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Carlosologist
Oct 13, 2013

Revelry in the Dark



Since free agency has mostly wrapped up, and with camps starting in a few days, I figured it was time for this thread to come back. Iíll post for Philly:

What was the fall like?

After losing in embarrassing fashion in the bubble, Sixers ownership cleaned house, firing Brett Brown and demoting Elton Brand. Philly made arguably their best executive decision since hiring Hinkie all those years ago in getting Daryl Morey to run basketball ops as team president. We know Morey will make aggressive plays to contend, and that was evident in the moves he made to balance the roster.

Oh, and we hired Doc Rivers too as head coach. He should help build up a consistent winning culture. I hold no ill will towards Brown, he shepherded the Sixers through the roughest years. Simmons and Embiid developed into stars under his tutelage, but it was clear a new voice was needed.

How has the roster changed?

In: G Seth Curry, C Dwight Howard, G Tyrese Maxey, G Isaiah Joe, G/F Danny Green, C Tony Bradley, G Terrence Ferguson

Out: C Al Horford, G Josh Richardson, G/F Zhaire Smith, a 2025 first and a few 2020 second rounders

In literally one night, Morey addressed the monster flaws on the 19-20 roster. He added shooters and guards for the relatively small price of a distant future first and some second round pieces. Danny Green and Seth Curry are massive improvements over J-Rich and Horford on offense. Curryís defense isnít a worry because of the length available at other spots. The Sixers now have a way higher floor and ceiling than they did coming out of the bubble. Iím excited to see how Doc builds a potential top 10 offense out of these guys. They wonít slack on defense either.

Maxey is a particularly exciting prospect and I can see him filling the role we expected Fultz to fill as a shooter and secondary ball handler while Simmons runs the show on offense. Joe will probably develop into another nice shooter off the dribble and off the catch, but I think he wonít break the rotation from camp given the depth at the guard spots.

Zhaire Smith was traded then waived, bringing an end to a weird but very Philly chapter. The old regime traded Mikal Bridges for him in a weird 18 draft night move. I feel like he still has an NBA future but the peanut allergy robbed him of two years of development. Hopefully he catches on with a west bottom feeder.

Whoís still here?

F Ben Simmons, C Joel Embiid: The two superstars. Ben will play point on offense but slide where heís needed on defense. Hopefully he can extend his shotmaking ability beyond the paint, but that wonít be necessary this year given the shooting available all over the roster. Heís primed for a down ballot MVP finish.

Embiid is the linchpin to the defense, and can take over games when his shot falls. The post up is still an effective shot for him. I think for his offense to go to the next level, he needs to create more offense from the elbows and improve his passing. He can make threes, but not as effectively as one would like.

F Tobias Harris: The above average player paid like a max player. Acquired from LA two years ago at the deadline, paid a fortune in players and picks to get him. I think Tobias can be really good, and hopefully being back with Doc will unlock the offense he showed in his best season. Heíll probably play the bulk of his minutes at the 4, but I can see him sliding up to the 3. I wonder if thereís a lineup where heís a small ball 5? That could be interesting.

F Matisse Thybulle: Last yearís draft pick, Thybulle was immediately one of the better defenders in the league. Only problem was that his three point shooting frequency was kind of low for his minutes played. I think heíll definitely be a key player off the bench, with enough improvement on offense that he wonít be a postseason liability.

F Mike Scott: Given all the additions, I wonder if Scott will get many minutes at all. Heís definitely well suited to his role as bench goon and occasional shooter. Definitely a great guy to have in a small specific role.

G Furkan Korkmaz: Another guy who might not play as big a role as he did last year given all the additions. Korkmaz is a bit of a streaky shooter but he can create his own shot, which will be helpful on some bench units.

G Shake Milton: The dearth of guard options put Milton into a prominent role last year and in the playoffs, but he ended up being exposed in his minutes. That probably wonít happen this year, as heís probably going to play in a more appropriate role this year.

Opening night lineup and season predictions

I think the opening night squad will look like this:

Simmons
Curry
Green
Harris
Embiid

Maxey
Milton
Korkmaz
Thybulle
Scott
Bradley
Howard

Joe and Paul Reed will start the year in the G League.

I think the Sixers have a solid floor this year, with at least being the 5th seed. With health and good years, they can easily finish as the 2 or even the 1.

I expect this team to get to at least the back half of a second round series, with more depending on how the bracket shakes out.

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Katana_Warrior
Dec 25, 2009



Here's this year's Timberwolves

How did 2019-20 go?
As you can wager from a roster that was pretty bare past KAT, Wiggins, and Robert Covington, the Timberwolves weren't going in with playoff expectations. However, the story of how we ended up with a 29.6% win rate is full of ups and downs. For the first 5 weeks of the season, Andrew Wiggins looked as if he finally put everything together, but then everyone except for Bob Myers realized that averaging 23.2/5.4/3.5 on 46.1/34.2/70.2 shooting splits through December wasn't really any different from what he was doing in his pre-Jimmy years. After starting 10-8, the Wolves lost 11 straight and Gersson Rosas, the new GM of the team, decided that he needed to step in and shake the team up, which he did by trading half of the team.



Anyways, it didn't help dig the Wolves out of the gigantic hole they were in and they missed the Bubble cutoff anyways. We also still don't know if Ryan Saunders is any good as a head coach.

Rosas, the man with the plan

Gersson Rosas, the first Latino GM in NBA history, has spent the past calendar year acquiring as many Spanish speakers and players dealing with telenova-esque familial tragedies as he can fit on the team. He also decided that if the team is going to stink, they can at least get up a bunch of 3's at the same time. He's also likely to trade half the team again as the season goes on.


Ryan Saunders, Head Coach

Ryan Saunders is nepotism defined, but after the cold tenure of Thibs, Ryan shone like a ray of sunshine on the team. Given that he's younger than a lot of players in the league, he's been quite successful at relating to players in addition to feeding the need for sentimentality of Wolves fans. While his main directive was to unlock Wiggins' full potential with the power of positive encouragement, Rosas decided to keep him around even after dumping Wiggins in the bay. He has a lot of room to grow and many years to get there.


THE ROTATION

Big KAT

KAT is the undisputed leader of the team, the best Dominican in the league, and is one of the greatest offensive centers in NBA history. His defense has been the main criticism of his game, but he's really not too bad in 1 on 1 situations; it just gets messy when he has to make decisions with multiple guys break through the perimeter at once. KAT has been vocal about wanting to be the hub of the offense like Jokic is for the Nuggets, and this might finally be his year. His mom died and his dad was hospitalized over the summer from COVID, so instead calling him soft all the time, watch him play video games all night and bop the follow button at https://twitch.tv/karltowns


D'Angelo Russell

D'Lo was brought in at the trade deadline for multiple reasons. Firstly, he's a very offensively-skilled point guard who will have great success running the pick and roll with KAT while providing great spacing when he's not handling the ball. Secondly, he was such a terrible fit on the Warriors that we were able to get him for the low price of Wiggins and a first rounder. Finally, he's one of KAT's best friends. This is good, as they'll spend a lot of time hanging out on the perimeter on defense as they get hunted in the pick and roll two dozen times a game.


