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2017-2018 NBA Season Preview – Western Conference

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2017 NBA Rookie Photo Shoot

Northwest Division

Portland Trail Blazers

Dame D.O.L.L.A. may be in the studio rapping with Lil’Wayne right now for the follow up to ‘The Letter O’ album. But Damian Lillard would much rather be on court balling with Carmelo Anthony next season for the following year of number zero’s campaign. With ‘Melo the superstar baller slash rapper would be able to chill for a few seconds. Although you know when it comes down to that much time on the clock D Lill is anything but that or not in his zone. Lillard, C.J. McCollum and Evan Turner had a lot to undertake last year in RIP City, but with Carmelo in town they’d all come up smelling of roses. Dame’s got bars, but he needs rings too like any platinum rapper if he wants to be one of the all time greats. There’s a reason the PDX throwback he rocks is Bill Walton. And for the mic rocking hip hop head it’s got nothing to do with the Greatful Dead.

Denver Nuggets

Josh Childress looks to taste the thin air of Mile High City by inking a contract with these Denver Nuggets. And although it’s not the 2000’s anymore its a nice addition to the big-three from the retired legends Big3 Ice Cube summer circuit. Kenneth Faried, Emmanuel Mudiay and Nikola Jokic are no joke. And now Paul Millsap’s addition looks to bulk this team up to the grit of the new West Coast Memphis Grizzlies. And with the opponent unbreathable atmosphere being their Sixth Man this could be the year Denver reaches the clouds.

Minnesota Timberwolves

But if you want to talk about a real big-three however then look no further than the trees of the Minnesota Timberwolves. Say goodbye to Zach Lavine and Ricky Rubio. But hello to Jimmy ‘Buckets’. The Butler is here at Minneapolis surface and joins huge man Karl-Anthony Townes and Canadian Andrew Wiggins for the best grande trois since Garnett, Sprewell and Cassell almost toppled the Shaq and Kobe Lakers. And with Jeff Teague and former multiple ‘Sixth Man Of The Year’ Jamal Crawford in backcourt reserve the future of this franchise looks as good as their best in the association new Nike jerseys. But the roster is a sub or two thin. Looks like this team on court will be checking their wrists to see just how far their Fitbits can go.

Oklahoma City Thunder

Everyone in Magic’s Lakerland belives hometown hooper Paul George and UCLA grad Russell Westbrook will team up again next year, but to join the L.A. they apparantly love and want like California sun in Seattle after summer. And you thought last Summer was crazy. But purple reign or not, the Thunder are set to pour right now. Even if the MVP’s impressive former backcourt running mate Victor Oladipo joins Kevin Durant out of town. The Thunder lost him and the Sabonis son for what next year could be rendered null and void. But just like James Harden this team is known for raining stars. Steven Adams and Enes Kanter anybody? Until OKC’s jerseys stop reading zero the West is Westbrooks to win from his former partner. And why the hell not?

Utah Jazz

Gordon Hayward was the Malone and Stockton face and future of this franchise. But in a pick and roll he was gone in a flash this summer to continue his career chapter with the storied Celtics. And then walking papers joined by Boris Diaw and George Hill. At least the Jazz still have Joe Johnson, Derrick Favors and Dante Exum on the same hymn sheet. Not to mention Spanish key Ricky Rubio. But if Utah don’t give Frenchmen Rudy Gobert some real help then he will be stifled like a Salt Lake drought.

Pacific Division

Golden State Warriors

What else have the Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Andre Igudola Golden State Warriors add this year you say?! A championship! Oh and actually this offseason the swag of former Laker Sixth Man Nick Young. Now P and Iggy are back together that’s all this dynasty needs to be dubbed champions again. It starts with Durant and ends with Steph. And what does the U.B. in dubs stand for? “U be crazy if you think anyone’s cooking without Curry”! The only way these Warriors are leaving their Golden State is with a big market move across the Golden Gate Bridge to San Francisco.

Phoenix Suns

Nothing is set in stone these days in a league where contracts change quicker than the time it takes the ink to dry. But the sun isn’t setting in Phoenix with guys like Eric Bledsoe and Brandon Knight still around the mix of veterans like Tyson Chandler and rookie future Josh Jackson. And how about the Mamba moments of Devin Booker on the box score? Forget 81 this kid could go for 100 in the next 82. Wilting Chamberlain’s almost century old record. If Phoenix don’t rise before the Arizona dust settles than their number one son may just do that. Especially with no one to Kobe the ball too.

