Before NBA teams actually begin training camps for the 2013-2014 season, each one has to step up in front of the cameras, microphones and fans on media day. Only after the necessary posing and formalities can they actually begin with their preseason preparations.
Projected starting five: Jeff Teague, Lou Williams, Kyle Korver, Paul Millsap, Al Horford.
The Hawks finished with a 44-38 record last season, once again getting knocked out in the first round of the playoffs, this time by the Indiana Pacers. Should be gunning for one of the 6-7-8 spots once again.
Projected starting five: Rajon Rondo, Avery Bradley, Jeff Green, Brandon Bass, Kris Humphries.
The Celtics managed to make it into the playoffs last season with a 41-40 record; they lost to the Knicks in the first round. They’re going to be one of the worst teams in the NBA in the riggin for Wiggins season.
Projected starting five: Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Brook Lopez.
The Nets finished with a 49-33 record last season, but despite home court advantage lost in the first round to the Chicago Bulls. The Nets are aiming high this season, but anything beyond a conference semifinal will be a big surprise.
Projected starting five: Kemba Walker, Gerlad Henderson, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Cody Zeller, Al Jefferson.
The Bobcats improved to a 21-61 record last season, second-worst in the East. They’re only looking to improve a bit on that, with 30 wins being a huge success.
Projected starting five: Derrick Rose, Jimmy Butler, Luol Deng, Carlos Boozer, Joakim Noah.
The Bulls finished with a 45-37 record last season, making it to the conference semifinals. This season, with Rose back, they’re thinking about titles, but it’ll be surprising to see them making it to the conference finals if they have to go through the Heat or the Pacers.
Projected starting five: Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters, Earl Clark, Tristan Thompson, Andrew Bynum.
The Cavs finished with a 24-58 record last season. They’re hoping to be good enough for the playoffs this time, but don’t be surprised to see them finishing just outside the top 8.
Projected starting five: Jose Calderon, Monta Ellis, Shawn Marion, Dirk Nowitzki, Samuel Dalembert.
Finished with a 41-41 record, missing out on the postseason. Should be back in the top 8 this year, but the West is incredibly crowded. In any case, won’t manage to reach further than the first round.
Projected starting five: Ty Lawson, Evan Fournier, Danilo Gallinari, Kenneth Faried, JaVale McGee.
Finished with a 57-25 record last season, but were knocked out in the first round of the postseason. Might be slightly weaker this year, which means they won’t go further than last season.
Projected starting five: Brandon Jennings, Chauncey Billups, Josh Smith, Greg Monroe, Andre Drummond.
Finished with a 29-53 record last season, but should be good enough to pierce through into the top 8 this season, but not go further than the first round.
Golden State Warriors
Projected starting five: Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala, David Lee, Andrew Bogut.
The Warriors finished with a 47-35 record last season, making it to the conference semifinal. They look slightly better this season, but the conference semifinal shall remain their ceiling most likely.
Projected starting five: Jeremy Lin, James Harden, Chandler Parsons, Donatas Motiejunas, Dwight Howard
The Rockets finished with a 45-37 record last season – enough for the first round, nothing more. This season they’ll be going a bit further, but the conference finals look like the most they can get to.
Projected starting five: George Hill, Paul George, Danny Granger, David West, Roy Hibbert
The Pacers finished with a 49-32 record last season, making it to the 7th game of the conference finals. Should do just as well, and possibly even better this season as well.
Los Angeles Clippers
Projected starting five: Chris Paul, J.J. Redick, Jared Dudley, Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan
The Clippers finished with a 56-26 record last season, getting knocked out of the first round despite having home court advantage. They should do better this season, but probably not more than the semifinals.
Los Angeles Lakers
Projected starting five: Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant, Nick Young, Pau Gasol, Chris Kaman
The Lakers squeaked into the playoffs with a 45-37 record, only to get swept in the first round of the playoffs. This season, they won’t even make the playoffs.