Ricky Rubio

A longtime fan-favourite in Minnesota, the Spanish point guard was acquired for the low price of some guy who wasn't Ricky Rubio. While Ricky was expected to be a star in his first Timberwolves tenure, he returns as a vet and will finally be able to fully embrace the role as the maternal figure of the locker room that he always wanted to have.


Malik Beasley

Malik came from Denver last season with nothing more than the dream of a payday, a sick gun collection, and a love for smoking mid. If he were white, he'd be celebrated, but as a black man in America the media was quick to malign him. He'll have a really good stretch for a couple of months and then Rosas will extort the Knicks in a trade for him.


Anthony Edwards

Our highest pick of the 2020 draft, Anthony Edwards might be the most down to earth #1 pick we've seen in the NBA. Like the 2 time MVP winner and hall of famer Steve Nash, the Antman's heart belongs to another sport but he came to basketball after sensing the greatness that dwelled within. Unlike Steve Nash, he wore a varsity jacket and jeans on his draft night. This guy loves to goof around and smile, so stop taking every quote extracted from an interview so seriously you dorks.


Juancho

Spanish, handsome, and the only true power forward in the rotation, Juancho will take open 3's and do nothing else which is perfectly fine.


Josh Okogie/Jarrett Culver

The two non-shooting defensive stopper wings that we've drafted in the past couple of drafts. Neither has the size for being a full time small forward, but they don't have much of a choice this year. Gersson will be keeping a close eye on their boxscores lest they become trade ballast.


Jake Layman

Not a stretch 4 by any means, but he gets guarded like one for some undecipherable reason.


Backup Center?
Not this year, from the looks of it.


The Season Outlook
The Wolves do have a chance at making the playoffs this year, but it's far from a given. If we do end up in the lottery, we can only hope that Adam Silver riggs it like he likes to for bad teams that try really hard so that we end up with a top 3 pick, which would let us keep our pick and give us the chance to draft one of the great prospects in this draft. I'd rather just watch good basketball this year to be honest.


The 2020 City Jersey

Katana_Warrior fucked around with this message at 01:43 on Nov 28, 2020

scuz
Aug 29, 2003

You can't be angry ALL the time!






Fun Shoe

That's a great wolves write-up, KW! Really bummed about those city jerseys, why didn't they use the First Avenue stars?? Nike sucks.

Katana_Warrior
Dec 25, 2009



scuz posted:

That's a great wolves write-up, KW! Really bummed about those city jerseys, why didn't they use the First Avenue stars?? Nike sucks.

It looks like most of the teams are going with the strategy of "no fans, no effort" with the City jerseys this year, but I'm holding out hope that there's something else in the works. This showed up on the Timberwolves' twitter feed the other day:

https://twitter.com/Timberwolves/st...608080588890112

and with the lack of grey on the leaked jersey top, I'm thinking maybe there'll be something more elaborate on the actual jersey. My only big complaint with the current city jersey is that it looks really flat and like it's missing something.

R.D. Mangles
Jan 10, 2004



The Same Old lovely rear end Bulls

They finally fired Garpax

After years of people yelling about it on twitter, people literally organizing rallies and putting up billboards, and people chanting it at Zach LaVine during a humiliating All Star game held in Chicago that featured no Bulls, Jerry Reinsdorf's middle aged failson finally put the legendary Weird Heard Duo of Gar Forman and John Paxson out to pasture. Sort of. Rumor has it that Paxson essentially fired himself, and is still involved with the Bulls in an ambiguous advisory role, though one that seems to have no real decision-making power. Their oafish reign of terror that has filled Bulls websites with unending Iowa State-related conspiracy theories has apparently come to an end. Bulls fans are ecstatic.

The new regime is led by former Nuggets GM Arturas Karnivoas, the VP of Basketball Operations or whatever. Karnisovas was brought in to hopefully be a person who actually understands the modern game of basketball and has credentials such as never physically attacking Vinny Del Negro. Karnisovas brought in Mark Eversley as the GM, a well-regarded front office exec from Philadelphia. We have not had much time to assess what Karnisovas is like given the pandemic and the fact that, unlike the leaky nesty of vipers maintained under the old regime, no one has much idea what Karnisovas and Eversley are thinking. But there is one thing they have done to forever endear themselves to the miserable assholes who talk about the Bulls on the internet:



They fired Boylen's rear end

There was a long, terrifying period when the new front office came in and Boylen just lingered like the smell of rotting fish. And, as the Bubble was going in Orlando, beat writers started floating the idea that Karnisovas would have to hold onto Boylen because the Reinsdorfs were freaking out about how much money the Bulls and White Sox were losing this season. But then, cool as a customer, on the last day of the Bubble "regular season," he righteously told Jim Boylen to gently caress off back to the Mountain West. In a twisted way, I will miss Boylen. He is extremely funny. It is fun to talk about Jim Boylen and hypothetical Jim Boylen scenarios. After he got fired, the beat writers unloaded all of their unused Boylen material, such as him getting into some sort of argument with a team chef. Young players like Daniel Gafford openly celebrated. Zach LaVine found out on Twitch. In a miserable, awful year, one of the very few pleasures was telling two giant assholes to gently caress off regardless of their replacement. I am jacked up and juiced.

The replacement is Old Oklahoma Hand Billy Donovan, who was a shock hire. It was surprising that the Bulls went for an established, expensive coach, and a surprise that Donovan would want to come to the Bulls, a team that will require a massive rebuild. If there is a hypothetical Future Good Bulls team, it is unlikely that any except maybe one or two guys might be a part of it. Still, with Bulls making few moves and essentially running back a very bad team, the entire project seems to figure out exactly how bad Jim Boylen was at coaching and to see if the new staff can scrap anything from their touted Young Core, which appears to be busting. There is one thing that is certain: Billy Donovan is not nearly as funny as Jim Boylen, and I plan to continue talking about Jim Boylen for years.

Departing

G Kris Dunn
One of the key ASSETS the bulls received in the disastrous Jimmy Butler trade that became even more painful as Jimmy led the Heat on a maniacal tear through the playoffs, Kris Dunn finally found himself last year as an all-purpose defensive destroyer. He can't shoot, pass, dribble, or finish at the rim, but if you need to absolutely hound some guys in an all-out blitzing Boylen defense that will be exposed if anyone gets past him, Dunn is the guy. I've always had a soft spot for him, but what is the value of an all-defense guard in Today's NBA? Not enough for the Bulls. He will go to Atlanta and play some defense so Trae doesn't have to.

