josh Smith (15.6 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 1.6 bpg, 1.4 spg), C Al Horford (11.5 ppg, 9.3 rpg, 2.4 apg).

KEY ADDITIONS: G Jamal Crawford (trade, Warriors), F Joe Smith (free agent, Cavaliers), G Jeff Teague (draft, No. 19).

KEY LOSSES: G Flip Murray (free agent, Bobcats).

COACH: Mike Woodson, sixth season; 153-257.

EYES ON: Crawford. Has shown he can be a great scorer on a bad team - he's played in the most games among active players without appearing in the postseason - and now the Hawks hope he can be productive on a good one.

OUTLOOK: Additions of Crawford and Smith gave Atlanta a stronger bench to back up its veteran starters. Still, might be hard for Hawks to be anything better than fourth-best in the East behind Cleveland, Boston and Orlando.

WASHINGTON WIZARDS

LAST SEASON: 19-63, missed playoffs.

STARTING FIVE: G Gilbert Arenas (13.0 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 10.0 apg), G DeShawn Stevenson (6.6 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 3.1 apg), F Caron Butler (20.8 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 4.3 apg), F Antawn Jamison (22.2 ppg, 8.9 rpg, 1.9 apg), C Brendan Haywood (9.7 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 2.5 bpg).

KEY ADDITIONS: F Mike Miller (trade, Timberwolves), G Randy Foye (trade, Timberwolves), C Fabricio Oberto (free agent, Pistons).

KEY LOSSES: C Etan Thomas (trade, Timberwolves), F Darius Songaila (trade, Timberwolves), F Oleksiy Pecherov (trade, Timberwolves).

COACH: Flip Saunders, first season with Wizards, 14th season overall; 587-396.

EYES ON: Arenas. He's been off the court so much lately that it's easy to forget it was just three seasons ago that he was nearly a 30-point per game scorer. He's managed only 15 games since, but if he stays healthy he could put up big numbers under Saunders, a top offensive coach.

OUTLOOK: The Wizards believe they can rebound quickly from last season's debacle, and if they avoid injuries, they have plenty of talent to do that. But injuries have hit Washington so hard in recent years - Jamison already injured a shoulder in the preseason - that it's hard to expect too much.

MIAMI HEAT

LAST SEASON: 43-39, lost to Atlanta 4-3 in first round of playoffs.

STARTING FIVE: G Mario Chalmers (10.0 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 4.9 apg), G Dwyane Wade (30.2 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 7.5 apg), F Michael Beasley (13.9 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 1.0 apg), F Udonis Haslem (10.6 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 1.1 apg), C Jermaine O'Neal (13.3 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 2.0 bpg).

KEY ADDITIONS: F Quentin Richardson (trade, Timberwolves).

KEY LOSSES: F Jamario Moon (free agent, Cavaliers)

COACH: Erik Spoelstra, second season; 43-39.

EYES ON: Beasley. After good but not great rookie season, moves over to play a new position as the starting small forward. Extra attention will be paid to him after his stay in a rehabilitation facility in Houston over the summer.

OUTLOOK: Wade would have liked an upgrade this summer, but the Heat wisely stayed patient until next summer, when they will have plenty of cash after O'Neal's contract expires. That could leave Wade again having to carry them as he did during his brilliant 2008-09 season.

CHARLOTTE BOBCATS

LAST SEASON: 35-47, missed playoffs.

STARTING FIVE: G Raymond Felton (14.2 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 6.7 apg), G Raja Bell (11.9 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 2.1 apg), F Gerald Wallace (16.6 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 2.7 apg, 1.7 spg), F Boris Diaw (13.2 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 4.1 apg), C Tyson Chandler (8.8 ppg, 8.7 rpg, 1.2 bpg).

KEY ADDITIONS: C Chandler (trade, Hornets), G Flip Murray (free agent, Hawks), G Gerald Henderson (draft, No. 12)

KEY LOSSES: C Emeka Okafor (trade, Hornets).

COACH: Larry Brown, second season with Bobcats, 25th overall; 1,045-847.

EYES ON: Chandler. Brown should love him for his rebounding, defense and attitude. But Chandler's offensive abilities without Chris Paul setting him up are questionable, as is his ability to stay healthy.

