The NBA's 2014-2015 season is upon us and we can’t help but get excited with all the patikims that we see courtesy of the ongoing pre-season games!
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The pre-season games also allows us to identify which teams to watch out for, which rookies are primed to succeed, and which veterans are poised to have a breakout season.
And because basketball junkies care for fellow basketball junkies, here now is FHM's NBA Preview, a primer that answers the most important questions regarding the upcoming season. Since we're talking about 30 teams and hundreds of coaches, players, and team masahistas, we divided this knowledge-sharing exercise into five bite-sized parts. Below is part II, where we answer the questions:
- Is Chris Bosh still capable of being the alpha dog the second time around?
- Can the San Antonio Spurs finally get back-to-back championships?
- Now that Paul George is out, who’ll do the scoring for Indiana Pacers?
You game, NBA junkies? Then dribble down!
(CLICK HERE for Part I of FHM's 2014-2015 NBA Preview: Kobe's Back, Lebron's Big Three 2.0, and the case for D-Rose!)
HOW FAR CAN CHRIS BOSH CARRY THE HEAT?
After handing out a hefty paycheck to Chris Bosh, it’s safe to say that the Miami Heat is entrusting their NBA future to the lanky forward now that LeBron James has returned to Cleveland. Four years removed from being the go-to guy to a glorified second or third option, can the Bostrich lead Miami to title contention (or at least the playoffs) once again?
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We say yes. Bosh has done more than what he gets credit for. He sacrificed his low-block offense, his bread and butter, to fit the styles of James and Dwyane Wade. He has since developed a trusty jumper with a 48.7 percent accuracy from 16 to 23 feet and a sturdy 33.9 percent success rate from the three-point line. If he can rediscover his post-game and mix it with his perimeter game, Erik Spoelstra will not be missing LeBron too much.
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Bosh is also one of the few big guys who can defend in the perimeter without giving his coach a heart attack. But can he rebound? Of course, he can. He’s not a monster like DeAndre Jordan or Dwight Howard, but Bosh, when placed in his natural habitat, can give you a nifty eight to nine rebounds a game.
Here’s the only red flag though: During his seven-year reign in Toronto and before coming to Miami, Bosh only advanced to the playoffs twice and exited the first round on both occasions. So what would be the difference this time? Well, he’s got new teammates and a coach who’s not afraid to tinker with unconventional plays. We believe Miami will finish the season as the third or fourth seed in the East.
WITH PAUL GEORGE OUT, WHO'S GOING TO SCORE FOR INDIANA?
With Paul George still recovering from his gruesome injury and their second-best playmaker last season now chilling in Charlotte, all hands point to Pacers point guard George Hill to carry the scoring responsibilities for Indiana this season. So can a player who only averaged 10 points a game the previous season live up to expectations or will he shrink under the limelight? If his pre-season performance is any indication, it's not too far-fetched to believe in the former: