3 Words To Breakdown Every NBA Team’s 2017-18 Season
Atlanta Hawks – Still No Star
A consistent fixture in the Eastern Conference playoffs over the past decade, the Atlanta Hawks have experimented with the likes of Joe Johnson, Josh Smith, Al Horford, Paul Millsap, Jeff Teague, and even Dwight Howard, but have yet to been able to find that one franchise-altering star who would get them over the playoff hump. Dennis Schroder is the new man in Atlanta now and yet again, the Hawks will begin a season in which they will continue to look for that one superstar.
Boston Celtics – Compete With Cleveland
After getting slapped in the 2017 Eastern Conference Finals, the Boston Celtics are a reloaded bunch, and with Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward added to the mix, they are ready to compete with the powerhouse Cleveland Cavaliers. Whether they can beat the Cavaliers in the playoffs is yet to be seen, but the Celtics are definitely ready to compete with the Conference’s best!
Brooklyn Nets – Still a Mess
The Brooklyn Nets are still a mess and there doesn’t seem to be any sort of quick fix. D’Angelo Russell will look to become the face of the franchise and really, that is all you have to know about the situation in Brooklyn. It’ll be rough!
Charlotte Hornets – M.J. Not Answer
A past-his-prime Dwight Howard is not the answer in Charlotte and neither is Michael Jordan who consistently can provide Kemba Walker with the pieces he needs to compete. We respect everything M.J. has done for the game, but Charlotte’s front office is just not getting it done.
Chicago Bulls – First Overall Pick
The Chicago Bulls did everything they could this offseason to assert themselves as the worst team in the NBA. With Jimmy Butler, Rajon Rondo, and Dwyane Wade now gone, the Bulls will look to Justin Holliday, Nikolas Mirotic, and Paul Zipser to lead their offence. It doesn’t look all bad for the first overall pick aspiring Bulls for the Toronto Raptors undoubtedly will still struggle with beating them.
Cleveland Cavaliers – James’ Last Ride?
While the Cleveland Cavaliers remain absolutely stacked, LeBron James is the operator of the machine that is the Eastern Conference powerhouse. While yes, the Cavs may very well crack the NBA Finals for a fourth consecutive season, the real question is what happens next? Will this be James’ last ride with the Cleveland Cavaliers before he enters free agency?
I hear James has been looking at high schools over in Los Angeles for his sons, but who knows what that is even about, right?
Dallas Mavericks – Dirk’s Final Years
Dirk Nowitzki may be entering his final NBA season and even if he does opt to stay a year past that, he will be the main attraction in Dallas simply because there’s nothing else there to give fans any hope of competing. Similar to Kobe Bryant, Nowitzki will be riding off into the sunset with the team he started his career with and unfortunately, it will be on a losing note. May the farewell tour commence!
Denver Nuggets – Mile High Club
Since the Carmelo Anthony days, the Denver Nuggets have most definitely struggled, but that is all about to change. With budding stars in Nikola Jokic and Greg Harris, and the arrival of Paul Millsap, the Denver Nuggets have youth, experience, athleticism, and a whole lot of versatility. If Emmanuel Mudiay and Jamal Murray take another step forward this season, this Nuggets team may just be a dangerous team on the rise!
Detroit Pistons – Dead Motor City
Everything is falling apart in Detroit after a surprising run to the eighth seed just a couple of seasons ago. Andre Drummond is growing into a huge liability while Reggie Jackson struggled mightily last season as well. Stan Van Gundy will have to act fast as the Pistons need something to be done and the addition of Avery Bradley may not be the answer.
Golden State Warriors – Time for Repeat
Let’s be honest, no move in the offseason has rattled the Golden State Warriors nor should it. The Warriors remain the best team in the league by a mile and repeating as champions is a very real possibility. Who will be able to stop this juggernaut of a basketball team?
Houston Rockets – Seven Second Offence
If you thought the Houston Rockets played fast last season under Mike D’Antoni, just wait until this season gets going now with Chris Paul in the mix. With two legitimate playmakers in the backcourt, Harden will finally be able to play off the ball as Paul will help lift some of the pressure that has been pitted on ‘The Beard’s’ shoulders over the past few seasons.
Steve Nash’s Phoenix Suns 2.0 begins now!
Indiana Pacers – Indiana’s no Fun
Paul George had no interest in staying and that’s the harsh reality of Indiana. It’s a small market with little to provide for the game’s best players. Now, it’s time to see what Myles Turner really is all about, but at the very least, the Pacers are now strapped with Victor Oladipo and his brutal contract.
But hey, Oladipo can sing!
Los Angeles Clippers – Show Goes On
With Chris Paul now gone, Lob City will remain alive and well with Milos Teodosic in the fold. Blake Griffin is back as well on a massive contract which may come back and hurt the Clips. The fact remains, the Clippers had their opportunity to win and that ship has unfortunately sailed.
Los Angeles Lakers – Year of Ball
No matter what happens to the Lakers this season, you can bet LaVar and Lonzo Ball will be front and centre. The Lakers have a nice assortment of young talent and next offseason may fetch them some of the game’s best in free agency, but until then – welcome to the Year of Ball!