OUTLOOK: The moves the Bobcats made last season all seemed to pay off. Now with a full season together, they hope to deliver Charlotte its first playoff berth.

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CENTRAL DIVISION

CLEVELAND CAVALIERS

LAST SEASON: 66-16, lost to Orlando 4-2 in Eastern Conference finals.

STARTING FIVE: G Mo Williams (17.8 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 4.1 apg), G Anthony Parker (10.7 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 3.4 apg), F LeBron James (28.4 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 7.2 apg), F Anderson Varejao (8.6 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 1.0 apg), C Shaquille O'Neal (14.1 ppg, 9.3 rpg, 1.6 bpg).

KEY ADDITIONS: C O'Neal (trade, Suns); F Jamario Moon (free agent, Heat), G Parker (free agent, Raptors), F Leon Powe (free agent, Celtics).

KEY LOSSES: C Ben Wallace (trade, Suns), G Sasha Pavlovic (trade, Suns), F Joe Smith (free agent, Hawks), G Wally Szczerbiak (not re-signed).

COACH: Mike Brown, fifth season; 211-117.

EYES ON: O'Neal. Returned to All-Star form last season in Phoenix after a couple of injury-plagued years. Now needs to stay in shape and stay content being the No. 2 guy, and he hasn't always been committed to doing either.

OUTLOOK: Cavaliers have tinkered with their team so much that only four players remain from their Eastern Conference championship team of 2007. The move for O'Neal was their biggest yet, and they're hoping it's the one that finally pays off with a title.

CHICAGO BULLS

LAST SEASON: 41-41, lost to Boston 4-3 in first round of the playoffs.

STARTING FIVE: G Derrick Rose (16.8 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 6.3 apg), G John Salmons (18.3 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 3.2 apg), F Luol Deng (14.1 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 1.9 apg), F Tyrus Thomas (10.9 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 1.9 bpg), C Joakim Noah (6.7 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 1.4 bpg).

KEY ADDITIONS: F James Johnson (draft, No. 16), F Taj Gibson (draft, No. 26), G Jannero Pargo (free agent, Europe).

KEY LOSSES: G Ben Gordon (free agent, Pistons).

COACH: Vinny Del Negro, second season; 41-41.

EYES ON: Deng. The amazing thing about the Bulls' strong finish last season is that it came without Deng, who was often considered their best player. He didn't play after February because of a stress fracture in his leg and has missed 52 games over the last two seasons.

OUTLOOK: Strong perimeter attack will be weakened with loss of Gordon, so the Bulls might need one of their young bigs to become more offense-minded.

DETROIT PISTONS

LAST SEASON: 39-43, lost to Cleveland 4-0 in first round of playoffs.

STARTING FIVE: G Rodney Stuckey (13.4 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 4.9 apg), G Richard Hamilton (18.3 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 4.4 apg), F Tayshaun Prince (14.2 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 3.1 apg), F Charlie Villanueva (16.2 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 1.8 apg), C Ben Wallace (3.0 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 1.3 bpg).

KEY ADDITIONS: F Villanueva (free agent, Bucks), G Ben Gordon (free agent, Bulls), C Wallace (free agent, Suns), F Chris Wilcox (free agent, Knicks), F Austin Daye (draft, No. 15).

KEY LOSSES: G Allen Iverson (free agent, Grizzlies), F Rasheed Wallace (free agent, Celtics), F Antonio McDyess (free agent, Spurs), C Theo Ratliff (free agent, 76ers), F Jarvis Hayes (free agent, Nets), G Lindsey Hunter (not re-signed).

COACH: John Kuester, first season.

EYES ON: Wallace. Considered retirement after ending last season with Cavaliers and getting traded to Phoenix. Instead, comes back to Detroit, where he was the NBA's best interior defensive player in the middle of the decade before his game declined after leaving in 2006.

OUTLOOK: Used some of the money freed up in the Iverson-Chauncey Billups swap to give $90 million in deals to Gordon and Villanueva, but that doesn't seem to make the Pistons championship contenders - which they used to be. But perhaps it gets them headed back in the right direction after last season's massive tumble.

