Tuesday, September 30, 2014

30 Teams in 30 Days: Orlando Magic

It's day 2 of our "30 Teams in 30 Days" series, which began yesterday with a look inside the Atlanta Hawks, and today, we continue our series in Orlando, with a look at the rebuilding Magic, as they look for a fresh start with a couple of new faces.

Last season's record: 23-59(5th in Southeast Division; 13th in Eastern Conference)

Head Coach: Jacque Vaughn(2nd season, 23-59 record)

Key losses: Jameer Nelson

New additions: Ben Gordon, Luke Ridnour, Aaron Gordon

Arena: Amway Center(18,846)

Website: OrlandoMagic.com

Last season was a down year for the Orlando Magic, finishing with a 23-59 mark in Jacque Vaughn's first season as an NBA head coach, and it would eventually turn out to be the last for Jameer Nelson in an Orlando uniform, as many of the Magic fans in Central Florida were already looking ahead to the 2014-15 campaign as the franchise continues its rebuilding phase, through the draft and free agency.

They did get some of those good needs to replace Nelson by signing Luke Ridnour and Ben Gordon, who spent last season with Charlotte, and added some more depth by drafting Aaron Gordon in last summer's NBA Draft, to give Orlando a fresh outlook entering the 2014-15 season.

In short, the Magic could be a sleeper team in the Eastern Conference and in the Southeast Division, which could be wide open with teams that may contend in that division, such as the Atlanta Hawks, Washington Wizards, and the Charlotte Hornets, and if it all goes well to plan, Orlando could have a legitimate shot to return to playoff glory, but first, they have to work together as a team and start winning again.

Upcoming team previews in the "30 Teams in 30 Days" series

  • Wednesday: Miami Heat
  • Thursday: New Orleans Pelicans
  • Friday: Houston Rockets
  • Saturday: San Antonio Spurs

Monday, September 29, 2014

30 Teams in 30 Days: Atlanta Hawks

With the 2014-15 NBA season right around the corner, we are bringing back our annual preview series of all 30 teams in the NBA, and their expectations for the 2014-15 season, in 30 days for the next few weeks.  We call this series "30 Teams in 30 Days", and we begin this edition by previewing the Atlanta Hawks, as they look to have a strong year with some big names returning to the lineup in Atlanta this season.

Last season's record: 38-44, lost to Indiana in Eastern Conference first round

Head Coach: Mike Budenholzer(2nd season, 38-44)

New Addition: Kent Bazemore

Arena: Philips Arena(18,118)

Website: Hawks.com

Atlanta finished 8th in the Eastern Conference standings last season, but that was well worthy enough for the team to secure the 8th and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, setting up a showdown with the Indiana Pacers, and Atlanta, without big man Al Horford, took the Pacers to the limit, but in the end, the Pacers would eliminate Atlanta in 7 games, but on and all, it was somewhat of a learning process for Mike Budenholzer, the former San Antonio Spurs assistant who did well in his first season as Hawks head coach.

This season, the Hawks could be an idea threat in the Eastern Conference with the return of Horford to the lineup, and the return of Elton Brand to the team as well, as well as the addition of Kent Bazemore, make this year's edition of the Atlanta Hawks hungry for another return trip to the NBA Playoffs, as they look to put a little bit of controversy behind them and focus on winning games on the floor in the "Highlight Factory" to get Atlanta excited about their team in the 2014-15 season.

Upcoming team previews in the "30 Teams in 30 Days" series

  • Tuesday: Orlando Magic
  • Wednesday: Miami Heat
  • Thursday: New Orleans Pelicans
  • Friday: Houston Rockets