Sacramento Kings

Cousins may no longer relate. Alumni alinging with fellow U.K. Wildcat Anthony Davis in the Pelicans’ New Orleans. But fellow Kentucky grad Willie-Cauley Stein is ready for the Kings throne with sophomore Buddy Hield and dual rookies De’Aaron Fox (also of the University of Kentucky) and Justin Jackson. This team looks to be shooting for the luck of the stars with a double-barrel in the form of their new fantastic four assembling together. And in adding two more big names in the veteran form of DeMarcus Cousins 10 years ago Zach Randolph and dunking legend Vince Carter the paper looks good. These Kings are a long way from LeBron’s land. But the cowbells will still ring out for some Sleep Train Arena waking fun for all in attendance.

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Los Angeles Lakers

President and greatest Point Guard of all time Earvin Johnson believes Drake lookalike and Kidd play-alike, Lonzo Ball has the magic to be the future of the Los Angeles Lakers. And apparantly so does Rob Lowe (Pelinka) and the rest of Hollywood too. So much so they were willing to defrost and drain the ice veins of D’Angelo Russell to load no more. And if that wasn’t enough in the season they are set to retire both numbers 8 and 24 for Kobe Bryant, the team with the second pick in the draft behind the 76ers for the second straight year are going two for two yet again. After Kyle Kumza showed out in Summer League championship play he and Lonzo could ball out like Ingram (who is said to have grown to almost 7 feet) and Zubac last year, Clarkson and Russell the year before and Randle and Nance Jr. the year before that. All that raw superstar-esque talent and some valued veteran additions of the young Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and solid big Brook Lopez make for a team of the future. And just imagine if they really did add George and James. Paul and LeBron would take Lakerland to tinseltown. But right now the Lakers may have a star of the future or four or more. So long as they learn from Lamar and the Kardashains and don’t turn this script into the Lavar Ball show.

Los Angeles Clippers

What is Lob City without CP3? Well two big towers than can dunk in the form of ketchup and mustard duo Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan all committed for the long runway. But as these Clippers have been short back and side clipped, lets hope Doc’s son Austin Rivers knows how to pass and be the player he was meant to be down the river. The Clips also added former purple and gold Sixth Man Lou Will, but with the Lakers looking to take their land back if the Clippers don’t add more staples then their future will look more ugly than those old uniforms Nike finally gave them the sense to replace.

Southwest Division

Houston Rockets

The beard just got even bigger. Eurostepping into a kingsman land, James Harden has helped recruit Point God Chris Laul to dynamic duo form one of the best one-two punches in the league. One that will make back-up Eric Gordon the Sixth Man of the next couple of years. And the x-factor Trevor Ariza is still around to solve all of Houston’s problems. Forget a propelled cliche reference. These Rockets are already high enough to be in their own airspace. Harden may not have got last years MVP but he and CP3 could give former teammate Russell Westbrook and Paul George a run for an even higher accolade.

San Antonio Spurs

Kawhi Leonard is finally smiling. Maybe because he knows that defensive or not he really and truly is one of the best players in the league. And if LaMarcus Aldridge really does become the Tim Duncan mark two he was always meant to be then fundamentally no one is beating a team that still has Tony Parker and amazingly a “this is 40” Manu Ginobili. Who follows his clutch block on Harden in the playoffs by re-upping for one more trip around the block like Spains greatest Pau Gasol. And if that wasn’t enough All Star Rudy Gay has joined the best bench in basketball. Happy Days. Even the T-Bot would crack a smile.

New Orleans Pelicans

Speaking of Spurs that click. You all remember when Tim Duncan and David Robinson went all Hakeem Olaujawon and Ralph Sampson in Texas?! Well now in the swamps of Lousiana former Wildcats Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins shape up to be an even bigger, more dominant version of all of that. And now journeyman superstar Rajon Rondo completes that Kentucky connection, the U.K. alumnus may now finally have found a place he can lay his hat home. Nothing is bigger than those two towers and still the leagues foremost prototype point right now. And no one has a bigger heart than star Jrue Holiday. The rest of the West msy be taking an early vacation once these greats get to work.

