During the season, NBA.com editors Darren Misener, Martin Sumners and Jim Reilly will be keeping you updated on all the best news and content from around the 30 team sites in the Conference Call Blog. Up first is the Eastern Conference | Martin Sumners on the Western Conference

By Darren Misener

His Kind of Town
After upsetting the Heat in Round 1 of the 2007 NBA Playoffs, Chicago took Detroit to six games in the Conference Semis before finally being sent home. How close were the Bulls last year? Were the young upstarts perhaps just one veteran presence away?

Well Kevin Garnett wasn’t the only offseason acquisition that improved a playoff contender this year. Enter Joe Smith in the Windy City. Smith’s respect around the league, even with that more publicized acquisition himself, is impressive.

“Joe was my running mate [in Minnesota], a guy I always loved playing with,” said All-Star Garnett, who played on the Timberwolves front line with Smith for four seasons. “I’ve had some good teammates in my life, but Joe’s an all-time favorite.”

“The Bulls got Joe?” said Milwaukee Bucks sharpshooter Michael Redd, who also ran with Smith for three season. “Aw, man, he’s gonna really help the Bulls. Talk about a guy who’ll put his head down and do the dirty work—that’s Joe.”

Much like most of his career, Smith’s signing with the Bulls flew under the radar this offseason, but as Bulls.com explains, that personnel move was anything but average.

Smith isn't the only news coming out of Chicago. Young stud Ben Gordon is back to blogging. He talks about Smith, as well as his ankle, finding his rhythm, Kobe rumors and more in his first entry of the season.


Thinking Young
In other blog news from around the league, Philadelphia rookie Thaddeus Young is writing about his first year on Sixers.com.

Ewing the Teacher
One day you’re sitting on the set on NBA TV, the next you’re teaching young big men the intricacies of their positions, as OrlandoMagic.com reports. As if Dwight Howard wasn't good enough already, now one of the NBA's 50 greatest players of all time is working with him.

Hurtin’ Bobcat
You might have already heard, but former first round pick Adam Morrison won’t play for the Bobcats this year due to an ACL injury.

Back in Position
Celtics center Kendrick Perkins seems to be fully healthy and back from a slight hamstring problem, and no one is happier about it then Boston’s other presence in the paint.

RJ Ready to Roll
Speaking of health, NJNets.com reports that Richard Jefferson is entering the season fully healthy (which he hasn’t been for a while) and the explosiveness is back.

Preseason Pop
The Pacers finished the preseason 6-2 and look like they have fully embraced new coach Jim O’Brien’s offensive flow. O’Brien’s outlook has been lifted after watching his team gel.

Are you Joshin’?
Who are the two longest tenured players on Atlanta? The answer will surprise. Not as surprising is how they’ve come together to be the leaders of a talented but green team.

Get Your Z's
Wanna know which Cavs player loves Halloween? Or who would be the first to resort to bathroom humor? Cavs.com asked Zydrunas Ilgauskas five questions to bring you closer to the team.

Second-Round Success
And I’ll leave you with a quick look at how getting drafted in the second round of the NBA Draft, can still mean a career in the NBA, this time with the Wizards.