Toronto Raptors Team Preview

Going to be a fun ride. Don’t even think about next year. Enjoy Kawhi Leonard.

Last Seasons Record – 59-23

This Seasons Record – 65-17

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Kawhi Leonard is worth six more wins, right? He has to be. Yes, this is a little late, but writing over 20,000 words for the NBA season takes time. The Raptors are flying out of the gate. They are off to the best start in franchise history with a 6-0 record. Not only does this team have a new life, but everyone is playing what appears to be on another level. Lowry, JV, and Siakim have all improved in the offseason yet again. Lowry is leading the league in assists per game or was after their last contest. Kyle Lowry, leading the league in that category, are you kidding me? When the trade happened everyone was head over heels about Kawhi coming to Toronto and rightfully so. But the guy who has figured out time travel, and one of the biggest key factors in their success is Danny Green. He is playing at such a high level right now, and his basketball IQ, which is through the roof is making things really easy on the offensive end for our guys. This team is truly going to have a special season, and we all need not worry about what next year holds, but just enjoy this fabulous ride this team is going to provide us for the next 7 months.

Key Additions and Subtractions 

Imagine being in a relationship with someone who was so good to you, who improved yearly and then you wake up one day and it’s over. What happened with DeMar DeRozan in the summer was a bummer. But sports is a business and the organization saw an opportunity and went for it. You have to do these things in sports, you must make difficult decisions. Trading away DeMar and getting Kawhi Leonard in return is a once in a lifetime thing. Jakob Poeltl went to San Antonio with DeMar and Danny Green came alongside Kawhi. So far the trade has worked out well for both teams and I couldn’t be happier. DeMar is killing it with the Spurs right now, and yet again has improved in the offseason and is out for blood this year. It just makes me happy seeing him be successful, but that was a no-brainer. He went to one of the best franchises in all of the sports and is learning day in and day out from Greg Popovich. Other than that, the Raptors didn’t make any moves. They resigned Fred VanVleet and they know that they are chalked full of young talent and are primed to make a move in the East with LeBron James now out West.

Year Long Question – How good can Pascal Siakim become?

When it’s the offseason in the NBA, every player heads to Los Angeles. Or at least it seems like that. Siakim was one of those guys. He was seen playing pick-up ball with some of the best players in the world this summer. I have insanely high expectations for him this year. The NBA is kind of built for him now, he can be the perfect stretch 4 or even the stretch 5. He has been working on his shooting since he came into the league and thrives off those corner threes. But his ball handling is getting better and he is able to get to the rim at a really efficient rate. I think that in order for the Raptors to truly reach the goals they want to reach, a lot of that is going to fall on the shoulders of Pascal. If he continues to develop and improve this season, not only will it be great for the Raps, but I think he could be in the running for the Most Improved Player Award.

Fan Mindset

This is just not the city of Toronto celebrating, but the entire country. Yes, no one actually died, but after 15 years LeBron James has finally moved to the Western Conference. The ultimate Raptors killer. The man responsible for us being eliminated year after year in the playoffs. So when we all heard the news that he was taking his talents to LA and was going to be playing for the Lakers, well Raptor fans everywhere rejoiced in song and dance. He’s gone, baby! We can finally rest easy at night knowing that we don’t have to run into him come playoff time. This team should fear no one in the Eastern Conference, and it really is theirs for the taking. I know when LeBron signed with the Lakers, my mind immediately went to the thought that the Raptors are now primed to make the NBA Finals.

Bold Predictions, Sponsored By Nate – The Raptors win the most games in the league this season.

Maybe it’s because I’m a week late in doing this, but the Raptors are one of the two last remaining undefeated teams in the NBA. Actually, the other team is the Bucks who they play Monday night. They are playing such terrific basketball right now and doing it in a fun and meaningful way. Everyone is getting their shots, and when we need a bucket, someone is stepping up. We have won games with a depleted bench, and we are scoring more than 110 points per game. This team will thrive on defence as the season continues I believe, but right now we are simply outscoring teams. I think the Raptors will win 65 games and finish with the best record in the NBA. That could bode well if they make it to the finals for home court. I’m already so excited like Jessie Spano excited.

Cleveland Cavaliers Team Preview

Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

Last Seasons Record – 50-32 (4th)

This Seasons Record – 25-57

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Just like my boy LeBron James would say, “Sheeeeeesh!” So the King himself, LeBron James packed up and headed somewhere warm, a place where the beer flows like wine. I’m talking about a little place called Los Angeles. This is going to be really bad for Cavs fans. I’m sorry in advance, you watch your King head to the West Coast and live it up, while you guys are back to being, well complete and utter garbage. The last time LeBron left Cleveland, they ended up getting two 1st overall picks, but this roster is a little bit different, but it’s not much.

