Wow, the NBA season has just begun after a crazy off-season and free agency period. You have players getting paid ridiculous amounts of money with the higher salary caps. Mike Conley, SERIOUSLY? It is debatable that he is even a Top 5 PG in his conference and he gets a $153 million deal! Underachieving players getting overpaid this off-season was still not the craziest thing to happen. Kevin Durant left OKC to join the 73-9 Warriors. That puts the three best shooters in the league on the same team. Dwight went to his hometown, Atlanta, so he can piss off that fan base by being a bitch and a horrible teammate. Celtics picked up Al Horford who made the All-Boring 1st team last year. DWade left Miami to go to Chicago to compete in a mid-range shooting contest with Jimmy Butler and Rondo. The New York Knicks picked up Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah, which made Knick fans very excited for this upcoming season. They lost their opening game to the Cavs by 30 but they’re still going to “make Lebron work hard to get to the finals.” Along with players moving all over, we had some OG’s retire. Timmy D and KG, two of the best power forwards and competitors this sport has ever seen. Kobe played his final game last year, and he went out with 60 points, only because he’s the goat. The Black Mamba has been spending his retirement by starting a Venture Capital Fund (trying to get more chedda) and by going to various sporting events including WNBA games. I’m sure he misses playing already.
Anyway, here is my outlook on the season for the Eastern Conference with my Western Conference outlook coming tomorrow.
Your 2017 Eastern Conference Champions. Yes, Lebron and company will be back to the finals. The Cavs will probably be the best team in the league this whole year. The champs have gained a lot of confidence after coming back from 3-1 to beat the Warriors last year. Lebron has the pressure off of him to bring a Championship back to Cleveland, Kyrie is one of the best isolation players in the league and is almost un-guardable, and Kevin Love still played like a pussy in the finals, but I think this might be his year with the Cavs. They returned almost all of their key role players, and signed Mike Dunleavy who adds another tall shooter, who can pass and has a high basketball I.Q. The key to the Cavaliers success is if (and I’m pulling this number out of my ass here) Lebron and Kyrie can combine for 45+ points a night, while both shooting above 45% from the field. Add Kevin Love finding his shooting rhythm and you have a dangerous team that could easily make it back to the finals and possibly repeat
I really like the Celtics and I’m picking them to lose to Lebron in the second round. Isaiah Thomas is starting to lead this team, and will be there go-to scorer again this year. I honestly do like the Al Horford addition. Horford is a very solid center and will give you close to 15 points and 9 rebounds a game. This will give the Celtics a stronger inside presence offensively. They drafted Jaylen Brown, who I think will struggle early on, but eventually he will break through as one of their main guys. Brown needs to develop his jumper, and get better with the ball, but he has the body and athleticism to become a deadly wing player in the future. The celtics have a lot of blue collar players that will do the dirty work and play hard. Amir Johnson, Jae Crowder, Kelly Olynyk, Marcus Smart are all big physical guys that will help defensively and on the boards.
The Raptors re-signed their main guys Kyle Lowry and Demar Derozan to long term deals, while keeping almost all of their core players from last year’s Eastern conference finals team. Kyle and Demar make for a nice duo that can compete at a high level in the East. I still think Kyle Lowry is very overrated and I hate every part of his game, but think the Raptors have a good squad and should make it back to the conference finals. Derozan and Lowry will likely combine to average 40+ points a game, with Jonas Velociraptor being their third leading scorer. Jonas is a very good rebounder and should average a double-double. I would like to see DeMarre Carroll break out this year and produce like he did with the Hawks. Raptors have two studs and a solid supporting cast, they could even upset Lebron…….lol
The Pacers have a very talented roster going into this season. Paul George is back to playing like an All-Star, and their big man from Texas, Myles Turner, is quickly developing into a great center. The Pacers are loaded with guards. They recently acquired Jeff Teague from the Hawks who will probably be a nice upgrade from George Hill. They have Monta Ellis who is a deadly scorer. Coming off the bench they have Rodney Stuckey who can play D and score from mid-range and they also have Aaron Brooks who can stroke from 3. Al Jefferson is joining this team after an underwhelming career in Charlotte. Hopefully Jefferson can provide some scoring down low, and a viable alternative in case Turner gets hurt. Looking at the Pacers roster, I really like them to compete for the second spot in the East. They honestly have the best chance at beating Lebron, mainly because Paul George can matchup physically with Lebron and Jeff Teague would do an OK job on Kyrie.
Dwyane Wade came back home to Chicago to form a very unique blend of superstars. Jimmy Butler will likely lead the way in scoring, and I could see him and Wade combining for about 42+ points a game this year. I worry about Rondo’s assists totals because this team lacks three point shooting. Rondo is also a huge dick, and I do not see him, Wade, and Butler all getting along. They drafted Denzel Valentine, who had some bright moments in summer league, including a game winner in the championship. Hopefully Valentine finds his shot early in the season because the Bulls are going to need it.
New York Knicks
I honestly really want the Knicks to be good, I do, but I do not think it will ever happen with Melo on the team. Ok, when I say good, I mean a serious competitor in the league, not a 6 or 7 seed in the East because we know that those teams are not really playoff teams (because the East sucks). I love Porzingis, I think he could be a Top 10 player in the league in 5-7 years. He is a big guy, who runs the floor, crashes boards and tip slams in your face, and he’s got an outside game. He just has to put on muscle and get more comfortable on the low block and then he will be unstoppable. But that’s the future of Knicks basketball, this team with Derrick Rose, Joakim, Melo, and Porzingod, has the makings of a decent team. Their bench is horrible though, and Brandon Jennings cannot play defense which was made known during their blowout loss to the Lebrons on opening night. Best-Case scenario is that they avoid the 8 seed so they don’t play Lebron in the first round.