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2018-2019 NBA Season Preview – Western Conference



2018-2019 NBA Season Preview – Western Conference
All The Kings Young Men...

Northwest Division

Portland Trail Blazers

Portlandia! It’s about time Dame and C.J. got some help. Lillard and McCollum may be the best backcourt in the association (sorry John Wall and Bradley Beal), but that isn’t going to front. Nik Stauskas and Evan Turner help. But if Rose City really wants to bloom and blaze a trail than it’s time to take a page out of legend Bill Walton’s Grateful Dead loving songbook and keep it in the family like Luke. Gary Payton II can relate. The son of the glove hands the PDX something the Lakers (South Bay or L.A.) will soon wish they never let go. And Seth Curry may not be his big brother or even his dad Dell. But with those Curry hot shooting genes in the house at this point I’d give a roster spot to one of Steph’s kids.

Denver Nuggets

Mile-High natives can breathe a sigh of relief. Denver have finally struck gold in the post ‘Melo area. Surrounding one of the L’s most underrated superstars in The Joker, Nikola Jokic with a pair of hands like Jamal Murray and Will Barton is a master move. As is getting the likes of Mason Plumlee and Gary Harris in a youth of tomorrow team that still has a veteran core in the middle thanks to All-Star, all-time big man Paul Milisap. And who knows just how much spark plug Isaiah Thomas will prove all the Cav and Laker LeBron’s who wrote him off wrong. Remember he’s still only a season removed from the star player that was worthy of trading with for King James’ former running mate Kyrie. But the real superstar potential lies with Michael Porter Jr. who at this point can be that push that promises playoffs. In the Nevada desert right now Denver looks better than a box of six McDonalds nuggets at the end of a hell of a night.

Minnesota Timberwolves

Butler did it. He’s gone and asked for a trade. So it looks like the Minnesota Timberwolves won’t be a Jimmy thing for long. Best in the King revolution of this new player power generation that they ship him now before he burns them like Hendrix’s guitar in free agency. At least Butler has been of service and duty by sacrificing a big pay day by doing the right thing and requesting something in return for his services, instead of just being free to retire to somewhere else next year and leaving the hungry Wolves with a sink full of dishes. And Minny could clean up in response, getting some big talent to surround Karl-Anthony with. As it’s still Townes’ town after all. Canadian Wiggins is still a budding star and fallen one Rose looks to be blooming in preseason. As free as his dreads and the feeling of being out the spotlight to play however he wants to play. Tyus Jones could be next up and this young team is still Jeff Teague deep in this league. But Thibs’ boys look more and more like they are resembling the Bulls these days. As joining Derrick and Taj Gibson is former All-Star Luol Deng who has been “playing” for the Lakers the last few campaigns. But who knows what this milk carton player can do once he’s opened up. He’s far from spoilt. But these T-Wolves are for talent. Now who and how do they choose?

Oklahoma City Thunder

Carmelo may be gone. But the NBA’s latest big-three was a trilogy that ended up looking like it was being ‘Taken’ for a ride. No matter how much it had a special set of skills. Who knew Paul George would still be here however? Certainly no one in L.A. But in OKC he is the perfect compliment for Russell Westbrook, who is going to dynamite dominate the ball and the hoop on any given night…or play! You forget this team still has talent like Dennis Schroder, Nerlens Noel and of course Steven Adams under the rim. The only question remains in the fallout of this ‘Mission: Impossible’ for the title is how long will this fuse last before it burns out? Or everything explodes!?

Utah Jazz

Salt in the wound for anyone who loves Gordon Hayward to see what happened to him after leaving the Jazz in the first game of the season last year for the Boston Celtics. But everyone loves happy endings, even when it comes to break-ups. And he and the Jazz will be back hitting high-notes like Rudy Gobert does blocks off the glass. Even if not in collaborating concert together. Hayward proved to a post Malone and Stockton generation that Utah could pick and roll and move on. And in less then a year they have done exactly that with someone who many see as the real rookie of the year in Donovan Mitchell. Mitch could at least go one-on-one with Simmons. Now we don’t need to wait and see how the potential of Dante Exum or Derrick Favors turns out. The Jazz have a superstar right now who they can trumpet as their brass.

