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2014-2015 NBA Preview – Western Conference

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Northwest

Oklahoma City Thunder
Don’t let the San Antonio Spurs or Kevin Durant’s injury let you rule out O.K.C. O.K.? The Miami Heat and the MVP have now left a seat for this team and Russell Westbrook to flourish, but it’s all on the best player in the league not named LeBron to see where this team finishes.

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Portland Trail Blazers
No longer Jail Blazers this new generation Portland team really is blazing a trail with the NBA standard one, two punch of the new Tim Duncan, LaMarcus Aldridge and the quicksilver speed of Damian Lilliard. Watch the City of Roses in the new garden bloom like Chicago’s Derrick. Even Jordan’s not shrugging.

Minnesota Timberwolves
As good and great as he is we don’t need to talk about Kevin. There’s no love lost here in the latest cold city to have a top forward jacked by LeBron’s talent taking. We see you Toronto. You’re still the north without the Bosh. Don’t freeze over Minneapolis. The twin city home of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Prince have some new twin peaks in former number one Cleveland Cavaliers, Canadian draft picks Anthony Bennett and Andrew Wiggins. Don’t worry they are used to the cold and Kobe knows Cleveland dumping Wiggins was as bad as when the Charlotte Hornets traded him and did we forget about one of the most sought after international draft picks in years, Ricky Rubio running the show? This team could be greater than Gatsby. It’s the new power generation.

Denver Nuggets
Ty Lawson has a few Nuggets to chip to now that Andre Iguodala is gone. Still at least the Mile High City has those air conditions on their side. That should help them breathe.

Utah Jazz
Remember when Carlos Boozer and Deron Williams where the new Stockton and Malone? Well between Exum and Favors take your pick and roll because this team is as raw as Salt Lake. They did show greatness in signing a young kid suffering from leukaemia called J.P. Gibson however. For him the Jazz will play strong.

Pacific

Golden State Warriors
The Warriors don’t just live and die by the threes of Splash Brothers Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. They thrive by it. Now the rest of the league will be left wetter then what’s under the Golden Gate.

Los Angeles Clippers
Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and the new dunking Jordan will keep this city lobbing and taking off like L.A.X. STAPLES doesn’t look like the Lakers home anymore but its time to cover up those ‘selfies’ in the rafters with some real banners.

Phoenix Suns
Now the Eric Bledsoe drama is put aside…for now, it’s time for this star built like LeBron to show why his future is Sun burning bright like his most entertaining ballclub. Time to rise from those ashes Phoenix.

Los Angeles Lakers
Now former Showtime dunk legend Byron Scott is running the show in L.A. things look much better. He says this team would be a playoff one in the East. No excuses its time to return to the West’s best. Kentucky draft pick Julius Randle and his new mentor Carlos Boozer are a nice replacement for Gasol but the future is on the shaky ground of super but streaky guards Jeremy Lin and Nick Young. At least Steve Nash is back…oh wait! No pun intended. We will all miss the father of Canadian basketball legend. He the north! Still despite all the negatives I wouldn’t bet against one of the all-time and still current best Kobe Bryant! Would you?

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Sacramento Kings
I have a fever and the only prescription is more cowbell. This team shouldn’t be this low and DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay can attest to that. Where they end up in more ways than one remains to be seen. These Kings are still a long way from their throne.

Southwest

San Antonio Spurs
Reigning NBA Champions. Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginoboli and now Kawhi Leonard and lets not forget Pop! Need we say anymore? Age only seems to be making these Texans like fine wine. More champagne?

Memphis Grizzlies
In the leagues toughest division the team that once surprised the Spurs will be right behind their back. This time they aren’t surprising anyone even if they still remain as underrated as their point Mike Conley and big Marc Gasol amongst the league best. Lets not get started on the rest of the starters too like the always big Z-Bo. Now, they may have missed a trick on not signing Marc’s brother and former franchise face Pau Gasol. I guess they didn’t watch Spain this Summer. Still just like the old blue suede adage, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. Thank you very much.

Dallas Mavericks
These Mavs are more than Dirk Nowitzki and Mark Cuban three balling their way to another championship cigar. Now with a matured Monta Ellis bringing stability as a sidekick don’t be surprised if these gunners make a run. He may be getting old but Dirk is still a premier player and the best of his type since Larry’s legend. Bird to O’Brien.

Houston Rockets
In the Texas Triangle losing Jeremy Lin takes away the big three, but Dwight Howard and James Harden are in their comfort zone now. All smiles and beards. Welcoming back the new Bruce Bowen veteran of the league Trevor Ariza helps to. Houston if these Rockets take off then the rest of the league has the problem.