INDIANA PACERS

LAST SEASON: 36-46, missed playoffs.

STARTING FIVE: G T.J. Ford (15.0 ppg, 5.3 apg, 1.2 spg), G Dahntay Jones (5.4 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 1.0 apg), F Danny Granger (25.8 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 2.7 apg), F Troy Murphy (14.3 ppg, 11.8 rpg, 2.4 apg), C Jeff Foster (6.1 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 1.8 apg).

KEY ADDITIONS: G Jones (free agent, Nuggets), G Earl Watson (free agent, Thunder), G Luther Head (free agent, Heat), F Tyler Hansbrough (draft, No. 13).

KEY LOSSES: G Jarrett Jack (free agent, Raptors), G Marquis Daniels (free agent, Celtics), C Rasho Nesterovic (free agent, Raptors).

COACH: Jim O'Brien, third season with Pacers, eighth overall; 254-250.

EYES ON: Hansbrough. Whenever he is back to full strength after a shin injury that sidelined him following summer league, the forward from North Carolina can try to prove he's more than a great college player and that he can flourish in the NBA.

OUTLOOK: Another team that's potentially dangerous when all its pieces are on the floor, but injuries have too frequently prevented that in recent years. Should score plenty, especially when Mike Dunleavy finally returns, but probably won't get enough stops to be a postseason threat.

MILWAUKEE BUCKS

LAST SEASON: 34-48, missed playoffs.

STARTING FIVE: G Luke Ridnour (9.6 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 5.1 apg), G Michael Redd (21.2 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 2.7 apg), F Carlos Delfino (didn't play in NBA last season), F Kurt Thomas (4.3 ppg, 5.1 rpg; 0.8 apg), C Andrew Bogut (11.7 ppg, 10.3 rpg, 2.0 apg).

KEY ADDITIONS: F Hakim Warrick (free agent, Grizzlies), G Brandon Jennings (draft, No. 10), G/F Delfino (free agent, Europe), F Ersan Ilyasova (free agent, Europe), F Thomas (trade, Spurs).

KEY LOSSES: F Richard Jefferson (trade, Spurs), G Ramon Sessions (free agent, Timberwolves), F Charlie Villanueva (free agent, Pistons)

COACH: Scott Skiles, second season with Bucks, 10th season overall; 315-299.

EYES ON: Jennings. Boasted that he was the best true point guard in the draft and now finds himself playing for a demanding coach who played the position.

OUTLOOK: Bucks lost way more than they brought back this summer, so it should be an awfully long winter in Milwaukee.

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WESTERN CONFERENCE

SOUTHWEST DIVISION

SAN ANTONIO SPURS

LAST SEASON: 54-28, lost to Dallas 4-1 in first round of the playoffs.

STARTING FIVE: G Tony Parker (22.0 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 6.9 apg), G Michael Finley (9.7 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 1.4 apg), F Richard Jefferson (19.6 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 2.4 apg), F Tim Duncan (19.3 ppg, 10.7 rpg, 3.5 apg, 1.7 bpg), C Antonio McDyess (9.6 ppg, 9.8 rpg, 1.3 apg).

KEY ADDITIONS: F Jefferson (trade, Bucks), F/C McDyess (free agent, Pistons), G Keith Bogans (free agent, Bucks), F DeJuan Blair (draft, No. 37).

KEY LOSSES: F Bruce Bowen (trade, Bucks, retired), C Fabricio Oberto (trade, Bucks), F Kurt Thomas (trade, Bucks), F Drew Gooden (free agent, Mavericks).

COACH: Gregg Popovich, 14th season; 686-330.

EYES ON: Manu Ginobili. Their super sub was slowed by injury or out in the last two postseasons, and the Spurs weren't nearly the same team as the one that won three titles in the previous five years. He says he's healthy after taking the summer off.

OUTLOOK: After a first-round playoff exit, the Spurs may have done more than any team to improve over the summer. If Duncan, Ginobili and Parker can avoid the injuries, San Antonio could have the best shot of knocking off the Lakers in the Western Conference.