G Shaq Harris
Shaq was one of my favorite Bulls, a sort of Kris Dunn-lite who is a monster defender. He is also incredibly limited on offense, though he showed signs of being able to sort of shoot last year. I would've liked the Bulls to take a flyer on him for another year to see if he could learn to shoot and also because I love every scrappy defense-first guard who can't do anything else, but apparently Karnisovas was spooked by the fact that he had a Height Scandal, and now he's a free agent.

The NBA Draft

The Bulls escaped their constant #7 picks and actually moved up in the draft. They picked Patrick Williams, a forward out of Florida State with a spring in his step and some shooting. The Bulls hope he can become a versatile defender at both forward positions, though some think he can't defend 3s and is a natural 4. The optimists say he might be able to do some playmaking and handle the ball a little, but it is all hard to say. Williams is raw, the youngest American player in the draft, and a way to show that the new regime can develop actual professional basketball players.

The same loving roster from last year


Zach LaVine, G

I love Zach LaVine. No, he can't defend anyone. No, he isn't a Playmaker or whatever. He puts the ball in the loving basket. He shoots threes. He does sick dunks. He occasionally goes berserk against lovely teams. Can LaVine be the best player on a playoff team? Probably not, not even on the East. But if you root for a lovely team, it might as well be one with Zach LaVine on it, and I will defend him to the death.


Lauri Markkanen, F

The Markksman! Remember all of the Young Dirk hype he got his rookie year and it actually looked like the Bulls didn't gently caress up? Enter Jim Boylen. Markkanen was bad last year, and the hopes of him being a franchise cornerstone or even a starter on a good team look dim. The Bulls will have a big decision to make on him this year. A lot of fans have been itching to trade him, but his value has never been lower. I'm the type of dunderhead who never gives up on guys, so I hope Donovan can use him as more than a Finnish Jason Kapono. Anyway, did you know if you search for pictures of Lauri and Jim Boylen, the google image results will show you something called clutchpoints.com that has endless images like this?



Otto Porter, F
His name is Otto. He loves to get blotto, allegedly. Honestly, I forgot he was even on the team because he has been hurt so much. When he first came over from the Wiz, he was actually pretty cool. Otto's a good player, a modern forward who can shoot, handle the ball a little, play some D, and even play some small ball four. But he's barely been on the court and probably did not give a poo poo last year and now is surfacing in some questionable pictures allegedly doing Pandemic Parties with Costco Brand Prosecco. It's a contract year for Porter, and perhaps the Bulls can move him for some BIG TIME ASSETS at the deadline, but it would be cool if he was healthy and actually helped the Bulls win some basketball games.


Coby White, G
It's Coby, the coolest Bull! Coby had some moments coming off the bench as a microwave scorer last year including memorably torching the Knicks and finally earned his first start which was literally the last game they played before defensive player of the year Rudy Gobert shut down the whole dang league!!!! There's a lot riding on Coby this season. Donovan said he intends to use him as the primary ball handler, so I guess the Bulls are going to figure out if he can do that or if he's equally cool as Ben Gordon with better hair. The Bulls don't really have any playmakers on the roster, so if Coby can't get it together or there's too much pressure, they will probably be screwed. I'm excited though because Coby rules.


Wendell Carter, Jr., C
Wendell already looks like a solid defensive player. He has a move where he just goes up with both hands and grabs the ball out of midair when doing blocks. Unfortunately, he looks completely lost on offense. Boylen decided to do Dumb Guy Analytics and wouldn't let anyone shoot midrange jumpers even when wide open, and a lot of the time Wendell would get the ball with a 3 foot halo around him and just stand there waiting to do a dribble handoff. It looked dumb. Wendell was fine shooting in college. We've seen so little from him because of that and because he's constantly injured, so I have big hopes for him developing into a cool player. We haven't had a cool defensive big since Joakim Noah may he rest in peace.

The Jabronis on the Bench

Thad Young, F
That was brought in to be the Veteran Presence to help the Bulls get to the playoffs last year. That didn't happen. Thad had no interest in dealing with Boylen and demanded a trade, but that didn't happen. Maybe Donovan will find a use for him, but there's a glut at the 4 with Pat Williams now, and wouldn't mind seeing him moved for some 'Sets or a point guard. Looks like a good bet as a vet pickup for a playoff team if someone gets hurt.

Tomas Satoranski, G
Sato was supposed to the Playmaking Guard unlocked by an expanded role, but it didn't work out. He just was not all that good, but he's a versatile bench guard who can guard both positions, move the ball, and shoot.

Denzel Valentine, G/F
Why are the Bulls paying Denzel Valentine almost $5 million? Is it because he is the only guy on the team with a personality, even if it is being a Bad Rapper? I admit, I like Denzel because he can shoot and pass, skills that are sorely lacking on the team, but he's also a traffic cone on defense and his legs are made of crab meat. I still maintain that he'd be useful on a competent team, seems like a Popovich Reclamation Project guy.

Garrett Temple, Wing
A veteran wing who had a good season with Brooklyn last year and will probably start after another Porter injury. Apparently a good locker room guy. The fact that this is the only significant free agent they brought in this year is mildly vexing.

Chandler Hutchinson, Wing
Bust

Daniel Gafford, C
This motherfucker hates Jim Boylen, and for that he owns. A tall, springy blocks and dunks guy, not bad to have around.


Ryan Arcidiacono, G
Young Hinrich...is BACK! A field general with moxie and spunk! Leads the Bulls in unnecessary leaps into the stands and charges taken. Does this dude see minutes on a good team? No, but he is the Bullsiest player and if they must move him, they should send him to New York where Thibs will start him.

Luke Kornet, C
A bean pole who shoots threes and sucks, also he got owned by the Northwestern Wild Cat in the 2017 NCAA Tournament, the only NBA player to lose to Northwestern in the tourney.

Cristiano Felicio, C
LMAO

Season Outlook

Will the Bulls be...BACK? Absolutely not. It looks grim, and I'm mystified why the new front office appears to have made no significant moves. While I understand they kind of want to see what the team looks like with a functioning NBA coach, this is also the exact offseason that GarPax would have. The Bulls were the quietest team in the offseason, and I lust for some splashy signings and some big, juicy trades. Running back a 22-win team seems like it will suck, and it is hard to imagine teams worse than the Bulls, even those that are actively tanking. Maybe Karnisovas is right to be patient or maybe he's got something up his sleeve, but it looks like it's going to be a cold winter in the United Center, albeit one without pointless Boylen Time Outs.

