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Original Issue


The sight of Dallas forward Sean Williams throwing up on the floor after playing 12 minutes in a loss against the Nuggets on Dec. 26 underscored this truth: After an abbreviated preseason, not everyone is in tip-top shape. Another foreseeable consequence of the lockout is that teams with significant personnel turnover have had less time to get to know each other. So whom does this benefit? Teams that are young (even though Williams—who claims he ate too many chocolate-covered almonds before the game—is just 25, the kids are more likely to handle the rigors of a compressed schedule) and stable.

SI analyzed each team's roster in terms of age and continuity. For the former, we took the team's average age, weighted more heavily toward the starting five. For the latter, we calculated the percentage of minutes played from last season by players who are still with the team—and then docked each team points for having a new coach or new starters, both of which take time to adjust to. The teams best equipped to handle a condensed season are at the top right: Oklahoma City and Philadelphia. The least equipped are at the bottom left: the aging Lakers and Celtics. Keep in mind that this doesn't necessarily predict success: Returning Timberwolves played more than 80% of the minutes for last year's team. And that team was awful.






Ten of 14 are 25 or younger

Virtually entire bench is new

Plenty of new faces, three named Williams

Nine new players

Lineup is intact, but coach is new

Roster overhauled late last season

Pretty average on both counts

Lots of turnover on bad team

Pair of new starters

Two new starters, including Kyrie Irving, 19

Will get substantial minutes from newbies at PG, C

League-high three new starters

Age skewed by Methuselah-esque big men Kurt Thomas (39) and Marcus Camby (37)

NBA's second-oldest starting five

New coach welcomes back most of '10--11 cast

Four starters 25 or younger

Youngest starting five (average age 24.4) in NBA

Roster full of young, fresh legs

Top 11 from last year all return

Most players returned, coach didn't

Few unfamiliar faces on young, fresh team

Picked up new coach and aging reserves

Age driven up by dinosaur-laden bench

No roster upheaval—yet

"Getting to know each other" = poor excuse

85.9% of minutes return

Two new starters + new coach = slow start

Only one starter under 29

Adding Vince Carter [not equal] youth movement

Start a 37-year-old and a 39-year-old