On today’s show, we are dishing out the NBA Quarter Awards, along with the Jordan’s Secret Stuff winner! We got a new “NBA What-If” and end with some NBA quick hits.
Man the Grizz did Fizdale wrong. How’s that for data?
10.) Portland Trail Blazers (12-8). PPG: 103.2(20h) ORtg: 106.1 (18th) DRtg: 101.9 (3rd). This Week: @NYK Vs MIL Vs NOP
What a shootout Friday afternoon between the Trail Blazers and the Nets. It was nice to see them scrape away that victory, 3-1 on their current road trip which ends tonight in New York. Portland remains to be one the best defensive teams in the league, and when they score 120 plus points should be really hard to beat. Big game against New Orleans who they are battling with for a playoff spot.
9.) Minnesota Timberwolves (12-8) PPG: 108.1 (6th) ORtg: 110.4 (5th) DRtg: 110.5 (28th) This Week: Vs. WAS @NOP @OKC Vs.LAC
So a couple things about the Wolves. First of all, they can’t shoot threes. The perimeter game for the Wolves is getting torched by other teams. Jimmy Butler is finally coming into his own, and being ranked 6th in PPG and 5th in offensive rating, really makes you wonder, considering how bad they are from the outside. Ranked pretty much at the bottom of the league in defence is again startling, this being a coach Thibs team. KAT and Wiggins really need to start playing better two way basketball.
8.) Philadelphia Sixers (11-7). PPG: 109.6 (6th) ORtg: 106.6 (15th) DRtg: 104.5 (9th). This Week: Vs CLE Vs WAS @BOS Vs DET
Joel Embiid thinks he’s the best defensive player in the NBA right now. They rank in the top ten in defence. Maybe theres something here, it’s impressive because of how young this team is. What a tough week for the Sixers, I guess we will see how good they really are come Sunday night. A 2-2 split would be ideal for them.
7.) Toronto Raptors (12-7) PPG: 109.6 (5th) ORtg: 112.4 (3rd) DRtg: 105.2 (11th) This Week: Vs CHA Vs IND
I’m dipping the Raptors a little more than I maybe should. But with a 28-0 run against the Knicks last week, and followed up with a terrible outting in Indiana, I felt this was necessary. The Raptors currently have the leagues best bench aggregate NetRtg at 12.1 The bench is a mob, and when they come in they continue to out work the other team. Van Fleet has been filling in well for Delon Wright in his absences. Maybe he should be getting a few more minutes a game, they need to rebound this week and walk away 2-0 on the week.
6.) San Antonio Spurs (12-7) PPG: 100.9 (25th) ORtg: 106.0 (20th) DRtg: 103.0 (4th) This Week: Vs Dal Vs MEM @MEM @OKC
Good news Spurs fans. Tony Parker is making his season debut against the Mavs this week. Bad news, it’s not Kawhi Leonard. Parker should at least help some of their offensive woes, before Kawhi comes back fully healthy. Still boosting an impressive defensive rating, the Spurs are sitting pretty in the West. Brandon Paul looks to be like a diamond in the rough for Pop. Still on pace for another 50 win season!
5.) Detroit Pistons (12-6) PPG: 103.7 (18th) ORtg: 107.9 (10th) DRtg: 105.9 (13th) This Week: @BOS Vs PHX @WAS @PHI
The Positive Pistons! That’s what I’m dubbing them. Drummond is new and improved, tweeting the most positive things known to mankind. It’s almost 20 games into the season, and they haven’t collapsed yet. I think these Pistons could be for real. Had a really great win in OKC last week. And that improved them to 6-1 against the West this season, this Pistons team is full of energy and really fun to watch.