DALLAS MAVERICKS

LAST SEASON: 50-32, lost to Denver 4-1 in second round of the playoffs.

STARTING FIVE: G Jason Kidd (9.0 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 8.7 apg), G Josh Howard (18.0 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 1.6 apg), F Shawn Marion (12.9 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 2.0 apg, 1.3 apg), F Dirk Nowitzki (25.9 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 2.4 apg), C Erick Dampier (5.7 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 1.2 bpg).

KEY ADDITIONS: F Marion (trade, Raptors), F/C Drew Gooden (free agent, Spurs), F Tim Thomas (free agent, Bulls).

KEY LOSSES: F Brandon Bass (free agent, Magic), G Antoine Wright (trade, Raptors).

COACH: Rick Carlisle, second season with Mavericks, eighth season overall; 331-243.

EYES ON: Marion. Still a good rebound and defender, but his offense has slipped in recent seasons. The Mavericks hope that playing with Kidd will help bring it back.

OUTLOOK: Followed a strong finish to last season by giving big contracts to Kidd and Marion over the summer in a bid to win now. Unfortunately for the Mavericks, there's still some teams in the West who seem better prepared to do it.

NEW ORLEANS HORNETS

LAST SEASON: 49-33, lost to Denver 4-1 in first round of playoffs.

STARTING FIVE: G Chris Paul (22.8 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 11.0 apg, 2.8 spg), G Morris Peterson (4.4 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 0.4 apg), F Julian Wright (4.4 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 0.8 apg), F David West (21.0 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 2.3 apg), C Emeka Okafor (13.2 ppg, 10.1 rpg, 1.7 bpg).

KEY ADDITIONS: C Okafor (trade, Bobcats), F Darius Songaila (trade, Timberwolves), G Bobby Brown (trade, Timberwolves), G Darren Collison (draft, No. 21).

KEY LOSSES: C Tyson Chandler (trade, Bobcats), F Rasual Butler (trade, Clippers), G Antonio Daniels (trade, Timberwolves)

COACH: Byron Scott, sixth season with Hornets, 10th overall; 349-349.

EYES ON: Paul and West. With such little offensive firepower around them, the Hornets' All-Stars might need to be even better this season to keep the team competitive in the Western Conference.

OUTLOOK: Okafor could become a much improved offensive player with Paul, and Peja Stojakovic could be dangerous off the bench if his back allows. If those things don't happen, Hornets could take another step back after winning 56 games and a division title just two seasons ago.

HOUSTON ROCKETS

LAST SEASON: 53-29, lost to Los Angeles Lakers 4-3 in second round of playoffs.

STARTING FIVE: G Aaron Brooks (11.2 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 3.0 apg), G Shane Battier (7.3 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 2.3 apg), F Trevor Ariza (8.9 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 1.8 apg, 1.7 spg), F Luis Scola (12.7 ppg, 8.8 rpg, 1.5 apg), C Chuck Hayes (1.3 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 0.6 apg).

KEY ADDITIONS: F Ariza (free agent, Lakers); G Brent Barry (free agent, Spurs).

KEY LOSSES: F Ron Artest (free agent, Lakers).

COACH: Rick Adelman, third season with Rockets, 19th overall; 860-537.

EYES ON: Ariza. Whether it was botched negotiations or just a desire to get out of Los Angeles, Ariza left a starting spot on the NBA champions to take one with a team that looks headed for a fall. He can lessen it somewhat if he plays well.

OUTLOOK: Yao Ming is out for the season and Tracy McGrady won't be ready to return from knee surgery for a while, so the Rockets don't have nearly the talent they did in recent seasons. They showed during their playoff loss to the Lakers that they'll keep fighting anyway, and they'll have to rely on that spirit often this season.

MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES

LAST SEASON: 24-58, missed playoffs.

STARTING FIVE: G O.J. Mayo (18.5 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 2.2 apg), G Allen Iverson (17.4 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 4.9 apg, 1.6 apg), F Rudy Gay (18.9 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 1.7 apg), F Zach Randolph (20.8 ppg, 10.1 rpg, 2.1 apg), C Marc Gasol (11.9 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 1.7 apg).

