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Insights: Sports—NBA Preview

Taking a look at the NBA teams and players to watch in the coming season
Ahmad Rashad
From the Print Edition:
Kevin Costner, Nov/Dec 00

(continued from page 2)

Over the past two years, the Sacramento Kings have been revitalized. They've not only become a winning team, they're also one of the NBA's most entertaining teams. That's due mainly to point guard Jason Williams and All-Star forward Chris Webber. The Kings also gained a lot of respect last season when they extended the Lakers to five games in the first round of the playoffs. But now they can't be satisfied just to make the playoffs anymore. The Kings need to find a way to advance, and it'll have to start with defense. Sacramento was the NBA's highest-scoring team last season, but the flip side was that it ranked third in points allowed. And it's defense that usually wins in the NBA playoffs.

Here's my Western Conference All-Star starting five: Jason Kidd and Kobe Bryant at the guards, Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan at forward, and Shaquille O'Neal in the middle.   No season preview is complete without naming some of the rookies to watch. I've noticed some pretty big names from the 2000 draft. They include Seattle's Olumide Oyedeji, Sacramento's Hidayet Turkoglu, New Jersey's Soumaila Samake, Denver's Mamadou N'diaye and Phoenix's Iakovos Tsakalidis. I don't know how good any of them will be, but I just wanted to get their names down on paper right now, because I will find it impossible to say them on the air.

Ahmad Rashad covers basketball for NBC.

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