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2014-2015 NBA Preview – Eastern Conference



Atlantic Division

Toronto Raptors
Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan can run this team out of the gym and all the way to the top of the Eastern Conference in a Atlantic division that is shallower than the edge of the ocean. With these two one things for sure, NBA basketball won’t run from Canada.

Brooklyn Nets
Paul Pierce, Shaun Livingston and Jason Kidd may be gone, but Kevin Garnett, Joe Johnson and Deron Williams are still here. Jarret Jack is a nice addition to the bench too like Andrei Kirlienko. Sure B.K. is depleted but so is the East.

New York Knicks
What a difference a Phil Jackson and Derek Fisher make. Especially when these Laker legends come with a re-upped Carmelo not joining Kobe. Still living and dying by a core of Stoudemire and J.R. Smith the core of the Big Apple needs more bite before its rotten.

Philadelphia 76ers
If Joel Embiid can be the new Mutombo in Philly and as big a rookie as Michael Carter-Williams was these Philadelphia stake holders may have a chance at breaking more than bells.

Boston Celtics
How far can the best Point Guard in the league Rajon Rondo take the most successful and storied franchise of all time? Especially, if he himself ends up far away. It could be all on the broad gym shoulders of a Smart young rookie changing the guard.

Central Division

Cleveland Cavaliers
In Ohio the land is rich again with the return of the King. LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and now Kevin Love is an Ultron Voltron big-three in this age of Avengers. They are also thinking of there first trilogy so ‘Bron can match Kobe and Mike’s three-peats. But how much will unloading number one Canadian draft picks Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett hurt their future?

Chicago Bulls
Still the thorn in LeBron’s lion paw is Rose and his rejuvenated Bulls. So long as Derrick doesn’t wilt under the pressure of another injury, his matchup nightmare in the preseason could beat the ‘Bron beast and the rest of the East. Especially with a frontcourt fueled by the passion of Defensive Player Of The Year Joakim Noah and the betrayed fire of former Laker Pau Gasol. A man who brings Larry O’Brien along with him in his trades. The city of Chicago needs this.

Indiana Pacers
After hitting the skids on their stellar season the ‘Indy 5.00′ has been run off the road with the loss of sixth man Lance Stephenson to free agency and superstar Paul George to a horrific injury. Roy Hibbert, George Hill and David West can still take them far, but sometimes what looks good on paper is just screwed up (see Bynum; Andrew). Here’s betting they wish Danny Granger’s jersey wasn’t now on the discount rack.

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Detroit Pistons
Caron Butler was a nice addition to the Palace, but he would have found a better, hard-working and bruising home in Auburn Hills back in the Bad Boy age. The future is Drummond and Jennings, but they need a few more pieces before everyone stops being so puzzled. Motor City needs a new engine to drive these Pistons.

Milwaukee Bucks
Welcome to the future of the NBA, Jabari Parker. Right now in NBA purgatory in Wisconsin with former high draft pick stud O.J. Mayo. Give them one more guy to garnish the salad colour jerseys and it could all be like Ray Allen, Glenn Robinson and Sam Cassell again.


Washington Wizards
Paul Pierce was an incredible Nene, Andre Miller, Drew Gooden like big name to add to this rich roster, but do you want the truth? It’s the backcourt of Bradley Beal and John Wall who are going to run this D.C. capital right through the East like an Obama motorcade.

Miami Heat
I wont say it. Besides Dwyane Wade’s franchise still has him and Chris Bosh along with Miami mainstays like Haslem and the Birdman. If that wasn’t enough Luol Deng, Danny Granger and Josh McRoberts are a big three addition. Yeah I’m going to go there. Life without LeBron will suck but not as much as people think. There’s still talents in South Beach. There I said it.

Atlanta Hawks
This franchise used to be a yearly frustration, now they are a regular playoff mainstay. Especially with big players like Horford, Milisap and Teague and the size of Elton Brand and threes of Kyle Korver on reserve. Still they seem to have lost some energy and enthusiasm ever since Josh Smith hustled his dunking play off the block.

Charlotte Hornets
The Hornets are back. Forget a Pelican or Bobcat that Larry Johnson throwback is even more relevant now. But right now the franchise that wishes Michael Jordan could step down from the front office like a Washington Wizard and play, would settle for someone’s Grandmama playing here. Still big addition Lance Stephenson is nice addition to the Kemba Walker and Kidd-Gilchrist formula of success. Don’t be divided it’ll multiply in a few years.

