Trust The Podcast – Power Rankings

The start of our weekly top ten teams in the association!

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Things can change in a hurry in the NBA, one week you’re on top, the next, well, lets just say it doesn’t look so good. We are about 10 games into the NBA season, and it’s been a really fun ride so far. A ton of great games, more than a few surprise teams, and well the Mavs and the Kings are officially the worst teams in the NBA! (sorry Dirk) Are the Cavaliers in trouble? Are the Celtics going 80-2? I’m breaking down the top ten teams, so here we go!

10.) Washington Wizards (5-4). PPG: 112.8 (3rd) ORtg: 111.3 (2nd) DRtg 107.8 (19th)

It was a tough week for Washington going 2-1 with losses against the Suns and Cavaliers. Thanks to a monster game from LeBron he had 57 against the Wiz, they had a much needed victory Sunday night against the Raptors, without all-star John Wall. No Wall no problem as Bradley Beal stepped up and dropped 38 big ones on the Dino’s. Have the Wizards never watched Goodfellas? Number one rule, “always keep your month shut, and never rat on your friends.” Advice next time you play a big game and insult the best player in the world.

9.) Portland Trail Blazers (6-4). PPG: 107.2 (12th) ORtg: 108.6 (10th) DRtg: 102.2 (4th)

One thing that is impressing me with the Trail-Blazers this season in their defence. Ranking 4th in defensive rating is pretty impressive. They can score the ball with the best of them, and Dame Dollar is coming off a MONSTER week, where he averaged 34-PPG, 7-APG and 5-RPG, including a game winner against the Lakers. They ran into some trouble with the Raptors last Monday night, but all around Portland is solid basketball team, and if their defence can keep improving, they could be a really sneaky team to face in the first round of the playoffs this year.

8.) New York Knicks (5-4). PPG: 104.7 (18th) ORtg: 107.4 (13th) DRtg: 107.6 (18th) 

Okay I know, what you’re thinking, the Knicks? Well hear me out, they started off the season 0-3 and since then have gone a 5-1 stretch. Porzingis is playing out of his mind right now he dropped a career high 40 last night, and the Knicks team is really fun to watch. They are super young, full on energy and are playing hard on both ends of the court, so I thought they deserved a shoutout and some recognition in the power rankings. If Porzingis can keep playing this way, the Knicks will not be a complete dumpster fire, and that’s what we all wanted, an enjoyable Knicks season! They came back from 19 down with 10 minutes to go yesterday against a pretty good Indiana team, give the Knicks some credit.

7.) Memphis Grizzlies (6-4). PPG: 101.8 (25th) ORtg: 106.4 (18th) DRtg: 102.5 (5th)

Grit and grind might not be dead after all! Just like the good old days, Memphis is a grind it out basketball team, averaging some of the fewest points per game in the entire league, Yet are one of the 5 best defensive teams. They had a really tough loss to the Lakers last night. The LA life night must have gotten to the boys. Conley and Gasol remain a solid foundation for Memphis to work with and they are just an all around really good basketball team. They started off the season really hot with an impressive win against Golden State, you knew they would cool down eventually and lose a game or two.

6.) Orlando Magic (6-4) PPG: 109 (7th) ORtg: 106.7 (17th) DRtg: 104 (10th)

One of the surprise teams of the season thus far. Listen I know Orlando had a bad week, and their offence really struggled, but with a banged up back court. Both Payton and Augustine are out with injuries, their offence which took a tumble so far in the month of November. I still believe this team is pretty good, and when your entire back court is out, well I believe that will reflect on your offensive efficiency. Or maybe the Magic just got off to a magical start and are coming back down to Earth, only time will tell I guess.

5.) Detroit Pistons (7-3) PPG: 104.8 (17th) ORtgt: 108.8 (9th) DRtg: 105 (14th)

Going into this season, I thought the Pistons would have a really hard time scoring the basketball, but ranked in the top ten in offensive rating is really impressive. Guys like Avery Bradley have really brought a culture change to this roster, and that was something that was much needed. Again they had a terrible loss at the hands of the Lakers (again LA night life). The big thing for the Pistons right now is Andre Drummond and his free throw shooting, which is up to 75 percent this year. Considering he was shooting a mere 38% last season, well that’s a huge step up and something that is really nice to see. He’s ranked second only behind DeAndre Jordan in rebounds per game, and is just putting together a really nice season. Happy for the Pistons and Stan Van Gundy.

4.) Golden State Warriors (7-3) PPG 120.7 (1st) ORtg: 119 (1st) DRtg: 109.7 (22nd)

Yeah that’s right, I’m not putting the Warriors in the top spot. They are shaky on the defensive side of the ball right now but I guess when you can simply outscore your opponents every night, that makes it a whole lot easier. They are also leading the league in assists per game with 31.5 which is five more than the second best team, which is Philly. They love sharing the rock and spreading the floor to make the defence work. I just didn’t want to make them the top dogs because well, they don’t deserve that spot right now.

3.) Minnesota Timberwolves (7-3) PPG 109.4 (6th) ORtg: 110.3 (5th) DRtg: 110.7 (25th)

I simply don’t understand this. How is a Thibs coached team so bad on defence? Are guys just not buying in? It’s bugging me, because well the Wolves are an impressive 5-1 against the West right now. It’s a tough conference and they are playing with the best of them. They have a great showdown with the Warriors Wednesday night and that will be much watch television. It’s time for Wiggins and KAT to buy in to playing defence because if that happens, look out!

2.) Houston Rockets (8-3) PPG: 109.9 (5th) ORtg: 110.8 (4th) DRtg: 104.1 (12th)

Harden did his thing on Sunday night, scoring 56 points in just 20 minutes of play! I add in the fact that he dished out 13 assists as well. What a performance. Is it weird that they could be a better team without CP3? I know that’s not possible, but they are playing okay defence so far, and I know that will improve once he gets back from injury, or at least one would think it would. I’m really excited about this team, because I think Harden really is on another level, and watching what he did on Sunday was so marvellous, it made me realize that this team could really give the Warriors a go in the playoffs.

1.) Boston Celtics (8-2) PPG: 102.9 (23rd) ORtg: 107 (16th) DRtg: 96.9 (1st)

The only team with a defensive rating lower than 100, the Celtics are the best defensive team in basketball. They have won 8 straight, since dropping the first two games of the season, and are doing this without their second best player. The young guns, like Brown and Tatum are coming up big for them. I believe Jaylon Brown is a really special player, and this is his coming out party. He’s my pick right now for most improved player. I’m shocked that they are doing so well on the defensive side of the ball, considering they have Kyrie on the team, who has been known to be a poor defender. I’m happy for the Celtics so far, they needed this and I think they are by far the best team in the East.

