David West’s decision to stay in Indiana maintains the Pacers’ status as second-best in the East
In Part One of our countdown of the NBA’s top movers this summer, we reviewed the likely impacts of the arrivals of Carl Landry, Jose Calderon, JR Smith and others in their new (or old) destinations.
While each of those players brings an impactful signing to their new club, the men we have left on the list are all potential season-altering deals. Here are the top ten free agents most likely to shape the 2013-14 NBA season…
They had to work far harder for it than last time, but the Miami Heat are NBA Champions once again (Image | Reuters)
In the final two rounds of the 2013 NBA Playoffs, the Miami Heat won back-to-back games just once. Pegged back three times by the gutsy Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference Finals, and thrice trailing the San Antonio Spurs in the Finals, the Heat traded wins with their opponents throughout the final four weeks of the season.
Until it mattered most.
LeBron James’ dominant individual performances in the Heat’s recovery against Indiana doesn’t bode well for the Celtics.
So the NBA’s Final Four, as it were, have been decided. In the West it all seemed over before it began with the San Antonio Spurs going unbeaten in their first two series and the Oklahoma City Thunder only conceding one game en route to eliminating the Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Lakers.
The East, on the other hand, is where the drama has unfolded. When Derrick Rose went down with a torn Achilles in game one of the Chicago Bulls – Philadelphia 76ers series one could predict that the East was not going to fall into place as foreseen.
New York Knicks interim coach Mike Woodson has his star player, Carmelo Anthony, and the Knicks squad performing at their best again
What a difference a coach makes.
Mike Woodson’s all-too-timely promotion to head coach of the New York Knicks is seeing a recently-ailing franchise currently enjoying its second sudden, unexpected surge of the truncated 2011-12 NBA season. (The first time, this guy was the focus, if you don’t remember.)
In basketball, especially in the NBA, a change of head coach can have profound effects on a team’s personnel and fortunes. The game is so focussed around set-plays and defensive systems at the elite level that Woodson’s isolation-heavy offense is completely different to the “seven seconds or less” philosophy of his predecessor, Mike D’Antoni.