Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don’t Lie is ranking positions 1 to 30, starting with point guards. According to Dwyer, every team in the league has a point guard better than Bibby and Teague. Dwyer believes six teams have two better points: the Rockets (Kyle Lowry and Aaron Brooks), Raptors (Jose Calderon and Jarrett Jack), 76ers (Jrue Holiday and Lou Williams), Cavs (Ramon Sessions and Mo Williams), Nuggets (Ty Lawson and Chauncey Billups) and Spurs (Tony Parker and George Hill).
Dwyer’s list should bring one of Atlanta’s main dilemmas into focus. The Hawks’ so-far fruitless quest for an impact big man has crowded out most other conversation surrounding the team, though I’ve tried to sound the bell at times about point guard/perimeter D being larger concerns. If Teague can’t take control the way the Hawks hope and play major minutes as an offensive spark/defensive deterrent, then center could be the least of Atlanta’s problems.
Perhaps L.D.’s “interchangeable parts” offense will mitigate the need for a playmaking point guard who can help the Hawks fight the temptation to fall back into Iso-Joe. But I don’t have to tell my blog people that the other half of the equation, perimeter D, isn’t easily solved by scheming around Bibby and JC.
– Miami’s point guards also didn’t make Dwyer’s list, and neither did those for the Lakers, Bobcats and Kings. I’m guessing the Heat’s concern with the position is somewhat mitigated by the fact that they have the East’s three best offensive players and two of them, LeBron and D. Wade, are pick-and-roll demons and defensive dynamos.
Caron Butler certainly isn’t concerned about Miami’s potential holes (which also include center, by the way, unless that Big Z/Joel Anthony/Jamaal Magliore rotation gets you going). Butler joined Jeff Van Gundy in predicting the Heat will challenge the NBA record of 72 victories. If you think Van Gundy is a blowhard and Butler is just repping the franchise that drafted him, The Sporting News polled seven former NBA coaches and all but one predicted at least 60 Ws for Miami.
– Magic Basketball took a look at Orlando’s 4-out/1-in offense and figured the best way to show its effectiveness is to play a few clips of the Hawks haplessly trying to defend it in the playoffs. Worth checking out the comments on that post to see what Magic fans think is the best approach to slowing their squad.
– The Cavs are among the teams who have announced they will wear new uniforms for 2010-11. The Hawks won’t change their unis as far as color scheme or design but the league is tweaking some of the trimmings and materials as seen in Jordan Crawford’s rookie portrait. (H/T to Super Commenter I Heart Atlanta)