A look at the Atlantic Division teams as they head into the 2012-13 season, in predicted order of finish:
LAST SEASON: 39-27, lost to Miami Heat 4-3 in Eastern Conference finals.
STARTING FIVE: G Rajon Rondo (11.9 ppg, 11.7 apg, 4.8 rpg, 3.6 turnovers per game), G Courtney Lee (11.4 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 1.5 apg), F Paul Pierce (19.4 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 4.5 apg), C Kevin Garnett (15.8 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 1 bpg), F Brandon Bass (12.5 ppg, 6.2 rpg).
KEY ADDITIONS: Lee (trade, Rockets), F Jared Sullinger (draft, No. 21), C Fab Melo (draft, No. 22), G Jason Terry (free agent, Mavericks).
KEY LOSSES: SG Ray Allen (free agent, Heat). PG Avery Bradley (surgery on both shoulders, out until December or January)
COACH: Doc Rivers, ninth season with Celtics, 14th season overall; 546-433.
EYES ON: Garnett. Rivers moved Garnett, who's 36, from power forward to center at the All-Star break last year and he responded by playing better than he has in years, improving his scoring output from 14.1 to 18 points per game and his rebounding from 7.7 to 9.3.
OUTLOOK: The Celtics believe they could have beaten Miami and contended for their 18th NBA title if not for injuries to Allen (ankle) and Bradley (both shoulders). Allen is gone, replaced by Terry, but health cannot be assumed for a team that has as its core a Garnett and a 35-year old Pierce. Two first-round draft picks, Sullinger and Melo, could help Rondo infuse the team with youth.
NEW YORK KNICKS
LAST SEASON: 36-30, lost to Miami Heat 4-1 in first round.
STARTING FIVE: G Raymond Felton (11.4 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 6.5 apg), G Ronnie Brewer (6.9 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 2.1 apg), F Carmelo Anthony (22.6 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 3.6 apg), F Amare Stoudemire (17.5 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 1.1 apg), C Tyson Chandler (11.3 ppg, 9.9 rpg, 1.4 bpg).
KEY ADDITIONS: G Felton (trade, Trail Blazers), G Jason Kidd (free agent, Mavericks), G Brewer (free agent, Bulls), C Marcus Camby (trade, Rockets), F Kurt Thomas (trade, Trail Blazers), G Pablo Prigioni (free agent, Europe).
KEY LOSSES: G Jeremy Lin (free agent, Rockets), G Landry Fields (free agent, Raptors).
COACH: Mike Woodson, second season with Knicks, seventh season overall; 224-292.
EYES ON: Felton. Comes off his worst NBA season, admitting he was out of shape after the lockout, and another poor one will further anger fans who never wanted the Knicks to let Lin leave. But Felton played well with the Knicks in 2010-11, averaging 17.1 points and 9.0 assists in 54 games before he was traded to Denver in the Anthony blockbuster, and if he plays at that level again the Knicks may even have upgraded the point guard spot.
OUTLOOK: Believe they have surrounded Anthony and Stoudemire with enough help to be a real contender, but they have a number of aging players on what could be the oldest team in NBA history, so staying healthy will be a concern.
LAST SEASON: 35-31, lost to Boston Celtics 4-3 in Eastern Conference semifinals.
STARTING FIVE: G Jrue Holiday (13.5 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 4.5 apg), G Jason Richardson (11.6 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 2.0 apg), F Evan Turner (9.4 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 2.8), F Spencer Hawes (9.6 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 2.6 apg), C Andrew Bynum (18.7 ppg, 11.8 rpg, 1.4 apg)
KEY ADDITIONS: C Bynum (trade, Lakers), G Richardson (trade, Magic), G Nick Young (free agent, Clippers), G Dorell Wright (trade, Warriors).
KEY LOSSES: C Elton Brand (amnesty, Mavericks), F Andrew Iguodala (trade, Nuggets), G Lou Williams (free agent, Hawks).
COACH: Doug Collins, third season with 76ers, 11th season overall; 408-359.
EYES ON. Bynum. Bynum's health will be the difference if the Sixers are going to build and advance off last year's run to the conference semis, or take a step back to a 41-win eighth seed. If healthy, Bynum is easily the Sixers' best center since Moses Malone, and perhaps the best one in the East. But he sat out the entire preseason with knee issues and the Sixers hope he's ready for opening night.
OUTLOOK: If Bynum is healthy and can play at least 75 games, the Sixers believe they can be in the hunt for a No. 2 seed in the East. They dumped three veteran scorers believing it was time to play inside-first, and that size advantage could help them break the 50-win mark.
LAST SEASON: 22-44, missed playoffs.
STARTING FIVE: G Deron Williams (21.0 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 8.7 apg), G Joe Johnson (18.8 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 3.9 apg), F Gerald Wallace (13.8 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 2.8 apg), F Kris Humphries (13.8 ppg, 11.0 rpg, 1.5 apg), C Brook Lopez (19.2 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 1.2 apg).
KEY ADDITIONS: G Johnson (trade, Hawks), G C.J. Watson (free agent, Bulls), F/C Andray Blatche (free agent, Wizards), F Reggie Evans (trade, Clippers), F Josh Childress (free agent, Suns).
KEY LOSSES: G Anthony Morrow (trade, Hawks), F Gerald Green (free agent, Pacers).
COACH: Avery Johnson, third season with Nets, seventh season overall; 240-172.
EYES ON: Lopez. Limited to only five games last season by injuries after never missing one in his first three seasons, Lopez is an excellent scorer with good touch. But he has to become a better rebounder and defender, even if he will never be a Dwight Howard, the league's best center on that end — and a guy whom the Nets tried to acquire.
OUTLOOK: Their move to Brooklyn and the $1 billion Barclays Center has given the Nets more attention than they were used to in New Jersey. And with a rebuilt roster, they will win a lot more, too.
LAST SEASON: 23-43, missed playoffs.
STARTING FIVE: G Kyle Lowry (14.3 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 6.6 apg), G Landry Fields (8.8 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 2.6 apg), F DeMar DeRozan (16.7 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 2.0 apg), F Andrea Bargnani (19.5 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 2.0 apg), C Jonas Valanciunas (rookie).
KEY ADDITIONS: G Lowry (trade, Rockets), G Fields (free agent, Knicks), C Valanciunas (2011 draft, No. 5), G Terrence Ross (draft, No. 8).
KEY LOSSES: G Jerryd Bayless (free agent, Grizzlies).
COACH: Dwane Casey, second season with Raptors, fourth season overall; 76-112.
EYES ON: Valanciunas. With all his international experience, the big man from Lithuania is not the average rookie. His size and toughness can make a big difference to the Raptors, but he must stay out of foul trouble.
OUTLOOK: The Raptors should be an improved team, but everyone else in the Atlantic Division appeared to get better, too, so the Raptors appear headed for another last-place finish.