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I've got questions; do teams have answers?
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Atlanta HawksHas Josh Smith matured to the point where he's able to maximize his strength (attacking the basket) and minimize his weakness (casually hoisting 3-balls)? Does Mike Bibby have any quickness left? How/where will the undisciplined Jamal Crawford fit?
Boston CelticsWill Rasheed Wallace be positively influenced by Kevin Garnett's manic intensity? Are all of KG's body parts in working order? Has Rajon Rondo pondered the direction his career is taking and decided to be more coachable? Is the handle-challenged Eddie House still Rondo's default backup?
Charlotte BobcatsGiven the severe offensive limitations of Ty Chandler and DeSagana Diop, where will the team's post-up/interior scoring come from? Who else besides Raja Bell (who's rumored to be on the trading block), and Vlad Radmanovic can consistently knock down long-range jumpers?
Chicago BullsCan the Bulls maintain the incredible intensity they demonstrated in the playoffs on a game-to-game basis? Or was their ferocity merely an aberration? Is Tyrus Thomas ready to behave (and play) like a grownup? Although John Salmons can match the departed Ben Gordon's shoot-first game plan, can he supply the same explosive offense? How bad a sign will it be if Jerome James makes the team? Can Derrick Rose learn to make better decisions under pressure in the lane?
Cleveland CavaliersHow will Shaq's increasing immobility coexist with LeBron's need for driving lanes? Is it possible for Mo Williams to suddenly become the playmaker and ball-distributor that the Cavs so desperately need? Who (if anybody) will prove to be a creative scorer off the bench? Does Zydrunas Ilgauskas have anything left? Does it really matter if he doesn't?
Dallas MavericksWhether on fast breaks, in early offense, or in halfcourt sets, can Jason Kidd still get to the basket? Is Josh Howard ready to be an impact player? Will Shawn Marion be happy being an afterthought on offense?
Denver NuggetsCan Carmelo Anthony play the same brand of ornery defense all season long that he did against the Lakers in the playoffs? Was the Lakers series an accident, or a sign that J.R. Smith has become a dynamic two-way player? Who will replace Smith as a scorer off the bench?
Detroit PistonsIf Allen Iverson proved unequal to the task of putting oomph into the offense, can Ben Gordon do the job? Can Rodney Stuckey really play the point? How can Charlie Villanueva's ultra-soft defense be disguised? Has the transformation from Bad Boys to Good Boys been complete?
Golden State WarriorsStephen Jackson's body will be in training camp, but where will his head be? Why does anybody think that Stephen Curry can play the point in the NBA? What will Corey Maggette's shots-to-passes ratio be? Whose idea was it to have so many veteran point guards in camp? Can anybody besides Andris Biedrins play acceptable defense?
Houston RocketsCan Aaron Brooks run the team? Besides Brooks, who can create his own shots? Will the Rockets really begin the season with Luis Scola and Joey Dorsey as their only viable centers? Will Tracy McGrady ever be relevant again?
Indiana PacersCan Mike Dunleavy make it through camp (much less the season) without falling apart? Can T.J. Ford reduce his penchant for taking too many ill-advised shots? Besides Jeff Foster and Dahntay Jones, can anybody play defense? Who (if anybody) will show they can score off the bench?
Los Angeles ClippersIs Blake Griffin for real? Will he get sufficient touches to prove that he either is or isn't? Does Baron Davis really care about sacrificing his own numbers in order to win? How much will the Clippers have to depend on career underachievers like Sebastian Telfair, Ricky Davis and Marcus Camby to be competitive?
Los Angeles LakersWill Ron Artest gladly learn the intricacies of the triangle and accept the personal sacrifices that the offense requires? Will he also step back and not try to dominate the social dynamic of the team? Will Andrew Bynum start taking responsibility for his own failings? How many prime-time miles are left on Derek Fisher's wheels? Can Sasha Vujacic make two jumpers in succession?
Memphis GrizzliesWhat to do with Allen Iverson? After talking the talk but not walking the walk in Denver and Detroit, why should he be expected to change his long-term attitudes regarding practicing, taking bad shots and playing only gambling defense? And will his presence inhibit the development of O.J. Mayo? Are Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph too slow to defend anybody besides each other? Does Hasheem Thabeet have sufficient athleticism to play significant minutes?
Miami HeatCan Jermaine O'Neal stay healthy? Is Michael Beasley stable enough to fulfill his potential? Is there a scorer off the bench? How much can Dwyane Wade do before he wears out?
Milwaukee BucksCan anybody else score on a consistent basis besides Michael Redd and Hakim Warrick? How long can the Bucks depend on 37-year-old Kurt Thomas to supply the bulk of their interior defense? How steep will Brandon Jennings' learning curve be? Will Andrew Bogut ever be healthy enough to be a full-time player?
Minnesota TimberwolvesAl Jefferson can score and rebound, but will he ever be anything but a total deficit on defense and a black hole on offense? Is Corey Brewer still considered a potential starter? Given the defensive shortcomings of Jefferson and Kevin Love, who will protect the basket? Could the bench players be any softer?
New Jersey NetsYi Jianlian plus 20 pounds equals what? Has Courtney Lee fully recovered from his post-trade depression? Will Rafer Alston accept being a backup on such a sad-sack team? Who else besides Devin Harris will emerge as a dangerous scorer? How much progress has the promising Brook Lopez made over the summer?
New Orleans HornetsDoes Emeka Okafor have the requisite speed, quickness and athleticism to be a major factor in the team's screen/roll game? Will James Posey be motivated to play with the same passion that he did in Boston? Can Chris Paul expand his offensive repertoire to keep defenses more honest?
New York KnicksCan Danilo Gallinari really play? Does the center tandem of Eddy Curry and Darko Milicic scare any opponents? Since Donnie Walsh is already boasting that the Knicks will have the most cap room next summer, why should anybody care about this team here-and-now?
Oklahoma City ThunderCan anybody on the team even spell D-E-F-E-N-S-E? Can Russell Westbrook become more of a genuine point guard? How can they overcome their limitations at the center spot?
Orlando MagicDid Dwight Howard learn any moves during the offseason? Does Mickael Pietrus have the patience and the concentration to play starter's minutes? Who will be the designated clutch shooter Vince Carter or Jameer Nelson? Can Matt Barnes be convinced that sometimes passing is more productive than shooting?
Philadelphia 76ersIs Louis Williams ready to be a full-time distributor? Will the team be able to find a balance between an all-out running attack and Elton Brand's plodding offense? Except for adding Jason Kapono, what has been done to improve the team's miserable outside shooting? Will Eddie Jordan's highly touted (by himself) Princeton offense wind up with Andre Iguodala going one-on-one in clutch situations?
Phoenix SunsIs Amare Stoudemire prepared to man-up, practice hard, play aggressive defense and stop complaining when he doesn't get enough shots? Since Grant Hill is 36 and Steve Nash is 35, can the team still be competitive if their playing time is limited? Aren't there more proficient backup points available than Leandro Barbosa and Goran Dragic?
Portland Trail BlazersWill the real Greg Oden either stand tall or fall on his face? Is Andre Miller too slow to key the team's uptempo game plan? Will Brandon Roy have to exhaust himself from game to game in order for the Blazers to have a successful season?