Every NBA Team's Biggest Question with Season on Hold

Greg Swartz@@CavsGregBRCleveland Cavaliers Lead WriterMarch 15, 2020

Every NBA Team's Biggest Question with Season on Hold

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    With the NBA on pause because of the coronavirus, every team has time to reflect on its biggest issue before the season officially resumes.

    This could be anything, from questions surrounding individual players to team statistics to looking ahead to the draft and free agency this summer.

    With roughly 20 percent of the regular season potentially left to be played, these are the biggest questions every team should be reflecting on before play continues.

Atlanta Hawks: Has Cam Reddish Figured Things Out?

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    With Trae Young and John Collins establishing themselves as stars, the Hawks should now be concerned with the ceilings of Kevin Huerter, De'Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish.

    Of the three, Reddish looked the most lost to begin the season, exhibiting many of the same negative characteristics that had teams worried headed into the draft. After 35 games, he was one of the least efficient players in the NBA, shooting 32.2 percent overall and 25.6 percent from three. His athleticism wasn't translating to production.

    After primarily moving Reddish into a reserve role, however, the 20-year-old forward is thriving. Over his past 21 games, he is averaging 15.9 points, 3.6 rebounds, 1.3 steals and slashing at .489/.403/.833.

    While it's a small sample size, the Hawks should be encouraged he's beginning to flash the All-Star potential that made him a lottery pick last June.

Boston Celtics: Is There Enough Ball Movement in the Offense?

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    The Celtics already clinched a playoff spot in the East at 43-21 overall, with Jayson Tatum, Kemba Walker and Jaylen Brown all scoring over 20 points per game.

    While Boston has posted the league's fifth-highest offense (112.2 rating), its ball movement has remained among the NBA's worst.

    The Celtics are just 25th in assist percentage (55.4 percent), a number that's fallen to 29th after the All-Star break. As good as Tatum and Walker are, the ball can often get stuck when they have it.

    This is a stark contrast from a typical Brad Stevens-coached team, as the Celtics ranked fifth overall in assists per game just a season ago.

Brooklyn Nets: Who's Coaching the Team Next Year?

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    With Kenny Atkinson out and Jacque Vaughn handling duties for now, this is a franchise in need of a strong head coaching hire this offseason.

    Someone with previous head coaching experience seems likely, especially on a team with Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and DeAndre Jordan. Someone who can develop talent is also important, as Caris LeVert, Spencer Dinwiddie, Jarrett Allen and Taurean Prince are all still a few years away from hitting their primes.

    Tyronn Lue makes sense given his previous relationship with Irving, championship rings as both a player and coach and his ability to successfully coach a superstar.

    Mark Jackson, Tom Thibodeau and Jason Kidd could all get interviews as well, given their previous head coaching experience and time spent around stars.

Charlotte Hornets: Can Terry Rozier and Devonte' Graham Co-Exist?

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    Charlotte has been predictably bad this season, and its starting backcourt doesn't appear to be sustainable.

    Terry Rozier was given a three-year, $58 million contract to be the team's starting point guard and face of the franchise, but it is second-year guard Devonte' Graham who has become the go-to guy in Charlotte.

    Graham quickly burst into the starting lineup after proving to be the better floor general, bumping Rozier over to shooting guard. Unfortunately, this gives the Hornets two starting guards who stand just 6'1", and both weigh under 200 pounds. While the pair can keep up offensively on most nights, neither has the size to defend most NBA shooting guards.

    The pair carries a net rating of minus-6.0 overall this season, with a defensive rating of 112.2. While Graham is the better distributor (7.5 assists, eighth-best in the NBA), Rozier has been the more efficient shooter, especially from deep (40.7 percent).

    To be able to add some size and defense to the starting lineup, the Hornets may have to choose between the two.

Chicago Bulls: Is Coby White Ready for Starting Point Guard Duties?

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    Going No. 7 overall in the 2019 draft, Coby White was drafted to eventually become the Bulls' franchise point guard. Starting the season behind Tomas Satoransky and Kris Dunn, is White finally ready?

    Over his last 11 games, the 20-year-old from UNC is averaging 23.7 points, 3.9 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 1.1 steals and slashing .456/.398/.905 while finally breaking into the starting lineup.