Memphis Grizzlies

Zach Randolph, Rudy Gay and now Tony Allen. The grit may be going out of the Grizzlies, but they still grind. No matter how big the contract of Chandler Parsons or the potential of Tyreke Evans. You just can’t deny the one-two punch from one of the best and most underrated Point Guard and center combos in experts at their position Marc Gasol and Mike Conley. Junior and the brother will still pick and roll until the suede shoes have no soul. But if this team really want to get out the blue than they need to add more sequins to this outfit like the King Elvis in his crowning Vegas. Otherwise it’s Memphis bleak round here.

Dallas Mavericks

Can we all appreciate true one of a kind Maverick in team and nature, Dirk Nowitzki whilst he’s still playing? Before he joins his Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett peers in rafter retirement before the hall. The blonde bomber who let it fly like a Larry Bird from downtown Dallas is still doing it like Debbie. And number 41 has always guaranteed that many wins and even some champagne campaign champion cigars with Mark once. He’s a winner worthy of his millions and with Harrison Barnes, Nerlens Noel, Wesley Matthews, Dallas greats Devin Harris and J.J. Barea and Steph brother Seth Curry in this forever evolving and revolving complimentary mix these Mavs could surprise you as much as the many more years we’ll still see Nowitzki on no quit, Dirk-dominant form.

NBA

New Toronto ‘City’ Jerseys Point North To The 6

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IMG 20180115 092655
Six Flag

Better late and sharp to the party than never looking fly.

Sometimes in the streets of Toronto you just have to wait for a good thing. Like that CN Tower forever in the distance drive from Pearson Airport to the downtown dot. Or waiting for a table and menu for something good to eat at Jack Astor’s on any given night. But Drake always delivers from serving up playlist picks to albums that offer ‘VIEWS’ that honour the great city of the six. So you know if you’re reading this it’s never really too late.

Now after Nike just gave us ‘Association’, ‘Icon’ and real ‘Statement’ jerseys for the new season where they are now the official uniform supplier of this National Basketball Association the ‘City’ line is complete like riding a Matt Bonner tram from King Street West to the Air Canada Center. As Toronto didn’t want to be left out like Kyrie Irving didn’t want to be the next Dwyane Wade. Now the only one rocking sleeves like Adidas is Lakers rook Lonzo again, looking to ball like his UCLA alumni days. Forget Christmas Day, unless you’re rocking Sixers script. As for the 6, the new Toronto Raptors jerseys that go back to black like the late, great Amy Winehouse with Octobers Very Own gold, couldn’t be more Drake or OVO if they had that Owl hooting from the shooting shorts. And you know these third blackouts will be a permanent fixture on ‘Drake Nights’ when the Raps court will be decked out in the black gold same lining.

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But these new duds that All-Star ‘Step Brothers’ DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry will rock like Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly did ugly sweater vests are less ‘Hotline Bling’ and more for the town he calls his own for the citizens of Toronto. ‘They The North’ and have that in six court copying chevrons that in glittering gold, road point to this very Canadian NBA destination. Do you see. And if you don’t know, now you know…player.

This is B.I.G. for the notorious north OVO town of the six. We’ve had the ATL neon, Boston parquet, Lakers Black Mamba snakeskin, Cleveland Land, Detroit ‘Motor City’ industry, New York’s F.D.N.Y. department, the Suns not losing the ‘Los’ love and Chicago’s classic city edition. But nothing for the homestand looks as good as this to the T-Dot.

And with all six signs pointing north to Toronto, we only wish these Raptors threads could be put on for the city every night.

Now the only ‘Fallen Kingdom’ in this Jurassic World will be found in cinemas with Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard and Jeff Goldblum this summer season Blue.

It took a minute for the sap to meet the tree but the Raptors and the Toronto city they call home are far from extinct.

Nike finds a way.

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The ‘Human Highlight Film’ Dominique Wilkins Almost Made ‘Showtime’ Worthy

