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News » NBA Q&A



Which of the elite teams in the league is under the most pressure to win it all this season?

That would be Boston. The Lakers just won and have the pressure oftrying to defend their title, but with all of their core players in their prime and under contract for at least the next two seasons, they have time on their side. Cleveland's management may desperately feel the need to win now after bringing in Shaquille O'Neal and his $20 million contract and because a title could greatly decrease LeBron James' chances of departing via free agency. James wants to win, but hestill has time. O'Neal wants to win, but he has four rings already. The Celtics are entering a season that could be the last for Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett together. All three are over the ageof 32, Allen will be a free agent this summer and Pierce could opt out of the final year of his deal. With the addition of Rasheed Wallace, the Celtics could be looking at their best opportunity to win another title.

Which free agent will have the biggest impact on his team: Ron Artest, Shaquille O'Neal, Vince Carter or Rasheed Wallace?

Wallace, with his length, range and versatility, will go a long way toward ensuring that the Celtics' big men - mainly Kevin Garnett - don't wear down under a heavy workload. Carter gives Orlando a potentscorer and should keep opponents from being able to load up on Dwight Howard and Rashard Lewis. O'Neal will give Cleveland the intimidating presence in the paint that it has lacked, but at the same time he could slow down the Cavaliers offensively. But the addition of Artestto the Lakers' roster means Kobe Bryant, who already has a potent supporting cast in Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom and Andrew Bynum, now has his Pippen and Rodman rolled into one so he can make a Jordan-esque run. Artest gives the Lakers a versatile scorer (16.1 career ppg) and a pit bull on defense. His contributions will ensure that Bryant remains fresh for another lengthy postseason run.

What team will make the biggest improvement this season?

The Wizards .. if they can stay healthy With Gilbert Arenas and Brendan Haywood back on the floor, Washington will go from being a 19-win team to a mid- to lower-seed playoff team. With Flip Saunders at the helm, Wizards management believes the team can contend with the likes of Boston, Cleveland and Orlando. The Wizards could start the season slowly now that Antawn Jamison (shoulder) is sidelined for the first three to five weeks. Another hurdle could be the team developing chemistry with Arenas and Haywood back and the additions of Mike Miller, Randy Foye and Fabricio Oberto. But if Jamison's injury doesn't linger and the Wizards can get rolling soon after, they should be fine.

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Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: October 28, 2009


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