Pacific Division

Golden State Warriors

Forget Hollywood and new Laker LeBron taking over another 23 in M.J. to star in ‘Space Jam 2’. As those Monstar’s live in California now too and they have hold of the ball. The San Francisco (Golden State) Warrior Splash Brothers have a new nickname now they’ve added another franchise player to their starting five. At this point their bench could literally be Bugs Bunny and Bill Murray and it wouldn’t matter. Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green AND DeMarcus Cousins?! I’m done! So it appears is everyone else.

Phoenix Suns

The Suns have the ability to scorch this season. Phoenix’s always rise and superstar Devin Booker doesn’t have to chase The Admiral, Kobe or Wilt and score 70 points just for PHX to book a win anymore. He now has the likes of sophomore stud Josh Jackson and one of this years big rookies in big dipper DeAndre Ayton to give the Suns a big-three of tomorrow what’s set to run like Hall of Famer Steve Nash, The Matrix and Stat…STAT. And if that wasn’t enough this franchise of the future added another veteran leader, ready to go right now in Trevor Ariza. Who from Houston, elder statesmen joins this team that is growing more than Tyson Chandler’s James Harden impression. The desert isn’t dry anymore. And this team has sand.

Sacramento Kings

There are more Kings in California than the one in Hollywood, but when will Sacramento see the throne again like the time Webber, Peja, Vlade, Christie and Bibby almost took Los Angeles from the Lakers? The Kings almost moved to L.A. too, amongst Orange County, of course Seattle and others. But right now it looks like they are going nowhere. Zach Randolph and Iman Shumpert can still ball out on any given night. But they are passing the rock and torch to a future that needs a bearer. Perhaps finally one of this years top lottery picks, Marvin Bagley III has the balls and bag to be just that. But then again if Buddy Hield, Willie-Cauley Stein, De’Aaron Fox and Justin Jackson all blow at the same time than Sacto is set to go loco in a league that almost forgot there’s still more cowbell when the fans get the only player prescription that can take them to levels where decibels can’t get much louder. Sleep Train wake up and get on board. You’re almost at your destination.

Los Angeles Lakers

Jordan, Julius, Isaiah, Nance Jr. Gary Payton. If this was the ‘Stranger Things’ days of the 80’s losing names like that would be like a dream team becoming an early Halloween nightmare. Word to Michael Myers. But when all this clears the cap to get a King in return for your deck then what more could you ask for? Well how about a gang of the most talented and misunderstood veterans in purple and gold? Including a Celtic legend (Rondo…finally), a James draft class wild card (Mike Beasley), someone who even huffed and puffed in his ear (the real wildcard of Lance Stephenson) and someone who the King wouldn’t even allow to follow him (the Warrior champ JaVale McGee, who judging from the first game of preseason is going to have a monster year above the rim. Just set the table and he’ll clean up. Feed him the rock). And with the big-three of the young core intact with next up, Brandon Ingram, last years Hollywood rookie reality star Lonzo Ball and the real steal of the draft and first year player of the year Kyle Kuzma. Not to mention Zupac Shakur and this years Summer League MVP out in Vegas, Josh Hart, President Johnson and Rob Lowe are pushing all their chips into the middle of the table. And we haven’t even talked about rookie Moe Wagner yet (but we will) for a team that drafts better than venetian blinds. Oh and there’s some guy called LeBron here too. Sounds like the basketball Gods have scripted the chosen one for a Hollywood ending. And we aint talkin’ ‘Space Jam 2’.

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Los Angeles Clippers

Erm. Chris Paul gone. Blake Griffin gone. DeAndre Jordan? Gone! To Dallas of all places like he should have a couple of summers ago if CP3 and Blake didn’t intervene. “Hey! Stick around D! Let’s make this work”! Cue the Anthony Mackie in ‘Avengers: Infinity War’, “well, this is awkward”, Black Widow and Bruce Banner gif. It looks like the battle for Los Angeles and who the STAPLE of downtown L.A. is back gold winning in Lakerland like a Paul for Pau nixing karma (yep…here I am letting it go). No matter how scary Patrick Beverly is to more than just an opening night rookie Lonzo. At least they have Sixth Man of every year Lou Will from the purple and gold. And getting one of the best centers in the L, Marcin Gortat to join one of the leagues best and underrated superstars Tobias Harris was a great move like the pick and rolls we are about to see set. But lets face it their best signing this year was Sports Illustrated top writer Lee Jenkins to an executive position. But even he can’t write them a happy ending out in Hollywood part two. These Clips look a lot different from the ‘Lob City’ look that took off from LAX years ago. Back then they had the sky-high confidence to cover up all the Lakers banners. Now they are back down in the cellars. At least the Clippers have found something that looks worse than their new look uniforms.