KEY ADDITIONS: G Iverson (free agent, Pistons), F Randolph (trade, Clippers), C Hasheem Thabeet (draft, No. 2).

KEY LOSSES: F Hakim Warrick (free agent, Bucks), C Darko Milicic (trade, Knicks).

COACH: Lionel Hollins, second season of second stint with Grizzlies; 31-72.

EYES ON: Iverson. One of the NBA's best scorers for years, all he could manage was a one-year deal from the Grizzlies after his disappointing stint in Detroit. Plenty will be watching to see what Iverson has left and how much he wants to fit in. But hamstring injury will keep him on the bench and Mike Conley in the starting lineup to begin season.

OUTLOOK: The Grizzlies have a roster full of individual talents who have to show they can play together as a team. If they do, Memphis should be much better than last season - and certainly much more interesting.

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PACIFIC DIVISION

LOS ANGELES LAKERS

LAST SEASON: 65-17, won NBA championship.

STARTING FIVE: G Derek Fisher (9.9 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 3.2 apg), G Kobe Bryant (26.8 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 4.9 apg), F Ron Artest (17.1 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 3.3 apg, 1.5 spg), F Pau Gasol (18.9 ppg, 9.6 rpg, 3.5 apg), C Andrew Bynum (14.3 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 1.8 bpg).

KEY ADDITIONS: F Artest (Rockets).

KEY LOSSES: F Trevor Ariza (free agent, Rockets).

COACH: Phil Jackson, fifth season of second stint with Lakers, 19th season overall; 1,041-435.

EYES ON: Artest. He's more talented than Ariza, the player he replaces. But if things go wrong for the Lakers, even he knows the finger will get pointed at him.

OUTLOOK: On paper, replacing Ariza with Artest makes the Lakers even more talented than last season's championship team. If he doesn't affect their chemistry, everything is in place for a potential repeat.

PHOENIX SUNS

LAST SEASON: 46-36, missed playoffs.

STARTING FIVE: G Steve Nash (15.7 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 9.7 apg), G Jason Richardson (16.8 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 2.0 apg), F Grant Hill (12.0 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 2.3 apg), F Amare Stoudemire (21.4 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 2.0 apg), C Channing Frye (4.2 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 0.4 bpg).

KEY ADDITIONS: C Frye (free agent, Trail Blazers).

KEY LOSSES: C Shaquille O'Neal (trade, Cavaliers), F Matt Barnes (free agent, Magic)

COACH: Alvin Gentry, second season with Suns, ninth season overall; 195-239.

EYES ON: Stoudemire. He's back in the offense he wants and looking at a chance to cash in with a new contract next summer. That's enough reason to expect huge stats from him this season.

OUTLOOK: Gentry returned the Suns to their running ways after they wasted half a season trying to be something they weren't. Playing that way from the start this time gives them reason to believe they'll get back to the postseason.

LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS

LAST SEASON: 19-63, missed playoffs.

STARTING FIVE: G Baron Davis (14.9 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 7.7 apg), G Eric Gordon (16.1 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 2.8 apg), F Al Thornton (16.8 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 1.5 apg), F Blake Griffin (rookie), C Marcus Camby (10.3 ppg, 11.1 rpg, 2.1 bpg).

KEY ADDITIONS: F Griffin (draft, No. 1), F Rasual Butler (trade, Hornets), F Craig Smith (trade, Timberwolves), G Sebastian Telfair (trade, Timberwolves).

KEY LOSSES: F Zach Randolph (trade, Grizzlies).

COACH: Mike Dunleavy, seventh season with Clippers, 17th season overall; 592-688.

EYES ON: Davis. Griffin, the college player of the year, is drawing much of the attention. But the Clippers won't go anywhere if Davis repeats his horrendous first season in Los Angeles, when his scoring average tumbled seven points from his final year with Golden State and he seemed to have trouble remaining in shape and motivated.

OUTLOOK: A team that has solid pieces at every position found a way to become one of the league's worst teams last season. No reason they shouldn't improve this season, especially if Griffin is as good as expected.

GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS

LAST SEASON: 29-53, missed playoffs.

