In an unexpected twist the blower of ears has found a home in Charlotte. With one signing Michael Jordan’s team has officially moved itself from pretender to contender. Lance Stephenson led the NBA last year in triple doubles, and although he may have some very interesting quirks ( Reminds me of the biter known as Suarez for your Futbol fans) he is hands down one of the brightest rising stars in basketball. Most importantly he plays one of the seemingly hardest positions to fill in the NBA these days, small forward. Charlotte now will boast a young team of Walker, Zeller, Stephenson, Kidd Gilchrist with Savvy Vets like Henderson and the All-Star caliber big man in Al Jefferson. This team is a force to be reckoned with in the weaker East.
I see the East shaping out as follows:
1. Chicago Bulls
2. Cleveland Cavaliers
3. Toronto Raptors
4. Washington Wizards
5. Indiana Pacers
6. Charlotte Hornets
7. Atlanta Hawks
8. Brooklyn Nets
Without Lance Stephenson, and the giant steps back that Roy Hibbert took in the Playoffs, I dont see the Pacers out performing the emerging young guns in D.C. or the up and coming Toronto Raptors. Even with addition of sharp shooter CJ Miles, the Pacers, without Stephenson have a very steep hill to climb in the East. The Brooklyn nets have a similar problem, with an aging cast of stars, and the loss of Pierce, Livingston, and Kidd, the Nets will find themselves figuring things out for the first half of the season. Lionel Hollins is an excellent coach, but even he cant work miracles. The success of the Nets will solely be determined by the health of their big man Lopez.
Credit all authors of images used in both article and as cover image : Kaan Gencer