New Orleans Pelicans
The next great big man and star of this league Anthony Davis deserves more respect. Still sometimes stupid eyebrow jokes and tough divisions full of conference and championship contenders get in the way. Still Ant and the rest of the Hornets will still sting, especially with Doc’s son Austin Rivers. Fly Pelican FLY!

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NBA

Checkmate. D’Angelo Russell Eliminates The King’s Lakers

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Heavy Is The Head...

“I’m glad it’s you”, Hollywood icon Paul Newman told acting legend Tom Hanks in San Mendes’ gangster epic ‘Road To Perdition’ before Tom, Tommy Gun shot him down in the rain.

And here in Hollywood as Laker fans who are just glad it’s over, we’re glad it was by his hand. We’re glad it was D-Lo who delivered the final blow.

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If you didn’t know that with the ‘Luke Cage’ like Notorious B.I.G. red portrait, new SLAM magazine classic cover with the crown that in Brooklyn, D’Angelo Russell was the new King of New York, now you know. And last night his crown with a gauntlet gem of infinity stones took the L.A. King, checkmate, endgame. Showing this games chess not checkers.

You passed your ‘Training Day’ kid.

You want to talk about karma Lake Show? Because this is more than a lesson learned, this is a fitting end to this courts chapter wrote by the Basketball Gods under the heading line, “what goes around, comes around”!

Revenge is a dime dish best served ice in his veins cold.

And now you’re season is done as the jello is jiggling in the refrigerator Chick.

But as D’Angelo had 21 points to go along with 13 double/double dishes as he set the table for what we thought would be his West logo 44 career-high smash, everyone ate as the Nets had a balanced diet and attack of the twine as they coasted the Lake Show 111-106 in a close game, albeit one that always looked like theirs. Another former Laker in big man Ed Davis got his with 14 and 15. Whilst sparky Spencer Dinwiddie got 19 and 3, DeMarregards Carroll 15 and 6 and big Jarrett Allen 13 and 11 as all the Nets went harder than his ‘fro. But the high man was Joey Buckets with 26 points. Including 6 for 8 from downtown New York as for some reason L.A. thought leaving Joe Harris-this year’s three point shootout winner at the All Star in Charlotte-as open as stores on the Dolly Parton, 9 to 5 shift wasn’t going to leave them crying like ‘Jolene’.

But now the Nets have taken their man it’s nothing but tears. With all due respect to George Gervin, D’Angelo Russell is the next generation iceman. As finger to lips he silenced STAPLES. The most passionately driven guard since Iverson. And he just stepped over the Lakers again, eliminating from the playoffs as Luke Walton watched his job go to Lue from the sidelines. Magic said this kid couldn’t lead as he gave the Ball to Lonzo. But now everyone is getting played by this big baller, as this number one leads his cutting Nets to the playoffs as an All-Star and Team LeBron end up being all for show. As number 23 will not be raised to the brackets for the first time since 2005. Let alone the finals for the last decade gone.

With all the jumbotron tributes from teams to past players right now (Isaiah *cough* Thomas, LeBron), the Lakers should play one of D’Angelo’s ice clutch shot the day after his grandmother’s death that won the game for the Lakers (unlike the castles bricks here tonight) as he fell into his family’s arms uptop the stands. And just end it with one word that says more than thank you…

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“Sorry!”

I feel like Brad Pitt’s war wounded character with my ‘Fury’ for the team I love here. But like he says, “I’m trying to teach you something”. LeBron and the Lakers needed this. A season that started in bloom in the sunshine of California has turned to the Autumn leaves that have fallen to a crisp. Injuries were the problem, but then the reason came with the added insult of the Davis drama. And now this reality show is in disarray and it all came from Magic, not LaVar Ball. Imagine seeing that one in a crystal ball last Summer. The Zubac, Bryant (Thomas), Nance Jr, Clarkson, Russell and Randle-less Lakers need to learn from this and realize their formidable future of Lonzo, Kuz, Hart, Brandon Ingram (who is still two years younger than Lo) and maybe even Moe is not worth one man. Whether that’s Anthony or LeBron. Even a team-less Carmelo was out off joining this assembly line that has meme-d its way through good guys like Mike Beasley. This team could still be something (I mean this season like last nights City Edition threads has been ugly but somehow still appealing), ‘Stranger Things’ have happened, but right now it’s in the upside down with no sign of Winona Ryder’s Christmas lights. Not even a decoration for a declaration.