Orlando Magic
The Magic Kingdom has been in need of some Disney Fantasia magic ever since Dwight Howard, superman flew to the Rockets of Houston by way of the Man Of Steel Shaq’s former franchise. At least Victor Oladipo has some help in a Point Guard called Payton. No not Gary, but Elfrid, a rookie ready to fit like a glove and take the Mickey Mouse reigns.


La La Lakerland Played Host To A City Of All-Stars At The Weekend



Verizon Slam Dunk Contest 2018
Like Father, Like Slam,

Los Angeles, it doesn’t get much more Hollywood than this. Even if Beyonce, Queen Latifah, Chris Tucker and even the other Michael (B) Jordan were taking in all the lights, camera action court-side.

After the 2017 Mardi Gras in New Orleans last year and two calendar’s after our native Toronto held the All Star Weekend in Canada, the sixth A.S.G. in the Clipper and Lakerland of the downtown STAPLES of L.A. was the first of it’s kind. As two of the best players in the association and reigning finalists decided to draft their own pool of players against the wall for the ultimate black and white pick-up game between ‘Team Stephen’ and ‘Team LeBron’, for all the marbles of which of the last two champions would be King.

Well it certainly helps if James picks his rivals reigning MVP teammate Kevin Durant and his own former partner in pine championship crime Kyrie Irving for the big shots first.

But before all that it was down to regular festivities to begin the weekend of All-Star. Basketball’s equivalent of music’s Grammy’s or movies Oscars in Superbowl February. Opening these ceremonials Team World beat down Team USA 155-124 in the Rising Stars game that should really tell you something. Despite home court advantage rookie steal, Kyle Kuzma notching 20, fellow Californian franchise face Buddy Hield was king as the Sacramento star hit 29 as the two sides wore Clipper and Laker interloped Buffalo and MPLS throwbacks for the Hollywood script. And after Quavo of hit duo Migos took home the Celebrity Game MVP as Team Clippers beat Team Lakers 79-66, Spencer Dinwiddie paid the bills in a superior skills comp. Before scorching Sun in California Devin Booker showed his career high 70 was no one-hit wonder as he burnt down all the nets and the money-ball rack. Winning the three-point contest showdown from reigning winner and sixth man Eric Gordon. Grounding the Rocket as this Phoenix rose. Book it!

But after the most therapeutic competition of All-Star weekend it was time for the most exciting one just as compelling. And in honoring his father Larry Nance, the 1984 winner of the inaugural Slam-Dunk contest, Larry Nance Jr. rocked the baby cradle, like father, like dunk. As he even rocked the old-school Phoenix Suns jersey, short shorts and high-socks for an inspired imitation. But under the magicians cloak, those Los Angeles natives in attendance draped in gold wish he had turned into someone turning back the clock and wearing a Lakers jersey (those Lonzo assists with the ball would have helped). As what would have been a long awaited, eagerly anticipated home-team representation turned into an Akron homecoming for the Ohio hometown hero like LeBron in the Kings land once the trade deadline passed.

Pops Nance loved it though after he himself played the lions share of his career in Cleveland as a Cavalier. Even assisting his boy on his second slam, before he blew the house down with a windmill that even rocked Chris Rock and then double tapped an Instagram worthy picture perfect dunk that if your phone blinked, you’d have had to instant replay it to not miss it and believe it. But all this court creativity wasn’t enough like Maverick rookie Dennis Smith Jr.’s 360 reverse, through the legs 50. Or All-Star Victor Oladipo getting an assist off King T’Challa himself Chadwick Boseman, suiting up in the Black Panther mask and clawing a tomahawk. And if you think that was special, if only you were a fly on the wall for the moment entertainment megastar Jamie Foxx told Vic he loved his album and started singing ‘A Song For You’ with him in the parking lot (as told by Sports Illustrated’s Lee Jenkins). As Utah’s jazz man Donovan Mitchell won by jumping over Kevin Hart and his family (Come on! How hard is that? The comedian was even crouched down. Seriously?! He could have even been sat on his shoulders and Mitch would have been good), and then breaking out the classic Vince Carter Raptor jersey and doing you know what.

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The whole weekend turned out to be a testament to a throwback tribute despite Nike’s brand new Team LeBron and Steph duds. Last years All-Star representative, Pelican Anthony Davis paying tribute to his injury fallen teammate brother Cousins by wearing what would have been his numero zero jersey. Free agent suitors beware, DeMarcus is going nowhere now this summer after this. You see he saw on I.G. but look at the shot. How s### was his seat for a would be player?