    There's a lot more to work on, of course. White often looks to shoot first, shoot second and pass third, a trait that won't bode well long term alongside Zach LaVine. He'll need to become more of a distributor while also improving his shot selection, especially as a member of the starting lineup with increased talent around him.

    With the Bulls season circling the drain at 22-43, it's safe to keep White as the team's starting point guard full time, no matter the outcome.

Cleveland Cavaliers: Is Andre Drummond a Long-Term Fit?

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    While the trade for Andre Drummond seemed like an odd decision for the Cavaliers at the time, the move has since been working out pretty well for all involved.

    The Cavs are 6-6 since trading for Drummond after beginning the season 13-39, and the NBA's leading rebounder is averaging 17.5 points, 11.1 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 1.4 blocks while shooting 55.2 percent overall in Cleveland.

    Even though his presence has brought some star power to a rebuilding Cavs team, his $28.8 million player option (should he pick it up) could become a valuable trade piece this summer or next season.

    With teams looking to clear as much cap space as possible before 2021, Drummond's massive expiring deal should draw significant interest from clubs looking to offload long-term salary, something the Cavs may be willing to take on if draft picks or young talent is attached.

    Cleveland also has to weigh the cost of what an extension to both Drummond and Tristan Thompson would be worth, as the Cavs will likely have to choose between the two this summer.

Dallas Mavericks: Is the League's Best Offense Sustainable?

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    The Mavericks are a well-oiled machine on offense, sporting an NBA-best 116.7 rating led by point guard Luka Doncic.

    Still, there are plenty of talented offenses in the league, so can Dallas really sustain this high level of play?

    A healthy dose of three-pointers has been key, as 39.5 percent of the offense comes from outside the arc, the highest total in the league. Dallas does a great job of surrounding Doncic with shooters, from Kristaps Porzingis to Tim Hardaway Jr. to Seth Curry.

    Doncic himself is a tactician, able to command the pick-and-roll or work in isolation with a bag full of tricks at his disposal.

    As long as he's on a spaced-out floor, the Mavs will continue to be an offensive powerhouse.

Denver Nuggets: Is It Time to Unleash Michael Porter Jr.?

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    Rookie Michael Porter Jr. is averaging 19.2 points, 10.7 rebounds, 1.1 steals and 1.0 blocks while shooting 42.2 percent per 36 minutes this season, yet he still struggles to get meaningful playing time off the Nuggets bench.

    "He's got to stay with us. The reality is this, we were a 54-win team last year and we're a team that has high aspirations this year. And yes, we want to develop Michael Porter, but we also have to find a way to win. ... And so Mike's just gotta stay engaged and stay ready. And I have no doubt he will," Nuggets head coach Michael Malone said, per The Athletic's Kendra Andrews.

    While Porter has seen his playing time cut for veterans and for defense at times, he remains a huge part of the Nuggets future.

    Even though Denver sits third in the West at 43-22, there needs to be more emphasis on Porter's development, even if it comes at the cost of winning.

    Nikola Jokic is 25, Jamal Murray is 23, and both are under contract for the next four to five years. The window for Denver to win isn't in danger of closing any time soon.

    The Nuggets also have to be prepared for both Paul Millsap and Jerami Grant to hit free agency this summer, with Porter likely taking over the starting power forward job. Developing him more now is a must.

Detroit Pistons: Can Blake Griffin Be Traded?

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    Detroit has already offloaded one high-priced big man in Andre Drummond. Doing so with Griffin will prove far more difficult.

    Drummond, 26, is leading the NBA in rebounding, has avoided major injuries and could still be a year or two shy of his prime. Still, the only thing the Pistons could get in return were expiring contracts and a 2023 second-round pick.

    Good luck trading Griffin. While the 31-year-old has the higher ceiling, his 2019-20 season lasted just 18 games before knee surgery was needed. Over the past six seasons, he has played more than 67 games just once.

    There's also the contract. Griffin is due $36.8 million next season with a $38.9 million player option the year after that he'll almost certainly pick up. That's a hefty amount for a healthy All-Star, much less someone coming off surgery on the backside of his career.

    Moving Griffin may mean giving up a draft pick and/or taking some bad money back in the process.

Golden State Warriors: How Much Should Stephen Curry Really Be Playing?

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    Stephen Curry recently returned after missing 58 games with a broken hand. Even if he's available, how much should the Warriors use him when the season resumes?

    Golden State is the worst team in the NBA at 15-50, the only franchise to officially be eliminated from the playoffs thus far.