Kobe in a ‘Get Up’ interview for ESPN promoting his new ‘Wizenard’ book series said that this game was about more than stats and about feeling, energy. For decades they’ve said this game is like jazz. And just like that form of music, the notes are all there, but it’s what you do with improvising them that counts. And the only number and note from the Lake Show you need to know last night (apart from our energy high guy of the season McGee’s Kareem like 33 with the hook. A career best along with one in rebounds with 20 off the shot rim and glass) is that with his 8th turnover the King toppled to the ground as his crown slipped on a crucial possession. It’s kind of symbolic of how his Hollywood season has aged and played out. But one of the best players in the league, if not the best will be back on his throne in the hills and he’ll have plenty more Kawhi or Kyrie knights with him and these young princes.

But last night the one that hey exiled showed he could make a king bleed from the borough to the big city. D Loading just needed President Johnson to please wait. But with his own Magic cast last night, Russell showed he was fully charged now and ready to go like the Lakers never should have told him to. Because the only place in this postseason they’re going now is home.

Ice. In. His. Postseason.

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NBA

Green & Gold. I.T. Was A Special Moment With Isaiah Thomas Back In Boston

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Green & Gold. I.T. Was A Special Moment With Isaiah Thomas Back In Boston
A Nugget Mined From Celtic Pride...

The Cigar.

Cousy. Havlicek.

Bill Russell, Larry Bird.

Antoine Walker, Paul Pierce.

Rajon Rondo. Kevin Garnett. Say what you will but Ray Allen too from three.

Isaiah Thomas.

Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward, Al Horford, Jaylen Brown and Jason Tatum. IF they can get it together and turn what looks good on paper into what’s engraved wrote read in history books for the most storied franchise in NBA history.

Boston Celtic legends. The pride of New England.

From the last cigar to the golden era, Isaiah Thomas belongs there like his spelt differently namesake Detroit Piston being a Bad Boy to all that Magic and Bird in the Showtime of the 80’s.

And last night in the Garden perfect parquet court was held for the return of the fourth quarter king. Since Beantown, the microwave juggernaut, spark plug off the bench has bounced around the league like drinking too much coffee. From LeBron’s Cavalier land to the Los Angeles Lakers. Always providing that brief spark off the pine of what could be and what he had here, despite being Nygma green riddled by injury and franchise business disloyalty. But last night decked out in green and gold like Lianne La Havas, special edition Kobe’s for the night that even a Laker would love (forget that never wear green meme), as he took to the floor none of that mattered.

Sat back on the scorers table as cool as Celtic green cucumber in his warm-ups, I.T. took in a fitting tribute on the jumbotron for a team that knows too that they shouldn’t have traded him (he postgame not so quipped that if they never dealt him they could be dealing with another championship in those league leading rafters right now where surely his number 4 jersey held up by fans behind him will one day reside in pride of place). Beaming with that same Celtic pride through all the pain, you’ve never seen the slow grind smile like his since he was putting in work here in Massachusetts. The big screen video took us through his fourth quarter heroics, big shots and the moment he’s overcame it all to play in the wake of his sister’s tragic death and lead his team to epic, emotional glory.

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And once the ovation stood up for a call game, more than a minute of time and moment of Paul Pierce like truth tribute, there wasn’t a butt on a bleacher or dry eye in the house.

Especially Isaiah, who couldn’t contain his pride and joy. Wiping away tears and wordlessly mouthing thank yous to everyone in attendance who clapped until their hands were red and cheered until hoarse. Celtic fans are real NBA fans who recognize that green collar hard work and know a Boston boy when they see one, no matter the uniform.

Thomas on limited minutes as the golden Nuggets make that postseason push to conference contention behind the state of those dynasty reigning Warriors, only sealed seven minutes in the actual game and he didn’t make a basket for more Boston bravado cheers. But that didn’t matter in this instance. Neither did the W his new team took away on the road with a 114-105 pruning in the Garden, as the Joker and all the Mile-High basketball cards clinched a playoff berth outside Colorado.

What mattered was this beautiful reunion between team and one of its favourite players. Sure this current Celtics outfitted for the banners and Hall looks so much better on dry erase like their storied LeBron Laker rivals with the King in throne tow. But look at the Magic of Hollywood right now. With a guy like Isaiah, Boston basketball was that little bit more inspired with the iconic little man. There was a little more hoop dream hope there too. And for both city and son it hasn’t been as sweet the same since.

Like I.T. says with the last word from last night.

“This feels like home”.

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