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NBA 2015-16 - 1st Half

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Welcome to the 2015-16 NBA Season.  A/K/A The Season Before Free Agent MADNESS~!

 

This season's results will probably determine the NBA landscape for the next decade (8 years of which will probably be in a lockout!):  

 

OKC doesn't win, they lose Durant and probably Westbrook after. 

 

The Lakers may do the unthinkable and trade Kobe away.  

 

The Cavs still rule the East but Washington and Miami are in hot pursuit - and could bag themselves KD in 9 months. 

 

Oh, and is Golden State is still a thing?  I don't think so,  I haven't heard anything.   (#eastcoastbias)

 

BASKETBALL!

 

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I'm really excited about this season.  The Thunder, Warriors, Spurs, Clippers, Grizzlies, and Rockets may very well be the best top of a conference ever, and that doesn't even include the inevitable Anthony Davis leap.  My beloved Cavs should win the East, but the Heat's starting 5 looks scary...unless Whiteside goes continues to be crazy. 

 

This is also a great rookie/sophmore class.  Do we have any idea how good Jabari Parker is?  Andrew Wiggins and Karl Anthony-Towns could be interesting.  How soon is D'Angelo Russell the man for the Lakers?  Stanley Johnson, Emmanuel Mudiay, and Jahlil Okafor, are all going to be in the running for rookie of the year. 

 

The Knicks, Lakers, and Kings are going to be just as entertaining in their ineptitude as the good teams will be in their greatness.  Kobe is going to be terrible, but he's still going to take 25-30 shots a game.  Swaggy P, Lou Williams, Roy Hibbert, and Metta World Peace are all on the same team...with Kobe Bryant. How soon before there is a intra-team fight?  With that said, D'Angelo Russell should be really good, and Julius Randle is back from that flukey injury.  This team makes absolutely no sense as constructed, and they have a coach who doesn't believe in using any advanced stats.  How the hell are they going to play all of these guys together?  Other than D'Angelo Russell is there another guard on this team is willing to pass the ball?  Roy Hibbert is going to have to go to therapy after playing 10 games with Kobe.  The Knicks are just as goofy of a team.  I can't wait for Kristaps Porzingis to be a part of my life, he is the athlete I'm most excited to see since the Cavs drafted LeBron.  I hope he's good, but I really hope he is the crazy person we all think he is.  He's 7'3" and shoots 3s, is approximately 75 lbs., and learned about American culture by watching videos on Worldstar.  He's something we've never seen.  They don't have a 1st round pick so they're going to at least be trying to be good.  In the East is it out of the question for them to make the playoffs?  Carmelo is still really good, but the rest of the team is essentially a giant injury risk.  The Kings already had the strained relationship between Boogie and George Karl, and then they added Rajon Rondo.  That is like trying to put out a fire with napalm.  Is Rajon Rondo even a starting caliber point guard any more?  I don't even know why other teams bother to guard him, they should employ the Tony Allen strategy and let him shoot as many shots as he wants.  His guy should just be hedging towards Boogie the entire game.  The Lakers could get into a fight in practice or in the locker room, but the Kings could legit get into a brawl on the court.  The team is full of crazy people, who have a hard time getting along with others. 

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So excited for the NBA. Like, unbelievably so. Early prediction: We have a rematch from last year's finals (barring injuries, naturally). A few of the better basketball writers have written it up but I think a lot of people are forgetting that GSW was historically great last year. They CRUSHED the league. And while there could be a little bit of regression (plus Kerr's absence), there's not going to be any real drop-off from what they have. Their core is either entering its peak now or approaching it. The only two players with veteran minutes are Bogut and Iguodala, and they were managed really well last season. They also have the most singularly unique talent possibly in the history of basketball in Steph. He's just about to become the best shooter of all-time and he does so much of his damage off-the-dribble. And he's probably the best passer in the league, too.

I wish we got to see them against the full Cavs team. I know I slept on the fact they were 32-3 when healthy after the Mozgov trade. That's unreal. That would be a friggin' insane series.

 

But I have no idea what Doc was talking about. He wouldn't be saying the Clipper got lucky if they actually did a thing in the playoffs besides get bounced by better teams.

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The thing about the Warriors that no one is actually talking about is that Harrison Barnes is going to out to get that cash.  He knows that the cap is rising, and the price of the brick is going up.  Barnes is going to get that money.  Iggy won the Finals MVP, but is old as dirt.  Barnes can potentially do everything that Iggy can do, except Barnes is a very good shooter.  Going forward, if the Warriors are going to keep this run going, Barnes is going to be a guy they need.  He can be a guy who can be a defensive stopper, apparently he's the NBA's secret Superman, and he can also score if for some reason the Splash Brothers are having a bad night.  If they can keep Steph, Klay, Draymond, and Barnes together for the next 5 years they'll always be contenders.  They'll be able to defend anyone and score with anyone.

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Doesn't Kobe have a no trade?

 

Yes, and his contract also has a 15% trade kicker.  I don't know who would give up any actual assets to take that on.

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KD ain't leaving this year. He's signing a one year deal (or a Lebron 1+1) and double dipping when the cap jumps even more the year after. But that offseason could destroy basketball in OKC.