STARTING FIVE: G Monta Ellis (19.0 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 3.7 apg), G Stephen Curry (rookie), F Stephen Jackson (20.7 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 6.5 apg), F Anthony Randolph (7.9 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 1.2 bpg), C Andris Biedrins (11.9 ppg, 11.2 rpg, 1.6 bpg).

KEY ADDITIONS: G Curry (draft, No. 7), F Devean George (trade, Raptors), G Speedy Claxton (trade, Hawks), G Acie Law (trade, Hawks).

KEY LOSSES: G Jamal Crawford (trade, Hawks), G Marco Bellineli (trade, Raptors).

COACH: Don Nelson, fourth season of second stint with Warriors, 31st season overall; 1,309-1,007.

EYES ON: Ellis and Curry. Ellis already said he doesn't think the Warriors can win with the duo playing together, and since both are only 6-foot-3, he might be right. But if they can, it would give Golden State an explosive backcourt.

OUTLOOK: Between Jackson's complaints and Ellis' critiques, the best thing that can happen to this team is for the games start, so they won't have so much time to talk. Unfortunately for the Warriors, they don't defend well enough to win many of them.

SACRAMENTO KINGS

LAST SEASON: 17-65, missed playoffs.

STARTING FIVE: G Beno Udrih (11.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 4.7 apg), G Tyreke Evans (rookie), F Kevin Martin (24.6 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 2.7 apg), F Jason Thompson (11.1 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 1.1 apg), C Spencer Hawes (11.4 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 1.2 bpg).

KEY ADDITIONS: G Evans (draft, No. 4), F Desmond Mason (free agent, Thunder), F Omri Casspi (draft, No. 23), G Sergio Rodriguez (trade, Trail Blazers), F Sean May (free agent, Bobcats).

KEY LOSSES: None.

COACH: Paul Westphal, first season with Kings, eighth season overall; 267-159.

EYES ON: Evans. With worst record in the league last season, Kings had the best shot at Blake Griffin, the No. 1 player in the draft. They ended up with the No. 4 pick, but may have landed the second-best player in Evans, who can play either guard position.

OUTLOOK: The rebuilding Kings are simply too inexperienced to compete in the West, but they should at least score plenty under Westphal.

---

NORTHWEST DIVISION

PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS

LAST SEASON: 54-28, lost to Houston 4-2 in first round of the playoffs.

STARTING FIVE: G Andre Miller (16.3 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 6.5 apg), G Brandon Roy (22.6 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 5.1 apg), F Martell Webster (0.0 ppg, 0.0 rpg, 0.0 apg), F LaMarcus Aldridge (18.2 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 1.9 apg), C Greg Oden (8.9 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 1.1 bpg) or Joel Przybilla (5.5 ppg, 8.7 rpg, 1.2 bpg).

KEY ADDITIONS: G Miller (free agent, 76ers), F Juwan Howard (free agent, Bobcats)

KEY LOSSES: G Sergio Rodriguez (trade, Kings), F Channing Frye (free agent, Suns).

COACH: Nate McMillan, fifth season with Blazers, 10th season overall; 360-363.

EYES ON: Oden. More injuries made his injury-delayed rookie season a disappointment. But Oden looked sharp during the offseason, and if he can finally stay healthy, may be ready to show more of the skills that made him the No. 1 pick in 2007.

OUTLOOK: Blazers made a giant leap last season and could be even better in 2009-10 if Miller is the right fit and they can keep Oden on the floor.

DENVER NUGGETS

LAST SEASON: 54-28, lost to Los Angeles Lakers 4-2 in Western Conference finals.

STARTING FIVE: G Chauncey Billups (17.7 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 6.4 apg), G J.R. Smith (15.2 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 2.8 apg, 2.0 spg), F Carmelo Anthony (22.8 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 3.4 apg), F Kenyon Martin (11.7 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 1.1 bpg), C Nene (14.6 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 1.3 bpg).

KEY ADDITIONS: G Ty Lawson (draft, No. 18), G Arron Afflalo (trade, Pistons).

KEY LOSSES: G Dahntay Jones (free agent, Pacers), F Linas Kleiza (free agent, Europe).