Key Additions and Subtractions. 

So something big is missing, I can’t quite put my finger on it. That’s right, the best player in the world LeBron James is no longer on this roster. He is gone, and he’s probably never coming back. I’m sorry Cavs fans, but you got that championship so you have to be happy. You have to realize that your owner messed up having the greatest player since Michael Jordan TWICE. You can not blame LeBron for wanting more. But you might have drafted a stud this season with Colin Sexton, and Kevin Love is now the main man. This is now Kevin’s team and we haven’t really seen that since his days in Minnesota days, where he was an absolute animal, so I’m excited to see if he can return to his rare form. Colin Sexton wants to prove to everyone that he slipped hard in the draft, and will be trying to win that Rookie of The Year award. They also added Sam Dekker and Channing Frye is back! So all hope isn’t completely lost, but things will be bleak this upcoming year.

Year Long Question – Will Ty Lue be the coach by the end of the season?

So now that the Cavs lost their coach (LeBron James) things will be all on Ty Lue this season. I think it’s time we find out if this man can actually coach or if he was just another pawn in the game of LeBron James. He doesn’t have a lot to work with, but great coaches don’t. I think if things get off to an insanely rocky start this year and the fans want him out, Ty Lue could be coaching for his job before the all-star break. I personally think it should be the start of a new era in Cleveland and it’s time for Lue to move on from this team. I think he will be fired or leave at the seasons end.

Fan Mindset.

Poor Kevin Love. He goes from Minnesota to playing with LeBron James and Kyrie Irving. Two of the top 15 players in the entire league. Now he’s looking around wondering how the hell did I get here? He’s Will Smith in this scene, looking around, reminiscing about the past, and JR Smith is Carleton. The lovable idiot. Who Kevin Love will have to rely on heavily this season. The Cavs are going from a mansion in Bel-air to a trailer park in the Mid-West.

Bold Predictions, Sponsored By Nate – Kevin Love misses 60 plus games

Kevin Love just got paid. Like a garbage truck full of money kind of pay. But I have a sneaky suspicion that he is going down with a devastating injury this year. I hate to predict something like this because we all want everyone to be healthy, and the league to be as competitive as it can be. But he’s going to have such an immense workload, I don’t know if his body can handle it. If Kevin Love does go down, look for the Cavs to be the worst team in the league.

Chicago Bulls Team Preview

 Last Seasons Record – 27-55 (13th)

This Seasons Record – 40-42 

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The baby Bulls are back! Well, they were kind of back last year, but somehow they managed to get a little bit younger, and I’m super excited to watch this team play basketball this upcoming season. Listen, everyone knows that they traded Jimmy Butler, but in return, they got Kris Dunn (underrated and under-appreciated), Zach LaVine and a draft pick that ended up being Lauri Markkanen, who is a young stud. The Wolves got 59 games out of Jimmy Buckets and now he wants out. I really like this roster and if a certain someone can stay healthy, I think this Bulls team could turn a lot of heads this year. As I was writing this, Lauri Markkanen went down, he is going to be out about 6 weeks. So the Bulls could get off to a slow start, but I still like them to be competitive and win some games early on.

Key Additions and Subtractions. 

It’s pretty simple, they didn’t lose anyone of significance off their roster. Yes during the middle of last season Nikola Mirotic got traded away, but they didn’t really get anything of value back, it was more a salary dump, and well Bobby Portis broke his face earlier in the season. They added someone pretty awesome in the offseason getting Jabari Parker. I am really excited about this. He’s on essentially a one year contract, it’s 20 million dollars and he’s a Chicago native. Everyone wants Jabari to be the player we all want him to be. He was the 2nd pick in the draft for a reason, but injuries have derailed his career thus far. I want to see him get 75 games out this year. They also added Duke standout Wendell Carter Jr. in the draft, and I have insanely high expectations for him. Lauri is going into his second year in the league, Kris Dunn is healthy and so is Zach LaVine, I’m telling you, the curse of the Bulls might finally be over.

Year Long Question – Can Jabari Parker stay healthy?

Jabari has been in the league for 4 years, that means he has had the opportunity to play in 328 total games. He has appeared in only 133 of those said games. Yikes. That is really the only way to describe it. We all know the kid can play, in his second year, he played 76 games and average 14 points. The following year he was averaging 20 in 51 games before he got hurt again. The Bulls need him on the court, and I think this could end up being a fantastic marriage.

Fan Mindset.