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Wilkins
How Unique Would The Lakers Have Been With 'Nique?
Hollywood’s show kept fast break rolling last night like a Golden Globe as the young Lakers finally snapped their losing trend by clipping the Atlanta Hawks, 132-113 at STAPLES. All behind 20 points from Brandon Ingram, 15 and 9 from Julius Randle and 13, 10 and 6 from rookie Lonzo Ball. J.C. with 18 and K.C.P. with 14 also had three three’s each as the Lakers made a sweet 16 season best from downtown, to go along with a franchise record 42 points off fast breaks on a momentous night for the storied franchises record books.
It kind of looks like Showtime’s go on all over again.
But straight from the Fox Sports hole pregame did you know that back in the 80’s day the NBA’s Hall of Fame, Human Highlight Film, Dominique Wilkins was almost drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers to be the centerpiece of Showtime? The Atlanta Hawk legend who has a statue outside the ATL arena like all the Magic, Kareem’s, big fellas and logos outside Lakerland told us himself play-by-play as part of the pregame panel.
“Jerry Buss didn’t want me but Jerry West did”, ‘Nique said with warm affection to what could have been. And we can’t help muse like Shea Serrano’s brilliant ‘Basketball And Other Stories’ book to what legacy and Laker legend would have been like if the Basketball God’s didn’t cast down a thunderbolt. You see apparantly it all came down to an injury to Lakers Celtic bruising forward Mitch Kupchak, which will no doubt leave some Laker fans thinking this may be the first time but not the only time their former G.M. Mitch has messed up things for the Lake Show.
Kupchak’s season crippling injury made Buss want to go bigger and taller. And the rest is Big Game history as the Lakers drafted Wilkins’ fellow North Carolina alumnus James Worthy who made his own H.O.F. career more than just his second name that resides in the forever rafters like 42. The second in goggle command behind Cap remains one of the Lakers and the league as a whole’s most underrated legend.
But we can’t help but think what it would be like if we just looked up at the STAPLES ceiling and saw Dominique’s name up there like Kobe’s too (or two) with his 21 in that acclaimed area. It would have certainly brought more hard-nosed hostility to those Larry Bird fights and more Hollywood to that iconic Slam Dunk Contest between the Human Highlight and the G.O.A.T., M.J. And could you have imagined the Magic between a player who finished his career with Orlando and actually the legendary Boston Celtics and the man with the top hat himself Earvin Johnson? Now you thought watching Lake Show greats A.C. Green and former coach Byron Scott was good.
In the end it was all scripted the right way. The Lakers had their own Big Game dunking James worthy of a King and Dominique Wilkins soared as a Hawk in the A. But if Magic’s all smiling Showtime had a few more Human Highlights for the film? Now that would be something straight out of Hollywood.
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LeBron’s Land Now Has I.T. Support

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Portland Trail Blazers V Cleveland Cavaliers
I.T. Follows All The Kings Men

Cleveland plainly dealed their point prince Kyrie Irving away from the King’s Cavalier land this Summer, to make the NBA’s historical Boston Celtics storied again behind their new superstar handle. And in return they got a glorious gunner with an 80’s iconic name, albeit one hip checked to the new year with injury.

But even if Christmas has come late this year like changing your calendar to 2018, Isaiah Thomas is back like you’ve never seen him before, like a Detroit Piston legend kissing and making up with an 80’s Showtime one in an emotional NBA TV reunion.

Now that’s Magic!

Like Pennywise the clown, injury tempted I.T.’s reign into the gutter for the opening chapter of his story with the King like he was wearing a yellow raincoat. But just wait for part two…it’s about to get slicker as forget arms, Thomas is about to take everyone’s legs off from the ankles up.

He’ll float too.

The land was in need of a hand. One that even the way of Wade couldn’t help after the thorn that went in probably retired, former franchise player Derrick Rose’s side. And now they have it all for one and one for all in I.T.’s support. The King now has a fellow crowning talent ready to hold the throne with. Isaiah Thomas’ return to the trail against Portland was blazing too. Normally a nice 17 points and 3 assists would seem modest for a pocket dynamo of this young Iverson’s stature, but when we answer that it came in just 19 minutes of burn than you know it’s something else altogether.

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It’s the makings of something greater.

But all that failed to blend in Beantown as his reunion with the Celtics he was supposed to retire with and his renewed rivalry with the guard he was traded for was put on a DNP-CD hold (at least he too made up with 80’s great Danny Ainge). But the whole event game of the night turned out to be a wash-out as the Celtics 102-88 scrubbing of the Cavaliers on polished parquet only saw the real rivalry of James (19) and Kyrie (11) amass less than 20 points each when this explosive TNT match-up should have gone 30 for 30 for ESPN.

Still Ohio will rise again when the King and I.T. return to their land and maybe even the promised ones of the NBA Finals. As another Celts/Cavs conference finals match-up without Gordon Hayward and this time more Love could beat towards the heart of a lion. And the five foot something with a headband has plenty of that under his too.

And you best believe tooth and hip surgery nail he’s going to leave it blood, sweat and tears all on the parquet this playoff postseason.

But this time instead of against one, Isaiah won’t just be running alongside a King…he’ll be one.

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