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2015 – 2016 NBA Preview – Eastern Conference

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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.

NBA

Is Isaiah Thomas IT For The Lakers?

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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

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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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Like Father, Like Glove…Gary Payton II Makes Family Franchise History

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Like Father, Like Glove…Gary Payton II Makes Family Franchise History
The Gloves Are On For The Lakers.

From L.A. to South Bay the storied Lakers franchise has growing family ties rooted in their ever evolving modern history.

There’s the Walton. Son of Bill, former player and now coach Luuuuke. The Slam Dunk king he runs lay-up line plays for Larry Nance Jr. like his 80’s dunk champ dad. And even former player and D-League, South Bay coach Coby Karl, son of the legendary George Karl.

And then there’s the Glove story.

All trash talking, stop you from scoring, Seattle Supersonics NBA legend Gary Payton joined the Lakers with fellow golden era 90’s great post mailman, Karl Malone to try to get one more ring at the end of the Shaq and Kobe era. Payton ended up getting one with Shaq in the talented South Beach pool of Miami before the G retired. But now the gloves son and fellow Beaver, Gary Payton II (there’s a Tim Hardaway Jr. trend for NBA legend fathers to name their sons after themselves) is putting on the gold for the future of this franchises youth revolution.

After starting his unbelievably undrafted career with the young Milwaukee Bucks led by the alphabet Giannis Antetokounmpo, it wasn’t all A-B-C. But now he’s looking to put up numbers with the purple Lake Show off alphabet street like 1-2-3. Now number 23 (three more than his dad…but that isn’t the reason that number should p### the retire No. 20 off) is looking at a fresh start with Luke and Lonzo’s (not to mention Lavar’s) Lakers like no other.

The two-way guard has signed a two-way contract with both the Los Angeles Lakers and their NBDL team the South Bay Lakers (now more official than their former Los Angeles D-Fenders affiliate name, even if not in city). So now G.P. II will play for both Coach Walton and Coach Karl. How’s that for some family ties!?

Young Gary Payton the second had some impressive debuts off the bench for L.A. But now Payton mark II is assigned to South Bay like fellow two-way dunking Alex Caruso (he really does have a detective grade surname and a game that does not go with his frame) he’s ready to ball. Messing around in his debut and getting a triple double of 14, 11 and 12.

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Payton II could be a big part of the Lakers youth movement too like many of his current teammates going from South Bay to L.A. like Hollywood fans and script-writers can only hope LeBron will decide to this free agent offseason like he did South Beach all those last summers ago. Just like another rookie with a familiar surname in Thomas Bryant (no…Kobe isn’t THAT old) and of course Zupac.

Lead by the Ball family, the even better rookie and in no way number two Kyle Kuzma (who even goes one better in the Twitter troll back and forth with Ball brother LiMelo. “Fire your stylist”?! Oh yeah? “Fire your dentist”! Damn…can we smell a Shaq and Kobe beef cooking?!), three times a great rookie selection in the defensive Hart, big Brandon Ingram, of course Nance junior and the original future Julius Randle and his late round draft genius Jordan Clarkson (who’s not only balling like he’s the Sixth Man of the Year but like he should start too) this young Showtime, purp Laker legacy are making their own, unique legend in Mamba moment black.

This season it looked like the chance for an outside eight seed was thinner than the backlight on a retro Casio, but now the future is brighter than the South Bay sun from downtown L.A.

And with the Payton patent making Lakers history by becoming the first father and son duo to suit up for the franchise, it might just take a glove to hold this young core together.

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