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2015 – 2016 NBA Preview – Eastern Conference

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2015 - 2016 NBA Preview - Eastern Conference

Atlantic Division

Toronto Raptors

In this ‘Jurassic World’ these dinosaurs are anything but prehistoric. They really are the north and adding some Canadians to their core of Kyle Lowrey and DeMar DeRozan precisely points to this, compass or map. B.B. cover star Corey Joseph bolsters the bench, whilst former number one lottery pick or bust Anthony Bennett is the wildest of cards. There’s one Canadian we don’t want to see on the floor however and that’s top rapper and owner Drake. The one day Kentucky alumni is meek, not Steph Curry with the shot. Can we let this go? So long as Aubrey Graham does not let it fly in Air Canada!

Brooklyn Nets

D-Will has made his way. Now, Deron Williams is calling Dallas home once again it’s all on J.J., whether All-Star Joe Johnson or Sixth Man Jarrett Jack out the box. The B.K. is going to need more J’s to compete, even in a rotting apple before its no sleep in Brooklyn.

New York Knicks

Are the Knicks really mellowing on Carmelo? Sure Phil Jackson’s triangle plan may be a Bermuda right now and Derek Fisher could be clutching at a job, but that’s no reason to blame the one guy from Syracuse who gave it all to these orangemen. They owe him. Big man and pick Porzingis could be a start. At first they hated but this top ten chart climber could be the next Dirk…or irk. The Garden could still be Eden again, but right now there’s potholes in the Madison Square lawn.

Philadelphia 76ers

The Lakers passed on Okafor?! No worries, the Sixers will give him a cap, even if he disregards their sweet new jerseys. This teams new look is an instant classic and Jahil forms a formidable frontline alongside Nerlens Noel. Now if only Joel Embiid could stay healthy…then this frontcourt of centres could scale Brotherly Love sports to walk even taller than those Rocky steps.

Boston Celtics

The championship days of Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce officially ended last year when Rajon Rondo passed on the shamrock. But still this is THE storied NBA franchise that gave you Bill Russell and Larry Bird. Plus Isaiah Thomas is more than just a guy that’s going to remind you of the good ole, golden era 80’s days. Bad Boy or not. Now what they gonna do?

Central Division

Cleveland Cavaliers

The Cavs…or should we say the King were one stone step away from the throne in this game last year. If it wasn’t for the likes of Steph Curry, Andre Igudola and Steve Kerr, LeBron James would have won it all himself. With Kyrie and Kevin in good health and under contract the crown may just fit, Tristan extension or not. And you thought the new Big Game James wasn’t worthy? This God can turn wine to champagne.

Chicago Bulls

Losing Derrick Rose to injury is almost a thorn in the side given. Losing the services of Most Improved Jimmy Butler was never an issue. Matching the contract was easy, making these two who are both about to be on point a match made in heaven is a hell of a task…even for Thibs. New coach Fred Hoidberg knows Chicago and the Bulls, even those who lock horns. On paper this team is as deep as they come from defensive dominator Joakim Noah to bench veteran Mike Dunleavy Jnr. Still if these stampeding Chi’s want to stay out of the red they need to give the charge to their Spanish Bulls of rejuvenated, EuroBasket MVP Pau Gasol and last years runner up rookie and veteran ready Nikola Mirotic. Then to everyone else they’ll be matador.

Indiana Pacers

At least the Pacers will look good this year, honouring the Indiana Hoosiers with those red classic Hickory jerseys for some classic games with gold shorts shinier than George Hill’s dome. After Lance, losing the interior presence of Roy Hibbert and David West could leave this team watching the paint dry (respect to the late, great Oscar nominated Dennis Hopper) especially putting returning from almost career crippling injury Paul George stretched out, playing the four. This uses to be the Indy 5.00. Now it’s the Paul-George-Hill show. Time to run the picket fence!

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Detroit Pistons

Greg Monroe got Bucks in Milwaukee, but Motor City still has something big under the hood with Andre Drummond. These Pistons are still driven with him and Brandon Jennings. Even if it looks like the motor industry is sputtering in Detroit, like Ford you can always rely on a star-studded vehicle. Motown may have died with Marvin, but with some Motor Oil this town will thrive and throttle through once more. All you have to do is turn it over and give it a good kick…and then it’ll all start up again.