R.D. Mangles fucked around with this message at 13:29 on Dec 4, 2020

Katana_Warrior
Dec 25, 2009



R.D. Mangles posted:

Garrett Temple, Wing
A veteran wing who had a good season with Brooklyn last year and will probably start after another Porter injury. Apparently a good locker room guy. The fact that this is the only significant free agent they brought in this year is mildly vexing.

bad news, being on a bad team pisses Garrett off

Dexo
Aug 15, 2009

I been ballin' so damn hard I swear I think that I'm Coby


I don't think Chandler's a bust. Dude will probably be in the league forever if he can stay healthy as a defensive wing. Also he's a 21st pick or whatever.

I have doubts about his use offensively.

But also he like everyone else on the Roster, hasn't had NBA quality coaching ever.

R.D. Mangles
Jan 10, 2004



Dexo posted:

I don't think Chandler's a bust. Dude will probably be in the league forever if he can stay healthy as a defensive wing. Also he's a 21st pick or whatever.

I have doubts about his use offensively.

But also he like everyone else on the Roster, hasn't had NBA quality coaching ever.

I love all the Bulls draft picks whose experience of the NBA is watching Meat Balls 2 in a film session and then getting screamed at by a bald guy.

Dexo
Aug 15, 2009

I been ballin' so damn hard I swear I think that I'm Coby


R.D. Mangles posted:

I love all the Bulls draft picks whose experience of the NBA is watching Meat Balls 2 in a film session and then getting screamed at by a bald guy.

Did they leave up the timeclock in the Advocate Center lol?

R.D. Mangles
Jan 10, 2004



Dexo posted:

Did they leave up the timeclock in the Advocate Center lol?

i will buy The Timeclock

morestuff
Aug 2, 2008

You can't stop what's coming


Your 2020-21 Charlotte Hornets

Hello! Maybe you're a Lamelo Ball fan, and want to know more about the team you'll be rooting for/furious at for the next four years. Maybe you share Gordon Hayward's concerns about the survival of Western civilization and culture. The Hornets appreciate your interest, and are happy to offer you season tickets for under $50 a seat.

Previously OnÖ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2vTOZkzWKK0

The 2019 offseason was a weird and stupid one for Charlotte, as is tradition. The Hornets chickened out of keeping Kemba Walker, their only good player, and instead engineered a last-ditch sign-and-trade with the Boston Celtics for a late second-rounder and the right to overpay replacement point guard Terry Rozier.

Without Kemba, the team set out to be as bad as it could be. It didn't quite work. A strong year from Rozier, an MIP-caliber season from second-year player Devonte' Graham, and surprisingly good play from first-round pick P.J. Washington kept them in a few games. They finished with a 23-42 record, which was somehow enough for the ninth seed in the shittier-than-usual Eastern Conference. Too lovely to even play in the bubble, the Hornets have been cooling their heels since March, and looked like they'd finally embraced being bad for a while.

The Quest for the Eighth Seed ContinuesÖ

Instead, Charlotte got lottery luck for one of the first times ever. The team moved up from the eighth spot to third, a small miracle in what was a consensus three-player draft. Resisting the temptation to do something stupid with the pick, the Hornets sat tight and drafted reality TV star Lamelo Ball when he fell to them. Despite a relatively high chance that Ball busts, the small whiff of success got the Hornets hot and bothered enough to chase the eighth seed in the playoffs again.

That led to splashing $120 million on Gordon Hayward, a former All-Star small forward and current Richard Spencer impersonator. It was an overpay for the 30-year-old, who's had injury issues the last few years and is probably on the downslope of his career, but he was also the best free agent that changed teams this offseason. That's enough to sort of count as a win for the small-market Hornets.

You can question the logic of spending big money on a free agent when you're this bad ó and many, many people have! But Hayward's still a solid player, and is versatile enough to fit nicely with whatever team Charlotte fields over the next four years. The rest of the rotation stuck around from last season, so it should be a fun, competitive young team that still finishes outside the playoffs and has a shot at getting a star in the loaded 2021 draft.

In: SF Gordon Hayward (free agency), PG Lamelo Ball (draft), C Vernon Carey Jr. (draft), C Nick Richards (draft), SG Grant Riller (draft)

Out: SF Nic Batum, SG Dwayne Bacon, C Willy Hernangomez

The Players

Devonte' Graham - Likely Starter at PG

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yher7t02yh4#t=31s

The biggest reason Charlotte wasn't the worst team in the league last year. Drafted in the second round in 2018, Graham followed up a very quiet rookie season with a gigantic breakout year. He finished in the top 10 in three-pointers made and assists per game despite the Hornets working at the slowest pace in the league. His incredible clutch play helped Charlotte outperform their expected win-loss record by four games.

Has real flaws (struggles inside the arc, so-so defense) and at 25 years old he's ancient for a guy on a rookie deal. May top out as a low-level starter, but for a second-round pick that'd be a huge win for Charlotte.

Terry Rozier - Likely Starter at SG

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fqsN_y5DAQU

Rozier was the starter at point guard going into last season but Devonte' was playing too well for that to last. That was the best-case scenario for Charlotte, since Rozier's way better off the ball on offense. He became an elite catch-and-shoot guy last year, hitting 45.3 percent of his threes, and upped his scoring average a ton to 18 ppg.

It's genuinely painful to watch him run an offense, and he's too small to really play shooting guard full time. Probably for the best if he moves to the bench, but he really seemed to hate doing that in Boston. Will be kind of tricky to figure out his role, but worst-case scenario he only has two years left on his deal.

Gordon Hayward - Starter at SF

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJ3N_2r6R-o

I'm kind of torn on the Hayward signing. On the one hand, they definitely shouldn't have signed him. On the other, I'm really glad Miles Bridges isn't starting at small forward anymore. Hayward's playmaking and efficient scoring should legitimately help all their young guys this year, and the team just makes a lot more sense with a passable two-way wing in the rotation.

PJ Washington - Likely Starter at PF

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lyPqFk6IzNQ

A really nice surprise in his rookie year, even if he's most likely just a solid starter. Good at everything, not great at anything quite yet. Showed touch inside and an above-average stroke from outside last year, and he was surprisingly versatile on defense. Not a highlight reel player but I think Charlotte's pencilling him in as a rotation guy for the next 10 years.

He's only listed as a likely starter at power forward because the team is going to try and play him a lot at center this year. Not really optimistic that'll stick, as he's a pretty mediocre rebounder, but should lead to some fun small-ball lineups.

Cody Zeller - Likely Starter at C

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQ2PHKeIJEw

He's fine. Sets screens, stands in the paint, gets easy buckets, occasionally takes open threes and misses them. They've been trying to replace him at starting center for years and he somehow just keeps finding his way back.

