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2014-2015 NBA Preview – Western Conference

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2014-2015 NBA Preview - Western Conference

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.

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

Lakers Finally Get Anthony Davis. But At What Cost?

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Lakers Finally Get Anthony Davis But At What Cost
Hold On, We're Making Hollywood Your Home...

Ambivalence.

Like a rat crawling over some controls and releasing Scott Lang from the Quantum Realm in this Endgame, just like that the Lakers have their Ant-Man. And it’s an avenging, giant, levelling up move.

Anthony Davis is finally a Los Angeles Laker.

Still I hate to piss on this parade and sound like Morgan Freeman in ‘The Dark Knight’, but at what cost?

Well to be specific here’s the receipt.

Lonzo Ball (bad move).

LaVar Ball.

Brandon Ingram (okay we expected that, but still).

Josh Hart (what?!).

The fourth pick in this weekends draft (or should we say Cam Reddish).

And a load of other picks over the next few seasons. Or should we say a couple of Jordan Clarkson’s and Larry Nance Jr.’s.

Well at least they got to keep Kyle Kuzma for a formidable frontcourt that might be the new, next big three.

But the young core and that keep the hash-tag campaign is officially the casualty of this trade bait like the jobs of Magic and Dell Demps, that’s been fish on the line dangling for longer than that Kawhi Leonard rim rattling shot against the Sixers.

Rob Pelinka’s a beast…and not in a good way.

We will say it again. That clip of Rob Pelinka claiming he set up a meet between Kobe Bryant ans Heath Ledger after Mamba watched ‘The Dark Knight’ is beyond messed up. We all know Heath passed away before the film even came out. Don’t disrespect the dead. Can’t buy character. But can sell your integrity.

That’s who you are dealing with Lake Show.

Hollywood’s Rob Lowe would have been better.

Let’s see who you’re not dealing with anymore.

D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson, Larry Nance Jr., Ivica Zubac, Thomas Bryant, Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart.

Is that everyone?

What you wanted more?

All the years all the young guns with plenty more calenders left in their clips. All gone.

And they didn’t even ask for Julius Randle back as part of the trade kicker.

Come on.

But look to him staying in New Orleans now with Ball, Ingram, Hart and whoever else would have ended up in Los Angeles with that luck of the lottery fourth ball. And the Pelicans about to fly with the road to Zion looking like the closest thing to what would have been the young Lake Show for the future Mardi Gras in Crescent City.

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Don’t write off NOLA it’s all about to go down smooth in the Big Easy.

But after months of speculation, social media tweets and articles I rest my case, I’ll say no more. But you know how it is.

On the bright side in sunny California…Anthony f##### Davis.

The Lakers finally have their man. And next to LeBron the most dynamic duo since Shaq and Kobe…sorry Pau. It could be Finals…it’s at least playoffs.

Now it’s time to put another great core together.

Kemba? Three Kings?

Kyrie? Kevin? Kawhi?

Cue that laugh…hey we all have dreams in Hollywood.

Free agents will be more likely to join the ‘Space Jam’ show now too, but whoever LeBronland casts like throwing up movies off your phone on to your T.V. it’s a whole new world in L.A. now the Genie (or Jeanie) has finally granted their wish.

But how about two more Aladdin? On the spirit of Robin Williams help us Will Smith!

Then that will make up for all the young princes they’ve lost for one King.

As of right now like Swiss, this team has more holes than “fashionable” hipster t-shirts on Rodeo. There’s no starting point for one. And not having Lonzo ball out on the tutoring of both legendary super sub Rajon Rondo and the fellow pure point Basketball I.Q. of new assistant coach Jason Kidd is a real shame. Like losing a pure scorer like Ingram (or *clears throat* D-Lo). Or the best role player the Lakers have ever had since the days of Horry, Fox and Fisher in Josh Hart. Not to mention whoever would have come next starting this weekend.

All for a guy who was going to come to us next Summer anyway and in these changing player power times could still walk away next season anyway.

All for nothing?

I guess the Lakers looked at Leonard winning it all with Toronto and thought it was all worth it.

