Philadelphia Team Report: What's the Endgame?

YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO BE ANDREW BYNUM DAMNIT

Coming off my 370-part player capsule series, I'm taking on a significantly less absurd task -- a 30-part frame examining the evolution of the individual teams in the NBA's 2013 season. Some in medias res, others as the season ends. Somewhat freeform, with a designated goal to bring you a few observations of note about the team's season, a view into the team's ups and downs, and a rough map of what to expect going forward. Today, we cover a team I was skeptical of entering the season, but whose collapse I really didn't see coming -- the 2013 Sixers, of course.

Fun story -- I actually didn't like Philadelphia that much as we entered the 2013 season. A few reasons for that: Bynum's injury was worrisome given his prior injury history, they replaced their best offensive player (Lou Williams) with Nick Young, and I wasn't a big fan of any of their non-Bynum moves. Still, the general consensus that they were a high upside team with potential outclassing the names on the roster -- after all, Doug Collins had guided a roster of relative no-names and young castaways to a game short of the Eastern Conference Finals a year prior, right? No way they'd disappoint. Except for the "no way" part, since that's exactly what happened. Let's examine how.

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Atlanta Team Report, 2013: Don't Trust the Hawks

al horford bringin the ball up the court

Coming off my 370-part player capsule series, I'm taking on a significantly less absurd task -- a 30-part frame examining the evolution of the individual teams in the NBA's 2013 season. Some in medias res, others as the season ends. Somewhat freeform, with a designated goal to bring you a few observations of note about the team's season, a view into the team's ups and downs, and a rough map of what to expect going forward. Today, we cover a team I was a bit higher on than a lot of people -- the 2013 Hawks.

Throughout the capsules, I expressed a general thought that the 2013 Hawks weren't going to be as bad as most people expected. Many saw them as a fringe playoff team -- I thought it was reasonable to go a step further and call them a team with a puncher's chance at first round home court. After all. Though most people vastly underrated what Joe Johnson brought that Atlanta team, so too did most people vastly underrate what Lou Williams had the potential to bring them. Combine that with a bit of help off the bench through Devin Harris and a full season of their best player, Al Horford? The Hawks always had a good shot at being the same exact 4-5 seed type team they've been since 2009, despite Ferry's apt blow-it-up style asset trading. Checking in today, the Hawks have banked 45 of their 82 games. They sit at 6th in the East and 2nd in their division, 4.5 games behind Miami and 12 games ahead of Orlando. They've gotten a lot of benefit out of an easy schedule, but they are once again neither atrocious nor excellent. As they say: they are who we thought they were. Let's talk Hawks. Continue reading

Chicago Team Report, 2013: Waiting for Roses

hey ladies noah

Coming off my 370-part player capsule series, I'm taking on a significantly less incredible task -- a 30-part frame examining the evolution of the individual teams in the NBA's 2013 season. Some in medias res, others as the season ends. Somewhat freeform, with a designated goal to bring you a few observations of note about the team's season, a view into the team's ups and downs, and a rough map of what to expect going forward. Today, we cover a team I recently deemed one of the league's biggest surprises, although certainly not in a good way -- we're covering the sordid, unhappy tales of the 2013 Chicago Bulls.

In the preseason, I notched Chicago for a record of 41-41. There were two main reasons. First, the obvious -- I'd gotten some information indicating that Rose was going to be out for all but 10-15 games of the season, and in Rose's absence, I had absolutely no idea how the Chicago offense was going to hold up. The defense would remain decent, but I was worried it too would experience a drop-off after the Bulls let bench mainstay Omer Asik go, let Ronnie Brewer go, and watched helplessly as Luol Deng suffered more injuries over the summer in London. Needless to say, I wasn't entirely apt -- the Bulls are hardly a great team, but a stay-puft early schedule combined with one of Joakim Noah's best years as a pro have kept the Bulls well above water. They're comfortably in the Eastern playoff picture, and if Rose is back into shape by the playoffs, they'll be as firmly ensconced in the eastern picture as any non-Miami team. How have they been so far, though?

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Washington's Woeful 2013: Defense, 404s, and Heartbreak

washington woe

Coming off my 370-part player capsule series, I'm taking on a significantly less incredible task -- a 30-part frame examining the evolution of the individual teams in the NBA's 2013 season. Some in medias res, others as the season ends. Somewhat freeform, with a designated goal to bring you a few observations of note about the team's season, a view into the team's ups and downs, and a rough map of what to expect going forward. Today, we cover a team I recently deemed one of the league's biggest surprises, although certainly not in a good way -- we're covering the sordid, unhappy tales of the 2013 Washington Wizards.

Not exactly the most grandiose of a start I could've hoped for, but you can't win them all. Today, to start this new series outlining the stories and evolutions of each team in the NBA, I'm starting with a team most people can't bear to watch: your 2013 Washington Wizards. A bit of backstory. In the preseason, I notched the Wizards for 35 wins -- short of the playoffs, but only 5 or 6 games back. I was a bit surprised to find the Wizards I had in my head -- a scrappy (though well below average) defensive unit with a roughly average offense -- apparently didn't exist anywhere outside my head. As they stand, the Wizards are among the slowest teams in the league, and currently hold the dubious distinction of sporting the 10th worst offense in the history of the NBA. Some of that's bound to improve when John Wall comes back. How much of it? Let's find out.

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