Lamelo Ball - Sixth Man

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FsMXaKJc1CY

Really excited to see what he looks like on an NBA team. With a short training camp and a lot of his game needing work, I think they'll take it slow with him. His size will unlock some really fun lineup combos though ó the team has already said they're going to run three-PG looks with him, Graham and Rozier. Will help Charlotte's relatively slow pace pick up this year, though it'll be hard to run the fast break when teams are torching the defense.

Malik Monk - Rotation Guard

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3QX0XixaH8

I really, really don't know what this year is going to look like for Monk. He picked up an indefinite suspension last season for a mystery drug violation, ending what was easily the most promising stretch he's ever had in the league. He still hasn't been able to hit three-point shots, but he's gotten very good at getting to the rack, he's a creative passer and his defense has improved to playable.

If he can break out this year, that might be enough to push the team into the playoffs. Unfortunately I think the backcourt rotation is just too full now, and he's going to struggle to get consistent minutes. It'll be real shame if it doesn't work out for him in Charlotte, but I think he can still stick in the league. Just an extremely exciting guy to watch.

Miles Bridges - Rotation Forward

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUtBYAU-4SY

I still think Miles has a lot of potential, but he really struggled at small forward and should be better getting most of his minutes off the bench for now. Looked lost on defense last year, and can't really create on offense. Will benefit a lot from playing next to guys like Ball and Hayward, and will be a constant lob threat. If his three-point percentage can nose up a few ticks I think he'll be a pretty valuable contributor.

Cody Martin - Rotation Forward

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QGPv-YUI7nc

Mostly a defensive specialist, but that has some value on a team with zero other good defenders. Might be right on the border of the regular rotation, but I think they like him and will try and find minutes for him. He's already 25 so he's old for a second-year guy, but that's still another solid second-round pick by GM Mitch Kupchak.

Vernon Carey Jr. - Depth Center

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V6w66FZoEuo

Charlotte reached for him at the top of the second round, so I think they'll try and give him every chance to crack the rotation. Big true center. Draft people seem pretty low on him but he was a high-ranked prospect in high school, averaged 18 points and nine rebounds as a freshman at Duke, and showed a little shooting touch from outside too. Was bad and slow on defense but he's lost 30 pounds since college so that should help a bit.

Bismack Biyombo - Depth Center

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9G3C95YKDmI

Everybody loves Biyombo even though he's always kind of sucked. Rebounds and blocks. I kind of wish Charlotte went shopping for a young center like Christian Wood or Harry Giles, but if they just needed a body I'm happy to see Biz around for another year.

Caleb Martin - Depth Forward

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSWhwydYWyQ

Cody's evil offensive twin. Went undrafted but the team saw enough in him to give him a multi-year deal. Went an insane 20-of-37 on threes last season, but if his shot isn't falling at that rate I don't know if he's an NBA player.

Jalen McDaniels - Depth Forward

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w6HWNRJwbNw

Actually looked pretty solid in limited playing time last year despite being an ultra-raw beanpole. Probably too skinny to ever play real minutes but he's an interesting long-term prospect.

Nick Richards, Grant Riller - deep bench

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B2Zhdfj5YA8

Charlotte's other two second-round draft picks this year. Richards ended up with a real contract and Riller got the two-way deal, which I would have rather reversed. Richards is a defensive center prospect, Riller could be a good sparkplug off the bench if he can get minutes somewhere. If these guys are playing something's probably gone wrong.

Coach James Borrego and GM Mitch Kupchak

Two of the most boring men on planet earth, both seem blandly competent at their jobs. Borrego's willing to experiment, though, and doesn't have any problem playing young guys. Good fits for now.

Outlook

Unless Ball is great right out of the gate I think they're still a solid lotto team. Their best-case scenario is sneaking into the play-in tournament.

As long as they resist the temptation to make any more win-now moves, though, I really like the construction of this team. There's still a lot of potential to develop and Hayward gives them just enough veteran help to be fun. I'll enjoy it while it lasts, since Jordan is absolutely going to get bored and trade for Kevin Love.

morestuff fucked around with this message at 07:17 on Dec 4, 2020

kingcobweb
Apr 16, 2005

Tits and cooters, Mr Bond.


The Denver Nuggets

I think we all know how 2019-2020 went.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=olIfm1nSqUU

The team was briefly in that spot that every small-market team dreams of being: a young core upsetting a large-market team with much more famous players. Pretty much every Nuggets fan would have considered the year a success even if they had lost to the Clippers, so to come back and beat them in a way that made the Clippers subreddit go private and then switch to being about maritime vessels was amazing.

What happened in the offseason?

Not much that can be spun positively. The front office's self-declared #1 priority was retaining sometimes-bench-sometimes-starting 3-and-D wing Jerami Grant, and they offered him $20m... which he turned down to go to Detroit and get the same amount with a larger role on a worse team. So it goes. Then, just as surprisingly, the team decided not to extend an offer to Torrey Craig, a three-year veteran of the team they had initially found for a Summer League roster before signing him to a two-way and then a full contract. (He seems to feel a little betrayed by the team, and I can't really blame him.)

Both players were used primarily for their defense. That's not to say they were good defenders- people like Hollinger say that Grant is way overrated on that end, and Torrey Craig is probably just average. But they were at least doing the job of primary wing defender while on the court, and if they don't do that, well... someone has to. No one wants to watch Jamal Murray get burned by Steph, Harden, Kawhi, Mitchell, or Dame in the playoffs. The Nuggets somehow got what seemed like an endless supply of "3-and-D guy that isn't very good on defense and is barely average at shooting threes." Now with Grant and Craig gone, they're down to like... two of those guys. (To be fair, Jerami Grant actually was a decent three-point shooter during the regular season.)

Detroit also took Mason Plumlee, a guy I've embarrassed myself defending more than probably any other player. He barely got played during the playoffs, and sucked rear end when he did, so it's not a big deal for people who aren't watching League Pass.

Their replacements are a Portuguese PG that I'll spam the N/V thread with highlights of and will play no defense whatsoever, and a guy who is kinda like Grant if you squint a bit and has the same initials.
-------------

The players, in roughly descending order of importance:

Nikola Jokić

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JWjV4dt9aw0

Weirdest top ten player in the league, maybe the weirdest player of his caliber since Barkley. The team's swing into success started years ago when the Nuggets realized that not only was Jokic their star, but that he was such a unique talent that the whole roster and gameplan should be based around maximizing his skills. The kind of playmaking from the high post that players like the Gasols sometimes do is part of the basic structure of the offense. The way they use dribble handoffs is far different than just "he's a big point guard" or that he's a center who's good at interior passing:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPHWbUUAtH0

"Makes everyone else better" is an overused cliche, but it's really true for Jokic. He's so good at finding cutters, looking off the defender, and hitting them for an easy two points that the whole team cuts constantly whenever he has the ball. Beautiful to watch.