Southwest Division

Houston Rockets

Mike D’Antoni is either a genius or a madman. But what are you going to call him when his Houston Rockets finally soar past the Warriors? This coach has unleashed more Point Guards than when he gave the ball to Steve Nash in seven seconds or less and told him to Forrest Gump. Former Sixth Man of the Year and Three-Point Contest champ Eric Gordon, last summers big free agent signing Chris Paul and of course your reigning Most Valuable Beard, James Harden. But fear here as there is more. Sure losing Ariza will put them in arrears. But they’ve just added one time and maybe still superstar Carmelo Anthony to a big-three than will hopefully work better than OKC. If that doesn’t take them over the edge and Golden State than perhaps a core of Clint Capela, P.J. Tucker, Michael Carter-Williams, Brandon Knight, Nene and a cherry on the blown out cake top dunk of Gerald Green will. These Rockets are ready to rock back in their best in association black. Houston is everyone elses problem now.

San Antonio Spurs

Forget Kawhi Leonard, all that drama and the fact that he’s now crazily up here north in Toronto for a second. Because this might be it for Pop. The era that he and The Admiral, David Robinson set sail has finally left port. The original big-three born from the twin towers is no more. One of the greatest Spurs in Iceman to T-Bot history, Manu Ginobili now joins Tim Duncan with a fishing pole. Whilst Tony Parker is now with the Hornets. What the?! And if that wasn’t enough Kawhi has now gone from mild-mannered to what the hell we’ve just seen over the last year. The professional mood and calm of Timmy has now gone, no matter how much LaMarcus Aldridge looks like a clone of the San An android. Looks like former Toronto star DeMar DeRozan traded here for Leonard better start a new standard for these Spurs to click again and back into place. As Patty Mills, Pau Gasol and Rudy Gay will all have their day too soon. But what of the wild hair and play of Lonnie Walker IV going forth? Maybe it’s time for a radical new look in this new age. Better call Becky with the good coaching.

New Orleans Pelicans

Cousins joining Kentucky family Anthony Davis out in the Big Easy always looked like it was either going to be huge, or hard pressed to last long. But after a SLAM cover injury curse that saw no limit and a zero jersey dedication from A.D. at the A.S.G. that was truly something, no one thought it would all be over so quickly for the new generation Duncan and Robinson. But as DeMarcus swaps the swamp for the bay and gold with the Warriors, the Pelicans swap ‘cat for ‘cat. As another wild Kentucky alumnus joins Anthony’s frontcourt. Leaving the crowning gold of LeBron’s Lakerland even though rumor had it that Davis might make that opposite switch back, it’s time for Julius Randle to show the league how good he really is and can be. Not to mention how much the Lake Show are missing upfront. And he has plenty of star company in the returning Holiday and the power potential of pick-ups Jahlil Okafor and Elfrid Payton. But this team lives and dies with the bill of Anthony Davis’ big numbers and by their seasons fourth quarter, whether the French Quarter big bucks will decide if he stays or goes next summer.

Memphis Grizzlies

Big in Japan. Yuta Watanabe might just be the rookie that Kyle Kuzma’s the 2018/2019 NBA season. Taking these Grizzlies from grit-n-grid to neon shine. Sure this seven footer won’t be bigger than Elvis, but he may just rock Memphis as he rolls down court. Rising like the Grizz fanbase in the Far East. Once compared to the Kings, Mavs and Spurs but now taking over all of them as the modern model for Western Conference consistency, you see that in lifers like Marc Gasol, Mike Conley Jr. and the dotted line of Chandler Parsons. But Tennessee needs a new project like Timberlake to take them out of the woods…swiftly. Yuta it’s you!