    Reinforcements are coming, however. Klay Thompson will be returning from a torn ACL this fall, and joining him could be the No. 1 overall pick in the draft.

    With the Warriors going nowhere this year, how much should the 32-year-old Curry be playing, especially coming off a major injury?

Houston Rockets: Is James Harden out of Juice?

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    After the first 35 games, Harden was having one of the best offensive seasons in NBA History.

    On Jan. 8, the 2018 MVP was averaging a whopping 38.5 points to go along with 6.1 rebounds and 7.6 assists while shooting 45.5 percent overall and 37.6 percent from three. He had already dropped 50 points or more five times, even hitting 60 against the Atlanta Hawks on Nov. 30.

    It's fair to say that wasn't sustainable.

    Since that date, Harden's averages have dipped to 28.8 points on 40.2 percent shooting overall and 30.9 percent from deep. While still an impressive scoring average, it's nearly 10 points per game lower than what he'd been averaging, now with terrible efficiency.

    While we've seen Harden seemingly run out of gas in the playoffs before, he's now been in decline since early January. This break may be a blessing in disguise for Houston's title chances.

Indiana Pacers: Is Victor Oladipo Still a No. 1 Option?

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    Following a bumpy start to the season, the Indiana Pacers were fighting for a top-four seed in the Eastern Conference, even without Victor Oladipo.

    Upon his return, the 27-year-old guard actually hurt the Pacers with his play, as Indiana lost six out of seven games. While the Pacers boast a tremendous supporting cast with All-Star Domantas Sabonis, Malcolm Brogdon, Myles Turner and TJ Warren, they still likely need an alpha to win a playoff series.

    Oladipo has proven capable in the past, but being out a year with a ruptured quad could have changed that.

    The good news? Indiana has gone 8-3 since taking that stumble, with Oladipo averaging 18.6 points, 4.8 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.4 steals while slashing .471/.400/.792 in his last five games.

    It's too early to tell if he can return to his previous All-Star form, but recent results should provide optimism.

Los Angeles Clippers: Who Finishes Games?

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    The Clippers seem to have settled on a starting lineup of Patrick Beverley, Paul George, Kawhi Leoanrd, Marcus Morris and Ivica Zubac, but it's who's on the court at the end of a close game that truly matters.

    With Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell both averaging over 18.5 points per game off the bench, the Clippers don't necessarily start their five best players.

    The current starting five has been tremendous together, putting up a net rating of plus-19.4 in 124 total minutes together. Swapping out Zubac and Morris for Williams and Harrell has also been quite good, coming in at plus-14.0 in just 56 minutes together.

    While it may come down to individual matchups in the playoffs, the Clippers need to start committing to a closing lineup now in order to get some extra experience together before postseason play begins.

Los Angeles Lakers: Can the Playoffs Just Start Already?

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    For the Lakers, the best possible outcome from the NBA being on hold would be to skip the rest of the regular season and begin the playoffs as soon as possible.

    L.A. has all but wrapped up the No. 1 seed in the West with a 5.5-game lead over the Los Angeles Clippers. The Lakers have the best record in the NBA since the All-Star break (8-2), securing statement wins over the Milwaukee Bucks and Clippers.

    LeBron James is somehow getting better as the season has gone along, putting up 30.2 points, 8.6 rebounds and 9.9 assists while shooting 54.6 percent over his last 10 games while stepping up to guard players like Giannis Antetokounmpo and Kawhi Leonard.

    The only thing left for the Lakers to accomplish with more regular-season time is an MVP push for James and trying to catch the 53-12 Bucks for potential home-court advantage in the NBA Finals.

    While both are tempting, the thought of getting the 35-year-old James to the postseason as soon as possible should be priority No. 1.

Memphis Grizzlies: Can Grizz Hold off Other West Playoff Hopefuls?

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    If the NBA were to cancel the rest of the regular season and begin the playoffs immediately upon return, there would be no team happier than the Grizzlies.

    Holding strong to the No. 8 seed in the West, Memphis is only four games or fewer above the New Orleans Pelicans, Portland Trail Blazers, San Antonio Spurs and Sacramento Kings.

    The good news for the Grizzlies? Jaren Jackson Jr. and Brandon Clarke should both be fully healthy by the time the season resumes, and newly acquired forward Justise Winslow was nearly ready to make his Memphis debut.

