The 2010 NBA Preview Extravaganza continues with a look at the East’s Southeast Division.
There’s one story and one story alone that bears watching in the Southeast: will this be the year that hyper-talented Charlotte Bobcats forward Tyrus Thomas finally puts it all together for all 82 games? Now 24 years old and entering his fifth NBA season, this will be Thomas’ first full season with Larry Brown’s ‘Cats, and despite signing a five-year, $40 million deal, it looks like he’ll start the year on the bench. Talent is not an issue, never has been: it’s what’s between his ears that’s held him back so far. I’m not ready to say it’s now or never for Thomas, but it’s getting damn close.
Oh, right… there’s also the matter of whether or not the Orlando Magic are still legitimate title contenders–we at least know for sure they’re still going to be a boring team—while the Washington Wizards look to the future with first-overall pick John Wall now running the show and young FCs Andray Blatche and JaVale McGee pegged for the most significant roles of their careers. Unfortunately, there’s also this Gilbert Arenas matter: the (washed-up?) knucklehead will collect a guaranteed $17.7 million this season, $19.2 million next, $20.8 in 12-13, and finally $22.3 in 13-14. Christ. Now 28 years old, Arenas has played in a combined 47 regular-season games over the past three seasons, and is already suffering from a sore ankle. The Atlanta Hawks have been on the cusp for a minute now… and from my view, their time to get over the hump is kind of sort of starting to slip away.
The Miami Heat made a few key offseason moves as well, but unfortunately one of them wasn’t getting rid of American Airlines’ public dress announcer and his grating “dos minutos!” call.
Hawks: Peachtree Hoops