NBA Weekly Show Plus 2018 Bold Sports Predictions

On today’s episode Kenny and I are breaking down the latest week in the NBA season. We talk about the impressive Raptors bench play. Are the Orlando Magic legit? We discuss Victor Oladipo’s streaky start, and if he can sustain this improved play. We hand out the very first “Jordan’s Secret Stuff” award, handed out to the basketball guy of the week, and a lot more! We are then joined by our buddy Jack to make some bold 2018 sports predictions.

NBA Talk (0:00-32:30)

2018 Sports Predictions (32:30-1:12:26)

The Young Guns – Toronto Raptors. 

For the first time in a long time, the Raptors have some really good young prospects.

As per usual the Toronto Raptors somehow found a way to lose a close game on the road against a Western Conference foe, a game in which they had no business losing. Last night the Raptors blew a late 4th quarter lead to the defending champs – The Golden State Warriors. Now don’t get me wrong, the Raptors didn’t play a great game for 48 minutes, that’s tough to do against the leagues best team. However they had an unbelieveable 4th quarter and down the stretch decided to go against everything they had been doing right in the 4th and blew it.

It’s only 4 games into the season, and the Raps are sitting at .500 with a record of 2-2. I’m not hitting the panic button because well it’s only 4 games into the season and as much as I wanted them to get that win last night (they haven’t won in GS since 2003) there were a ton of positives to take away from this game and to be honest their game against San Antonio on Monday night. For the life of me I can’t recall the last time the Raptors had this much young talent, that can play. Going all the way back to when VC and T-Mac were on the same roster, last night it was Raptors young guns that brought them back, and to be honest their leaders and go-to-guys that were ultimately our downfall.

Going into this season, Dwayne Casey was preaching a new offence and a new style of play for the Raps. More passing, less isolation plays for Lowry and Demar, and more 3 point shooting. Right now the Raptors are averaging 36 three point show attempts a game, and have 144 total attempts on the season. They have only made 44 of those attempts, as a team they are shooting .306 percent, which isn’t ideal. Last season they were shooting roughly 24 threes a game, and finished the season shooting .363 from behind the arc. So now they are shooting more and making less, way, way less. They brought in CJ Miles in the off-season because he is a great perimeter shooter, and so far he’s shooing .400 from distance. Not bad, but when three of your guards (Powell, Lowry and Van Fleet) are all hovering around 27 percent, something might need to change. I’ll admit its nice to see the new much improved passing, and looking for the open shot, but when they aren’t falling, you need to simply go to plan B. As a team, they are averaging close to 6 more assists a game than last season. Something the team really lacked last season was a a trust in one another to make a shot down the stretch or just trust one another to make the right play. They really are sharing the rock more, except when it matters the most. Up 5 last night with a minute remaining, the last two Raptor possessions feature iso plays from DeMar followed by Lowry. Neither play feature  a single pass from the player. NOT ONE PASS. This is why the Raptors are easy to defend and stop down the stretch of big games or in the playoffs. DeMar and Kyle you two are allowed to shoot the ball at the end of games, but move the ball around, make the defence work a little bit before shooting. They become so predictable and I wonder if its Casey and him not drawing anything up, or do our two best players just want to do it all themselves when the game is on the line. The reason the Raptors were winning last night was because they were playing team basketball and trusting one another. So why go ahead from that when all you needed was one more bucket to seal the deal?

The thing I took away from last night, wasn’t the bad, it was actually the good. Poeltl last night remember me of a young Pau Gasol, and that is such a compliment. He has come a long way in just under the year, and looks comfortable on the floor this year. He is just a phenomenal rebounder and works his butt off on the offensive glass. We haven’t really had a great offensive rebounder since the AD and Oakley days. He also has quick feet and didn’t have that difficult of a time guarding guys like Steph or KD when switched onto them, and that really impressed me. I think if he continues to grow, not only will it be harder to play JV, but maybe it’s time really try to get something good for JV, while they still can. It’s early I know, but Poeltl can play smaller, simply because of his quick footwork, something JV has always had a difficult time doing. I often criticize Ujiri on his drafting abilities but Poeltl and Delon and now OG look to fuel the second unit. Delon’s career didn’t start off the way he wanted bogged down by injuries and getting off to a slow start. With trading Corey Joseph in the off-season, they looked at Delon and told him, you’re the guy off the bench now and I think he is relishing in this role. He’s a great two way point guard, and we need a great defender like him coming off the bench. He knows he isn’t the best shooter, and has a great ability getting into the lane and creating his own shot that way. OG is another guy, the Raptors haven’t had on their roster in a while. A long versatile guy who comes off the bench and brings a ton of energy. Watching that game last night OG did not look out of place or even look like a rookie. He is fitting in nicely with his role with the team, and seems very mature for a NBA rookie. Those three guys got the Raptors back into the game, with CJ, Norm on the bench looking on. Those three and DeMar and Lowry is a fun line up, that can defend and score, and when they were playing together, it was actually a lot to handle for the Warriors. Siakam also dropped a career high last night and was a massive boost in the second half for the Raps. He started and decided that he needed to prove that he might be worth some minutes and was just overall fantastic.

I’m all for this new style of play, tons of passing and shooting a ton of threes, but when the game is close, the Raptors can revert back to what is ultimately their weakness, which is trying to do everything one-on-one. Going into the season, I thought the biggest weakness would be the bench, so I couldn’t be happier and I think the front office deserves a lot of credit for believing in these young guys, because they are proving their worth right now. Lowry and DeMar just need to stick to whats working at the end of games, and trust in these guys. They want a chance at the big moment, and they can’t work their tails off all game, to only have it taken away like that. Get excited Raptor fans because I haven’t seen a young bench core of guys for us in a long time, so come the end of the season, when these guys have gotten a ton of run and reps in. And we have finally found our true identity, maybe we could see LeBron the ECF like Drake said!

We The North.

NBA Weekly Show Plus Breaking Down First Week of The Season

Hey Folks!

On today’s episode Kenny and I break down the first week of the NBA season. The stuff we liked and the stuff we didn’t. Just how bad can the Suns be? Is Giannis the next great NBA player? Kenny talks about his fantasy basketball woes and much more.

Recapping NBA Night One

And boy was it a doozy 

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Remember that time Michael Jordan punched Steve Kerr in practice and it’s like a legend as old as time itself. Well Bobby “Rigor Mortis” Portis left teammate Nikola Mirotic in the hospital after an “altercation” in practice. That must have truly been a great momma joke, because Mirotic suffered two broken bones in his face and a concussion. And who says there’s no fighting in basketball? News of this broke a mere hour before the NBA tip-off, starting the highly anticipated 2017-2018 NBA season. Good news for Raptor fans who play the Bulls in their home opener Thursday night at the ACC – looks like an easy win if you ask me. Oh who am I kidding? The Raptors always lose to the Bulls, so look for them to blow this one somehow. I did see a great article that was titled “Portis is looking to do whatever it takes to start” he wasn’t kidding. 