Projected starting five: Mike Conley, Tony Allen, Tayshaun Prince, Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol
The Grizzlies finished with a 56-26 record, making it all the way to the conference finals before getting swept by the Spurs. They won’t make it so far this time, although they will be in the playoffs.
Projected starting five: Mario Chalmers, Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Udonis Haslem, Chris Bosh
The Heat finished with the NBA’s best record at 66-16, going all the way to the NBA finals and winning a second consecutive title. Odds are they’ll be in the same position – four wins away from a title, in 8 months once again.
Projected starting five: Luke Ridnour, O.J. Mayo, Caron Butler, Ersan Ilyasova, Larry Sanders
Finished 8th in the East with the 38-44 record, the only .500 team in the postseason. They got swept in the first round by the Heat, and won’t get that far this season.
Projected starting five: Ricky Rubio, Kevin Martin, Chase Budinger, Kevin Love, Nikola Pekovic
The Timberwolves finished with a 31-51 record. They might be a lot closer to the playoffs this season, but it’s not going to be surprising to see them looking at the top 8 from the outside.
New Orleans Pelicans
Projected starting five: Jrue Holiday, Eric Gordon, Tyreke Evans, Anthony Davis, Jason Smith
Finished with a 27-55 record, missing the playoffs. They should be a lot closer this time, but probably not enough to finish in the top 8.
New York Knicks
Projected starting five: Raymond Felton, Iman Shumpert, Carmelo Anthony, Andrea Bargnani, Tyson Chandler
Finished with a 54-28 record, making the conference semifinals. They won’t get any further than that this time as well.
Oklahoma City Thunder
Projected starting five: Russell Westbrook, Thabo Sefolosha, Kevin Durant, Serge Ibaka, Kendrick Perkins
Finished with a 60-22 record, but fell in the conference semifinals after five game to the Memphis Grizzlies. Even a healthy Russell Westbrook won’t get them further this season if they don’t have a third scoring option.
Projected starting five: Jameer Nelson, Arron Afflalo, Tobias Harris, Glen Davis, Nikola Vucevic
The Magic finished with the NBA’s worst record last season, 20-62; It won’t be much better this year.
Projected starting five: Michael Carter-Williams, Evan Turner, Thaddeus Young, Lavoy Allen, Spencer Hawes
Finished with a 34-48 record last season; they won’t be anywhere near that in 8 months, probably aiming to be the worst team in the NBA.
Projected starting five: Goran Dragic, Eric Bledsoe, Geral Green, Marcus Morris, Marcin Gortat
Finished with a 25-57 record last season, the worst in the Western conference. Should do pretty much the same this year, looking to trade Gortat at some point and continue the rebuild.
Portland Trail Blazers
Projected starting five: Damian Lillard, Wesley Matthews, Nicolas Batum, LaMarcus Aldridge, Robin Lopez
The Blazers collapsed at the end of last season, finishing with a 33-49 record. They are good enough to make the postseason this time after making significant improvements in free agency and the draft.
Projected starting five: Greivis Vasquez, Ben McLemore, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Jason Thompson, DeMarcus Cousins
Finished with a 28-54 record last season. Will probably do slightly better this year, but not by much, and won’t reach the playoffs.
San Antonio Spurs
Projected starting five: Tony Parker, Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, Tim Duncan, Tiago Splitter
Finished with a 58-24 record last season, making it all the way to the 7th game of the NBA finals. Have a good shot at the conference finals once again, but it mostly depends on how good Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili will be.
Projected starting five: Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, Rudy Gay, Amir Johnson, Jonas Valanciunas
Finished at 34-48 last season. This year will be more of the same, but the Raptors are still going to miss out on the playoffs.
Projected starting five: Trey Burke, Alec Burks, Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors, Enes Kanter
Weren’t far from making the playoffs with their 43-39 record, but things will be tougher this season, and the Jazz will fall by 5 to 10 wins.
Projected starting five: John Wall, Bradley Beal, Otto Porter Jr., Nene, Emeka Okafor
Finished with a 29-53 record last season, but if John Wall is healthy for the entire season, the Wizard should find themselves in the playoffs.