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2016/2017 NBA Season Preview-Eastern Conference

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Atlantic Division

Toronto Raptors

The 6 turned the rest of the NBA upside down so much they are no longer a 9 seed now. Drake’s knights are all stars now, like dynamic duo DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowrey. And adding the likes of Jared Sullinger to a pine fresh bench that features Canadian homecomer Corey Joseph is going to take them even further out the cabin in the woods.

Brooklyn Nets

A few years and millions ago the Brooklyn Nets biggest problem was who out of Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett was going to take the ball. Now underrated big-man Brook Lopez needs some help in his B.K. fight for N.Y. And his twin just escaped New York, going from the Big Apple to the Windy City. At least the as enigmatic as his hair Jeremy Lin is back in the city that gave him his 15 minutes of Linsanity. But did you see that lay-up he blew this week Shaq’ting a fool? Time for the Nets to go figure before they become just another gif.

New York Knicks

The real home of New York basketball outside of the Rucker isn’t looking as rotten with the new New York Knicks. The ‘bockers have a real spring in their step with the Derrick Rose that grew from Chicago concrete…and he brought his Bull brother Noah with him in free agency too. Add Brandon Jenning and Courtney Lee, Porzingis becoming a legit star and Carmelo Anthony having as big a year on the floor as all the awareness he is socially spreading off it then M.S.G. looks to get Mecca mega. Then they’ll be yapping about them even more in ‘Luke Cage’ barbershops. And just maybe Phil Jackson will be able to get himself a free haircut.

Philadelphia 76ers

Philly can’t catch a break right now. Unless it’s to number one draft pick Ben Simmons’ foot. Their accension from the lotto to the big ticket is like Rocky running up those steps with a dislocated hip. The creed of their city Allen Iverson answered the halls call this Summer. But their are questions shrouding their future famers. We all know the rookie season big-man Jahil Okafor had and Joel Embiid may be back but how much room is there in Nerlens Noel’s frontcourt? Put them all up there and you have one imposing frontline, especially when the next LeBron comes back from injury to guard everything else. That could be scary, but right now the Sixers are having a nightmare.

Boston Celtics

Beantown just got a shot of coffee like Boston Common this Summer. He may not be Bill Russell, but big-man Al Horford is the Celtics type of player through and through. Even if the professional veteran has spent the rest of his career with the Atlanta Hawks. He is the centrepiece of a talent and underrated roster that could bring the C’s back to the champagne and chips. All lead by Point Guard Isiah Thomas. One of the quickest, savviest floor genreals since…well Isiah Thomas.

Central Division

Cleveland Cavaliers

LeBron James and all the Kings men erased a half century city drought, all the doubt and a never done before 3-1 defecit in the NBA Finals against the 73 win game best Golden Stade Warriors for the realest comeback in ‘Brons Ohio homecoming. One Kevin Durant later and everyone is trying to take all this from The Land. But there’s real Cavaliers here. And Cleveland have added the type of Richard Jefferson vets that are animals when it comes to experience. From James’ former Miami Heat rock Chris Anderson, flying above the rim like a Birdman, to the legacy lineage of smooth forward Mike Dunleavy Jr. But whose going to sign J.R.? Lets not forget the Love like Kevin. The King can take his throne again this year because there’s a name here just as scary as Kevin. It’s Kyrie.

Chicago Bulls

And you say Chi-cities Bulls looked ready for a stampede last year. Now Chicago’s recharged and really seeing red. Sure in the wind of change losing hero Derrick Rose, heart Joakim Noah and Pau Gasol on hallmark form was tough, but keeping the services of Jimmy Butler was the number one priority. And they did it! But look at the big-three they’ve got in return. These guards may not be literally big, but they’ll run this small ball league into the ground. On paper Rajon Rondo is the leagues best prototype Point Guard, but buyer beware this former Celtic had been on almost as many teams since as players he’s passed too. Still homegrown Dwyane Wade’s return to his true city is the sweetest story for Chicago…even if it is weird not seeing him in Miami’s own classic red, white and black. But alas when it comes to the legendary Bulls future, rookie Denzel Valentine may show them the most love.