But at least it’s all done. It’s over now. And for now Anthony Davis in that Glen Rice 41 is the next big man great in the legendary Laker lineage of Mikan, Wilt, Kareem, Shaq and Pau.

Just don’t Andrew Bynum or Dwight Howard this up.

Rich Paul for MVP.

That’s all folks!

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The Six In 6. Toronto Become First Canadian NBA Champions

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The Six In 6 Toronto Become First Canadian NBA Champions
Kawhi Not?

They the North did it.

Last night in the Bay the 6 got turned upside down with no need for a seven right now. As Drake’s really big team got some really big rings.

And with a 114-110 win in Oakland against the Golden State Warriors for Game 6 of the NBA Finals. After almost a quarter century the Toronto Raptors became the first franchise outside of the United States to win the National Basketball Association finals to make history and become Canadian champions.

And in their Canuck colours pointing to the North from California with the gold, these red and whites flying the flag in the U.S. did it for all of us as they truly changed the game.

It started with an expansion 24 years ago in Toronto. Alongside the Vancouver Grizzlies. It ended with them being the sole franchise outside of America in the NBA as former Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol joined another former gritted Grizz in the form of his big brother Pau Gasol to be the first siblings in hoops history to be NBA champions.

It started with throwback cousins Vince Carter and Tracy McGrady in Dino unis, throwing it up and putting it down. Bringing the Air to the Air Canada Center. It ended like Vinsanity in the 2000 Slam Dunk Contest for a new millennium. Looking at the camera after honey dipping and putting it through the legs, telling us emphatically with cutting hand gestures, “it’s over”.

This is for him. Mac. Mighty Mouse. The Camby Man. The Junkyard Dog. Iron Man, Mo Pete. Chris Bosh.

You know it’s for DeMar DeRozan too especially.

Kyle Lowry (what more can you say with 26, 7 and 10 leading the way?). Gasol. Siakam (G-League to big league champ). VanVleet. Ibaka. Lin. And of course quite possibly now the greatest player in the world right now and Finals MVP (joining Kareem and the King as the only Most Valuable Finals Player with multiple teams), sinking that last free throw as epic as his around the world and a day buzzer beater against the Sixers in the six, Kawhi Leonard.

Nick Nurse the architect. And of course another one, James Naismith. This game was invented by Canadians, played by Canadians and like the first ever game in NBA history, this victory belongs to Canadians.

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Drake. Real superfan Nav Bhatia and the Canadian coffee house company Tim Hortons raising a cup to him commercial tribute. Everyone in Jurassic Park roaring like T-Rexes for these Raptors and of course all of you. Truly bringing the buzz to basketball.

This if for the real Warriors too. Five straight finals for the first time in a half century, 50 years (love Commish Adam Silver’s lining tribute). The dynasty that is nowhere near dead as they fought to the end for their last look in the Oracle in those Town across the chest jerseys before moving from Golden State across the Golden Gate to a new era of dominance in the hilly streets of San Francisco (the next time we’ll see Toronto is in Tokyo, October for our very own NBA Japan), where that digitally developing skyline from those tram peak points is the limit. No matter who stays or goes in this Curry, Durant, Draymond and Klay juggernaut with guys like Igudola and Cousins relating too. This is for Kevin Durant (who we apologize to for every Canadian fan who cheered his injury in Game 5. Although Warrior fans cheered for an injured Kawhi back in the day too) who played to the pain as all heart he proved everyone wrong and did it all for his team. And true Warrior mode Klay Thompson who went down with a crippling injury too in this final game and came right back to the right kind of cheers. This superteam and one of the greatest in history is far from extinct.

But right now for the Toronto Raptors it’s Jurassic World and the Golden State Warriors for the last time, fallen kingdom.

And as the final horn called for the last game of the season all hands were kept high for the North who overcame all the cold to break the ice for the first championship. And the champagne no longer on ice tasted as good as these underdogs proving everyone wrong as they bit back.

I’m not crying…we’re all crying.

We the champions my friends and Canadian countrymen.

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