Commissioner David Stern dropped the bomb on us yesterday. Games are going to be missed in the upcoming NBA season.
I know they only announced the cancellation of the first two weeks, but if you think this is not just the first of at least a couple cancellations, you're just kidding yourself. Either way it does not leave a good taste int he mouths of hoops fans everywhere.
With this announcement, let's take a look around the league and see who may be hit the most by an extended lockout and how it can effect the shape of the league going forward.
Here's a list of the top five teams that will be effected most by this stand off between players and owners. Let me know what you think.
Let's assume there is a season at some point this year. If there is than I would venture to guess it would be similar to the NFL’s situation earlier this year with shortened training camps and less team activities before the season starts.
In that situation, the Knicks are knee-deep in their worst case scenario.
By bringing in Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups last year to team up with Amar'e Stoudemire they gave a giant boost to their talent level, but threw all chemistry and team unity out the window. The goal was to do the best they could last season and then grow together as a team this year by going through a full training camp and jumping into a full season together.
A lockout hits them hardest, by shortening any training camp they will have. This is a team that struggled after the trade last year because the stars just were not comfortable playing with each other. What they need more than anything is time to gel, and that is exactly what the lockout takes away from them.
Whenever the season does start it is easy to see this team struggling out the gates and using the season as a evolving template on how this cast of stars can come together rot form a competitive team to compete in the Eastern Conference.
The Orlando Magic are in a bad spot with or without the lockout, but the lockout sure isn’t helping things for them. The biggest concern not jut for the team, but for the community as a whole is whether or not they are able to keep All-World center Dwight Howard in town.
Being able to keep Dwight in Orlando and not letting him “pull a Shaq” and go to a bigger market will depend on the team being able to be competitive this season.
By the looks of last season, the Magic are a long way of being good enough to keep Dwight in town if they are not able to make some moves to their roster. Their team is limited at many positions on the floor and that was evident in their first round exit against the Hawks last season.
Their team is full of overpaid and overrated players, not a good mix. No team needs to make moves more than the Magic, but that will have to wait.
The Bulls are in a similar situation as the Magic are. They are salary cap strapped because of moves they have already made, yet they still are in need of something to get them over the hump.
They are most interested in finding out what the cap situation is coming out of this new deal whenever it happens.They have areas to address like a wing scorer and being able to motivate/utilize big money free agent from a year Carlos Boozer.
Also, keep in mind that their money situation is made even worse by the fact that Derrick Rose will need to be given a new contract sooner than later. How the financial details end up in this labor deal will play a huge role in how the Bulls can look going forward.
The Lakers roster is full of high risk action going on right now during the lockout. Currently they have their star forward Pau Gasol over in Spain playing right now for his country’s team. Their fear became a reality last month he had a minor ankle sprain last week that caused him to miss time.
Though this specific injury was nothing serious or to worry about, it highlighted the risk that comes along with playing overseas.
The biggest loss for the Lakers is something that has not happened yet. In the news there has been rumblings that Kobe Bryant is considering going over to Italy to play during the lockout. This move would make every front office member, teammate, and fan ready to vomit.
The last thing the team needs is their aging superstar to be adding miles on his odometer while not wearing a Lakers uniform. It would be a disaster from both a public relations and on court stand point for him to suit up in anything but Laker gold.
Lastly for the Lake Show, the more free time Ron Artest, oops I mean Metta World Peace, has on his hands the more the Lakers have to worry about. The last thing this guy needs is the freedom of a postponed season.
Perhaps the team with the most to lose with the lockout is the Miami heat for a couple of reasons.
First off the Heat are the team with the most to lose in every game, series and season . With that said, everyone knows the Heat are playing for more than just bulky, obnoxious championship rings, they are playing for legacies.
If they were to win a championship in a season in which there was a shortened season it would not be viewed as a totally legitimate achievement and would leave an unsatisfied feeling with the public.
Don’t believe me? Well consider the last work stoppage the NBA had that shorted the 1998-98 season. The Spurs went on to win that championship that season, but many analysts and fans to this day consider that team to have an asterisk next to their name in the record books.
That is not something this team needs or wants to hear.
Also, the lockout has put a stop to any teams being able to add any pieces to their puzzle. This is a cause for concern for the Heat because there are some legitimate weakness areas that they need to address.
This may not seem like the biggest issue considering everyone in the league is in the same boat on this, but it is a cause for concern until the Heat are actually able to fill these roles.