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2019-2020 NBA Season Preview – Western Conference

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2019 2020 NBA Season Preview Western Conference

Northwest Division

Portland Trailblazers

Call it a bad shot all you like Paul, but by George Dame D.O.L.L.A was right on the money with his Thunder clap. R.I.P. OKC. And out in the blooming lovely Rose City of Oregon, the only noise coming out of Portland and their blazing trail of a back-court this summer offseason is the new side hustle rap album from Damian Lillard. Hitting big hits from all over the floor. And that’s just how the Spurs of the Northwest want it in this Wild West. C.J. McCollum and Dame are right on time to shake up your brackets and belief again. And now they have guys like Rodney Hood, Kent Bazemore, Hassan Whiteside and the Spanish legacy of legend Pau Gasol to fill in whilst waiting for the return of the Mt. Hood man mountain of Jusuf Nurkic. It’s going to be a hot one. This year blazing in the flame hair, bandana throwing Bill Walton era jerseys.

Jamal Murray Denver Nuggets Spinning Ball 2019 NBA Media Day
Denver Nuggets Guard Jamal Murray – Photo; Denver Nuggets

Denver Nuggets

Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker may be coming out in theaters this October but why so serious? The real Joker Nikola Jokic is playing all season long. Or he isn’t playing with you, whichever way you want to look at it. And with vet Paul Millsap and the late, great Manute’s mountain of a son Bol Bol by his side that front-line is more imposing than those relatives that take two hours to say goodbye after a quick “just stopping by” visit. But it’s Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. who are mining and running the future of this franchise off the break. The air is clear in Nevada now and the Nuggets are going for gold. Mile high is the limit in this city.

Minnesota Timberwolves

Things looked mighty cold out in Minny when the Butler left for more steak in Philly. But look what he did to the Sixers in the process. Still they still have man mountain Karl Anthony-Towns, their next generation Kevin Garnett and Canadian dry gunner Andrew Wiggins. Once someone they gave up a lot of Love for. Worth it? You decide for yourself this young teams still got a long window to mature, but let’s not leave it open for too long out in this Midwest cold. They may just be go unnoticed, left to freeze to death. At least those purple Prince uniforms still reign.

Oklahoma City Thunder

Cue the John Travolta in Pulp Fiction GIF. Last year it looked so all good that the OK3 could even afford to lose a legend like Carmelo Anthony before the whole league scapegoated him like he wasn’t one of our generations greatest (RESPECT DUE). Well now they’ve lost more marquee players than when they did James Harden and Kevin Durant. Why not? First Paul George did end up going to LA in the end after all…but with the Kawhi Clippers and not the LeBron Lakers. And then even Russell Westbrook bounced like he does above the rim for a Rocket reunion with James Harden. And all the OKC former OK3 got in return was CP3. WoW! And Chris Paul may end up getting brought out like decorations for Christmas by the fall season like overeager shop fronts anyway. At least they still have Aquaman Steven Adams to trident take them out these deep waters of thunder.

Donovan Mitchell Utah Jazz Guard 2019 NBA Media Day
Donovan Mitchell Utah Jazz Guard – Photo: Utah Jazz

Utah Jazz

Far from home Spider-Man may be out the MCU so now it’s on Donovan Mitchell’s homecoming in Salt Lake City. The best spida since big John Salley, Donovan is one of the best young stars in the world running like Bailey. And with the Stifel Tower of Frenchmen Rudy Gobert by his side gobbling up dunks he has someone looking out for him 3000 like Iron Man. Add the grit-n-grind notes of Mike Conley Jr., young, big talent like Dante Exum and Ed Davis and proven big time contributers like veteran Jeff Green and young stud Emmanuel Mudiay and the Jazz sound pretty Larry David good this year. You’re going to like the way they play…and play on too. And I don’t see no fat lady.

Pacific Division

San Francisco Warriors

The Golden State Warriors may have lost the championship AND Kevin Durant, but in NBA terms that was a long time ago. They’re not the Golden State Warriors anymore. Moving back across that Golden Gate Bridge to Silicon Valley they’re the San Francisco Warriors now as the McDonalds All American like Curry jerseys that have one up on the European NBA Store site tell us. And in a new city and new day off the California Coast it’s a new generation for the former Oakland raiding dynasty. One that sees the Splash Brothers of Steph Curry and Klay Thompson (who did come back like Draymond Green) joined by a triplet in D’Angelo Russell backing them up. The former Brooklyn boy who makes nets all water looks for more Cali revenge over the Lakers that let him go. Add the frontline young force of Willie Cauley-Stein from Sacramento to this California club and the skyline of San Fran really does look different. Take a Cable Car up these ‘Bullitt’ famous sloping streets and see for yourself.