Milwaukee Bucks

The cream re-design is beautiful. Just check the Stag, this team is more mature. Get the point? Well perhaps the alphabet can spell it out for you? There’s O.J, the M.C.W. and now Greg Monroe…the most underrated free agent of this big class. Oh, and Jabari Parker is back and gets to be a rookie once again. This isn’t just his year. Best since Oscar and Kareem? These big Bucks where always meant to stay green. If money talks, then Milwaukee sings. Just ask Jadakiss.

Southeast

Washington Wizards

If it ain’t broke don’t fix it…even with a magicians wand. No hocus pocus, Harry Potter needed here, these Wizards have already pulled a rabbit out the hat. Paul Pierce may be gone but truthfully speaking this teams depth lies in Poland, with the great Gortat possibly the biggest and most underrated big-men in this league of post shadows. No wonder President Obama cares about this capital Washington D.C. side. But forget Kevin Spacey. This is all about the House Of Guards and Lincoln and M.L.K towns new monuments, Beal Street and the great Wall. On your left!

Miami Heat

The King era is dead. That’s last years news. Long live the Heat! Besides Flash never left and original superhero Dwyane Wade is back with a team that’s just added new franchise face Goran Dragic and former top, trading card All-Star Amar’e Stoudemire to last years free agent grab Luol Deng and the upside of Hassan Whiteside. Oh and lets not forget the valiant return of the underrated power of Bosh, defying death and bringing a new lease of life to a team that lost its crown. Now they have one Sinister Six for all the leagues heroes to marvel at. Is the Heat back on? Please…this team never left the kitchen! You can keep the sink.

Atlanta Hawks

If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. Part two…this time in neon letters. These Hawk eyes still glare like those gaudy new jerseys. Horford, Millsap, Korver and Teague…they’re all All-Stars literally. Now after coming so close its time for the Hawks to keep their talons in this tight competition if they finally want to be American Eagle. Welcome back to Atlanta, the Pac-Man returns like the Dominique dominant 80’s, but can the ATL eat its way to the end of the maze? Or is it all just pixels in this digital age?

Charlotte Hornets

The Lance Stephenson project didn’t really work out did it? Time to roll out the Tank. Wisconsin’s Frank Kaminsky was a great draft, adding more artillery. But this team needs to be more than Kemba, Kidd-Gilchrist or the Michael of their big-time owner Jordan if these redesigned and rejuvenated Charlotte Hornets want to make a name for themselves beyond the nest of the honeycomb again.

Orlando Magic

The blue chips are down for Shaq’s former team. Even Nick Nolte would have a hard time in shouting this team into shape. Its been a rollercoaster couple of seasons in Mickey’s town but Victor Oladipo and Elfrid Payton are the future of this small ball revolution league. Give them more tricks via trade and they could bring the kingdom back to the Magic. Now you see them…now it’s time for the second act.

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NBA

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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NBA

Last Night Ruined The NBA Finals

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Last Night Ruined The NBA Finals
He The Hero...

Last night Kevin Durant returned for the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors who were up 3 games to one in the series. 48 minutes away from becoming the first Canadian champions in basketball history.

Last night Kevin Durant came back from injury and played. And you know what? It absolutely ruined everything. Even the game we love with all our hardwood heart, sweat and soul.

Why?

Because of you.

Yeah I said it…you!

If you cheered that is.

The Toronto Raptors where the underdogs about to extinct the notion that basketball up north meant nothing as they, behind a Drake all in good sport taunt and smile were going to give us court-side views to a death of a dynasty. Like LeBron playing David to this Golden State Goliath in 2016, before the digital San Fran age for the Warriors in Silicon Valley next season. But this time no team was going to make hoops history from 3-1 down.

The Raps where going to wrap it up on their home-stand floor and in their country with only every fan in the building singing the “Oh Canada” national anthem in a moment of beautiful unity. No Ne-Yo or Metallica metal. Just the mettle of every man and women in the six. Thousand dollar seats to nosebleeds and all the ‘Jurassic Park’ fans perimeter fence contained outside, spark plugging it all like the ultimate 6 man. Sorry October’s Very Own. Your Owl has nothing on these prehistorics.