This pretty much sums it up. This is the best the Bulls have looked going into a season in about 5 years. They have a ton of young talent and a potential all-star in Lauri Markkanen. They ought to be excited about this upcoming year, but they should also be scared. Jabari Parker should scare the shit out of any fan who is hoping he can stay on the court, and with young talent, there are always growing pains. They might get addicted to the fact that everything is fine and dandy right now until Bobby Portis decides it’s time to spice things up again and punch a poor soul in the face.

Bold Predictions, Sponsored By Nate – Wendell Carter Jr is going to win ROY

Hear me out now. I know this was a pretty decent draft class. A ton of upside and Doncic could be the real deal. But if the Bulls are a solid team, and he is playing a decent amount of minutes and potentially starting by the season’s end. I think he has a real shot. Critics think he is better than his fellow drafted teammate Marvin Bagley. I think it’s going to come down between Bagley or Doncic and I’m just going with what my gut tells me right now.

Charlotte Hornets Team Preview

Hide your wives Hornets, Tony Parker is in the house!

Last Seasons Record – 36-46 (10th)

This Seasons Record – 40-42

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This is going to take some getting used to. Yes a ton of NBA players switched teams over the summer, but when you think of Tony Parker and the San Antonio Spurs, they go together like PB & J. It’s been 17 years since he entered the league and every single game he has played has been with the same organization, the same coach, so to think we are getting him not only with a new team but a new coach is unfathomable. Can Parker bring a new culture and a winning attitude to this team that is desperate for a playoff birth?

Key Additions and Subtractions

The Hornets got a lot smaller over the off-season, and more importantly, they are Ebola-free. If you didn’t catch on that they lost Dwight Howard, then I have decided you’re not a complete hoops head like myself. Yes, they are cancer free/Ebola-free take your pick, so that has to be some good news. That’s really it, that was the only key loss that this team suffered, but most NBA fans would say that losing Dwight Howard is a blessing. Bismack Biyombo makes his return to Charlotte, the team that drafted him. After a less than stellar two years with the Orlando Magic.  Now I mentioned the arrival of Tony Parker, who maybe wanted a bunch of free Jordan apparel, I dunno. Picking the Hornets is such an odd choice for this future Hall of Famer, but hey, all the power to this man. I love watching players in new cities and new settings, so I’m excited to see this. They drafted Michigan State standout Miles Bridges with the 12th overall pick, and they are hoping he can contribute right away. He’s already creating posters in the pre-season. It’s the same old roster here in Charlotte and it could be time to finally blow it up. Send Kemba Walker away, and start the rebuilding process.

Year Long Question – Can Malik Monk have a bounce-back sophomore season? 

Going into last years draft a lot of people had high expectations of Kentucky standout Malik Monk. Halfway through last season, people were thinking this kid is a complete and utter bust. Fans and critics alike love to call kids busts when they come into the league. But here’s the thing, these kids are KIDS, and they go and play 30 college basketball games, and now they are in the NBA. It takes time to develop and get to know the ins and outs of what it means to be a professional basketball player. So I’m curious to see if Monk worked on his game, got stronger and is ready to show the NBA that he wasn’t no bust.

Fan Mindset. 

I can’t watch this without getting upset. My Girl makes me cry every damn time. Just like being a fan of this team, it must bring tears to their eyes. Since they became the Hornets again, they have been slowly stinging their fanbase year in and year out. Soon enough you die from too many stings. What needs to happen is that mood ring needs to change colours, and I think Tony Parker could be just the man to make that thing turn blue.

Bold Predictions, Sponsored By Nate – Steph Curry thinks about heading home

That’s right. I’m reaching for the stars. Steph Curry, we all love to hate him. One thing people forget is that his from Charlotte. More importantly, his Father, Del, is a play-by-play guy for the team. People seem to think that there is a slim chance he could join the Hornets in free agency. I know it’s crazy to fathom Steph being on any other team other than the Warriors, but this segment is called bold predictions, so that’s why I’m being BOLD.

He’s not joining the Hornets…….Sorry Hornets fans.

Atlanta Hawks Team Preview

Trey Young might be making this face a lot this season.

Last Seasons Record – 24-58 (15th) 

This Seasons Record – 19-63

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Well, here we are. The first team preview belongs to the Atlanta Hawks. I’m doing this in alphabetical order, simply because it’s easiest. First in the previews and perhaps first in the 2018/2019 lottery? I’m going to come right out and say it. The Atlanta Hawks will be the worst team in the league this season, and I think they are okay with that. In fact, they will have some stiff competition for that lucrative number one pick. RJ Barrett will be the top prize, followed closely by Zion Williamson. So the Hawks will be in full on tank mode, but will also be trying to build and develop their core young talent. It will be a long season for Hawks fans, sorry!