Phoenix Suns

Think it’s all dry in the desert then book a ticket to see the Devin Booker show. Remember the seventies? I’m talking about how many he hit years back not the decade for the kid who wasn’t even born back then. We’ll save our Phoenix metaphors for the rise of these Suns, but this dark Phoenix really is a deal horse like those old Pistons Grant Hill era logos. Remember when that player played with Steve Nash and Amar’e Stoudemire? Those where the run and gun days. But now there could be some big STAT’s with the new big cactus in DeAndre Ayton ready to sophomore soar. Add Ricky Rubio, Kelly Oubre Jr. and Aaron Baynes to the mix and this Sun spot could burn baby burn. Hope you listened to Bad Luhrmann when he told you to always wear sunscreen.

Sacramento Kings

These Kings may be a long way from the California crown, but it still hasn’t slipped all the way yet. Underrated star Harrison Barnes and the most valuable vet Trevor Ariza leads a young core missing new Warrior Cauley-Stein, but one that can still go to cowbell battle. Fresh out the Hall of Fame legend Vlade Divac has assembled quite the team of potential H.O.F candidates. Guys like DeAaron Fox, Buddy Hield and Marvin Bagley III. Now that’s a young big-three. They may not be true three Kings yet. But when it comes to the colour purple there’s nothing wrong with a couple of prince’s.

2019/2020 Nba Season Preview-western Conference
Los Angeles Clippers – Kawhi Leonard, Pat Beverly, Paul George, Montrezl Harrell, Lou Williams, Doc Rivers – Photo: LA Clippers

Los Angeles Clippers

When the L.A. Lakers traded for Ant Davis next year’s NBA season looked over, let alone the battle for Los Angeles. Especially with who they thought was coming too. But in the Linkin Park end it didn’t really matter as Kawhi Leonard ended up in Los Angeles…but with the cross-court Clippers instead. And if you thought that was bad Lake Show then Paul George of all people finally came to Hollywood too…but for you know who. Now if that wasn’t enough too, about three former disgruntled Lakers playing big in reserve too? From big man Ivica Zubac and defensive dog Patrick Beverly to the 6 Man G.O.A.T. Lou Will. Now the Clips look to emancipate themselves from the shadow of the bright lights and banners of the Lakers STAPLE too by moving into their own place and state of the art stadium by 2020. Looks like they’re going out on their own now and who better to lead them than the one Finals Most Valuable Player who Canada knows can change everything in a bucket. Ain’t that right Philly?

Must Read:  76ers Jerami Grant destroys Lakers 7-1 Rookie Ivica Zubac
Los Angeles Lakers Kyle Kuzma Anthony Davis Rajon Rondo Lebron James Frank Vogel
Los Angeles Lakers Kyle Kuzma Anthony Davis Rajon Rondo Lebron James & Frank Vogel – Photo: Lakers

Los Angeles Lakers

Dwight Howard…Dwight Howard! What is that hair?! Is he dating a Kardashian?! Nah…you know what? I’m done making jokes. You have to respect the redemption. I’ve been wrong when I’ve said this before (like when I used caffeine shampoo), but I think this is going to work. For all the big moves made out in the La La LeBron City of Angels this Summer, the nobody in the world would have believed you weeks ago Dwight Howard/Lakers reunion has made the most waves out in Hollywood (soft…soft). And this is a team that just finally traded for Anthony Davis. To give LeBron and the Lakers the most dynamic duo since Shaq and Kobe…not Dwight Howard and Kobe. But in doing so they had to give them the whole house of hoops. Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, (please no, not) Josh Hart and all those future draft picks that could turn into players like that or all they’ve lost with the likes of Russell, Randle, Clarkson, Nance Jr. and Zubac. And Anthony is as afraid of commitment next year as young men in their twenties right about now. But at least they kept Kuzma, KCP…and Caruso. And in keeping Rondo and McGee too, maybe adding another meme in another Anthony in ‘Melo and adding Danny Green, Avery Bradley, Quinn Cook, Antetokounmpo (his brother…settle down) and DeMarcus Cousins (before he got injured), the Lake Show’s time is now. But will it be a Hollywood ending for the King? Or will you have to watch ‘Space Jam 2’ for that. It’s going to be a monstar season, but this could be all folks.