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Indiana Pacers

Last year Paul George returned from the previous ones season crippling injury to show he was still the player he always was…if not better. This year he plans to go one more saying he has his sights set on league MVP. The Oympic Gold Medalists team look to more however. As the Pacers in their 50th year in Indiana have quickly and quietly assembled one of the best and most underrated rosters in the association after losing the likes of George Hill, Roy Hibbert, David West and Lance Stephenson/Danny Granger. Don’t believe us? Aaron Brooks, Monta Ellis, Al Jefferson, C.J. Miles, Rodney Stuckey, Jeff Teague, Myles Turner, Thaddeus Young and Glenn Robinson’s kid tell you differently. Larry Bird’s men look to run the picket fence with a lot of dark horse power. Keep Pace!

Detroit Pistons

Andre Drummond, Reggie Jackson and Tobias Harris are the big-three and they may be enough to motor the Pistons to the point where everones screaning “DEE-TROIT BASKET-BALL” again. Their one of the most overlooked triple threats in a league of Holy Trinity’s. But you can’t overlook what’s overtaking you. Motown and Motor City are not over. We told you to keep pace.

Milwaukee Bucks

The Bucks do not stop with the ban of O.J. Mayo. They begin with the alphabet of Giannis Antelokounmpo. The M.C.W. The making of Thon Maker. The return of Jabari Parker. And even Michael Beasley. The big contract for Cav champ Matthew Delladova. Or the big-man himself Greg Monroe, as complimentary to this team as Clarence Cleamons was on the E Street Sax. Jason Kidd’s kids where born to run and with veteran six Jason Terry coming off the bench like a runway the Bucks could really jet.

Southeast

Washington Wizards

If it aint broke, don’t try to cast a spell to fix it. The Washington Wizards house of guards John Wall and Bradley Beal and their Lincoln towering centre Marcin Gortat have been around for as long as Gandalf, but they’re still so Griffindor young. But for this team to be really capital like D.C. perhaps it’s time to initital a few more contracts. The Wiz will always be a quick draw but it’s time for someone new to come to town. But please, anybody but Trump.

Miami Heat

Once, twice, three times a loser. The big-three is done. First the King James exiled himself back home to the throne and now even Heat lifer Dwyane Wade has returned to his roots in the Rose concrete broken Chicago. But the real tragedy is Miami giving up on Chris Bosh. Lets hope and pray this is not the end. Now the most experienced South Beach talent is Gorjan Drajic. But Hassan Whiteside and Justice Winslow are the future. They might be able to count on a few more lottery picks for company soon. Don’t count them out though. The Heat is still on…but the flame is flickering.

Atlanta Hawks

The Hawks have lost a couple of wingmen. But long time franchise faces Jeff Teague and Al Horford will always be welcome in Atlanta. The players that are playing now include Kent Bazemore, Jarret Jack and Tim Hardaway Jr. And Hawkeye Kyle Korver is still the arrow man. But it’s Dwight Howard’s 100 watt Magic smile that is the new face of the A. Some in Orlando, Los Angeles and Houston may have their doubts, but wearing Kobe Bryant’s old number in memory of the family he could have had Dwight’s return to his Georgia home has so much more sweet meaning to it. And a bruising big frontcourt wih Paul Millsap will hit back at all those taking shots until the ATL reaches the knockout stages.

Charlotte Hornets

There’s a lot of buzz surrounding Hornet basketball right now. But there always will be when this North Carolinan team is owned by the greaest to ever do it, Michael Jordan. Sure they may not have the All-Star game anymore…and rightfully so, but the franchise still has those type of players. The Lance Stephenson experiment didn’t work (again). Now it’s time for Kemba Walker, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Nicholas Batum and Frank Kaminsky to be all they can be. Then the honeycomb will be as sweet as those Kobe teal what could have been draft Nike’s. But don’t worry…Charlotte is good.