COACH: George Karl, sixth season with Nuggets, 22nd season overall; 933-642.

EYES ON: Smith. Follows his best season as a reserve by moving into the lineup spot vacated by Jones' departure. The move will have to wait, though. He's been suspended the first seven games by the NBA for pleading guilty to reckless driving in New Jersey.

OUTLOOK: Billups' return to Denver sparked the Nuggets to their best season and nearly a place in the NBA finals. But they didn't upgrade over the summer like the rest of the NBA's top teams, so they'll have to hope what they already had is good enough.

UTAH JAZZ

LAST SEASON: 48-34, lost to Los Angeles Lakers 4-1 in first round of playoffs.

STARTING FIVE: G Deron Williams (19.4 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 10.7 apg), G Ronnie Brewer (13.7 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 2.2 apg), F Andrei Kirilenko (11.6 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 2.6 apg), F Carlos Boozer (16.2 ppg, 10.4 rpg, 2.1 apg), C Mehmet Okur (17.0 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 1.7 apg).

KEY ADDITIONS: G Eric Maynor (draft, No. 20).

KEY LOSSES: None.

COACH: Jerry Sloan, 22nd season with Jazz, 25th season overall; 1,137-751.

EYES ON: Boozer and Paul Millsap. Boozer didn't opt to become a free agent and the Jazz didn't trade him, even after going into luxury tax territory to match Portland's offer sheet to Millsap. So how Sloan divides up the power forward minutes is Utah's most interesting question.

OUTLOOK: The Boozer situation has been awkward, but Sloan isn't the kind of coach to let that affect a team. Utah will still be tough at home and in the hunt in its division if everyone stays healthy.

OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER

LAST SEASON: 23-59, missed playoffs.

STARTING FIVE: G Russell Westbrook (15.3 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 5.3 apg), G Thabo Sefolosha (5.9 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 1.7 apg), G Kevin Durant (25.3 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 2.8 apg), F Jeff Green (16.5 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 2.0 apg), C Nenad Krstic (9.7 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 1.1 bpg).

KEY ADDITIONS: G James Harden (draft, No. 3), C Byron Mullens (draft, No. 24), C Etan Thomas (trade, Timberwolves), G Kevin Ollie (free agent, Timberwolves).

KEY LOSSES: F Desmond Mason (free agent, Kings), G Earl Watson (free agent, Pacers), F Damien Wilkins (trade, Timberwolves).

COACH: Scott Brooks, second season; 22-47.

EYES ON: Durant. Superb second season included setting the scoring record in the rookie game at All-Star weekend. It'd be a surprise if he's not playing in the real game this time.

OUTLOOK: Thunder are building around the young core of Durant, Green and Westbrook. But they're in no rush, making no major moves this summer, so their improvement will be gradual.

MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES

LAST SEASON: 24-58, missed playoffs.

STARTING FIVE: G Jonny Flynn (rookie), G Corey Brewer (6.2 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 1.7 apg), F Ryan Gomes (13.3 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 1.7 apg), F Kevin Love (11.1 ppg, 9.1 rpg, 1.0 apg), C Al Jefferson (23.1 ppg, 11.0 rpg, 1.7 bpg).

KEY ADDITIONS: G Flynn (draft, No. 6), G Ramon Sessions (free agent, Bucks), F Damien Wilkins (trade, Thunder), C Oleksiy Pecherov (trade, Wizards), G/F Sasha Pavlovic (free agent, Suns).

KEY LOSSES: G Randy Foye (trade, Wizards), F Mike Miller (trade, Wizards), G Sebastian Telfair (trade, Clippers), G Kevin Ollie (free agent, Thunder).

COACH: Kurt Rambis, first season with Timberwolves, second overall; 24-13.

EYES ON: Flynn and Sessions. The Timberwolves couldn't get Ricky Rubio, their top draft choice, to leave Spain for the Twin Cities, but they have two good point guard options in Flynn and Sessions. How they handle the spot could influence how Minnesota proceeds with Rubio in the future.

OUTLOOK: Timberwolves were busy in the offseason, hiring a new president, coach, and making a number of roster transactions. However, none of them is likely to help the Wolves do too much this season.

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