4.) Cleveland Cavaliers (12-7) PPG 110.8 (3rd) ORtg: 111.9 (4th) DRtg: 111.2 (29th) This Week: @PHI Vs MIA @ATL Vs MEM
Winners of 7 in a row. LeBron James is on a mission. Boy he had some impressive games last week, and the Cavaliers are rolling. Their defence still stinks, and Derick Rose could be done with basketball. Now more than ever do the Cavs need IT back. The defence has been getting better, obviously with winning 7 straight it has to be. Can’t wait for IT to come back and see what this team can truly be.
3.) Houston Rockets (15-4) PPG: 113.5 (2nd) ORtg: 114.3 (2nd) DRtg: 104.1 (8th) This Week: Vs BKN Vs IND @LAL
Chris Paul is back and the Rockets are still rolling. Putting up monster numbers on the offensive end. James Harden is battling LeBron for MVP right now, getting to another level this year. He is taking over the “Steph Curry” Award which is pretty much who hits the most threes in a season. If Paul stays healthy and Harden keeps this pace up, Golden State will have a tough foe come May.
2.) Golden State Warriors (15-5) PPG: 117.4 (1st) ORtg: 114.8 (1st) DRtg: 103.9 (6th) This Week vs Sac @LAL @ORL @MIA
Oh boy. Like lambs to the slaughter. What a schedule for the leagues best offence this week. Here’s the crazy thing. During the month of November, the Warriors have had the leagues best defence……Let that sink in for a second, because they are already the odds on favourite to win the title. The season started and people were questioning their defence, and look at them now. Warriors are just too good.
1.) Boston Celtics (18-3) PPG: 103.9 (19th) ORtg: 107.0 (13th) DRtg: (98.9 (1st) This Week: vs DET vs PHI vs PHX
They finally lost. Didn’t see that coming, especially against the Heat. Kyrie’s play down the stretch in close games is truly something special. He was at one point +40 in games within 5 points with under 5 minutes left. Boston’s bench continues to improve and the two Jayson’s just keep getting better. Brad Stevens has a real winner on his hands.
Check ya later.
Joel Embiid is really good at basketball, that is all
10.) Cleveland Cavaliers (9-7). PPG: 110.6 (3rd) ORtg: 110.8 (4th). Drug: 112.4 (30th). This Week: @DET, vs. BKN, vs. CHA
Don’t look now, but the Cavs have won four straight games, and seem to be finding their groove. Yes they still rank dead last in defensive rating in the league, well which is not great, but if they keep winning, really that’s all that matters for now. They have a couple of revenge game this week against Brooklyn who beat them early on in the year. LeBron is quietly putting up monster numbers, with 28.9PPG, 7.8RPG and 8.6APG, he has logged the most minutes in the league so far, and I don’t know if that is sustainable, but it’s LeBron, I think he will be the first guy to defeat Father Time.
9.) Portland Trail Blazers (9-7). PPG: 103.0 (19th) ORtg: 106.6 (15th). DRtg: 100.9 (2nd) This Week: @MEM @PHI @BKN @WAS
Who knew going into this season Portland would be sporting the 2nd best defensive rating almost 20 games into the year. Well they do, and Lillard and McCollum are both still studs, and Terry Stots has done a great job figuring out his rotations. The bottom seeds in the West playoff picture will be up for grabs, so if Portland can keep up their defensive ways, I’m sure they will find themselves sitting pretty in a playoff spot come April.
8.) Washington Wizards (9-7). PPG: 108.1 (12th) ORtg: 109.3 (8th). DRtg: 105.0 (9th). This Week: @MIL, @CHA, vs. POR
Like usual John Wall has gotten off to a less than stellar start. And right now he is battling injuries, so the most important thing for the Wizards to do is get him healthy. Luckily, Otto Porter and Bradley Beal have been taking on the load, and doing so in spectacular fashion. Beal is probably the MVP for the Wizards so far, who face a tough road ahead, with a bunch of games on the road in the next two weeks.
