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2017-2018 NBA Season Preview – Eastern Conference

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Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward, Danny Ainge

Atlantic Division

Toronto Raptors

If it aint broke don’t 86 it. And in the six Drake’s Toronto Raptors are still as fresh as passion fruit. The core of DeMar DeRozan, Kyle Lowry and dominant defensive presence Serge Ibaka may be the most underrated big three in the association, but if these Raptors want to roar with Warriors and Kings then they need a T-Rex. Then watch out for them, they’re about to glow

Brooklyn Nets

The Nets lost their most efficient player last year and one of the last remaining real centres in the league in Brook Lopez and got the massive contract of Timofey Mozgov in return. Oh and D’Angelo Russell. D-Lo suits this Brooklyn Zoo as well as O.D.B. but if this young, clean guy wants to win and prove everyone in Lonzo/Lavar Lakerland wrong then he needs to show that the ice in his veins runs deeper than a season of ‘Game Of Thrones’. Winter is coming and alongside another former L.A. Laker in Jeremy Lin these former Cali’ kids could see the sun again.

New York Knicks

Will ‘Melo stay? Can he really wear the hoodie in game? The former big question mark will infest the Big Apple like worms until Carmelo Anthony probably gets traded. And the only answer is Porzingis. The Knicks already lost Rose. But he was wilting anyway. Instead talent like Michael Beasley and Ramon Sessions have come on board with returning kid Tim Hardaway Jr. But the fact that we need their full names here shows just how their promising careers have panned out. It’s all on Kristaps to make the Garden eden again or at least give Broadway a run to make Carmelo think of staying a few extra dates.

Philadelphia 76ers

Did you trust the process? Because Joel Embiid has Dario Saric, Nik Stauskas and now hot shooter J.J. Redick believing in him. He and the new Sixers answering the post-Iverson era with The Process are so good they even have top draft big man Jahil Okafor on the bench and Nerlens Noel in Dallas. And now after adding another number one in Markelle Fultz they have a potential Rookie of the Year to add to this dynasty of the future. That is unless last years top pick Ben Simmons, debuting this sophomore season like Embiid did has something to say about that. Look at this teams past right now and see that they are still the future…processing.

Boston Celtics

Bill and Bird watch. The beans are back in town for the old Irish, most storied NBA franchise, the Boston Celtics. Who would have thought that when former Cavalier champion Kyrie Irving requested a trade from LeBronland that he’d end up here? But Danny Ainge has set forth a new big free of Kyrie, great free agent grab Gordon Hayward and last years big one Al Horford that could rival Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen with no b.s. Oh and we haven’t even got started on Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown rookies and sophomores. Look out King, history is greater than one reign.

Central Division

Cleveland Cavaliers

Hate LeBron all you like but he still has Love. Literally and figuratively. And as numero zero Kevin continues to show like fellow UCLA alumni Russell Westbrook that he is anything but that digit he wears like critical doubt, then the greatest player in the league still has help and hope. If you believe in vets like J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert, Tristan Thompson, Kyle Korver, Channing Frye and Richard Jefferson. This team may be receeding like Jamie Foxx’s Clevelend A. Smith’s hairline, but there won’t be anything funny here come All-Star weekend. They may have lost Deron Williams from their bench, but they in turn have gained Derrick Rose and former Durant practice running mate Jeff Green. Oh and they may have lost Kyrie Irving, but they got back Westbrook dynamite like pocket dynamo Isaiah Thomas AND Jae Crowder in return which no longer makes this trade like for like. The King of the fourth next to the King of the Land. This rebrand as real as those new uniforms and shield holding court leave the Cavs still all in with everything to play for. The Eastern Conference Final may be more exciting than the actual NBA one right now, but the Celtics haven’t dethroned the Cavs yet.

Chicago Bulls

The Butler retired. Rondo never really unpacked his journeyman bags and even hometown hero Wade may be brought out soon. What a difference a season makes hey Hoidberg? At least the Bulls have…erm. Seriously all dunking Zach Lavine, Brook-twin Robin Lopez and the future love of Denzel Valentine has potential to win hearts. But unless Dwyane’s playing the only way these Bulls are at the very least stampeding towards the fourth quarter is if you play their all-time ultimate team on 2K18.