Memphis Grizzlies – Grind City Falling
Tony Allen is gone and so is Zach Randolph. There is not much left in Memphis, but while Marc Gasol and Mike Conley are around, the Grizz will remain a playoff team in the West. Another case of a struggling small market team stuck in limbo, the Grizzlies may have to move on from their core soon and try something to reshuffle the deck.
Miami Heat – Everyone Gets Paid
Josh Richardson, Tyler Johnson, Dion Waiters, James Johnson, Hassan Whiteside, and Goran Dragic are all players who have received big contracts to remain with the Heat over the past two seasons. The Heat have made a ton of players happy, but it will not translate into winning.
But at least James Johnson is now getting paid $60-million over the next four years.
Milwaukee Bucks – Bunch of Freaks
Yes there is the Greek Freak, Giannis Antetokounmpo, but aside from him the Milwaukee Bucks have a ton of length and versatility. From Malcolm Brogdon to Kris Middleton, to Thon Maker, the Bucks will be a very fun team to watch. If Jabari Parker can return and stay healthy, and Antetokounmpo can become even more dominant, who knows what Milwaukee’s ceiling could be this season!
Minnesota Timberwolves – Time to Win
The Timberwolves had the most team-altering offseason in the league. Acquiring Jimmy Butler and signing the likes of Jeff Teague and Taj Gibson gives the Wolves a legitimate shot at competing in the West. While a spot in the Western Conference Playoffs should be within reach, it is yet to be seen if this Wolves team can compete against the likes of the Spurs, Warriors, Rockets, and Thunder.
New Orleans Pelicans – Trade Boogie Now
DeMarcus Cousins has one more year left of control and chances are, he is not going to stay with the crummy New Orleans Pelicans.
Solution? The Cleveland Cavaliers own the Brooklyn Nets 2018 lottery pick so the Pelicans can acquire that in a package for Cousins. Better move the star big man for something as opposed to losing him for nothing. Pretty sound logic which makes quite a bit of sense!
New York Knicks – The Rotten Apple
Carmelo Anthony is gone and now Tim Hardaway Jr. is the highest paid player on the New York Knicks roster. Joakim Noah comes in at number two on the team’s payroll.
Who’s even surprised by the Knicks at this point?
Oklahoma City Thunder – Just One Ball
The Oklahoma City Thunder had a monstrous offseason bringing in Paul George and Carmelo Anthony, while inking Russell Westbrook to a huge extension. Only issue now is, there are three high-usage stars on one team and just one basketball.
Good luck figuring this out Coach Donovan!
Orlando Magic – Still no Magic
The Magic have till 2030 to win one championship. At least the owners still thinks it’s possible!
Philadelphia 76ers – Processing is Complete
Joel Embiid will hopefully remain healthy, Ben Simmons is healthy, and Markelle Fultz is now the point guard of the future. Dario Saric is another valuable piece to the puzzle. It’s no longer the time for the Sixers to trust the process, but to complete it and they can do exactly that by beginning to win.
This is not a finished product and there will be growing pains, but the Sixers have the winning formula on their roster assuming everyone remains healthy.
Phoenix Suns – Trade Eric Bledsoe!
Devin Booker and Josh Jackson are the future, Marquise Chriss and Tyler Ulis are valuable young pieces as well. Eric Bledsoe is the one player who just doesn’t fit into what the Suns are looking at doing in their future.
Bledsoe, who has consistently struggled with staying healthy, is still an asset that many contending teams will covet. The Suns will not win with Bledsoe, but they can use the return they receive in a trade to build towards the future. Think about it Phoenix.
Portland Trailblazers – The Same Thing
What’s the difference between C.J. McCollum and Damian Lillard? Two very nice player, two stars, but two guys who do exactly the same thing.
The question in Portland now is, is it time to move one and commit to the other?
Sacramento Kings – Just Who Knows
The Sacramento Kings had a great draft and then they signed two ancient veterans in Vince Carter and Zach Randolph. What is the plan here? Is there a plan here?
You know what, it’s the Kings. There may not be a plan in place at all.
San Antonio Spurs – Same Old Spurs
Refer to last year’s preview. It’s the exact same. The Spurs will continue to do Spurs things.
Toronto Raptors – Three Year Window
The Raptors will again be a solid regular season team, which should crack a high playoff spot, but what next? There is a clear distinction between them and the East’s elite. There is also a gap between the Raptors and the Western Conference powerhouses. The Raptors have Serge Ibaka, Kyle Lowry, and DeMar DeRozan on their roster for the next three years – the window is closing and it may be time for Masai Ujiri to take a gamble.
Utah Jazz – Well This Sucks
The Utah Jazz had an incredible 2016-17 season and all they have accomplish seems to have been all for naught as Gordon Hayward is now a part of the Boston Celtics. The fall from grace was just as quick as their run to the top, and it will now be up to the Jazz to pick up the pieces and put some sort of winning team together this season.
Washington Wizards – Beal and Wall
There’s really nothing else. Bradley Beal and John Wall will be tasked with carrying the Washington Wizards as far as they possible can – maybe the second round of the playoffs and the run will stop there. The Wizards front office has consistently failed to put the necessary pieces around their two stars and this year will see much of the same results.