Cavs vs. Celtics 

It started off great and then OH MY GOD. Why, why did this have to happened? Gordon Hayward suffers one of the worst injuries I’ve ever seen in my entire life. I was almost brought to tears because in that moment everyone felt for him. There were no teams no favourite players, just feelings for a guy who just broke is leg on national television, 6 minutes into his first game with the Boston Celtics. The Celtics were looking like a real contender and everyone wanted to see this exact showdown in the playoffs. I feel for him, but he will bounce back stronger and better than ever. Kobe had a great piece on instagram about it – it was really touching. As for the game, Jaylon Brown and JaysonTatum looked really solid last night and Boston will still be a top tier team in the East. Boston lost by 3 with Kyrie missing a 3 at the buzzer to tie it up. I think the Cavs will really start cooking once their roster gels, they added 7 new guys and I think if Wade and Rose stay healthy and have it come playoffs, this will be a really good team. LeBron is going to new heights this season, I can feel it. One thing is certain, to all my friends out there, can we please start doing an intricate handshake. These guys make it look so easy and cool. LeBron also had a massive stat line and then had a 40 minute post game work out – what a guy. 

Rockets vs. Warriors

The Warriors aren’t fun to watch anymore. What’s fun though is watching Swaggy P hit none stop 3s. He might hit more than Steph this year. Bold precdiciton but why not. Chris Paul kind of looked out of place a bit I’m not going to lie.  Oh yeah I live on the East coast. This game started at 11:12pm. I passed out at half. But the rockets won after KDs game winning shot didn’t count. Take that snake! 

If you’re reading this, I’ve stared a podcast called Untitled about basketball and everything else I love about life. We recorded our first episode last week! I’ll leave a link down below, it’s up on SoundCloud!

https://m.soundcloud.com/nathan-wallace-317604515/theuntitledpodcastepisode1
 Check ya later. 

NBA Awards – Who Wins?

I’m the MVP and we sitting here talking about practice.

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Can Westbrook repeat? Which rookie will break through and conquer all? Which coaches will not be fired and rather win coach of the year? Can Draymond stop kicking people enough to win another defensive player of the year award? Just some of the questions going into the NBA season, and more importantly about the NBA awards. I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about the NBA switching up their format and going to the award show, but in the end it really worked, and looking forward to who they get to host it next year.

NBA Coach of The Year: 

Always a tough thing to predict, because you aren’t quite sure how the season is going to play out. Will it go to Steve Kerr because well the Warriors will probably win around 70 games again. I think that’s the easy answer, but not necessarily the right one. With a lot of teams kind of just “stuck” right now, more so in the Eastern Conference than the West, there are only a few candidates for COY in the East. I think they will be Brad Stevens from the Boston Celtics, Jason Kidd from the Milwaukee Bucks and Brett Brown from the Philadelphia 76ers. Reason being, that the Celtics might come away with the best record in the East, and on top of that they added two All-Stars, so adjusting to this new roster and trying to figure out their identity will be a process. A tough one at that, and I think Brad Stevens is the right man for the job. He will be in the conversation all year for this award. Jason Kidd is back with the Bucks once again, and if they have a really good year and continue forward from last seasons success, there is no reason why he won’t also be part of the COY conversations. I tossed in Brett Brown because if the 76ers improve by a lot, and even make the playoffs, that is worth some recognition. They won 28 games last year and if they find themselves flirting with 42 wins and a playoff spot, a lot will have to be said about Brown and his coaching. Much like Brad Stevens, Billy Donovan is in the same boat, with adding a bunch of new roster pieces, and with a background in college, he is used to having new pieces each year and knows how to adjust to a new roster. If the Thunder somehow have a marvellous season and win say the West, he will no doubt be the winner of this award. I actually don’t see any NBA coaches getting fired this season also as strange as that sounds.

NBA Coach of The Year Winner – Brett Brown 

NBA Sixth Man of The Year:

Is Jamal Crawford good anymore? Should we just rename this award to the Jamal Crawford award? Do I think they should get rid of this and have a different award? Yes I do. What that award would be, I dunno, they could do something different. Eric Gordon won it last year, and honestly he will probably win it again this year. He has a pretty easy job down in Houston, play some defence and shoot wide open 3 pointers, something that he is really really really good at. The guy shot 38% from downtown last season, and he will probably have even more open looks now that Chris Paul is on his team. Honestly this will be a race between Jamal Crawford, Eric Gordon and Lou Williams. All former winners and it just makes the most sense. Maybe someone on a new team could pop in the conversation, maybe someone on the Cavs perhaps, like JR Smith, but it’s just too early to tell. Super dark horse pick, Norman Powell from the Toronto Raptors. I hate this award.

NBA Sixth Man of The Year – Eric Gordon 

NBA Most Improved Player:

Boy oh boy this should be a really fun and interesting race. There are a ton of guys that fall into this category this year. A bunch of guys that have now evolved into beautiful butterflies and just want to spread their wings. Lets start with the Joker, Nikola Jokic, the big man in the middle in Denver. He really came on last season and showed the world, that he is the best passing big man in the NBA. Racking up triple-doubles and making Denver an all around better team. He’s really fun to watch, and is already on the radar of many, so if he has a great year, don’t be shocked if he walks away with this hardware at the end of the season. He will have some stiff competition though, in fact, someone on his team might say otherwise. Garry Harris, the Michigan State product took a giant leap forward last year and will look to continue on that success this year. Coming off a 15PPG in the NBA last season and shooting an incredible 42 percent from downtown, Gary Harris really started to turn some heads. Another great young piece on Denver, if he can get his average up even more and flirt with about 20 PPG, I think he will be in serious contention for this award. But the unicorn himself, Mr. New York City, Kristaps Porzingis is my favourite to win this award. Melo is gone and so is Phil Jackson, and now this is truly his team. Yes, the Knicks will be a dumpster fire all season, but if Porzingis can average about 22-25PPG and up his rebounding to about 10RPG, there is no reason why he will not win this award. New York and the NBA are ready to fall in love with this guy, even more than we already have. Except for an injury, I just don’t see anyone else winning this award. It’s his to lose to be honest, all the pieces are in place for this to happen.

NBA Most Improved Player – Kristaps Porzingis 

NBA Defensive Player of The Year:

I’ll keep this one short and sweet. It’s a three man race, between Kickpuncher himself Draymond Green, Kawhi Leonard and the man out for revenge this season the Eiffel Tower; Rudy Gobert. The Warriors are once again going to be really good, Draymond is their best defender and always defends the others team best player, so it makes sense that he will be in the front runner to win. I think if Kawhi plays all season and the Spurs have a pretty decent record and he’s also scoring about 25 a game, it will be his to lose. But the big man Rudy wants to win this award. The thing with this award is, for the most part is remains in the same circle, where guys usually win it multiple times, go look at the history, there hasn’t actually been that many different winners since the year 2000. So that’s why I’m giving the slight edge to Draymond.

