nba.com wrote:2013-14 NBA Season PreviewSeattle StealthHead Coach: George Karl | 12-13 Record: 59-23 | Projected 13-14 Record: 62-20PLAYERS ADDEDSF Adam Morrison
(Trade)PF Jamaal Garrett
(Draft)SF Peter Carpenter
(Draft)SG Rich Tyler
(Draft)PLAYERS LOSTPF Chris Wilcox
(Free Agent)SG Robin Ross
(Free Agent)SF Trevor Ariza
(Trade)PROJECTED ROTATIONPlayer | 12-13 Stats (PPG, RPG, APG)PG Jason Kidd
| 10.9, 4.6, 7.9SG Reshawn Tyson
| 23.3, 4.7, 4.6SF Kevin Durant
| 27.7, 5.3, 2.7PF David Lee
| 9.7, 6.6, 1.6C Andrew Bogut
| 15.1, 8.1, 4.6
- - -SG Allen Iverson
| 16.3, 0.8, 4.1SF Adam Morrison
| 13.0, 3.4, 1.2PG Aaron Karl
| 5.5, 1.5, 2.0PG Jao Wu
| 4.1, 0.5, 0.9PF Mingyu Li
| 3.7, 1.3, 0.62011-12 TEAM LEADERSPPG Kevin Durant
| 27.7RPG Andrew Bogut
| 8.1APG Jason Kidd
| 7.9SPG Kevin Durant
1.7BPG Andrew Bogut
| 2.1PLAYER TO WATCH
There are so many dominating personalities on this team but the player to watch on this team has to be Allen Iverson. If Iverson plays like he did last season off the bench for Seattle, he could win the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year and that would make him the first player since Bill Walton to have won both MVP and Sixth Man of the Year during a playing career.
It’s more than just the possibility of creating history that makes Iverson so interesting. It will be the fact that he may be the ‘X-factor’ in determining whether the Stealth walk away with the hardware after the NBA Finals. No player will be more prone in tilting team chemistry than AI. The veteran is known for his stubbornness and for speaking his mind when unhappy. It is up to Coach Karl to control Iverson’s emotions on and off the court.
If Iverson can stay on track with the task of being the best teammate he could be; this could be the defining season of his (about to be) 18 year career. This is more important than his 2001 campaign in which he won MVP and went all the way to the NBA Finals. Everyone knew that Iverson had it in him and the team built around him was capable of getting through the weak Eastern Conference. In contrast, no one knows if Iverson is ready to take the backseat for an entire 82 game season and then some. No one knows how he will react to a bad game and a subsequent reduction in minutes. No one knows how he will deal with injuries. No one knows how he will deal with not being the top dog; not even at his own position.
Iverson signed on to play with Seattle because he thought he would start at shooting guard. Someone has come in and convinced him to shift his goals but how long will this last for? If the answer is ‘not long’ then the Stealth might be in big trouble.SEASON OUTLOOK
The Stealth return with essentially the same side that won 59 games last season. They lost a little depth with Wilcox and Ariza leaving but those minutes will be eagerly gobbled up by the starting five and of course, Iverson (see above). The returning Adam Morrison and second year players Jao Wu and Senso Rancati should also prove effective in replacing Ariza and Wilcox’s combined 10 ppg.
The more pressing matters for Seattle are as follows: Jason Kidd as starting point guard; Kevin Durant and Reshawn Tyson; and the overlying defensive struggles of the team.
Jason Kidd made a shock decision to continue with playing basketball. The Stealth had begun to heap point guard duties onto younger guards Aaron Karl and Wu but Kidd’s announcement that he would play at least one more season has curtailed all of that. This is great news for Seattle because Kidd has been instrumental in all of their playoff success. However, one will always wonder whether his body will be able to keep up with the NBA schedule.
Kidd has stated that his shoulder is feeling fine and that he is in great physical condition. Coach George Karl may have to carefully monitor the 40 year old’s minutes but indications have shown that no one expects Kidd to slow down very drastically.
Kevin Durant and Reshawn Tyson were at the centre of controversy at various stages of last season. Tyson looked likely to jump ship and land in Phoenix or Orlando but a last minute bid by Seattle kept the All-Star in Stealth indigo and grey. However, all if not settled as rumor has it that the Nets and Knicks are putting pressure on Seattle to send Tyson home to one of their teams. However, until a trade happens, Tyson still plays for Seattle alongside four time scoring champion Durant.
The pair’s relationship is vital to keeping the Stealth as a contending team. Durant found out he couldn’t do it alone in the Western Conference Finals this year and it will be interesting to see whether he will change the way he plays to lead this team.
Seattle will need to fix their defensive woes. They tried to address these needs through the NBA draft, which was a very weak effort. Andrew Bogut and David Lee are not getting it done in the post on the defensive end and are often outrebounded on the glass. Coach Karl will need to think of a way to motivate his team to knuckle down on defense – something coach Will Sit was never able to do.
On a final note, the coaching switch from Coach of the Year Will Sit back to Coach Karl will be yet another exciting storyline to keep track of this season.
Seattle could win 62-65 games this season. They are in great shape to tackle any Western Conference rivals come the postseason. On paper, they still have the best team in the league but after so many seasons, hope is running out that this collection of talent will ever make the NBA Finals.