Key Additions and Subtractions.

The Hawks went through some major changes over the off-season. They are fully on board with building their franchise around Trey Young. We all know the story. The Hawks had the third overall pick and drafted Luca Doncic, not before shipping him off to Mr. Cubes and the Dallas Mavericks for Trey himself. Bold move Cotton, I hope this pays off because they are putting so many eggs into his basket. They also added veteran Vince Carter to the mix, Alex Len and Jeremy Lin. Lin coming off that devastating knee injury last season, should help Trey Young progress as a young pro. VC will serve as the leadership and the wise veteran, that this team will desperately need. Losing their best player over the last few season Dennis Schroader will hurt them, but they didn’t want too many point guards in the kitchen. Another addition to the franchise, a new coach. Hawks went and hired Sixers assistant Llyod Pierce as the new head coach. Thank god this man is already bald, because if he wasn’t, well he sure as hell would be by the time this season is over and done with.

Year Long Question. – Can they win more than 20 games this season?

With a team like the Hawks, clearly still rebuilding, still trying to find out who they are, what they are, and who they want to be, it makes for a ton of questions. They think Trey Young can be a Steph Curry type. I don’t know, we all forget how long it took Steph to come into his own in this league. One thing Trey has going for him now is his passing ability. They are chalked full of young talent, mixed in with potential players that were just in the wrong situation. It will be interesting to see Alex Len in a new jersey, he was the 5th pick only 5 years ago. Will this be enough to get the Hawks over the 20 win mark? I don’t think so, I see them winning about 19 games, because I think Trey Young will have more games where he is 5-22, then say 14-26 and he will just be shooting them out of games. That’s okay, this will be a learning process for so many people, and for VC, at least Atlanta is a home to some good adult entertainment.

Fan Mindset.

Here’s the thing. The guy the Hawks traded to get Trey Young could be a once in a lifetime generational player. So if things go well for Luca in Dallas this season and say for the foreseeable future, and Trey ends up being kind of a bust. Well, that’s why I picked this scene of King Tommen jumping out a fucking window because that’s exactly what Hawks fans will be doing all over the world. This will be a trade regardless of the outcome that NBA fans will be looking back on for years and years to come. So you might want to get some condos on the first floor Hawks fans, just sayin’…….

Bold Predictions, Sponsored By Nate – The Hawks will trade either VC or Lin.

Like I mentioned above, the Hawks are gunning for some of them Duke boys. So when you are winning potential games, that will alter those plans because you have a guy like Lin on your team who actually gives a shit, well he’s got to go. So the Hawks after Lin is responsible for three extra wins before the all-star break will ship his ass to some contender or playoff bound team in order to ensure they are calling RJ or Zion come next June. VC on the other hand, well, it’s more of something I want. I want him to end his career in Toronto, to send him our way Atlanta.

The 2018-2019 NBA Season Preview To The Previews

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The leaves are about to change colours and pumpkin spice is all around us; those two things mean that my favourite sport is almost back! That’s right, the greatest league in the entire world is about to start up again, and I can not wait for this season to unfold. Last year was a rollercoaster for a lot of fans, and more importantly a lot of teams. The NBA landscape has once again changed vastly over the offseason, that’s why it’s such a fantastic league. New blood in the East and immortal blood out West, that’s right, unless you live under a rock you know that LeBron James is now a Laker, and even more importantly, Space Jam 2 is officially a go!

Well my NBA podcast is dead (for now) so instead of talking about the upcoming season, I thought, why not write about it? So that’s exactly what I’m going to do. It’s the beginning of October, and I’ll be releasing two team previews a day until the season opener. But it just won’t be your ordinary preview, I’m going to try and add a little spice and pop-culture references to make things a little more fun.

This season is going to be another insane and wild ride.  The NBA is a 24/7-365 reality television show now; no matter what day of the year it is, there is some sort of NBA story going on. I think that’s the greatest strength of the league. This was a mere introduction, I don’t want to bust my nut in the preview to the previews, by giving out all the awards and all that jazz. But this clip is how I’m feeling about this upcoming NBA season.

 

Pretty graphic scene I know, but the Toronto Raptors got KAWHI FUCKING LEONARD! So if we get peak Kawhi, like the Kawhi who was single-handedly beating the Warriors a mere few seasons ago, my face might actually melt or my head explode due to the excitement.

I will be discussing four talking points for each team

  1. Key Additions and Subtractions
  2. Year Long Question
  3. Fan Mindset
  4. Bold Prediction