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Does that mean we get the Sonics back? I like the Thunder just fine and would enjoy them winning the championship but if their struggles lead to the NBA's return to Seattle, fuck 'em!

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I'm not going to be one of those people who says something stupid like "The Warriors got lucky", but I think there is reason to believe they have an uphill battle to repeat at Western Conference Champs. First off, I think health is a major concern. They are a deep team, but losing either backcourt starter for even a normal amount of time (15 games or so) would set them way back, and they would probably have to win at least one play off series on the road. I think Kerr proved himself to be a good coach last year, and missing him for a portion of games probably hurts. Lastly, I think they took advantage of the fact that NBA officials don't call offensive fouls on the pick and roll, or on off ball screens. The NBA has vowed to tighten this up this year. I don't expect every moving screen to get called (basketball would be over forever) but I do think that Green and Bogut will probably not be able to grab dudes arms and step way out like they did all last year. I'm interested to see how GS is able to play and adjust if what worked for them last year consistently leads to early foul trouble for the two players that they rely on to fix mistakes defensively.

 

Also, Jalen Rose can get the fuck outta here with his "The Cavs aren't a top five NBA team" nonsense. So can Zach Lowe for that matter, who is still trying to say the Cavs are going to trade away Kevin Love. You guys, it's over. He signed. He wasn't lying when he said he was going to like a hundred times last season. I'm sure there will be some early hiccups this year too, but the Cavs dominated people after the break last year. David Blatt out coached everyone in the playoffs (in terms of between game adjustments). They were up 2-1 in the finals with a team that was running set plays for Matthew Dellavedova. I know it looked gross, but I sometimes think basketball writers forget that a "spursgasm" is worth the same amount of points as a Lebron Iso. I'm so pumped for this team. I feel like they are the best team in the NBA and they have a chip on their shoulder.   

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Does that mean we get the Sonics back? I like the Thunder just fine and would enjoy them winning the championship but if their struggles lead to the NBA's return to Seattle, fuck 'em!

 

You need an arena.  Key Arena is a dump and does not count.  3 plans on the drawing board does not count.

 

 

One day you might be like Philadelphia and be awarded an expansion franchise.  That team in Philly now has no PG and may be .500 in the D league.

 

At least Hinkie will be gone at the end of the season.

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Everyone should make one "wild" prediction in here.

 

I got Melo getting traded; maybe in the offseason.  Although that might not be too wild if the Knicks crash and burn.

 

I don't get why people hate Lebatard so much.  Okay, I get it but when he does something well, like interviews, he does it really well.

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Pelicans make it to the conference finals and Davis wins the MVP award.

 

That Boozer interview is tremendous. Carlos handled it as well as he possibly could have.

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Quick predictions: 

 

Eastern Conference

 

1. Cavs (I think they cruise to around 55 wins)

2. Bulls

3. Wizards

4. Heat

5. Hawks

6. Raptors

7. Celtics

8. Bucks

 

Western Conference

 

1. Thunder

2. Warriors

3. Clippers

4. Rockets

5. Grizzlies

6. Spurs

7. Pelicans

8. Jazz

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Cavs might not be a top five team, honestly. Are you convinced they are definitely better than at least one of Golden State (who had one of the five best teams in NBA history last year), a healthy Thunder squad, the Rockets, Clippers, and Spurs? I mean, they might be, but I wouldn't say it's no question.

They still have the best shot of winning the title though. Because the East

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Who trades for Melo if the Knicks dump him, BTW? You have to be closer to a title, have chips t to move, and be willing to take on his decline years.

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My not-so-wild prediction is Miami trades for Carmelo and they win the East.  They have the pieces to get it done with Deng's contract and Winslow.

 

Edit:  That gives you Wade/Melo/Bosh/Whiteside/Dragic

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Chuck already smoking that good-good talking about the Knicks making the playoffs.

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Milwaukee finishes in the top 4 in the East.

Can't wait to watch KAT for the first time in the NBA tomorrow night.

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I'm p high on Milwaukee also.  I think they definitely finish top 5 in the East.

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I'm split on who to back this year. Anthony Davis is unreal and he's added something like 18 pounds of muscle and the corner three to his game (gotdayum!) but the Bucks have such a fun, well put together team. I guess I can be a jackass and pull for both like I do with the Jays and Cubs in baseball.

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Apologies to RA.  I didn't have the Mavs making it. I don't think they'll be terrible but I don't like the moves they made or made but then were fucked over on.

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The extent of my homerism has the Mavs taking the 8 seed.  I think the Suns regressed, and the Blazers are slipping, obvi.  I think the Jazz can make a push.  But I honestly, truly feel like we can grab the 8 seed if everyone's health holds up. I liked what I saw in preseason from some of the under the radar additions like Jenkins and Evans.  Long story short, 8 seed is Mavs or Jazz.

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I don't understand why the Cavs are on the road in the debut game.  Especially against Chicago.  I sure it's some stupid scheduling thing, but if I was the Cavs I would be peeved about it.

 

Also, I don't think the Cavs are going to have the best record in the east.  Injuries are obviously a problem and will cost them some games early on, but more importantly, I think they are going to put Lebron on that Duncan/Parker/Ginobili schedule during this season.  At least that's what they should do.

Edited by _MJ_

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