Orlando Magic

How about a Magic trick? How about the Penny pinstripe throwbacks making something out of a roster that features thunderous free agent Serge Ibaka, real dunk champ Aaron Gordon, sophomore stud Elfrid Payton and veteran journeyman star gunner Jeff Green? Otherwise Orlando will only be known for Disney and what could have been with Supermen Shaq and Dwight Howard…and don’t get us started on them losing Tobias Harris. Now you see them. Now you don’t!

NBA

Millsap Mishap Could Keep Forward Behind 3 Months

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Poor Paul Millsap.

This campaign after becoming one of the biggest free agent pick ups of the offseason, one of the leagues leading Power Forwards has been put down on the medical report with an injury that could call him off sick for a quarter of a year.

The most reliable player over four periods has spent the bird share of his career helping his former Atlanta Hawks make it to the first round knockout stakes of the playoffs each year. But following the season where they didn’t make the cut of the second one, it was time for a change for the 32 year old number 4 who once looked to be the Utah Jazz, Karl Malone replacement Carlos Boozer didn’t turn out to be early in his career alongside former leading Point Guard Deron Williams.

And in the mile high city of Denver with a would be big-three of sophomore sensation Emmanuel Mudiay, dreaded defender Kenneth Faried and of course The Joker with the last laugh Nikola Jokic, these Nuggets in their new Nikes looked golden and finally past that baby blue Carmelo era (they may as well be as Anthony, now with the blue, white and orange of the Thunder isn’t even a Knick anymore (it’s ‘Old York’ now Knickerbockers)). But now like Ben Affleck looking at the ‘Justice League’ box office returns it’s time to ask the Nugs “why so serious” Batman as an injury to their versatile veteran forward of seasoned upon seasons of experience doesn’t exactly put a smile on their face.

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The All-Star was averaging a helpful handful of exactly 16 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.2 assists before tearing the ligaments in his left wrist in a 127-109 loss to the Lakers who themselves recently lost all dunking son Larry Nance Jr. to a broken wrist, but are thankful to be having him return after they cut the turkey this thanksgiving. Millsap and the Nuggets are looking at second opinions from docs offering the same sort of speedy recovery that doesn’t sap their frontline. But if they concur with the original diagnosis, it’s three months in a suit and tie and not to mention cast for Paul who will return in late February after the All Star break he normally never takes off.

The man with the three year, 90 mill deal helped make this outside eight seed threat Denver the new gritty, grinding Memphis of the West. Now without him the older than Richard Jefferson roster is thinner than the air up there in Colorado.

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Somebody Stop The Mask Of Kyrie Irving

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USP NBA: BOSTON CELTICS AT BROOKLYN NETS S BKN BKN BOS USA NY

Smokin’!

Even that phrase delivered at a perfect Jim Carrey pitch can’t quite put into perspective just how hot Celtic Kyrie Irving is right now. Especially in the Boston green, Rip Hamilton face-mask.

Maybe those three little letters would do more justice for this league leader?

You know Menacing, Versatile, Phantom?

No?

How about M-V-P?

Kyrie joins Kobe, former Cleveland Cavalier teammate LeBron James and the man whose about to pass him the Maurice Poldoff torch, Russell Westbrook to be an absolute menace in the Phantom of the Opera face-mask, leaving other teams dead on basketballs biggest stage. He may have fractured and broken some bones in his face, but that won’t stop him as he fractures and breaks the backs and hearts of the faces of all the other franchises he faces off with night after excruciating night.

Those who used to say it must be the shoes (and have you seen his best in show sneaker designs complete with shamrocks like Starbucks on St Patrick’s Day this season heads? Those halloween pumpkin ones were the spice), are now saying it must be the mask.