Dallas Mavericks

Dirk isn’t done. Far from it. I see no fat lady. But when Nowitzki says no more, Luka Doncic will be the Maverick that will keep Dallas shooting like J.R. or J.J. off the bench. Watch out Porzingis unicorns! The next internationl superstar ready to run right now is the future face of this franchise. That is unless last years high-flying rookie Dennis Smith Jr. doesn’t jump over him as this sophomore star stud baptizes the new rook in the chess positioning for power in practice. There’s more star power in all-vets Harrison Barnes, Wesley Matthews and new addition a year or two removed from what should have been in DeAndre Jordan too. The Mavs have finally got their man. But Dirk is still it until this champ goes for another chip. You thought it was just a one off? Well this team right now has what it takes to go for one last run for the ring for their number 41, who wants one more banner to be raised next to that jersey. Then like the Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum desert swagger at the end of ‘Independence Day’ you can light up the Cuban’s.

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Jared Dudley Is The Lakers Unsung Hero



jared dudley is the lakers unsung hero
No Dud...

There’s a hero that could save us in Hollywood right now.

And I ain’t talking about The King.

Or the Brow to ‘Bron in A.D. and his best since Shaq and Kobe dynamic duo combining for 70 like one off Elgin Baylor’s career high.

I ain’t talking about Kuz. Canada’s champ Danny Green from downtown purple and gold. Or the redemption reunion of Superman returns Dwight Howard in the hash-tag “Washed King’s” revenge season.

I ain’t even talking about the bald identity of my hero the Alex Caruso show this time.

I’m talking about Jared Dudley people.

Wait…what the?!

Yeah I said it!

Not the same Jared that got replaced by Joaquin as The Joker. Not the same Dudley that got nut checked by Shaquille O’Neal on the Knicks before lamely quarterback pitch throwing the ball after him on the inbound technical (we didn’t think centers apart from Shaq could pass like that). Or the same J.D. that like going with Coke welcomed us to Atlanta with Ludacris. But just Jared.

Yeah right…”just”.

You may think the former Brooklyn boy fan favourite owns the last roster spot that should have gone to a blazing Carmelo. Or still a free agent Jamal Crawford (even a J.R. Smith?!). A spot reserved for Andre Igudola once he gets out of contract hell. Or even a South Bay call-up for legendary names in young Lakers like Antetokounmpo, Stockton and Payton II. And let’s not forget the one Ingram they didn’t trade in the Grey Mamba ‘dre.

And with that headband over his shaved dome you may think the guy who Balenciaga bigger than Basketball looks the part in the players only catwalk runway to the stadium for his fashion fit drip looks like he’ll definitely be in ‘Bron’s ‘Space Jam’ sequel too. That’s all for your insults folks (“baldy?!”). But with that number ten to go with the head check he kind of looks like a less ripped version of a former King that used to kill the Lakers…and that’s no insult to J.D. Have you see Mike Bibby these days? He really is a unit.

But to me he looks like one of those bench energy guys who lifts the whole team in the mould of a Rony Turiaf or ‘Mad Dog’ Mark Madsen. Even if his time on the pine is more than on the hardwood. He still has his Laker legend like that photoshopped number 10 next to James and Davis for the new big three, tongue in cheek.

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And speaking of that number ten you just may see that jersey in the seats of STAPLES almost as much as the King’s 23. Why you ask. Are fans waiting until A.D. adds a King’s 2 to his 3 as LeBron carries the 6? Was there a sale? An in-game giveaway like that Shaq City Edition being on everyones seats pregame for its debut in L.A.?


It’s because Dudley has literally been gifting his number ten signature to almost everyone (hello!) whose asked this season on Twitter and it isn’t even Christmas yet. What a statement. And if you thought that was a grand gesture then half of these people in the stands in tens are there because Jared has personally left comp tickets waiting for them for games at will call (the other half probably just in thanks). Not just at STAPLES…but on the road too. Now how’s that for player power? Reaching out to fans in precarious positions, with problems when it comes to getting to games, or even those whose lifelong dream was just to see Hollywood’s Lakers live and in living colour one time.

He’s done it countless. More times than the 23 and 2 team to start their best season since the year 2000 have won.