NBA Defensive Player of The Year – Draymond Green

NBA Rookie of The Year:

Well this is next to impossible to decide at this point. This rookie draft class is going to be one for the ages, and I’m pretty sure like Joel Embiid could still some how win this. Same with Ben Simmons, who wants to prove to everyone that he is still going to be a magical player and people shouldn’t sleep on him. Lonzo Ball, Jason Tatum, Markelle Fultz, and De’Aaron Fox are all the guys in the running for this award. I know, three players from the same team are trying to win ROY, I don’t think that has ever been the case, so in the long run, I think they will cancel each other out, I really do. They will all have great years, I just think that each one of them won’t be able to do enough, more than the other candidates to win. Jason Tatum, the next Paul Pierce or at least that’s what Boston fans are hoping. He’s going to be great, but I think that he is just not going to be able to score enough, or be on the court long enough to win. Look Boston is going for it all this year and they also want to groom this incredible rookie, so look for him to play a lot when they are up big, but until he proves otherwise, I can see him getting kind of buried on the bench in big games and big moments. That leaves Lonzo vs. Fox and we all know how that played out last year in college. Look Lonzo, you’re going to be a stud. His court vision is contagious and he has such a bright future. I don’t think he’s going to start for the Lakers. I think he will lead the second unit and until he gets his feet wet a little bit, then he will jump into the starting rotation. Why I think he won’t win, his shooting. It could go sideways real quick and he could put up some all time horrid numbers for a rookie for shooing the deep ball. Unless he manages to average like 12 assists a game, this isn’t happening. That’s why my winner is Lefty Westy (thats what I have dubbed him, so get on board with it, before it’s too late). De’Aaron Fox is my pick to win this insane race for ROY. I think under the tutelage of George Hill, he will learn how to be a pro very early on. I can see him starting quickly if he gets off to a flying start, and I just think there are enough veterans around the Kings now, for them to finally have a little bit of a culture change. George Hill and Vince Carter are two awesome guys to learn from, just not on the basketball court but off it as well. That’s what Fox needs, and it will help him in the long run. He really is the whole package and I can’t wait to watch him this season. I can see him averaging about 14-16 a game this year, with about 5 rebounds and 4 assists. Like I said Lefty Westy

NBA Rookie of The Year – De’Aaron Fox

NBA Most Valuable Player

I legit have no idea who’s going to win this award. It’s really tough, because there are just so many talented and incredible players in the NBA right now, it makes this decision pretty tough. There are however a handful of guys who will dominate the conversation all year and most likely be the guys people are voting for come next June. Russell Westbrook, Paul George (because he wants it), John Wall (because he wants it also), Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kevin Durant, James Harden, Kawhi Leonard and Kyrie Irving are all the guys I think have a chance. I know I named a ton of guys but it’s really hard to narrow it down okay! Kevin Durant looked unstoppable in the finals last season, he wants to be the best player in the world, he wants to surpass LeBron, and this could finally be the year. He wants the MVP and another title and another finals MVP, we all know it and that seems like the most logical outcome right now. The Warriors are going to be so good, one of the best teams ever, there’s no denying that, but that’s not who is winning this years MVP. LeBron is going to be the league MVP, and I’m going to tell you why. Yes the Cavs have an incredible roster as well, but they are also the oldest team in the league by far, and maybe even one of the oldest teams ever assembled in the league history. Isaiah Thomas is out until at least the new year, and if the Cavs are atop of the East, who do you think thats because of? Listen LeBron has never missed any time in his career, and I think he doesn’t get MVP recognition anymore because all he does is stay at the same insane consistent level. He honestly can’t get much better, but then that little birdie Kyrie Irving went and pissed him off. Everyone making fun of his dance moves, not wanting to play for him, LeBron is super pissed off and I think he will be a freight train from hell, and will be driving down the throats of his competition this season. It all makes sense for him to win right? Kevin Durant will be canceled out from Steph, and James Harden is in for a rough season now that Chris Paul is around, and I mean that in the sense, that he was the best point guard in the NBA last season. Now he will be playing without the ball in his hands for the majority of the time he’s on the court. It will be too much of a change and he certainly won’t have the same numbers as he did last year. The OKC guys will take too long to figure things out, and I think they are thinking ring rather than bling this season. It will be so much fun to watch unfold though, it really will be, the NBA season is going to be one to remember.

NBA Most Valuable Player – LeBron James.

 

 

NBA Season Preview 2017/2018

No word of a lie, every time I get a haircut now, I just show them a picture of Gordon Hayward.

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Boy, does Tom Brady have some competition for being the most handsome white dude in Boston. The Eastern Conference, or as people like to call it, LeBron’s Conference. I know people think the West is stacked, and all the good players are over in the West, but I also think the East is going to be really fun. Yes, a ton of these teams are complete and utter dumpster fires. About 5 or 6 teams in the East could win less than 30 games. This is the last season for tanking and I think a lot of East teams will take full advantage of that. Obviously until he is dead or out of the league, the Cavs or whatever team LeBron belongs too is the odds on favourite to make it out of the East. Boston hopes to say otherwise, and maybe even the Wizards, and hey, the Bucks with Greek Freak could really make some noise this season. I wouldn’t write the East off completely, but yeah, they have the worst teams in the league, but also some of the best.

Brooklyn Nets: 2017: 20-62 Prediction: 19-63

OH MY GOD, THE NETS ARE SO BAD! Don’t you almost feel bad for the Nets at this point? It’s like they are living in a Groundhog Day type scenario, where they are just god awful every season, but get nothing to show for it. Seeing how they traded all their draft picks away for KG and Paul “Friggin” Pierce ages ago. HOWS THAT WORKING OUT FOR YA? One bright side, Linsanity is back in New York baby! This roster is so bad, I don’t know how bad they will be. They will not win more games than last season. Again this year, they will finish dead last and not even get their first round draft pick. I think they should honestly close down shop and move to Seattle. Sorry Jay-Z, but this just isn’t working out. D’Aneglo Russell is a great young buck, who hopefully can be the start of a serious much needed culture change, but he can’t do it all himself, and it’s going to be a long year for him and his snap chats.

