It’s tough to watch a team relocate, even if they’re not your team. Whenever you see, for example, the San Diego Chargers moving to LA, you wonder, even for a minute, if any of the teams in your city might consider moving. You check on the age of your team facilities, and you listen more closely to team presidents and owners to see if they are hinting at needing a new stadium or making comments about team revenue and attendance. You’ve formed an emotional attachment to your team, and watching a competing team relocate is a reminder of what could happen to you.
I’d like to remind everyone that these were meant to be our under the radar predictions — that’s why we got through the West yesterday without really mentioning the Warriors and why you’ll see a noticeable absence of Cavaliers talk today. You can find that stuff anywhere; you come here because you probably clicked on the wrong link, and we intend to reward that careless behaviour with some real out-of-the-box NBA predictions!
This really needs no further introduction. You can read our Western Conference Preview here and our Eastern Conference preview here, just for your own schadenfreude-al enjoyment. Hush, it can be a verb. Last time we started with the East, so this time we’ll make like Fieval, and go West. Before the bloodletting starts, let’s see if we managed to get anything right.
By: Dan Grant Over the next several weeks, we’ll be laying out the various candidates for the NBA’s Most Valuable Player award for the 2016-17 season. It’s one of the […]
Through 36 games, Westbrook has set the NBA on fire and watched it burn. The Thunder are 21-15, good for 6th in the Western Conference. It’s hard to argue that any player has been more instrumental to the success of his team than Westbrook. He’s averaging a league leading 30.9 points per game, is second in assists at 10.5 per game and, perhaps most shockingly, ranks 11th in the NBA with 10.5 rebounds per game. But it goes deeper than that.
The NBA season is about two weeks old, and already, some primary suspicions have been confirmed. In the West, it appears unlikely that the Golden State Warriors will win 74 games, as they go through the growing process that even super-teams need. The Dallas Mavericks appear to be dead. Everything else is up in the air. In the East, it appears that the Cleveland Cavaliers, unless LeBron James should suffer significant injury, will cruise to another Conference title. Their primary challengers, the Toronto Raptors, yet again have a hole at power forward, despite some interesting youngsters and an en fuego start from DeMar DeRozan. The Boston Celtics — shocker — are maybe not quite as good as their rabid fans thought.
Today, Same Page Editor-in-Chief and Raptors HQ Manager Daniel Reynolds , as well as the Internet’s John Gaudes, take on the West with the same vim and vigour as a mule trying to work his way through an oat bag on a cool autumn’s eve.
The NBA is season kicks off tomorrow night with three games, as the new look New York Knicks visit the reigning champion Cleveland Cavaliers, the upstart Utah Jazz travel to Portland to face last years surprising Trail Blazers, and in a marquee match-up, the freshly ‘Duncanless’ San Antonio Spurs take on the big, bad Golden State Warriors, coming off (in case you hadn’t heard) a 73 win regular season and another NBA title a crushing Finals collapse.
This is undoubtedly a win for a Toronto team that has enjoyed its greatest successes over the past three seasons. The core of a Conference Finals team is intact, a homegrown All-Star in DeMar DeRozan has just re-signed long term, and fans are looking forward to the continued development of burgeoning big man Jonas Valanciunas, who turned 24 in the midst of last years playoff run. It’s not just a good time to be a Raptors fan, but the best time ever. Still though, a little voice wonders: ‘What’s next?’
On July 4th, Kevin Durant irrevocably altered the course of NBA history. Even if the newest version of the Golden State Warriors doesn’t work well together (unlikely) or if he changes his mind before the moratorium ends and goes somewhere else (unlikelier still, but let us never forget DeAndre), the debate his defection to the Dubs has sparked rivals only the kind of frothing rhetoric spewed following LeBron James’ infamous ‘The Decision’.