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Indiana Pacers

Paul George is officially gone. And no matter how many times they sue the Lakers that won’t change. Wink, wink. But at least before losing him to L.A. star-studded free agency they got Victor Oladipo in return from the Thunder. He joins big names like Turner, Jefferson and Sabonis whose reputations more proceed them. And then of course there’s the enigma Lance Stephenson. The George, Hill, Hibbert and West days holdover who is symbolic of this teams success/struggles. Unless he does more than blow in opponents ears this huffed and puffed house is coming down in smoke as they will choke like Reggie Miller’s symbolic clutched throat. At least the new jerseys are a win.

Detroit Pistons

Motor City is running out of gas. Andre Drummond, Reggie Jackson and Tobias Harris are the big-three group in Motown in need of some backing singers. These Bad Boys are a long way from the 80’s or even the Billups, Hamilton, Prince, Ben and Rasheed Wallace Palace days in Auburn Hills, but this production line can still churn out wins with some assembly required. Detroit needs your attention like ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ director Kathryn Bigelow’s movie.

Milwaukee Bucks

Giannis Antelokounmpo. Start spelling it right because he will be your next MVP even if he never asked Kobe Bryant for a muse cage challenge. The most versatile, five point on the court player whose like Da Kid, Kevin Garnett on 2049 android upgrade is the kind of player that makes Jabari Parker’s injury or O.J. Mayo’s ban null. Even a big free agent signing like Greg Monroe is nothing in comparison to the one Buck who can steer Kidd’s boys in the right direction. And with Gary Payton’s son under Jason, Delly and Maker this team has the makings of a contender. Sure it’s all Cavs/Celtics right now but one day they’ll fear the deer too.

Southeast

Washington Wizards

The Wizards refuse to let anyone else into Washington like their President. But the state of D.C. is in good basketball shape like the spellbinding Mystics as John Wall’s new extension will keep him a foundation in the nations capital longer than those bricks Trump wants to build. And with Beal street, Poland’s post-man Gortat and the maverick Morris still here this team will run for four more behind the cheetah J-Wall who refuses to change his spot. So what they never got hometown hero Kevin Durant! Like Kevin Spacey’s Frank Underwood, this house of guards won’t come down in the east wing anytime soon.

Miami Heat

The Heat isn’t off for Miami. As the three ‘W’ South Beach talent of Whiteside, Winslow and Waiters will get their fair share. But with Dragic in reserve this team needs to attract more free agents than Kelly Olynek and keep more of their glue guys than Udonis Haslem sticking around. Especially if they want to return to the Land the King took them before his exile. And in this world we aren’t talking about Wade but a new winner who can avoid the L’s like pedestrians.

Atlanta Hawks

Whats going on in the A? A few years ago the Hawks where flying. Now they’ll be clawing for eight seeds like crumbs in the newspaper. They couldn’t cage wayward free agent Dwight Howard who moved down the Southeast conference and haven’t found much in return to shine as bright as his smile or their neon unis. Sure they have Kent Bazemore and Dennis Schroder…but according ESPN he’s the 96th best player in the league. But remember how they rated Kobe? Don’t clip his wings just yet.

Charlotte Hornets

Charlotte looks good for more than being the only team in this new Nike league to just have Jordan’s jumpman on their jerseys. Problem or not, big-name big-man Dwight Howard joins. Kemba Walker, M.K.W. (Michael Kidd-Gilchrist), M.C.W. (Michael Carter-Williams), Nicholas Batum and Frank Kaminsky. But the comb needs more honey if its all going to be syrup like Money Michael’s jumper before the greatest of all-times ownership experiement fades away.

Orlando Magic

Speaking of one of Howard’s former teams. The only thing that fits this Mickey Mouse outfit more is their Disney jersey sponsers. The Magic Kingdom may be frozen, but once this team lets the past go like the cold isn’t bothering then anyway and lets the cool alley-oop connection of Payton and Air Gordon fly then at least basketball will be as fun in Florida as the 90’s golden age days of big Shaq and Lil’Penny. If only!

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Is Isaiah Thomas IT For The Lakers?

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Usa Today 10601289.0
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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