NBA preview: Eastern Conference capsules

HONEY, THEY SHRUNK THE SEASON — John Rohde takes a look at which teams will be shrinking and which will be growing during the shortened NBA season.
BY JOHN ROHDE Published: December 18, 2011
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Shrinking/growing: Shrinking. The Magic will shrink several more sizes if center Dwight Howard decides to leave, either during the season or after. He is the end-all, be-all for this franchise.

5. NEW YORK (38-28)

Additions: C Tyson Chandler; PG Mike Bibby; G Iman Shumpert; C Jerome Jordan; F Chris Hunter; F Josh Herrellson

Subtractions: G Chauncey Billups; F Derrick Brown; G Anthony Carter; F Roger Mason; F Ronny Turiaf; F Shelden Williams

Shrinking/growing: Growing. If Chandler can stay healthy, the Knicks might be good enough to pass the Celtics in the division, but we're not convinced Chandler will stay healthy.

6. INDIANA PACERS (34-32)

Additions: F David West; F Jarrid Famous; PG George Hill; PF Tyren Johnson; F Darnell Lazare; F Jeff Pendergraph; PF Matt Rogers;

Subtractions: F Mike Dunleavy; PG T.J. Ford; PF Josh McRoberts; F James Posey

Shrinking/growing: Growing. A huge get in pick-and-pop artist David West. Look for a leap in Darren Collison's assist total, if he knows how to utilize West. Losing McRoberts could sting.

7. ATLANTA HAWKS (33-33)

Additions: G Tracy McGrady; C Vladimir Radmanovic; Brad Wanamaker

Subtractions: C Hilton Armstrong; G Jamal Crawford; F Josh Powell; G Damien Wilkins

Shrinking/growing: Shrinking. The loss of Crawford figures to be significant, perhaps huge. Who will find all those missing points? Intriguing to take a flier on McGrady, especially if it pans out.

8. PHILADELPHIA 76ERS (32-34)

Additions: PF Lavoy Allen; G Antonio Anderson; C Tony Battie; PF Dwayne Jones; G Xavier Silas; F Nikola Vucevic

Subtractions: SG Jason Kapono; F Darius Songaila

Shrinking/growing: Shrinking. The Sixers figure to shrink just a tad simply because they appeared to overachieve last season in their first year under coach Doug Collins. Perhaps we're wrong.

9. MILWAUKEE BUCKS (30-36)

Additions: SF Mike Dunleavy; SG Stephen Jackson; F Jon Leuer; PG Shaun Livingston; PG Beno Udrih

Subtractions: G Keyon Dooling; F Chris Douglas-Roberts; F Corey Maggette; SG John Salmons

Shrinking/growing: Growing. Signing forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute was vital. However, center Andrew Bogut had better stay healthy, or this team has no shot at success.

10. NEW JERSEY NETS (28-38)

Additions: G Marshon Brooks; F Jordan Williams; PF Shelden Williams

Subtractions: C Dan Gadzuric; F Travis Outlaw; G Sasha Vujacic; G Mario West; F Brandan Wright

Shrinking/growing: Growing. As long as point guard Deron Williams is on the roster, this team has a shot at winning, but the last season in Jersey figures to be forgettable before heading to Brooklyn.

11. WASHINGTON WIZARDS (27-39)

Additions: G Shelvin Mack; SG Roger Mason; F Chris Singleton; C Ronny Turiaf; F Jan Vesely

Subtractions: F Josh Howard; G Mustafa Shakur

Shrinking/growing: Growing. The Wizards are growing, but they're far from being the imperial wizards. They have some nice ingredients in John Wall, Nick Young, et al, but more magic dust is needed.

12. DETROIT PISTONS (20-46)

Additions: G Brandon Knight; F Vernon Macklin

Subtractions: G Tracy McGrady; SG Richard Hamilton; F DaJuan Summers; SG Terrico White; F Chris Wilcox

Shrinking/growing: Shrinking. Pistons managed to hang onto Tayshaun Prince, but lost Richard Hamilton and are still scrambling to fill their roster. New coach Lawrence Frank arrives.

13. CLEVELAND CAVALIERS (17-49)

Additions: PG Kyrie Irving; F Tristan Thompson; F Omri Casspi

Subtractions: F Joey Graham; G J.J. Hickson

Shrinking/growing: Growing. Yup, 17 wins and growing. A terrific influx of young talent should have the Cavs back on the rise. Irving will outduel Charlotte's Kemba Walker as the top rookie.

14. CHARLOTTE BOBCATS (14-52)

Additions: PG Kemba Walker; F Derrick Brown; C Marvin Ely; SF Corey Maggette

Subtractions: C Kwame Brown; SF Stephen Jackson; SG Shaun Livingston; F Dominic McGuire; G Garrett Temple

Shrinking/growing: Shrinking. The expansion Bobcats aren't back to Square One, but they seem to be awfully close. Owner Michael Jordan might want to make another comeback and suit up.

15. TORONTO RAPTORS (12-54)

Additions: SG Rasual Butler; PG Anthony Carter; F Gary Forbes; C Aaron Gray; C Jamaal Magliore

Subtractions: G Sonny Weems

Shrinking/growing: Shrinking. Oh, Canada. Stick to hockey. At least it's a shortened season. Something particularly shocking: The Raptors swept the Thunder last year. Good luck, coach Dwane Casey.

By John Rohde


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