NBA training camp questions

BY foxsports • September 24, 2012

NBA teams playing preseason games overseas open training camp Friday. Everyone else begins early next week.

And just like every October, each team has pressing issues that need addressed by the time the season tips off Oct. 31.

With that, here are 30 teams and 30 big questions entering camp:

Atlanta: Will the Hawks really be able to replace Joe Johnson’s perimeter proficiency by committee (Lou Williams, Kyle Korver, Anthony Morrow, rookie John Jenkins)?

Boston: Who replaces Ray Allen next to Rajon Rondo in the Celtics’ starting backcourt -- Jason Terry, Avery Bradley or Courtney Lee?

Brooklyn:
Will re-signing all of last year’s non-playoff qualifiers (Deron Williams, Brook Lopez, Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries), and adding Joe Johnson, make the Nets a top-four team in East?

Charlotte:
Do the Bobcats start veterans such as Ben Gordon, Brendan Haywood and Tyrus Thomas, or go with a younger lineup that features Kemba Walker, Bismack Biyombo and rookie Michael Kidd-Gilchrist?

Chicago: Who will direct the offense while the Bulls wait for All-Star point guard Derrick Rose to return from injury?

Cleveland: Is Tristan Thompson truly ready to become the Cavaliers’ every-game starter at power forward?

Dallas: Can O.J. Mayo fill the Mavericks’ urgent need for a consistent No. 2 scoring option to Dirk Nowitzki’s No. 1?

Denver: Will underrated addition of Andre Iguodala, and re-signings of JaVale McGee and Andre Miller, return fire Nuggets displayed immediately after Carmelo Anthony trade in 2011?

Detroit: Are the parts around young center Greg Monroe and second-year point guard Brandon Knight enough for the Pistons to make postseason push?

Golden State: Who will emerge from the list of the Warriors’ potential go-to candidates: Stephen Curry, Andrew Bogut, David Lee, or someone else?

Houston: Will adding the likes of Jeremy Lin and Omar Asik, and rookies Jeremy Lamb, Royce White and Terrence Jones, propel the Rockets onto the right path, or are more changes needed?

Indiana: Can Danny Granger, David West and the rest of the Pacers continue to play with the necessary edge now that opponents are taking them seriously?

L.A. Clippers: Will Chris Paul-to-Blake Griffin be even better in the playoffs now that the remade Clippers have had a full season together?

L.A. Lakers: Is Lakers coach Mike Brown creative enough to make sure Kobe Bryant stays happy, while also catering the offense to Dwight Howard, Steve Nash and Pau Gasol?

Memphis: Did Rudy Gay, Mike Conley and other members of the young Grizzlies make the necessary improvements to lift the Grizzlies to something more than another first- or second-round playoff exit?

Miami: Do additions Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis have enough left for Heat to repeat as champions if any of the Big Three struggle?

Milwaukee: Will any of the Bucks’ big men touch the ball with Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings firing it up from everywhere?

Minnesota:
Can veteran comeback players Brandon Roy and Andrei Kirilenko play even close to their one-time high levels in reduced roles with the Timberwolves?

New Orleans: Will No. 1 overall draft pick Anthony Davis be an immediate difference-maker when it comes to the Hornets’ offense?

New York:
Is this the season in which the Knicks’ dynamic duo of Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire proves it can succeed on the same team?

Oklahoma City:
Is it time to for James Harden to start at shooting guard, and is rookie Perry Jones qualified to be the Thunder’s new Harden off the bench?

Orlando: Will the Magic be able to pull a Denver, play team ball in the truest sense and surprise in the first season without their super-duper star (Dwight Howard)?

Philadelphia: Is Andrew Bynum capable of staying focused enough to turn into the future Hall-of-Famer the 76ers plan on him becoming in the low post?

Phoenix: Are Goran Dragic and rookie Kendall Marshall capable of helping dejected Suns fans cheer up after the departure of all-everything point guard Steve Nash?

Portland: Is rookie point guard Damian Lillard destined to become the Trail Blazers’ most electrifying backcourt player since Clyde Drexler, as Lillard displayed in summer league?

Sacramento: Can the talented Tyreke Evans finally get a firm grasp of his role, or are there just too many players on the Kings who need the ball to be effective?

San Antonio: Do Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili actually have enough left to be centerpieces, or will the Spurs have to hope for major minutes from an unexpected source?

Toronto: Will Andrea Bargnani prove to be too good to keep him off the All-Star team this season, and is rookie frontcourt-mate Jonas Valanciunas anything more than the bit player he resembled in the Olympics?

Utah: Can newcomers Mo Williams and Marvin Williams shed their unpredictable ways and become a pair of steadying forces the Jazz covet?

Washington: Will latest additions Emeka Okafor, Trevor Ariza and rookie Bradley Beal enable John Wall to have his best season and the Wizards to captivate?

Follow Sam Amico on Twitter @SamAmicoFSO




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