    Even if they were to eventually be swept by the Los Angeles Lakers, getting that playoff taste while led by a rookie in Ja Morant would be tremendous experience in what's become a faster-than-expected rebuild.

Miami Heat: Was Trading for Andre Iguodala a Mistake?

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    Andre Iguodala is off to a rough start in South Beach.

    While Miami didn't make the deal for his offensive production, the now-36-year-old is chipping in just 4.4 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.0 assists in his 18.5 minutes off the bench.

    Again, the scoring wouldn't be a big deal if Iguodala were making a contribution in other ways. After all, the Heat had to give up 23-year-old Justise Winslow on a good contract in the deal, a former franchise piece who was about to make his Memphis Grizzlies debut before the season was suspended.

    In his 14 games with the Heat, Miami has gone just 7-7 overall, falling to fourth in the East. The Heat are 5.5 points per 100 possessions better with Iguodala on the bench, the worst mark of his career and first negative overall rating since the 2007-08 season with the Philadelphia 76ers.

    While his presence will become more valuable in the playoffs, Miami has to hope it was worth giving up Winslow for.

Milwaukee Bucks: Will Eric Bledsoe Show Up in the Playoffs?

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    At his best, Eric Bledsoe is one of the NBA's most underrated point guards, a two-way force that can impact the game in all areas.

    At his worst, well, just go back and watch the past two postseasons.

    Bledsoe is enjoying yet another strong regular season with 15.4 points, 4.6 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 0.9 steals and a slash line of .482/.348/.813. He's a very good on-ball defender, using a combination of quickness and muscle to keep opponents in front of him and out of the paint.

    As good as Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton are, they'll finally need some strong postseason play from Bledsoe for Milwaukee to win a title.

    With averages of 13.6 points and 4.1 assists on 42.0 percent shooting overall and 25.5 percent from three in the last two playoffs, Bledsoe needs to exorcise his playoff demons in the Bucks' latest run toward a championship.

Minnesota Timberwolves: Is the Roster Overhaul Done Yet?

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    In less than a year, the Timberwolves have turned over 86.7 percent of the roster, with only Karl-Anthony Towns and Josh Okogie remaining from last season.

    That's an incredible transformation by new team president Gersson Rosas, as he was able to dump Andrew Wiggins and pick up D'Angelo Russell, Malik Beasley and Juan Hernangomez at the trade deadline.

    With so much turnover, it's time for some stability.

    Beasley should be brought back as a restricted free agent, and both Russell and Towns are under contract for at least the next three years.

    Another high first-round pick is coming, and Minnesota should look to add a few veteran pieces in free agency around its young nucleus. After that, doing less may be more.

New Orleans Pelicans: Manage Zion's Minutes or Push for Playoffs?

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    After missing the first 44 games of the season, Zion Williamson has played in 19 of the Pelicans' last 20 contests, including a back-to-back. Over his last 10 games, New Orleans has bumped his playing time to 32.2 minutes a night.

    That's a lot of immediate wear and tear for someone coming off two major knee injuries in two years.

    If the Pelicans weren't still fighting for the playoffs, the team would likely be far more cautious with the 2019 No. 1 overall pick.

    Instead, New Orleans is just 3.5 games behind the Memphis Grizzlies with 18 contests left, meaning the postseason is still very much a possibility. In addition to scoring 23.6 points a night, Williamson is improving the Pelicans by 13.6 points per 100 possessions, the highest mark of anyone on the team.

    If Williamson should suffer any sort of a setback with his knees, the Pelicans seriously need to consider the risk of pushing him now vs. worrying about the future.

New York Knicks: Who Really Has a Future Here?

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    Of all the young "talent" on the Knicks right now, who has proved worthy of surviving the rebuild?

    RJ Barrett has, as his post All-Star break numbers (17.2 points on 45.2 percent shooting, 4.5 rebounds, 3.1 assists) have been encouraging. Mitchell Robinson is a lock at center, and Julius Randle is probably safe to survive the summer at least.

    Of the rest, Dennis Smith Jr. has been a major disappointment all season, and taking Kevin Knox over Michael Porter Jr. and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander at No. 9 overall in the 2018 draft has been a disaster.

    Frank Ntilikina has shot the ball better as of late (40.0 percent from three after the All-Star break) but still has a long way to go to become a starting-caliber point guard in the NBA with his ball-handling and overall offensive game.