Philadelphia 76ers: 2017: 28-54 Prediction: 40-42

Trust the process!!!! This is just going to be a fun team to watch. Without doubt, a top 3 League Pass team. They are so young, and are going to play with so much energy. Kangaroo Jack, AKA Ben Simmons is finally going to make is NBA debut this season, along with first overall pick Markelle Fultz. Ben Simmons I think is being a little overlooked and forgotten about, because of how good and how deep this rookie draft class is. Could be one for the ages, and I think he wants to prove to everyone, that he was the number one pick for a reason. Please God, let Joel Embiid play around 70 games this season. I just want things to finally fall into place for this franchise, and I think everyone else does too. They are going to play fast, and shoot a ton I feel like, because they have some excellent shooters out on the wings. Brett Brown is a fantastic coach, and I can see him winning coach of the year, and getting these guys motivated and really bringing a winning culture back to Philly.

Orlando Magic: 2017: 29-53 Prediction: 20: 62

Holy shit, Rob Hennigan the former GM of the Magic, really left them with a pile of hot garbage. Like I don’t know what kind of weed that guy was smoking down in Orlando, but it must have been some powerful stuff. There isn’t another franchise that went through stranger roster changes in the last few seasons than Orlando. They really have nothing to show for it either. I think the Magic have SERIOUS potential to be the worst team in the NBA. They have more big men to shake a stick at, and I just don’t see any direction with this team. Jonathan Simmons the former Spur went there this off-season and I bet it takes him 10 games before he drunk dials coach Popovich crying and begging to come back to San Antonio. This team stinks……they STINK!

New York Knicks: 2017: 31-51 Prediction: 25-57

Cue up the Liam Neeson memes yelling “Unleash The Porizingis,” because that’s all they really have. He’s so great though, he’s a basketball unicorn and it’s just the best. We could be witnessing the next Dirk, and I’m so happy that there’s potential in that. No more Melo, no more Jackson, here’s to Dolan giving you dirty looks. The Knicks are still a complete dumpster fire. Will be for many years to come. But we finally get Porzingis doing his thing and no more triangle offence! Not to mention they botched another draft pick, so we can always count on the Knicks to screw things up. Again, just going to be awful, but will have 10 plus nationally televised games this season, so look forward to that. Recently Michael Beasley said on a talent level “he’s right there with LeBron and KD.” Him and Rob Hennigan must have the same weed dealer……..

Charolette Hornets: 2017: 36-46 Prediction: 39-43

This is an interesting team. Charlotte has been in a peculiar situation the last few years. I feel like they should always have a better record than they do. But for some reason they are always sitting in the 8-12 spot in the Eastern Conference. Kemba Walker is a stud, he’s one of the best scorers in the NBA, I just think he doesn’t really have much help. Some of the names on the roster look great on paper, Dwight Howard, Marvin Williams, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist but these pieces just don’t add up to many wins. I think they got lucky that ten teams passed on Malik Munk the rookie out of Kentucky. This is a kid who is out to prove those other 10 teams. This is a guy who will know who got drafted ahead of him and by what team. His offence game might not be NBA ready yet, but it will be fun and interesting to see him grow as a pro with Walker by his side. If Dwight got his shots and is no longer the Ebola virus he was in Atlanta and Houston and LA……well maybe this could work out. But I highly doubt that, so I look forward in watching Dwight inplode once again this season.

Detroit Pistons: 2017: 37-45 Prediction: 32-50

Boy this team is going to STRUGGLE to score the basketball. I think this is going to be a long and rough season for the Pistons. We won’t be hearing much DETROIT BASKETBALL from my man Jalen Rose. This is just a complete and total roster mess, with no real offensive threat. Drummond is probably one his last leg in Detroit I think, things just haven’t worked out and he needs a fresh new start. I will say I’m excited for Luke Kennard to play, and he could be that much needed fire power I just mentioned. I think he’s going to turn into a solid pro for them, so look for Kennard to have a great year for the Pistons.

Miami Heat: 2017: 41-41 Prediction: 41-41

What an interesting team. Waiters Island got paid this summer and that guy is going to be on some serious revenge type stuff this season. The Heat are a weird team, they have some good pieces, Whiteside, Waiters, Dragic and Winslow. They even have some quality young guys like Josh Richardson and their rookie, Bam Adebayo, looking forward to the “Wham Bam, thank you ma’am” after a nice dunk or something. At least that would be my go to Bam call, if I was announcing. But I just don’t think they have a overall veteran leadership on the team. They will play with a ton of energy and run the floor, and will compete on a nightly basis, but I just don’t see them having a better record than last year. Remember they had an incredible stretch of games, and I just don’t see that happening again.

Chicago Bulls: 2017: 41-41 Prediction: 21-61

The Bulls may very well be competing to be the worst team in the entire NBA. Bulls fans are dubbing their draft pick Lauri Markkanen to be Dirk of Finland. This is a really young and bad roster. At the start of last season they had Rondo, Jimmy Buckets and D-Wade. All three of them are gone and to show for it? Kris Dunn, who I actually like and Zach LaVine, who will miss most of the season with an injury and is a contract year. I don’t see him sticking around in this situation. They will be in full tank mode, they have nothing to play for, and quite frankly they just won’t win many games, based solely on the roster. The Bulls need a coaching, and culture change really bad, they need some sign of a future and its just not apart of their franchise right now.

Indiana Pacers: 2017: 42-40 Prediction: 35-47

I don’t think it’s in Larry Birds DNA to tank. He will not let that happen. He won’t let the fans of the Pacers and the great state of Indiana down. So that’s why I think they will stay a float all season long. Now they lost Paul George and it’s time for Myles Turner to spread his wings and fly. They aren’t terrible, they have some all round solid NBA players. Has Victor Oladipo ever really been in the right situation? Last year he just stood around until Westbrook want a position off, and in Orlando, well that was just Orlando. This could be the fresh start he needs and look for him to have a comeback year. Thad Young was hurt all last year and I like this guy. He’s a pro and works hard and a few years back in Brooklyn, he was really good. Look for him to come back to form and help Turner down low. Lance will still be making them dance and I never want that to go away, especially in the Hoosier state.

Milwaukee Bucks: 2017: 42-40 Prediction: 45-37

Giannis!!! The Freak! I want the world to drop the “Greek” and just go with “The Freak” Dark horse MVP candidate this up coming year, if he takes another step in his game. If he can figure out his jump shot, I think the sky really is the limit on his ceiling. Now for the Bucks themselves, they showed flashes last season, especially in their playoff series against the Toronto Raptors. Unfortunately, this is almost becoming such a common thing, it makes me sad, Jabari Parker will miss the start of this season. I think this could be the year they trade him away. They have a TON of pieces they could trade if things aren’t working out. But Middleton, and last years ROY Malcolm Brogdon are back and are two great complimentary players. If Thon Maker can break out too, the Bucks could win upwards of 50 games.