Southwest Division

James Harden and Russell Westbrook Houston Rockets sitting on the bench in Hawaii
James Harden and Russell Westbrook Houston Rockets sitting on the bench in Hawaii – Photo: Houston Rockets

Houston Rockets

Turns out Houston did have a problem. Turns out James Harden and Chris Paul likes each other about as much as Harden’s beard and a straight razor. So CP3 was traded to OKC for a thunderous reunion with Russell Westbrook set to explode like barbershop trash bags if they ever do get James’ chin in the chair. But with this dynamite duo, Sixth God Eric Gordon, big Nenê, sneaker king, P.J. Tucker and blocking X-factor Clint Capela, the Rockets are about to soar. Add Kenneth Faried, Gerald Green, Austin Rivers, Iman Shumpert and Tyson Chandler to their preseason flight to the Far East and you could take this team even higher than the Tokyo Skytree. Because the former Yao Ming team is about to be big in Japan too for a preseason exhibition against the Toronto champion Raptors. Now let’s just hope their season isn’t lost in translation Bill.

Dallas Mavericks

Dirk may be gone as the big 3 in this Texan big-three, but Luka Doncic isn’t just the future of this team, state and Wild West. He’s also the future of the league and the whole wide world of hoops. And he’s just hit the weight room too like a photoshopped Alex Caruso. Get that “random” drugs test sent Commish. Add the power of Porzingis to this Maverick mix too and you probably have not only the greatest Euro one/two punch, but one of the best in the association. Even if their best European big-three of all-time lasted for only half a season after the All Star break. But let’s not forget about ‘John Wick Chapter 3’ Jaws like villain Boban Marjanovic either on a team that still has hot Curry even if it isn’t Dell or Steph. This dynamic duo has the potential to last all the way to the hall. Deck them out in Dallas now.

San Antonio Spurs

The Spurs may have lost Kawhi Leonard. But come on that was a season and a Canadian championship for the Toronto Raptors (we have to get that in there as much as naturally as possible). But they’ve still got Pop and nothings better like the social media shared video of the FIBA Team USA coach playing ‘Heads Up’ with an iPhone with his team at dinner. Heads up this team still have DeMar DeRozan too. And LaMarcus Aldridge. AND Rudy Gay. And if we’re talking FIBA let’s not forget Aussie ruler Patty Mills lowering the boom. We also have no idea of the potential of Derrick White and Lonnie Walker too…and that’s a beautiful thing. They may not have Manu or TP3 anymore, but big Tim Duncan is back as an assistant. What more could you ask for?

Zion Williamson Lonzo Ball Jrue Holiday Brandon Ingram New Orleans Pelicans 2019 NBA Media Day
New Orleans Pelicans – Zion Williamson, Lonzo Ball, Jrue Holiday and Brandon Ingram – Photo: New Orleans Pelicans

New Orleans Pelicans

Anthony Davis is gone. That’s all folks. But in return the Pels got proven point Lonzo Ball, score at will slasher like Durant with Sprewell hair, Brandon Ingram and the best young role player there is in Josh Hart, plus more blowing through the draft than leaves in Autumn. Now that’s a haul folks. And that comes with the likes of J.J. Reddick, Jahlil Okafor, Derrick and Jrue Holiday still on board too. Playoffs for the Pelicans? That’s a yes for the N.O. and then some. And then there’s some kid named Zion.

Memphis Grizzlies

The Grit N Grind era is officially gravel drive done for the night now Mike Conley Jr. will be playing Jazz music. Put the Marc Gasol, Tony Allen and Rudy Gay past in the rafters it’s Ja Morant’s time to rule now. And they still have the Sixth Man Finals MVP of former Warrior champion Andre Igudola…for now. And for all those going on about first Japanese top ten pick Rui Hachimara this Summer out in DC before the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo how about the Hustle of his FIBA national team teammate Yuta Watanabe? Still capable of being big in the NBA like he is in Japan. The Grizz are also bringing out the old Vancouver, Canada jerseys this year like Mike Bibby and Shareef Abdur-Raheem. But that’s not the only thing that’s going to bear fruit this 82.

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NBA

Jared Dudley Is The Lakers Unsung Hero

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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.?

No!

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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NBA

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

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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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