Oklahoma City Thunder: Can Clutch Play Continue in Playoffs?

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    The Oklahoma City Thunder shouldn't be this good.

    A net rating of plus-2.5 usually yields a bottom-level playoff team, not one that has climbed all the way to fifth in the top-heavy Western Conference. The Dallas Mavericks (plus-5.8 net rating) and Houston Rockets (plus-3.4) have higher ratings yet trail the Thunder in the standings.

    The main reason? OKC's tremendous play in clutch time (last five minutes of a game with the score within five points), led by future Hall of Famer Chris Paul.

    The Thunder are first in the NBA in clutch wins (29), points (10.6), field-goal percentage (52.1 percent) and plus/minus (plus-2.7).

    With a first-round matchup with the Rockets or Utah Jazz the most likely scenario at this point, the Thunder could win a playoff series if their incredible clutch-time play continues.

Orlando Magic: Can They Repeat Last Year's Finish?

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    The Magic began last season just 20-31 overall before a 22-9 finish to the season vaulted them into the playoffs.

    While the bottom half of the East is bad enough to already all-but-guarantee the Magic a playoff spot now, they'll need to get hot and sustain their level of play to make a first-round series interesting against either the Milwaukee Bucks or Toronto Raptors.

    Both the offensive and defensive ratings are quite similar to last year's even with a healthy Markelle Fultz playing well, and Orlando began this season only slightly better 22-31 overall.

    Even if it hasn't been as dramatic of a turnaround, the Magic are an impressive 8-4 since the 22-31 start, moving them to 30-35 overall and just a half game behind the Brooklyn Nets for the seventh seed.

Philadelphia 76ers: When Will Ben Simmons Be Back?

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    The Sixers have about 1,000 questions that need answered (seriously, why can't they win on the road???) but the most pressing issue right now is the health of Ben Simmons.

    Sidelined with a back injury, Simmons doesn't have an official return date.

    "It's just something I'm rehabbing now. There's no timeline on it, so whenever I'm back, I'm back," Simmons said, via Kyle Neubeck of Philly Voice. "Whenever I'm 100 percent, I'm coming back. I'm not here to sit out and just wait. But when I'm healthy, I'll be playing."

    Simmons' latest re-evaluation date is in early April, but that doesn't mean he'll be able to play even when the NBA eventually resumes.

    An All-Star averaging 16.7 points, 7.8 rebounds, 8.2 assists and 2.1 steals while shooting 58.5 percent overall and playing high-level defense, Simmons is a necessary part of the Sixers' odd-fitting ecosystem.

    His return date remains the biggest question in Philly.

Phoenix Suns: Who's the Future at Power Forward?

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    Phoenix will enter next season with four starters under contract and locked into position: Ricky Rubio, Devin Booker, Kelly Oubre Jr. and Deandre Ayton.

    This leaves just the power forward position to fill, one that's been occupied by Dario Saric and Cameron Johnson thus far.

    Saric has been OK (10.1 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 34.1 percent from three), but the 25-year-old will become a restricted free agent this summer. How much is Phoenix willing to pay for a borderline starter?

    Johnson, a 2019 lottery pick, could also fill the starting role if Saric leaves in free agency. A better shooter (39.7 percent from three), Johnson isn't a particularly good rebounder, passer or defender.

    Phoenix could also roll the dice and attempt to trade for Kevin Love or Blake Griffin, veterans that should come at a minimum price due to their hefty contracts.

Portland Trail Blazers: How Will Jusuf Nukic Look in Return?

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    Jusuf Nurkic was about to return to the court on March 15 after a nearly year-long rehab from a serious leg injury. Now, he'll have even more time to recover.

    Portland desperately needs the 25-year-old center, as the team went 45-27 with him last year and have begun this season just 29-37. At the time of his injury, Nurkic was averaging 15.6 points, 10.4 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.4 blocks and shooting 50.8 percent overall. The Blazers were 12.9 points per 100 possessions better with Nurkic on the floor, the highest mark of anyone outside Damian Lillard.

    With Portland one of five teams gunning for the last playoff spot in the West, it'll need whatever Nurkic has to offer to close a 3.5-game gap behind the Memphis Grizzlies.

Sacramento Kings: Is Buddy Hield a Starter or Sixth Man?