Now how about that? You love to see it. Right now no one does more for the fans than the people’s champ Jared Dudley.

When he gets his ring it won’t be from riding coattails, but giving his all, everything.

And let’s not forget the heart and hustle he puts down on the floor every night his box score doesn’t read DNP-CD for a second, or minute of time. He’s got a decent shot on him too. Even if it looks more awkward than me on dates…it works.

Let’s see more from Dudley.

The Lake Show are the Hollywood story of the season. But we all know when it comes to the script from the Basketball God’s you need your character actors as much as the academy of award winners. And if Jared Dudley really is the Lakers unsung hero in L.A. like Denis Irwin was for Manchester United (know your history) it’s time to hit the high notes and shoot our shot like he does his.

Now is this enough for me to get a jersey Jared?

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DO Call It A Carmelo Comeback. Anthony Is Guaranteed For Years



carmelo anthony signs guarantee contract with portland trail blazers
Back From The Dead In RIP City...

Three fingers like “what’s your poison” and shots to the dome like LL Cool J’s comeback. I’m calling it…

La La said knock you out.

They say there are no guarantees in this life, or league. But now after almost crossing off an entire calender, Carmelo Anthony has one in this league of X and O’s.

You best believe every team that slept on him has woke up now.

O.K. Thunder? Like old New York. No ‘Melo in Lakers yellow, or Houston’s problem.

And let’s not talk about that ATL jersey Atlanta tried to hawk.

The Nugget type of fellow that Nelly rapped about like ‘Na-Nana-Na’, with the heart of a champion sweat until he was no longer in a suit and part of the Sportscenter theme again. After waiting longer to align with The King in Hollywood for this Game Of Thrones than another Anthony (Davis), Carmelo ended up coming up roses in the RIP City of Portland. And boy has he blazed a trail. Voltron forming arguably a big three with the best backcourt in the league not in this nation’s capital with C.J. McCollum and Dame ‘Time’ Lillard with the look like the OK3 of Russell Westbrook and PG3 and not the Beard and the Brow.

And now he’s exceeded everyone’s greatest expectations. As one of the G.O.A.T.’s has polished his path to the Hall with a comeback even better than the return of Superman Dwight Howard with the Lakers…which could have had a Hollywood sequel with Carmelo’s comeback.

But the Lakers loss is the PDX’s blazing gain.

What more would you expect from a guy who still put up competent averages in the soaring Rockets cosmos, despite being grounded by little court acclaim? The problems in Houston could have actually been attributed to another guy who ended up ousted and in an Oklahoma home too. Despite the trolls who are now trading in hot takes like they never simulated 2K videos of him building a Commodore house with his shot selection. Or the analysts who are changing their discussion like a report rewrite.

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Carmelo ain’t calming down. Anthony is taking everyone back to school.

Class has been in session.

And how about the report card? Eight games. 16.9 points and 5.9 rebounds per game. Big shots. Western Conference Player of the Week. All Star legend spot? He belongs like the Carushow in the Slam Dunk Contest. He’s unstoppable like LeBron James’ Eurostep, spin-cycle lay-up that is like a runaway freight…word to Denzel Washington. Or his Kareem sky-hook. Tokyo 2020 Team USA bid for the best in five rings Olympic legend in his golden age? Big shots from the double 0 like seven. From nothing twice?! This is no time to die Mr. Bond.

He’s gone toe-to-shot with the MVP. Showed he was more than a most imported or Sixth Man, but still a star. More than the name, but the actual game. And now he’s guaranteed to be around for a while longer like he never left, but is here to stay. As the Blazers changed the trail on the end of the signature of his contract before the ink even dried for this guy’s with the wet jumper like staying outside in the snow with your ugly NBA sweater this Christmas.

This tax is more than a luxury. It’s about to cap off a classic career with one compelling closing chapter.

Even when he bit career highs at the core of his career in the Big Apple, the ever humble hero Carmelo was a walking and dribbling, “I just take it one game (or day) at a time” postgame soundbite like he has been in his comeback off court to on it. Well now the Blazers can guarantee him 365…or at least 82 or however far he takes them.

From the headband to the hoodie, stay ‘Melo. Anthony is here to stay.

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