Photo: Rafael Henrique/Getty Images

12-30-21  

1. The Lakers added a bunch of one dimensional players

Notes: This observation remained as the story for LA throughout the entire season. Thankfully for the Lakers, replacing the veterans from last year with younger players like Lonnie Walker, Thomas Bryant, Juan Toscano-Anderson, Damian Jones, and Troy Brown/adding Patrick Beverley should make them feel better about 2022-23. Kendrick Nunn coming back healthy is also a plus, but the Lakers certainly have a lot to prove after last year’s debacle.

2. It’s hard to understand why the Pistons gave up on Sekou Doumbouya when you look at their current roster

Notes: I still think Sekou deserves another chance in the NBA, but Pistons GM Troy Weaver has definitely made up for this move with the draft selections of Jaden Ivey & Jalen Duren/adding Alec Burks, Nerlens Noel, & Kemba Walker (if they keep him)/re-signing Marvin Bagley. Bringing in two lottery picks, Burks, Noel, & Walker/getting Bagley back gives Detroit a way deeper rotation than last year when it was obvious that Sekou could be developing during all the losses. 

3. It might be time for the Suns to start Cam Johnson over Jae Crowder

Notes: As I said back in late December, Johnson is a better shooter and has more length than Crowder. Jae shot an horrendous 30.2% from three point range during the 2022 playoffs while Cam is coming off a regular season where he put up a 42.5% three point percentage (4th best in the NBA). Will Monty Williams finally make the move?

4. Hawks need to bring in defensive minded guys around Trae Young for the future, players aren’t consistent enough on offense to keep up poor defense

Notes: Adding an All Star in Dejounte Murray will help take the pressure off Trae Young on both ends. I don’t think adding just Murray solves all of Atlanta’s problems defensively, but it’s a nice start to improving on the perimeter next to De’Andre Hunter along with the already trusted paint presence of Clint Capela, John Collins (at times), and Onyeka Okongwu. 

5. Charlotte’s offense could make them a scary play-in/playoff team if they keep games close until the 4th quarter

Notes: This was my most disappointing observation all season. Charlotte knew they had the offense to make a run, but never put defense first, which resulted in getting blown out during the play-in tournament (back-to-back years). The last two years have now made me feel hopeless about the Hornets going forward, especially if Gordon Hayward isn’t going to be fully healthy each season.