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    After signing a four-year, $94 million deal last offseason that could reach $106 million in incentives, no one was talking about Buddy Hield coming off the bench in Sacramento.

    Yet, after a disappointing 15-29 start to the season, head coach Luke Walton had to make a change. By moving Bogdan Bogdanovic into the starting lineup, Hield was sent to the bench after starting all 82 games for the Kings the season before.

    The move worked, however, with Sacramento going 13-7 since, climbing all the way to within 3.5 games of the eighth seed in the West playoff picture.

    Hield has been far more efficient off the bench, with an increase in usage rate as well. In 20 games as a sixth man, the 27-year-old is averaging 19.4 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists with a usage rate of 28.1 percent, all while slashing .465/.476/.970.

    For Walton, is this just an experiment or something he plans on doing with Hield for the next four years?

San Antonio Spurs: Is the Dynasty Dead?

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    Even if the Spurs can somehow overcome a four-game deficit to climb back into the Western Conference playoffs, is the San Antonio dynasty officially dead?

    For the past 22 years, head coach Gregg Popovich has guided the Spurs into the postseason, five times ending in a championship.

    "Yeah, that was my childhood. Every year they were either in the championship or Western Conference Finals. They've been good ever since I've been alive, so that's really all I've known," Spurs guard Derrick White, 25, told Bleacher Report.

    San Antonio could lose DeMar DeRozan in free agency (he has a player option), and LaMarcus Aldridge will turn 35 in July. A young core of Dejounte Murray, White and Lonnie Walker IV doesn't seem enough to regularly make the postseason for the 71-year-old head coach. 

Toronto Raptors: Can Pascal Siakam Be a No. 1 on a Championship Team?

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    Two years ago, Pascal Siakam was a backup big man on a Toronto Raptors team that was swept out of the playoffs in the second round by LeBron James' Cleveland Cavaliers.

    Just a year later, he became the second-best player on Toronto's championship team. Having already taken the next step toward alpha status, is the 25-year-old good enough to head a title team?

    Siakam leads the Raptors with 23.6 points per game this season, but he'll have plenty of help when the playoffs begin. Four other players (Kyle Lowry, Fred VanVleet, Norman Powell and Serge Ibaka) are averaging 16.0 points per game or more, with Marc Gasol and OG Anunoby playing big roles as well.

    While Siakam will still lead the team in scoring once the playoffs begin, he won't have to every night with such a strong supporting cast around him. If the Raptors repeat as champions, expect it to be even more of a team effort.

Utah Jazz: Will Team Chemistry Ever Be the Same?

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    Jazz stars Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell were the first two NBA players known to have contracted the coronavirus. Christian Wood is the only other player to have tested positive. 

    After Mitchell's test came back positive, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that "Jazz players privately say that Rudy Gobert had been careless in the locker room touching other players and their belongings."

    Wojnarowski later said, "There is a lot of work to do to repair relationships, not just between Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert, but with others in the locker room."

    As Mitchell wrote in an Instagram post: "We are all learning more about the seriousness of this situation and hopefully people can continue to educate themselves and realize that they need to behave responsibly both for their own health and for the well being of those around them." 

    Gobert is set to hit free agency after next season. The Jazz's chemistry will be worth monitoring in the meantime. 

Washington Wizards: Could John Wall Return This Season?

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    After undergoing surgery for a ruptured left Achilles tendon on Feb. 12, 2019, Wall has now been out for 13 months on what was estimated to be an 11-to-15-month recovery. While there was little point in rushing Wall back for this season, the season's postponement may have opened the door.

    Wall has been practicing with the team and looks like he could return any day, should Washington be in a serious playoff race.

    At ninth in the East and 5.5 games behind the Orlando Magic for the final postseason spot, Wall's presence likely wouldn't be enough to close the gap.

    Still, we've seen Stephen Curry return from a broken hand to join a last-place Golden State Warriors squad. The risk of playing Curry now seems unwise, although establishing chemistry with Andrew Wiggins, Eric Paschall, Damion Lee and others gives Golden State a head start at returning to the playoffs next season.

    Couldn't the same be said for Washington? If Wall is close to 100 percent healthy when the NBA eventually resumes, there could be an advantage to him sharing a court with Rui Hachimura, Davis Bertans, Moritz Wagner, Jerome Robinson and others now before figuring things out on the fly next season when the playoffs are a real possibility.