7.) Minnesota Timberwolves (10-6) PPG: 107.5 (13th) ORtg: 109.5 (7th) DRtg: 109.0 (21st) This Week: @CHA vs ORL vs MIA vs PHX
Every week I’m still in disbelief that a coach Thibs team is ranked 21st in defence. Is it the players? Was Thibs just kind of an overrated defensive coach? I don’t think that is the case. A guy who needs to start stepping up for the Wolves on the defensive side of the ball is Townes. I needs to become a rim protector. They just don’t get stops, which is so vital for a long playoff run and team success. They are playing ,much better as of late winning 8 of their last 10 games, but it’s the defensive stuff that scares me with this team.
6.) San Antonio Spurs (10-6) PPG: 101.6 (21st) ORtg: 106.7 (14th) DRtg: 104.0 (5th) This Week: vs. ATL @NOP @CHA
Almost a quarter of the way through the season, and still no Kawhi Leonard. I don’t want to say this is going to be like an Andrew Luck scenario, but they are being awfully coy about his injury and when he is set to come back. I get it, Houston and Golden State have locked up 1st and 2nd in the West. So why rush him back right now, when they want a 100 percent healthy Kawhi. Still really impressive feat, that the Spurs have managed to win 10 games already without a top 5 player in the league.
5.) Toronto Raptors (11-5) PPG: 110.4 (8th) ORtg: 112.9 (3rd) DRtg: 105.8 (12th) This Week: @NYK @IND @ATL
Holy moly, what a difference a week can make. Seriously, what a week. Back to back wins against Houston and New Orleans (on the road) and then finishing up the week with wins against the Knicks and Wizards at the ACC. Lowry has seriously found his groove and played his best four games of the season last week. The turn around could point to OG Anouby, who started last week and provided a huge spark for the Raptors. They are ranked 8th in assists per game, which is such a turn around from last year, when they ranked dead last in the association.
4.) Detroit Pistons (11-5). PPG: 105.0 (16th) ORtg: 109.0 (9th) DRtg: 105 (9th) This Week vs CLE @OKC
One of the few teams to rank in the top ten in both offensive and defensive rating. The Pistons continue to impress the NBA community and more importantly keep winning games. Drummond is a beast, leading the league in rebounds, and is having his best season of his career. Credit to Stan Van Gundy who might of had one foot out the door, I thought this was going to be a write off season for Detroit, and they have proved myself, and many others wrong so far. Keep it up.
3.) Houston Rockets (13-4) PPG: 112.6 (2nd) ORtg: 113.6 (2nd) DRtg: 104.9 (7th) This Week: vs DEN vs NYK
Chris Paul is back, he’s healthy and Houston is still really good at basketball. The defence is still there, even James Harden has turned a new leaf. They had an awful game against the Raptors last week, but almost clawed back. So CP3 played one game with the Rockets and then has been sitting ever since. These next few weeks, I believe we will finally see the real Rockets. This is the CP3 send off tour, he certainly is far form retiring, but this Rockets team could have found some magic this season and this could be his chance to finally you know, do something in the playoffs….
2.) Golden State Warriors (13-4) PPG: 117.9 (1st) ORtg: 115.2 (1st) DRtg: 105.0 (10th) This Week: @OKC vs. CHI vs NOP
A showdown with the Thunder should be really fun to watch, but what is there to say about the Warriors, other than the loss to the all might Celtics last week. Look it’s the Warriors, I can only say so much. They have an unstoppable offence and are actually turning it around on the defensive side of the ball. There only weakness? The inside paint presence, that could potentially hurt them down the line if they get cold from the outside.
1.) Boston Celtics (15-2) PPG 102.5 (22nd) ORtg: 106.0 (18th) DRtg: 97.7 (1st) This Week: @DAL @MIA vs ORL @IND
They haven’t lost a game since October 20th, need I say more? Probably going to get to at least 19 wins…..
Check ya later.
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)
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.
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.
No word of a lie, every time I get a haircut now, I just show them a picture of Gordon Hayward.
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.