1. WTF are the Thunder doing? - Maybe this is a stupid question but will someone give me a real answer? What are they doing? Are they rebuilding, reloading, contending, or pretending? This team seems confused to me. They have elite talent surrounded by huge questions.. Sure, they'll look amazing if Steven Adams becomes the next Drummond, Lamb is a legit second unit scorer, and PJ3 contributes at all. However, i dont see this panning out like they hope. They need to move players for proven scores and veteran help because the NBA is changing around them while they watch.
2. ET needs a new home. - The 76ers have made dramatic changes and i dont think Evan Turner fits their plans. MCW and Noel are their future and Turner is just trade bait to get another pick in a great draft. If he shows that he can be a consistant scorer and a SF defender, teams will be lining up for him. Probably wont net the 76ers a top pick in this draft but maybe a late lottery pick could be negotiated.
3. The Rockets will rule Texas. - It doesn't seem like im going out on a limb with this one, and I'm probably not, but put me on the record with this one. They will be the best team in Texas till the playoffs.. I'm not willing to make a playoff prediction because the Spurs make me look stupid every year and who knows how good the Mavs can be when Dirk and Monta are on the same page? The Rockets have it all for the regular season: young, exciting players, a fast, proven offense, and a great head coach. What more can a team ask for?
4. Dipo will make me eat my words. - I have said many times that i dont like Victor Oladipo as anything more than a Tony Allen clone but i didnt expect to see him play what is essentially the PG position.. He is a much better play maker for others tha he showed in college and once his handle gets better, and it will, he is going to be a Westbrook/Wade type of dynamic guard.. Kudos to all that called it..
5. Mediocrity as defined by Webster, "Milwaukee Bucks." - Why do the Bucks love to be average? They have a perfect chance to build around some nice young guys (Sanders, Henson, Antetokounmpo) at the 5, 4, and 3. They are amazingly long and nimble and seem to enjoy defending. Add 2 dual threat guards (Wolters and Knight) to that core and you have a great set of young guys to build your team around. Instead, they keep their vets and sign some average to above average FAs to keep them from winning the lottery.. They will remain hidden in the middle of the NBA for years to come..
6. "Coach saves job by being the worst team in NBA" - This year will a very hard year on bad teams coaching staffs.. They will be told to go against every natural instinct of competitive people and lose.. It seems easy enough to do but here is the kicker, they will be asked to be the worst team in the NBA this year but then to make the playoffs next year, or they will be fired.. So think about it.. Staffs will have to work as hard as possible to develop the young players they have, prepare them for the playoffs next year, but also lose almost every game. Its an art form without a Picasso..
7. Rose will be forgiven - Everyone bashed Rose and his heart but that will all be forgotten the moment he drops 20 and 10.. Everyone will see that the former MVP made the right choice by waiting to return. His team will have better chemistry for the season and will have a year of experience without him to lean on if he ever struggles. They proved to themselves and everyone else that they can still be very good without Rose. So now, they should and will be great with him.
8. The Grizzlies will piss me off all year. - Im not a Grizz fan or anything but they will be that team this year that goes against the grain of the rest of the league. They will run tons of motion offense, score 85 points a night, and be a top 4 seed in the west.. On paper they look big, slow, and old and thats mostly what they are. A lot of vets that don't do anything that excited people but they are very efficient and they will win like crazy. AND, that will piss me off..
Just thought it was weird how you said the Bucks added 2 dual threat guards and mentioned Wolters and Knight instead of Mayo and Knight
I'm very high on Wolters.
1 Yes the thunder should of traded their draft pick (adams) or Lamb or Jones 3 for a veteran big man. They need to win now.
2 I really thought Evan Turner would be a good pro, this has to be his year he can turn it around. MCW and Noel are not all-stars, I see a few rough yrs ahead in philly
3 Hard to bet against the Spurs but on paper the rockets look good.
4 Yes, Dipo will be a good pro
5 I like the Bucks, even though they won't get to the second round at least they are trying to build a good team unlike so many that like to TANK and build through the draft. If only they could get a big name player to play in milwaukee.....
6 Coaches need to have a 3-5 year opportunity to build and develop their players.
7 Anyone who has had a serious injury will know not to risk it - especially at the elite level
8 The Grizzlies were bad for so long I enjoy that have a successful team now in Memphis
9 Wondering what stats Greg Monroe will put up this year ? Drummond is developing and with ball hogs in Smith and Jennings may get fewer shots per game. Also keen to see what veteran influence Billups has on Jennings....
I totally agree with you about the Thunder. They were a legit contender when they were in the finals, but clearly not the best team in the league that season. They let Harden go, but like you said, just got way younger. They're not Finals good this year and unless they get massive improvement from their young core or bring someone in next summer, I doubt they'll be there next year either.
When you've got the 2nd best player in the league, I don't know why you'd build yourself to win 50 games, but not be a top 3 or 4 team. I just think they gambled with Ibaka/Harden and made the wrong pick. We'll see what they do this year, but I just see a 2nd round playoff exit at this point.
I think the Thunder are being slept on big time. They led the league in scoring margin last year, and were even better offensively in the regular season than they had been the year they made the Finals. Yes, Harden could help them in the playoffs, although it didn't matter last year, because with Westbrook hurt they weren't major contenders. I think they made the right pick keeping Ibaka and, while the loss of Harden is unfortunate, they still could be the best in the west when healthy, as long as Jeremy Lamb proves solid. As long as the Thunder have Westbrook, Durant, and a good defense, they will be a championship contender.
think they made the right pick with Ibaka? I'd rather have Harden any day on the Thunder team over Ibaka.
I think Serge Ibaka is more important to the Thunder defense than Harden was for their offense. The Thunder were the best offensive team in the league last regular season and while the Grizzlies exposed their flaws on offense in the postseason, getting Westbrook back should really help them. Harden is a tremendously talented player, but Durant and Westbrook can do what he can do on offense. And Ibaka is a better offensive player than Harden is a defensive player.
im not completely shutting down the idea that the thunder can make the finals again but from the first day i never liked that harden trade... OKC really has only two reliable scorers in westbrook and KD... yeah they will win about 55-58 games... but Houston is gnna be scary.. the clippers are gnna be scary... and the spurs are still very good as always... the only way i see the thunder returning to the finals is if KD has the best season of his career as well as westbrook.. i think at the best OKC makes a trip to the conference finals probably losing in 7 games or so... dont think im counting out durant if his work ethic though