Atlanta Hawks: 2017: 43-39 Prediction: 28-54

Whoa boy. Talk about a free fall. The Atlanta Hawks had a good run. They had a 60 win season and made it to the ECF, and that’s saying something. Not too many NBA franchise can say they accomplished that in last 5 years. All those players that were part of those teams are gone, and they really don’t have the right guys to fill the slots. I don’t even know who their crunch time guys will be, and arguably their best player Dennis Schroder could be in some legal trouble, so that’s not good. I think 28 wins is too high for this team, but I can’t predict a 20 loss difference from last season, that would be some historical kind of stuff. On the bright side Atlanta, no more Dwight Howard!

Washington Wizards: 2017: 49-33 Prediction: 51-31

So apparently the Wizards have won 50 or more games in like 40 years, but I think this is the year it happens. Bradley Beal looked unstoppable in the playoffs, and just basketball fans in general want him to FINALLY BE HEALTHY this season. John Wall wants to be in the MVP conversation, and honestly I think he’s the best PG in the East. He’s got speed like no other and I think he’s really coming into his own, and maturing as a player and as a man on and off the court. Much like Portland they will rely heavily on those two guys, much like Lillard and CJ, but Washington has some other good pieces. Otto Porter finally came into his own, and looks to be a great NBA player. Washington took the Celtics to 7 games last year, and I think they will build on that experience.

Toronto Raptors: 2017: 51-31 Prediction: 46-36

My squad, my team, my guys. I’m not really sure how I feel about this team. At what point do we all start to feel bad for the Raptors? Seriously its the same thing every year, well for the last 4. Great regular season, always improving, and then facing LeBron in the playoffs and getting swept. It’s not a great feeling and it just sucks. They lost a lot of their identity, especially on the defensive end of the floor, PJ Tucker and Patrick Patterson will be missed dearly. I can live without Corey Joseph and I fairly confident there was a Weekend At Bernie’s thing going on with DeMaree Carrol last season, he will not be missed. I just think this is going to be a down year for the Raptors, and I don’t know what this team needs to do moving forward. I do think they got a late steal in the draft with OG Anunoby, and when he gets back from injury, I hope he can contribute right away. We will need it.

Boston Celtics: 2017: 53-29 Prediction: 57-25

So the Celtics are going to be really good this season. What an off-season for Danny Ainge, signing Gordon Hayward, trading for Kyrie Irving and they had the third pick in the draft and went with the all around stud Jayson Tatum. Look I know people were unhappy about them trading away IT after everything he did for the city and the franchise, but this is a business, and I think IT will be alright. I think it’s going to take along time for this team to really find its identity. Now they do have an incredible coach in President Stevens, but he really hasn’t coached a true “superstar” before, but one thing he knows how to do is bring new pieces together and figure out how they all can work cohesively. Coming from the college game, he is experienced with that aspect of a team. I really think the sky is the limit for Boston, and I know Golden State is the mother of all teams, but I do think they will be one of the best teams in the league when they figure out who they want to be. The real big question will be, is Kyrie Irving a franchise guy? I really want to watch him this year without LeBron, because remember when the Cavs were his team, they were the worst team in the league by far. Now he has a really good roster around him, but it will be interesting to see if he can be a true leader and the guy Boston thinks he is going to be.

Cleveland Cavaliers: 2017 51-31 Prediction: 56-26

So the Cavs signed everybody this off-season. They have the oldest roster in the league and if you blow hard enough someone might actually just turn to dust and blow away. The nickname for this team needs to be “Father Time” and for the first time in history, father time may not be undefeated. Just like the Celtics they have a ton of new pieces, D-Rose, D-Wade, and when he comes back IT. LeBron teams always take time to gel and mesh when new pieces are added. It happened in Miami and it happened when Kevin Love came to Cleveland. IT is the X-Factor for them. If he comes back 100 percent and is on a mission from god to destroy the NBA like he did last season, I personally think the Cavs will win the championship this season. They have enough talent and he can score just as well as Kyrie, and I think he will embrace playing with LeBron more than he did and just soak it all in. Wade will play 50-60 games and just be on cruise control until the finals and he wants another ring. Kevin Love is going to have a fantastic year playing at the 5 spot and it’s such a smart move to have TT come off the bench.

I CANT WAIT FOR BASKETBALL TO COME BACK! I’m going to do one last piece about who I think will win the NBA awards this season, so stay tuned!

Check ya later.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NBA Season Preview 2017/18

Basketball is my favourite sport, I like the way they dribble up and down the court.

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What? Just because I write about movies, I can’t crossover into sports. Some of the best things in life are crossovers. There is literally a basketball move called the crossover, so back off! I know what people think, the NBA is way to “top heavy”, that we should really only watch the final few minutes of a basketball game. Well I just don’t think that is true. The NBA has more talent than ever before, there are more good players playing right now then the NBA has ever seen. It’s just the best teams are really good. The NBA probably has the most young talent out of the 4 major North American pro sports right now. I love the NBA so much, I think it’s the greatest sport and league in the world. It really never stops, the NBA has managed to stay relevant pretty much all year round. Something the NFL, MLB and NHL can certainly not say about themselves. There were people making jokes that this NBA off-season was better than the actual regular season. So much has changed in the last few months, the landscape of the NBA is vastly different and I think this up coming season is going to be for the record books. I think that’s why I decided to write this piece, because I can’t wait for the season to start, I think it’s going to end up being something truly special. So if you love basketball as much as I do, enjoy! Looking forward to October 17th and yelling BAAAAAALLLL NIGHT at my television.

THE WESTERN CONFERENCE 

This conference is STACKED, and I don’t see any team really being that truly awful. Last year the fewest wins was 24 and I think it will be even higher this up coming year. There is going to be a great game on every night with all these teams battling it out. I can’t wait for it, the West = the best.

Phoenix Suns: 2017: 24- 58 Prediction: 28-54

The Suns are coming off a season where they finished last in the Western conference, something that hasn’t happened since 2013 and find themselves with some of the best young talent in the NBA. Boasting one of the youngest rosters in the entire league, they have a really good young core, and at the centre of that core is none other than Devin Booker himself. Dropping 70 points last season in a single game, was one of the highlights of the regular season and adding Kansas’ Josh Jackson, one would think this team will improve in their win total from last season. I have them winning four more games, just because their team is one year older, and I feel like they will compete every night. Don’t be surprised if you hear about the Suns being in about 500 trade rumours throughout the season, they have a ton of pieces they could get rid of, especially if the wheels fall off the wagon early in the season.