People who don't watch the Nuggets obsessively will tell you that he's bad on defense, which isn't actually true. He's not quite Marc Gasol with his ability to compensate for his slow speed with positioning and good hands, but he has great hands and gets a ton of deflections in passing lanes and when people try to make moves in the post with the ball. His real weaknesses come around fouls: being a star center means being involved on defense on every single play, which means picking up a lot of fouls, and wh-

[three paragraphs of homerism whining about refs and Other Team's Fans]

That ties into his temper. He can get riled up, and trail a play yelling at a ref until he gets a technical or just walk up and hit a guy who annoyed him for no reason and get a foul and trigger JVG's rant about Hostile Act if it's an ESPN game. I don't know if he needs to start meditating or something, but in the playoffs it can get him sat really early for foul trouble.

One final note, and this is a pretty grim one, is that I'm worried about his health. He had COVID, and anecdotally it seems like even in young people, it can result in long-term health consequences. I'm really hoping that isn't the case for Jokic.

Jamal Murray

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WbUSh0LuDYY

Not only on my favorite team, but I also drafted him in the BYOGM game so hopefully y'all think he's spectacularly good. I'll be honest, I thought Nuggets fans were overrating this guy, but the Utah series definitely proved me wrong. Kind of the opposite of how Jokic plays great pretty much all the time but will get ticked off and do stupid poo poo, Murray will play just alright until he decides that the team Must Win Game and puts up 40+ without missing a shot in the fourth quarter. Somehow he can just decide to hit 30 free throws in a row in the fourth quarter, so it's a mystery why he's a 18.5/4.5 player in the regular season.

Jokic's role as the primary playmaker means that Jamal's "PG" title is meaningless. He can run PNR, sure, but what usually happens is that him and Jokic just tap the ball back and forth and do playground tricks until one of them flicks the ball in. He's a good shooter, but similar to a lot of skilled shooters who can create their own shot, he'll get a bit carried away and get too ambitious about dribbling seven times into a contested pullup jumper. But, sometimes it's when the team is down thirteen and his pullup threes keep going in, so I shouldn't nitpick. Over half his threes in the last playoffs were unassisted, which on a team with Jokic, is pretty ridiculous.

Improvement from him should come on defense, where he's a liability (but not Trae Young bad), and working with non-Jokic teammates. His chemistry with Jokic is what the team is built around, but if he can't do that he'll mostly go 1v5.

Michael Porter Jr

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FgShYP0HCJQ

His rookie year showed very sharp strengths and weaknesses: insane athleticism, best shooting on the team by far (42% from three regular season, 38% playoffs), great body control going for layups, but especially in the seeding games and the Utah series some of the most embarrassing defenses lapses I've seen in the NBA, like 6'10" Jimmer Fredette. It got him benched in that series.

A lot of this is personal impression and guessing, so take it with a grain of salt: seemed to have some chemistry issues with his team. It looked like they were trying not to pass him the ball, so when he did get the ball, he made sure to put up some kind of shot because it was his only chance that possession.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VdjYykX-Okw

But, to some extent it's understandable. The rest of the Nuggets tended toward overpassing, and a wing three from a guy shooting 32% behind the arc was the result of a lot of those possessions. A guy who was both willing to take shots and actually making them at a good rate is an asset. It's hard to tell a guy with a .600 TS% that he needs to take fewer shots.

As the playoffs went on, his defense seemed like it was trending in the right direction, and he would make routine continue-the-play passes rather than immediately driving or shooting 100% of the time. I have high hopes for his sophomore season.

More than anyone else, the future of the Nuggets depends on the progression of MPJ. Jokic will probably stay about the same level, Jamal could join him on the all-star team, but MPJ could either become a true third star or completely crater with a combination of bad defense, being a bad teammate, saying actual words and phrases in postgame interviews instead of platitudes, and despair about Biden stealing the election.

Gary Harris

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0fKIzcpbnVk

The longest-tenured Nugget, Garry is one of the aforementioned "3-and-D" player who's kinda just average at shooting and is maybe pretty good at defense, sometimes, if you look at the right stats, ish. A professional analytics guy could probably tell me either that he's secretly elite, or that he's completely league average, and I'd believe either one. The truth is that he's probably a top 25th percentile defender, but on a mediocre defensive team, you take what you can get. Should give Jokic at least 15% commission on his paycheck for all the passes off backdoor cuts. Everything other than defense is like someone hit the "slightly-below-average shooting guard" button on the player creator.

Will Barton

After being mysteriously out for the entire season comeback, Barton will have to convince Malone he's ready for his starting small forward job. Often handled the ball for the second unit last season (but not that great of a playmaker, leading to some unwatchable offense when Jokic wasn't in the game), and a decent shooter on a team that desperately needs it. Not very exciting for a guy people call "Thrill." Or maybe it's just been so long since I've watched him play that I've forgotten his better moments.

Bol Bol

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZRKj9Wtrg2o

Oh HELL yeah an interesting player again. Because of a quirk in the awards voting, despite playing in bubble games last season, Bol Bol will be eligible for all-rookie honors this year. Which is somewhat plausible: a 7'2" 72lb three-point shooter, every possession on either end involving Bol is an adventure. Can spike shots into the upper deck, make passes like ^^^that one^^^, but is likely to goaltend three times and have five turnovers for every highlight. His shooting is actually no joke, though, and the team moved him from a two-way contract to a full one with intention of playing him as backup PF (?!) or SF (?!?!), but then again, positions are fake, man. Similar to how Denver has a lot depending on MPJ coming into his own, the team would take a huge leap if Bol Bol lives up to his potential in a few years, but the gamble was super low-risk, as Denver traded for the second-round pick in the 2019 draft for some cash and a worse second-round pick. Is he going to be a combination of Kevin Durant and Manute? Well, probably not, but it would be cool, wouldn't it?

Paul Millsap

A good player on the last few years of his career, Denver got another year of him at $10m instead of $30m. A Locker Room Guy who gives Veteran Presence and has Playoff Experience, Millsap will probably play 20-25 minutes a game, shoot open threes (which he shot at a way-outlier 43.5% this last season), get his mandatory one post Iso per game sometime in the first or second quarter, and randomly go off for twelve points in ten minutes every now and then. During the playoffs, he'll get in the face of some rear end in a top hat like a Morris brother, which is pretty funny, and he still plays good post defense. Really, though, I'd much rather see one of the younger guys getting more minutes in the regular season instead of a guy born when cassettes were the dominant format for music.

Monte Morris

https://twitter.com/Cosmis/status/1295444652880011269

Take an average backup point guard. Now, replace all of their turnovers with a different result of the possession. That's Monte Morris. Solid, solid, solid. He'll probably go to another team as a starting PG one day and put up 15/8.

