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8 big questions as NBA prepares to resume season: Lakers’ halfcourt issues, Clippers’ lineup possibilities

CBS Sports


Article Summary:

The half-court defense is vulnerable when opposing bigs are making 3s. Will Eric Bledsoe make the defense pay for completely ignoring him on the perimeter? Khris Middleton and George Hill can’t possibly keep this up, can they?

The pro-Bucks argument is just as straightforward: They came extremely close to taking a 3-0 lead in last year’s Eastern Conference finals, and statistically they’ve improved in Year 2 of the Mike Budenholzer era, even without Malcolm Brogdon.

4. Are the Celtics as good as their numbers suggest?

The 2019-20 Boston Celtics are not only fifth in offense and fourth in defense, according to Cleaning The Glass, they rank second offensively against top-10 defenses and first defensively against top-10 offenses. If Toronto’s system sputters, can the yet-again-improved Pascal Siakam bail it out? Can Kyle Lowry and Fred VanVleet run the show so well that they don’t have to worry that much about late-clock offense? The Raptors rank 12th in offense, per, and they’ve had some stinkers against the Clippers, Bucks, Celtics and Heat. On the road, it is 24th in net rating, 24th in offense and 20th in defense, and that lineup has a minus-3.1 net rating.

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