Trust The Podcast – Power Rankings

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

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(NBA)

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)

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.