Sure the plastic profile guard makes for some meme worthy Pinterest fan art appreciation but this guard has made a point at hating it…the sweat inducing mask that is, not the love. These kind of covers can blind you, but like the concussed legend of Celtic great Larry, letting it fly like a Bird above the baskets in the Boston Garden all the way to the rafters (as he saw too hoops like 80’s girls earrings and just aimed for the top one), Kyrie plays through all the pain and frustration. Taking it out on the ball (like opponents on Lakers rookie Lonzo) and the other teams hoops that to him seem bigger than those ones Bruno Mars sang about.

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Take Dallas for example. Irving just masked all his pain by taking the Mavericks for 47 points, 3 rebounds and 6 assists in the last contest that took the Celtics to a sweet sixteen straight. After dropping two games following Gordon Hayward dropping out of the new season before the second quarter of his opening game one even played out, everyone was calling time on these new Celtics as soon as Gordon turned his ankle counter-clockwise. But now one of the best in the association Kyrie is showing LeBron and them he’s just as good as them or anyone alone like this man from down under always wanted to prove. This definition of clutch, who leaves everyone else in the fourth with straws has already shown on a championship scale against Curry of all hot guards that he can take the last shot that really matters. Now forget the Most Valuable Player award for a waning second or even the time his dynamic duo partner in pine Hayward comes back, Irving has the power to dribble drive all the way to the crown on his own.

And it’s going to take more than a mask to stop him.

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The Wind Brings The 2020 All-Star Game To Chicago

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1973. And the first NBA All-Star Game to play in the Windy City of Chicago, Illinois features the last All-Star game in the last season of two lasting Los Angeles Lakers legends. One man who scored 100 points in just one game, Wilt Chamberlain. And one man who was and still remains the one and only logo of this National Basketball Association, Jerry West.

1988. And arguably the greatest All-Star Game of all-time and an even better, best ever All-Star weekend sees Michael Jordan become Michael Jordan. M.J. scored 40 in an 138-133 O.T. A.S.G. win for the East meeting the West. But a day before all that he and the Slam Dunk Contest became even more legendary. As mere moments after storied Boston Celtic great Larry Bird asked “whose coming in second place” before raising his finger in victory before the ABA coloured moneyball ripped through the twine (no Nick Young swag), Money took off from the free throw line like a good doctor for his above the rim J and jumped over everybody including Atlanta Hawk wing spreading, sky-soarer Dominique Wilkins.

Now more than 30 years later after next years All-Star Game in the purple and gold city of Los Angeles and the 2019 one in the redeemed city of Charlotte, the 2020 and 69th All Star Game will be played in Michael’s old town of Chi-city. In the same year as Tokyo, Japan will hold the next Olympic Games, the game of basketball will go back to it’s 90’s roots and an inspired iconic landmark of hoop heaven that didn’t really have the same spirit in the seventies, but really Jumpman took off in the golden era eighties. So much so that the old ’88 All Star Weekend t-shirt is a historical thrift store must find for more than it’s 80’s Tron like, cool, retro logo.

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And with mid-February lovers big blockbuster basketball coming back to the city of wind like the river that runs through it, Chi-town needs this like out of towners need deep dish pizza. You only have to listen to the news or the Common album ‘Nobody’s Smiling’ (you know the legendary M.C. who used to wipe up Jordan’s sweat off the old Chicago Stadium hardwood has to perform at the mid-season classics halftime show) to know this classic city is marred by violence that burns through this second city like fire. The beloved Bulls have even become a “garbage team” to root for too, losing the big-three likes of last seasons Jimmy Butler, Rajon Rondo and Dwyane Wade (who may even be on a farewell All Star tour once his hometown All Star weekend comes crossed off the calendar and everyone is united in the airlines center).

Now this team who relies on sophomore stud Denzel like Oscar hopeful movies will hopefully be back by the next few valentines. As the heart of the city in twenty twenty will want to see something as visionary as Sinatra’s kind of towns history.

That’s just the Chicago way.

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