JaMychal Green

Played pretty well against the Nuggets, so if we can't have Jerami, why not pick this guy up for a third the price? Has a good chance of seeing starting minutes as Malone futzes with the lineups and slaps MPJ on the wrist for playing an Infowars video during film session. A 4 that shoots pretty well, I'm sure JaMychal will be fine. Hope he can play defense, though, because if not yikes

Facundo Campazzo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bF2wXgOwMwQ

Hell yeah!! Oh HELL yeah!!! Any time some guard passes like Jason Williams I want my front office to move heaven and earth to get him, who gives a poo poo if he """helps win games""" or not, sick And1 passes are more important. If anyone says a bad word about him I will get you banned from this web site.

Rookies: Zeke Nnaji and RJ Hampton

They'll be in the G-League until some injuries happen.

Zeke is an Energy Big, and I don't understand the pick at all (he was mocked lower than 22), but the Nuggets have been pretty good at drafting so I'll give them the benefit of the doubt.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85VLpmZM1Ww

RJ Hampton is an athletic scoring guard who might be able to shoot one day. He's this year's "guy who fell in the draft so the Nuggets pick him up for value" guy. He played a year in Australia instead of college.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0XZVpggCCYk

Isaiah Hartenstein

I looked at the roster and his name is on it. Tall

Paul George

lol y'all see this poo poo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nNXo7NBTvNU

-------------

Coach: Michael Malone

One of the better coaches in the NBA, much less afraid of new ideas than most. Team seems to like him a lot, and he's gotten them to improve every single year since he started with the team. (Personally I'm proud because on an otherwise lovely BYOGM team I had a few years ago, I picked him as my head coach back when he was just a Pacers assistant.) Still plays vets too many minutes over rookies, leading to some playoff issues when the team needed to rely on MPJ, but hey, he's still a coach.

2020-21 season outlook

After such an amazing season, the struggle will be following it up with something that doesn't feel like a letdown, but getting into the finals in a conference that still has LeBron's Lakers is going to be a challenge. Jokic needs to figure out how to not get frustrated by some idiot like Dwight, and Jamal needs to be more consistent playing against high-level wing defenders like the Clippers have. But MPJ's improvement truly is the way that they could possibly get past the Lakers. That's unlikely, though, so my prediction would be that they'll end up the WCF loser again this year.

Katana_Warrior
Dec 25, 2009



kingcobweb posted:

The Denver Nuggets

I don't believe in Bol Bol at all, but I'm happy that he's on a fun small market team in the 5% case that he does turn into a multi-time MVP. The Nuggets are great!

Declan MacManus
Sep 1, 2011

damn i'm really in this bitch



hereís a post about the nbaís most boring team whose very facelessness is now an interesting thing to talk about like iím jon bois okay here we go

YOUR San Antonio Spurs!!!
they bad

What?
okay theyíre not bad

hereís the deal: the spurs donít really know what the gently caress they are. for a team thatís done a chameleon act for the past 20 years, retooling and refitting pieces and constantly changing the teamís focal point (itís tim! itís manu leading the bench to extend leads! now itís tony! tim duncan slimmed down itís back to him! now everybody can shoot! now itís kawhiís team! now kawhi is gone and our frontcourt is rudy gay and lamarcus aldridge! now we shoot a lot of midrange jumpers! etc etc), they come out of 2020 lacking an identity

earlier this year i made a joke about the teamís interminable supply of lightskinned 6í3 combo guards who can shoot and it was true, but then the best of the group (bryn forbes) moved onto milwaukee. this is important later, weíll get back to it.

how did the spurs do in 2020?
not great, but it wasnít a steep decline from 2019. 2019 was the first season the spurs failed to post a 50 win season (or an equivalent percentage) since 1997, and 2020 is the first season that the spurs missed the playoffs since 1997, and the first time gregg popovich has missed the playoffs as a head coach. boo fuckin hoo, the slide continues

why have the spurs started to become butt?
short answer: talent drain.

long answer: historically, the spurs have not been much different than any other ďsmall marketĒ team; they struggle to sign free agents and are heavily reliant on drafting/scouting and selling high on roleplayers. there was a time that the spurs fo was considered one of the best in the nba for being able to scout consistently and find high value picks in the later parts of the first round and the draft. they still do that (two of their current starters, dejounte murray and derrick white, were taken at the end of the first) but they havenít been lucky finding stars. theyíre not hitting it out of the park with the tony parkers and manu ginobilis in the world; instead itís just a bunch of luis scolas and fabricio obertos, which is important, but you canít rebuild around it.

it is way harder than it used to be to get euro and south american steals. your only sure way to buy low is to draft guys who arenít coming over right away. the problem with that is it doesnít help you get better now. itís great if youíre trying to reload a title team; itís less ideal if youíre trying to develop talent and rebuild.

[b]so what do they have?[b]
not... much. lamarcus aldridge and demar derozan are the two best players on the team. by themselves, they are not good enough to get you to the playoffs. rudy gay is also there.

the young guys: dejounte murray is promising, but still developing. heís a starter but not much more than that right now. thereís derrick white, who is also a starting level guard, and lonnie walker, who is a starting level guard. thereís also jakob poeltl who might be okay. keldon johnson isnít anything yet. they drafted devin vassell, who will be good, but is also a guard.

so yeah.

best case scenario is some type of 2003 pistons scenario where everybody Puts It Together but uhhhh i donít think so chief

most likely? 40-42 or the equivalent, another missed playoffs. hopefully we get anything for derozan and aldridge before they skip town, but iím not hopeful.

spurs.

R.D. Mangles
Jan 10, 2004



the most important dejounte murray information:

FUCK COREY PERRY
Apr 19, 2008




WELCOME TO YOUR 2019 NBA CHAMPION TORONTO RAPTORS

recap of 2019-2020 season: we fuckin won a ring in 2019 bud who gives a single gently caress about that roni-interrupted fake rear end season gently caress you lebron

what happened in the 2020 offseason: we drafted some dudes, we re-signed Fred, we lost our entire center rotation and replaced them with white people, we got another wing defender who can't shoot or do anything but be good at D

THE TEAM

Kyle Lowry is the fuckin bomb diggity and if you don't like him I will fight you and say mean things about your preferred point guard. He has been the heart of the Raptors for their entire run of recent relevance, oiling the machine on both sides of the court. He shoots, he drives, he takes charges, he constantly bitches at refs, he bodies larger players who try to post his up, he has the best booty in the NBA, he does everything you could possibly want your six foot tall point guard to do. This is Lowry's team, and it will be a sad day when father time finally catches up to him. Starting point guard.