But after Black Eyed Pea Fergie caught flack for her soulful and sultry rendition of the Star Spangled Banner national anthem (hey, you didn’t complain when Marvin did it) the game hit all the high-flying, dunking high-notes. So much so fans needed throat lozenges like Pink! Even if there wasn’t a single Clipper or Laker representative in the game itself. Despite the lobbying for 6 Man, Lou Will and new Laker Isaiah Thomas only recently being LeBron’s actual teammate.

The King took the MVP crown himself as his 29 points, 10 rebounds and 8 assists helped turn a 15 point hole into a 148-145 victory. And from the look on his face as he leapt into Kevin Durant’s arms of all people, it looked like he just won the NBA Championship back. And from the look on Steph’s face on the receiving end reply it was hard to disagree.

You may be the champion, but I’m the best in the world those eyes said.

Well it’s up to you to decide when round 2 of the All Star draft is televised next year for all to see in M.J.’s land of the greatest.

Charlotte’s going to be good!

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Is Isaiah Thomas IT For The Lakers?



Usa Today 10601289.0
IT Came On A Hollywood Night

It’s All-Star break this weekend in Los Angeles, but the Lakers already have a new one since the trade deadline to lead their young core in the heart of the city. Even if Team LeBron didn’t pick him for Sundays pick up.

But how long will IT last?

Right now in the NBA the amount of movers is really putting the shakers on teams. So much so that in regards to loyalty in this league it’s even colder than the Olympics in Pyeonchang, South Korea right now. But then again it is the Winter after all. Recently Cleveland cleaned house and LeBron’s land for some Cavalier moves. Jettisoning several All-Star points for their changing of the guard. Including former MVP Derrick Rose, ‘Bron brodie Dwyane Wade back to the Heat of Miami, South Beach and even the guy they traded Kyrie for.

Yep that’s right after summer swapping Irving for Isaiah, the Cavs sent Thomas along with versatile big-man vet Channing Frye to Lakerland. In return they got the buckets of ‘Sixth Man’ sure thing Jordan Clarkson and another Akron hometown hero in the form of Larry Nance Jr.

And although the Lakers picked-up a certified All-Star with Iverson kill at will, little man syndrome scoring a lot of fans where left tweeting negative emojis and gifs following the deadline deal. And not because their new number seven seal was a former Boston Celtic great only a season ago. Or that the former tooth chipper is now a befallen superstar by way of injury. More that the Lake Show loved the young Ball, Ingram, Kuzma, Randle and Zubac core that has lost it’s first big time players of the future since the de-loading trade of D’Angelo Russell last summer.

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Clarkson was a class act and there from the luck of the late round steal start. Whereas when Nance Jr. ran the floor like his pops all the bleachers snapped shut, tilted up. Lakerland finally thought they would see their own slamming son represent them in the Slam Dunk Contest he should surely win now like father, like dunk today. But now he’ll be doing it all for one and one for all.

But with the fast tracked pace of the Lakers new speedy dynamite dynamo it could still be Showtime again for Magic’s men like when Earvin Johnson was kissing another Isiah Thomas hello in the golden era 80’s. But this Isaiah Thomas-so long as he can ball in the same backcourt as Ball once injury time gives way to the Lavar…excuse me the Lonzo Angeles Lakers-could attract even more free agents like the expected homecoming of Paul George from the Thunder to the purple reign this offseason. Even if rumour has a Black Panther/Killmonger like relationship between this point prince and the King of the Ohio land.

But if it’s between LeBron as a Laker or another one of James’ sidekicks than who do you think will hold the headlines for tomorrows Los Angeles Times? Especially as Isaiah could aim higher than coming off the bench this summer as a free agent without restriction himself. His big contract coming off the books with Channing’s (Frye not Hollywood’s Tatum), another big three big in Brook Lopez and another former All-Star in Luol Deng (yep…he’s still here).

All these multiples of millions would surely make for a kings ransom.

This could be it, so lets enjoy I.T. whilst he lasts.

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Nuggets Jamal Murray breaks Steven Adams Ankles with Filthy Handles



Nuggets Jamal Murray Breaks Steven Adams Ankles Filthy Handles

Denver Nuggets Guard Jamal Murray breaks OKC Thunder center Steven Adams ankles with his filthy and deadly combination of handles and three-point shooting. Murray was sensational finishing with 33 points, 5 assists and 3 rebounds in a thrilling 127-124 victory. The Canadian guard (Kitchener, ON) is having the best year of his NBA career and has arguably become best Canadian basketball player in the NBA. The 6’4″, 207 lbs guard is flourishing under Head  Coach Mike Malone’s system and is averaging a respectable 16 points per game, 3.6 rebounds and 3 assists per game through 50 regular season games including a career-high 38-point outburst against the Portland Trail Blazers.

BTW. I can watch this all day!

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