Los Angeles Lakers: 2017: 26-56 Prediction: 32-50

Sorry Lavar, but the Lakers aren’t winning anything this season. Boy that guy is going to be a side show this season, but hey it’s LA and maybe this will be a new breed of a sport. WWE meets the NBA, don’t be shocked in Lavar runs onto the court at least once this season. From one Ball to another, let’s talk about the important one; Lonzo. I’m impressed with this kid. He has a little bit of a Jason Kidd in him, mixed with a little bit of a Kevin Martin, because of his hideous shot. Again this is another young team loaded with talent. They have a great coach in Luke Walton who is so well respected, all these kids buy into what he is selling. Everyone is talking about next year already for LA with potential free agents in LeBron and PG13, but lets focus on getting these young guns better, and lets pray that Brandon Ingram ate a few cheeseburgers this summer, because my god that boy needs to put on some pounds, before he can unlock his true potential.

Minnesota Timberwolves: 2017: 31-51 Prediction: 52-30

THIBS!!!! He must be so excited to be reunited with Jimmy Buckets. I get a real Lethal Weapon vibe from them, Jimmy being Murtaugh and Thibs being Riggs. Have you seen Thibs back in the day, with his awesome almost Mel Gibson like mullet. That’s besides the point, Minnesota is one of the teams that underwent one of the biggest makeovers this offseason. They added a lot of pieces, and look to be taken seriously in the tough Western conference this season. I thought it was going to be last season they took “the leap” but they got off to a flat start and just never recovered. Honestly one of the biggest concerns for me was Andrew Wiggins and his defence. Coming into the league he really didn’t have all the tools quite yet, but one thing you thought he could do no problem at the next level would be defend. That hasn’t be the case so far and I hope with adding Jimmy, Wiggins could feed off his passion for defence, because if he does that will help the team in the long run. Towns is only going to get better and with Jamal Crawford coming off the bench, the Timberwolves have potential to maybe make some noise in the West. This team has boom or bust written all over it.

Sacramento Kings: 2017: 32-50 Prediction: 34-48

Lefty Westy is about to be unleashed on the NBA. That’s what I’m dubbing De’Aaron Fox, who I believe will win rookie of the year this season. The Kings added a ton of veterans this off-season, and I want to believe guys like Z-Bo, VC and George Hill could maybe bring a culture change to the Kings. But the Kings will always remain the Kings, so I think this will be a write off season for most of these guys. Maybe I could be wrong, but until I am proven otherwise, this franchise is just kind of in the toilet at the moment. Now I think that all changes with Fox, this kid is going to be a stud, he has all the makings in being a super star in this league. But until a solid foundation is built for him, and that includes having a coach and GM stick around long term, I just think his talents might go to waste, and that’s something that keeps me up at night. It’s like having an A-list actor tied down by being in a crappy movie franchise, sometimes you need to set them free, so they can spread their wings. Let Lefty West fly Kings, please, for all of our sakes.

Dallas Mavericks: 2017: 33-49 Prediction: 26-56 

Dirk, one of the all time greats, I love him to death. What’s there not to love about him? He’s loyal, he takes pay cuts, he’s a competitor, and I just feel bad for the guy. He’s stuck, he is so loyal that in fact, I think it almost a bad thing. I wish I could see Dirk go somewhere else and compete. The Mavs will be the worst team in the West this year, and it’s time for them to finally start thinking about their future. Don’t get me wrong, they found a stud in Dennis Smith Jr. in the draft this year. He will be a great building block for the future, and shows great signs of being a fantastic pro. He’s the type of player that wants to prove he shouldn’t have been the 9th pick in the draft this season. But other than that, they really aren’t working with much.Getting Noel from Philly for pretty much nothing last season helps, because he is a solid basketball player. He was lost in a rotation in Philly, and now he can be unleashed and used to his full potential here, so keep an eye out for a breakout season from Nerlens Noel. Harrison Barnes was a product of being in an incredible system in Golden State and he’s not a “franchise” guy. Dallas will recover they have one of the best owners and coaches in the NBA, but it’s time to move on from Dirk. The NBA will miss him dearly and I don’t think this season will be his last, but there comes a time in life when you simply need to move on and that time is now for the Dallas Mavericks.

New Orleans Pelicans: 2017: 34-48 Prediction: 37-45

Boogie and AD, AD and Boogie. They go together like lamb and tuna fish. Does anyone really know how this season is going to go? Could Boogie get so fed up with AD, he decides to shave the brow off? Now toss is Rajon Rondo into the mix. This has potential to be a catastrophic disaster. I just don’t think it can work, two bigs on the same team. That don’t really work well off the ball. Both of these guys need the ball in their hands to be most effective, and they can’t really space the floor, because neither of them are great shooters. Boogie can knock down so open jump shots, but that’s not who he is. He’s one of the most dominate players in the NBA, and he likes the ball in the post, so does AD. This is a really hard win/loss prediction to make, because I just don’t see this working out. And when things aren’t going well for Boogie, we all know how it ends up. I want to be wrong, I want Boogie to go to the playoffs, I just want him to finally be in a great situation in the NBA. I just don’t think New Orleans is that situation.

Denver Nuggets: 2017: 40-42 Prediction: 47-35

First things first, Josh Childress and his incredible hair have come back to the NBA!!!! Happy for him to be back in the NBA, he was so awesome to watch back in the day on Atlanta. Moving on. I really like this Nuggets team, they seem to fit in the not quite ready to make the jump, but not so bad they tank category. They have an all-around nice roster, with adding Paul Millsap and Trey Lyles this off-season, they are looking to make the playoffs for the first time since 2012 (Lock-out year). Gary Harris, Emmanuel Mudiay and Jamal Murray are great young guards, and I think the Nuggets success will really fall on their shoulders this season. Murray had a rough start to his rookie campaign in 2016, but I expect him to bounce back in a big way this year. Same with Mudiay, I just don’t think it’s really clicked yet for him, but he’s a strong physical guard and I like his skill set, this could be the year that things finally turn around for him. Look for Jokic the Joker to have an incredible year, without doubt the most unique big man in the game today, and really is a treat to watch.

Portland Trailblazers: 2017: 41:41 Prediction: 40-42

Sorry Blazer fans, but I think they are one game worse this season than last. Obviously yes, Lillard and McCollum is phenomenal guard play, but the rest of their roster isn’t that great. They didn’t sign any free agents. I know last year the team turned around once they acquired big man Nurkic from Denver, but I just don’t think that will be enough for them to stay above .500 at the end of the season. Too much is riding on Dame and CJ, and they really have to bring it night in and night out for Portland, and doing that over an 82 game stretch can be difficult. I see maybe one of those guys going down to an injury and the season may be lost. Too many other teams in the West got better this off-season and Portland just frankly did not, so I can’t have them winning more games this season, just doesn’t make sense.

