Every NBA Team's Biggest Question Heading Into The Season

Justin Ford/Getty Images

Every NBA Team's Biggest Question Heading Into The Season


Every NBA Team's Biggest Question Heading Into The Season


Justin Ford/Getty Images

The NBA season is here! It all begins tonight as every team has hope for the new season. With the new year comes new expectations and pressures. Here is one question for each NBA team as the season starts:

Boston Celtics: Will they have a NBA Finals hangover?

The Celtics enter the season on a mission to right the wrongs from how things ended last year. They added in some much-needed depth to their roster to try and improve things when the starters go out. Malcolm Brogdan should fit like a glove in this Boston system and will give them another strong defender. The question for them is how they respond to losing in the NBA Finals. We often see teams that lose, fail to reach the series again. The mental capacity needed to overcome such a painful loss is one that many struggle with. The Celtics have the talent to get back to the NBA Finals, but the East will be a lot harder than it was last season. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown will always give them a strong chance, so it’ll be interesting to watch them as the season progresses.

Brooklyn Nets: How will the offseason drama affect them?

It’s no secret that the Nets were the talk of the offseason. From Kevin Durant requesting a trade to Kyrie Irving almost leaving the team. It was reported that Durant asked for both head coach Steve Nash and General Manager Sean Marks to be fired. This could have a ripple effect on the team if they start off slow. The key for this team is too lean on the talent that they do possess. It is a collection of players that should work on the court and now guard Ben Simmons seems healthy and ready to go. Brooklyn will likely be a problem in the Eastern Conference but the offseason drama could bleed into the locker room.

New York Knicks: Can they get back to the playoffs?

They went out and got Jalen Brunson from Dallas in free agency to give them another scorer. They believe in Brunson and his ability to help get them back to a winning culture. This team has the pieces to make a playoff spot but will need to be consistent all throughout the year. This was something that they didn’t do well last season and will need to be corrected. New York is in for a fun season from this team but will it result in wins? Only time will tell.

Atlanta Hawks: Does Dejounte Murray really make them contenders?

Atlanta went and traded for Dejounte Murray to pair him with Trae Young and John Collins. That is an impressive three player trio but the question for the Hawks has been their defense. They were terrible on that end of the floor last season and won’t win anything unless things change. Murray should help with that a little but he can’t do it all. This team is really going to need to focus on defense this season and commit to it. They will score at will on opponents and adding in Murray will give them another level of offense. He has really improved since entering the league and now has a chance to be on a winning team. Atlanta is a team to watch if they can figure some things out.

Philadelphia 76ers: Can they get over the hump and win it all?

This is the year for the 76ers. James Harden and Joel Embiid have had an entire offseason together and shared some postseason experience last season. Now it’s time to put all the pieces together and go for the title. The 76ers seem to have a focus to them that they haven’t had in a long time. They brought in some solid pieces during the offseason including forward PJ Tucker, who will bring some needed toughness and grit to this team. The 76ers can matchup with anyone in the league and if they stay healthy, only can beat themselves.

Toronto Raptors: Can they still shock people in the East?

Toronto always seems to be competitive no matter who is on the roster. This is a testament to their coaching staff and systems in place. Scottie Barnes looked great last year as a rookie and the team is hoping that he can take another step forward. They still have Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet, who will provide the veteran leadership and presence. They will likely compete in the East once again but won’t shock anyone, much like they did last year.

Chicago Bulls: Can they compete with the elites in the East?

The problem with the Bulls last season was that they couldn’t matchup with the elite teams in the Eastern Conference. Will the same things happen this season? Nobody can truly know but I’d guess that things will repeat themselves. The Bulls are strong but are they really going to get another career season from DeMar DeRozan? Will Zach LaVine actually live up to his contract now that he has been paid? There are too many questions for this team for me to put them in the contender’s category. I hope they prove me wrong but until they do, they are a low-end playoff team for me.

Cleveland Cavaliers: Will they take another step forward?

The Cavs may be the hardest team in the East to judge. They are young, hungry, and ready to take the league by storm. They went out and traded for All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell to add to this already talented roster. Cleveland is ready to really compete for the first time without LeBron James and it is a breath of fresh air for the fans. This team could be a top three squad or a play-in squad, depending on what happens. I’d say they land somewhere in the middle. A top-six seeding seems pretty accurate for this team as they look to take the next step.

Detroit Pistons: Can they sneak into the postseason?

Detroit is ready for a winning team. They have suffered for a long time but now finally have the pieces in place to contend. Cade Cunningham is one of the best young player in the league and looks ready to take another step forward in his progression. Detroit may not make the postseason this year but will surely be right in the thick of things, or at least they should be. They could sneak in if things go their way and it would go a long way for this franchise.

Indiana Pacers: How does the rebuild look with Tyrese Haliburton leading the charge?

The Pacers are rebuilding. They traded away most of their players on the roster that weren’t apart of the rebuild. They still may trade Buddy Hield and Myles Turner for more assets too. Now with guard Tyrese Haliburton leading the charge, this team is ready to start the building. They likely won’t win too many games this season but will be squarely in the hunt for the first overall pick. Get that and everything changes for this franchise.

Milwaukee Bucks: Can they reach the NBA Finals once again?

Arguably the favorite in the Eastern Conference as the season starts, the Bucks are ready to remind people just who they are. Giannis Antetokounmpo is the best player in the NBA and wants to build more winning onto his resume. This team took the eventual Eastern Conference Champion Boston Celtics to the brink of elimination while missing some keys players. They are extremely strong defensively and on offense can be a lot to handle. The Bucks will be a problem once again.

Charlotte Hornets: Where will the bright spots be for this team?

Some off-the-court issues have plagued this team during the offseason. And now their star guard LaMelo Ball is hurt to start the season. It likely won’t be a pretty season for the Hornets and they should be first in the thick of things for the Victor Wembanyama sweepstakes. It actually may be better for the Hornets to have a bad season because if they can get Wembanyama and pair him with ball, it could be explosive. A tough season lies ahead for Charlotte and Buzz City.

Miami Heat: Can they make the level of success from a year ago?

Miami was the number one seed in the East last year so the question remains, can they do it again? They came within a Jimmy Butler missed three of going to the NBA Finals, so the mission is still the same. They return a bunch of the same players and still have the Heat Culture mindset. If Kyle Lowry can return to form, this team can be lethal once again. However, I can’t seem them having the same level of success. It will be more difficult in a tougher conference. A top five seed seem to be in the cards for the Hear this coming year.

Orlando Magic: Can this team take the needed strides to push towards the playoffs?

The Magic have a ton of young talent and just need to put it all together. They likely won’t make the playoffs but this could be a real stepping stone season for them. With new number one overall pick Paolo Banchero, the sky could be the limit for this franchise. This is a big year for the Magic as they look to take some real strides to get back to contention. Orlando is a great city with good fans, so they deserve it.

Washington Wizards: Bradley Beal has signed an extension to stay in Washington, so now what?

Beal is here to stay, for now at least. But what will this team do now that their star has committed long-term. The Wizards have a team of players that can go for a playoff spot but likely won’t do much else. Kyle Kuzma had a career year last season and will look to either have a repeat of that or improve. If he can, the Wizards may have something. We also saw a Kristaps Porziņģis sighting as the season ended last year so maybe he can have another strong season. Washington is hard to judge but will probably be competing for a play-in tournament spot.

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