Warriors Kevin Durant Injures Right Achilles 2019 Nba Finals Game 5 Vs Toronto Raptors
Warriors’ Kevin Durant Injures right achilles 2019 NBA Finals Game 5 vs. Toronto Raptors

By then the greatest offensive player in the league teamed up with the 48 points per of Steph Curry for Basketball God’s sake and last night was history. Durant hero ball pushed back and returned when he was still hurt. When he shouldn’t have. Talk that talk about him now. Scoring 11 by the second as Durant looked poised for 40 the Warriors would end up winning by one (106-105) with a chance to go back home and even up the series for a do or die Game 7 with both teams end on the line. But all that didn’t matter. As Durant went all Kobe with his own type of Mamba moment he didn’t want, injuring his Achilles in the second quarter and going down for good in the 2019 Finals and who knows what else for the free agent to be stock.

Looks like Toronto could truly take it now no matter how many games are left right?

Cause for celebration right?

Right?

WRONG!

This morning we’re writing a whole different type of article than we thought we would have been last night.

Call Durant what you will. A snake. A troll. The best player on this planet in the National Basketball Association. But cheering as a man goes down injured in pain is wrong. Celebrating and shouting and waving bye bye as Andre Iguodala and Steph Curry helped the same man who greeted them all in the tunnel after the previous game’s heartbreaking loss (even the walking off before the final horn King James doesn’t do that) off court is beyond poor sportsmanship, or crass cruelty. It’s the lowest of the low in this game.

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Last night the NBA Finals and what is supposed to be entertainment for everyone to enjoy took a dark turn.

Shame on anyone who joined in this chorus.

It’s disgusting.

A disgrace.

Absolutely appalling.

They aren’t truly the North. They may not even really know what it’s like to truly be Canadian.

Yeah I said it.

And if you feel that cold like January up your spine like you shouldn’t have bully ball joined in then I’m sorry but I guess I mean you too.

Maybe it’s time to rethink.

You saw the perfect professional and true hero that is Kyle Lowry leading the call for the fans to stop cheering and be quiet. And if at that moment you did then it’s all good. We all make mistakes. You learned from it. And we aren’t throwing stones at those who didn’t do the same like Twitter trolls launching tirades in this meme and GIF erased age of turning someone into a swiped away afterthought the moment you wish like you’re better than them.

Drake Consoles Kevin Durant As He Walks Off Injured Nba Finals
Drake consoles Kevin Durant as he walks off injured at 2019 NBA Finals

Even if they are the best of us. Not everyone joined in. Like Drake who displayed genuine concern for his friend tattooed on his arm and showed in good sport, despite all he’s teased and taunted — lately that this was bigger than Basketball and even the stage of what could have been Canada’s moment last night.

And I’m sure most people in Toronto would agree now that if it did happen last night. If they did win after all the cheering and jeering to the injury, then it wouldn’t have been any sort of victory at all.

In hindsight history could have already been made this morning but after everything that changed last night, would you have really wanted it like that? This way?

Besides in the nature of real, earned champions wouldn’t you have rather beaten a full strength Durant and Warriors like you probably would have ended up doing last night if he never went down with injury to make a point.

And now if they thought Durant would have been too much to deal with and in their weakness laughing at his pain was their way of showing how scared they really were of that, then just wait until they see the sleeping Warrior they wake up now. Curry, Klay, Draymond, DeMarcus and Iggy are pissed and for the next two games at home you know who they’re going to take it out on right?

They should have never been messed with.

They’re all sixes and Game sevens now.

Just like if Toronto win the finals it will have nothing to do with Durant’s injury before or after, if the Warriors end up making a King chess move against them in 2016, circle round and win it all then it will be because of last night’s pivotal moment. But not because Kevin went down. But because of what happened after.

Be careful what you cheer for.

Laugh now. Lose later.

There’s no worse opponent than karma.

Let’s hope Kawhi has some good ones left.

Does it really all come down to this?

Step it up.

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