Memphis Grizzlies: 2017: 43-39 Prediction: 43-39

Good old Memphis, they are like the old reliable NBA franchise. You kind of know what you’re always getting with them. Grittiness, defence and discipline. That’s their three keys to success. Now I have them with the exact same record, because I think they are somewhat cursed by the injury bug. Now they added Ben McLemore and Tyreke Evans, so that helps a bit. But with losing Z-Bo, who was kind of the heart and soul of this franchise for so long, I think that will have a bigger impact on the team and their culture than they want to let on. If Parsons, Panda Bear Marc Gasol and Mike Conley can all stay healthy and play roughly 75 games each, then we are talking about a 50 win team here, if not, well it will not be pretty. I’m also excited to see Canadian Dillion Brooks hoop it up for them this season. The kid was a stud at Oregon and could be some much needed fire power off the bench, something that Memphis has been lacking in recent years.

Oklahoma City Thunder: 2017 47-35 Prediction: 55-27

They added Paul George and Carmelo Anthony, I think that qualifies for at least a 8 better win total than last season. Yes, I know their bench is horrible, but the roster they have now, will not be their roster at the end of the year. Can we all just take a minute, and give Sam Presti, their GM some much needed love. In one summer he managed to trade for George and Melo and sign my dude Westbrook to an extension, like simply amazing stuff. I think if this works and they find the right system, look out. You’re naive to think this is going to work game one, you’re naive to think this is going to click by game 30. This is going to take time, and that’s okay. These guys are pros and I think they all have one common goal. DESTROY THE WARRIORS. If Melo can buy into being the third option and taking a more “Olympic Melo” kind of role, this could be scary. I think Paul George wants to prove, he shouldn’t be forgotten about, and well Westbrook is going to do his thing, and I can see him changing his tone up a bit. He won MVP last year, he average a triple double, I think now he wants that ring. I can’t wait to see this unfold, honestly I love Westbrook so much, he’s my favourite player and I’m excited to see what happens with this team.

Utah Jazz: 2017: 51-31 Prediction: 41-41

Video of the summer belongs to the guy filming himself burning his Hayward jersey and proclaiming “good luck being LeBron’s little B-word (that’s what he actually said)”. So the Jazz took a huge hit this off-season and lost their son Gordon Hayward. One the bright side, Donovan Mitchell the rookie they drafted was eating guys alive in summer league so they might have something there. Their roster stays the same really, and I think they might go a little bigger and play slower this up-coming year with Gobert and Favours. What the Jazz really need is Dante Exum to start acting like the third pick in the draft and stay healthy. I just think Hayward was such a big part of this franchise and they might have a little bit of a hangover from his departure. The Jazz are an incredible organization and have shown resilience in the past. They don’t really have down years, so look for them to shake things up roster wise if they get off to a slow start.

Los Angeles Clippers: 2017: 51-31 Prediction: 50-32

The Clippers finally parted ways with Chris Paul, and guess what? I don’t think it’s that big of a deal. I always tell people, I think CP3 is kind of overrated, and well he never wins anything. I honestly think he’s one of the most overrated players since the turn of this century. So that’s why I have the Clippers winning only one less game. They added some nice new pieces with Gallinari, Beverley and Lou Williams. All solid players and if Gallinari can finally stay healthy that’s such a bonus for this team. I’m looking forward to all the “ANOTHER ASSIST FOR MILOS!!!” memes this season, for the 30 year old Serbian rookie. I’m just not too sure what to make of this team just yet, I think them losing Paul isn’t the end of the world. Staying healthy will be the key to their success, because Blake Griffin a few years ago was playing like one of the best 5 players in the entire NBA, and I saw last nights first preseason game and he was hitting 3s! He shoots threes now people, if he can knock that down consistently, look out!

Houston Rockets: 2017: 55-27 Prediction: 61-21

Speaking of CP3, he’s now on the Rockets, who plan on using two basketballs this season. Bold move cotton, I hope it works out for them. I don’t get it, the point guard whisperer Mike D’Antoni turned James Harden into a new player last year, by making him the point guard. It worked so well, he became a completely new player and a new threat to the league. He was already a bonafide stud, but him playing point worked really well. Now enters CP3 who is a pure point guard, making Harden return to the wing. I believe Harden works best when he has the ball in his hands, not without it. Houston had such a good season last year, but it ended in a weird way, in a game where it almost looked like James Harden gave up or showed up high to the game. He needs a bounce back season and deep playoff run in order to shed that memory. So he brought in the guy with some of the worst playoff success the NBA has ever seen! Boy this could be a disaster. It also could work out in spectacular fashion, that’s why I have them with 61 wins. PJ Tucker was another great pickup for them, the Toronto Raptors will miss him dearly, and he is a lockdown defender and can hit the corner three. Adding to a roster who already makes a boat load of three-pointers. This should be an interesting dynamic in Houston, can’t wait to see how it pans out.

San Antonio Spurs: 2017 61-21 Prediction: 59-23

The Spurs winning 50 games might be lock of the century in any season. They are without a doubt the most successful franchise since the 90’s Bulls run. They are the definition of success, and what most pro sports franchises want to be. Kawhi Leonard is a freak of nature, he is so good at basketball it’s uncanny, and the Spurs will remain in the contender category until he says otherwise. Like what can I say about the Spurs really, they will be there at the end, wether things click for them or not in the playoffs is another story. I think this could be a really fantastic season for Rudy Gay, I feel like he could be a perfect Popovich player, and really fit into their system. Or much like Richard Jefferson a few years back, will ultimately hate his life and want nothing more than to get the hell out of dodge. He could help Manu with some bench firepower, and I’ve always been a Rudy Gay guy, I just feel like he’s another example of never really being in the perfect situation. The guy I would look out for this season on the Spurs is DeJounte Murray, that kid can play and I think he makes some noise this year and becomes a little bit of a household name.

Golden State Warriors: 2017: 67-15 Prediction 69-13

WARRIORS, COME OUT TO PLAY!!!!! It was really nice this summer to hear that KD is just like me. That made me feel good about myself and gave me a much need confidence boost. Swaggy P is good for 2 more wins, and I think it could honestly be more. I can’t wait to watch him drop buckets in big moments in the playoffs come 2018. It’s going to be glorious to watch. It’s great because I think deep down, Swaggy probably thinks he is a better shooter than both Klay and Steph and hell even KD. That’s what I love about that guy, all time heat check guy. There’s nothing new here, expect the fact that it’s a year later and these guys are gelled even more together. They could be unstoppable and I would be okay with it. They are really fun to watch and honestly are one of the greatest teams of all time. So don’t hate on greatness, because it doesn’t come around often. I will be shocked if they aren’t in the finals yet again, but that’s the beauty thing about sports, I want to see them play 7 games against the Spurs, Rockets and Thunder. The West playoffs are going to be so much fun, and I hope one of those three teams take down the Warriors.

So there you have it, the Western conference. I’ll be doing the Eastern conference soon, along with award predictions and final thoughts!

Check ya later.