Fred Van Vleet is one of the many recent Raptors success stories, this offseason becoming the best paid undrafted player of all time. Like Lowry he's a small point guard who's a dog of an on-ball defender despite his size. He's got a quick trigger from three, and is getting better at drives but can still get thrown around a bit in the paint. Van Vleet is a torchbearer for the kind of player the Raptors have rallied around in the last few years, and is the likely successor for starting PG as Lowry moves on or ages out. He's quite capable off ball though, and since the Raptors like two guard line-ups he will once again be starting shooting guard. Either he or Lowry will pull double duty running the bench as well.

OG Anunoby returned to the starting lineup last season after getting bumped to the bench following an unexpected rookie campaign as starter. OG is a modern 3&D forward, capable of knocking down a catch and shoot three while spending the game guarding almost any position. He's already a top tier on ball defender, and still could grow. It's to be seen if he'll take another step on the offensive end, but even if he doesn't he's capable enough and the type of player any team would love to have. Starting small forward.

Pascal Siakam is yet another weird late draft pick with a meteoric career trajectory. He came into the league as a dude who did nothing but do everything with as much effort as he possibly could muster on every single play, spent his second year on a killer bench squad, then spent his third season absurdly marching forward in every facet of his game each and every week. Motherfucker was close to the worst ever three point shooter in NBA history in 2018, and then in February 2019 he was drilling step backs and poo poo. With Kawhi gone he stepped into the #1 role in 2020 and "struggled". His efficiency dropped, and he seemed a bit miscast, but he still set career highs across the board. It just looks more like he's a premier #2 option, and could benefit from not being the guy night in and night out. Still, he runs like hell and gives his all on every play, he has sick spin moves, and after 2019 I have no longer have capacity to be surprised by him deciding to suddenly be good at things he used to suck at so hey who the gently caress knows. Starting power forward.

Aron Baynes and Alex Len are the new obligatory white big men on the Raptors this season. One of them will be starting center (probably Baynes until he breaks down). They will set screens, roll/pop, and rim defend. I already miss Gasol and Ibaka and Valanciunas.

Norman Powell is the current sick dunker the Raptors are legally required to have on the roster. He had a breakout year in 2020, finally playing his proper position of SG after years of being up a position at SF. He's a good defender, and is capable both beyond the arc and barreling towards the rim. He'll continue to get a lot of run this year as sixth man, and could conceivably enter the conversation for 6MOTY with any improvement on his play last year.

Chris Boucher is the team slenderman who skitters around the paint swatting shots on D and launches goofy trebuchet threes on offense. He'll be the primary backup power forward who'll pull minutes at the center in small ball lineups, but isn't strong enough to bang in the paint on the regular. He's shown some solid progress since being G-League MVP and DPOY in 2019, but is "old" for his time in the league so far at 27 so he may not have much room to grow beyond a bench role.

Terence Davis may or may not be on the team this year pending an upcoming court date. If he is on the team, he'll look to improve upon his impressive 2020 where as an undrafted rookie he logged the most GP of any Raptor. A solid 2 guard who can ballhandle and create offense on the bench. Spent some time as PG, but clearly more a SG.

Patrick McCaw I have an irrational dislike for because of how little he shows up on offense, but he's a good bench wing defender who can even play some fill in minutes at the 1 as needed. As far as end of rotation depth goes, you can do much worse than someone who's politely invisible on the attack while being a positive on D.

Matt Thomas is good at shooting threes. He will occasionally sub in to the game when the Raptors want to score three points. They will then pass Matt Thomas the ball and he will attempt to score three points. This ends up having a favorable outcome frequently enough that Matt Thomas is an NBA player despite having one discernable skill, which is shooting threes. I am never upset when I see Matt Thomas on the court, for it means somewhere in the immediate future is a three.

DeAndre Bembry is new. He seems to suck at offense while being good at D. He will likely be a McCaw replacement if we ever, for whatever reason, need to replace McCaw.

I hate Stanley Johnson and he doesn't even deserve to have his name bolded. I will screech each and every second I am forced to watch him play basketball, which is hopefully no minutes.

Malachi Flynn was our first round pick this year, and projects to be a "Fred Van Vleet type point guard" which is to say he's short but not a bad defender and can chuck a mean three. He may get some run as backup PG.

Nick Nurse coaches all of these dudes and golly gee willikers do we love him. He squats, he gapes, he looks perpetually doofy, and he comes up with off the wall ideas to solve problems for the Raptors. He has the mandate of the team, and in two years of being a head coach has already established himself as one of the best in the league

2021 outlook: will outperform expectations in the regular season, then go out in a hard fought second round series. This is a good rear end team that works hard, but they lack the firepower of a true star to rise up as a championship competitor. They will be fun to watch.

like every fuckin player on this team is a reclamation project picked off the scrap heap or late round draft pick developed into a steal. This is a solid org, with one of the only competent G-League pipelines of talent. Everyone hustles, everyone plays D, everyone buys in, and holy gently caress I can't believe the sad sack Raptors managed to turn themselves into this group of lovable long limbed ballers

HOOPBALL LIZARDS WORLD CHAMPIONS 2019 BABY

R.D. Mangles
Jan 10, 2004



Well, you've all had your chances, so I'm going to Meet Your Teams with half-formed ignorance and prejudice, so without further ado,

MEET THE ODIOUSLY HEROIC 2021 MIAMI HEAT

The Heat are the NBA's great paradox, one of the most hideous and obnoxious organizations that somehow became the greatest story in basketball during the Bubble. The Heat are still run by Pat Riley, my personal basketball enemy, the slick-haired swaggering dildo who tried as hard as he could to destroy basketball in the 1990s before getting owned by Michael Jordan so often that it psychologically hounded Patrick Ewing and led the Miami Heat to retire Jordan's number. He is the foundation of the famed Heat Culture, a brand of self-aggrandizement where everyone talks about how hard they work blended with the most try-hard player since Kobe Bryant. And yet, they went down to the Bubble and somehow their most annoying qualities became charming as they destroyed the Eastern Conference and heroically took the Lakers to six games. They did this because, even though Jimmy Butler's I Am Working So Hard Right Now Do You See Me I'm Working What Are You Doing Not Working Well That's Not Me I'm Working did not matter when he started roasting people in the fourth quarter and because they hilariously upset the Bucks, whom everyone thought would sleepwalk to the title and then the truly revolting Boston Celtics. One of the things we kept hearing about the Heat is how the famous Heat Culture helped them in the bubble, but we'll see if this applies to this season and in an Eastern Conference revitalized with Western Conference stars.


Pat Riley, Head Heat Guy
One of the few pleasures during the pandemic was watching the Jordan doc and having Pat Riley on camera reminiscing about how many times his bludgenous Knicks got killed by Michael Jordan.


Eric Spoelstra, Coach
I am a rude, bitter jerk but I can't really think of anything particularly nasty to say about Spo. He's one of the best coaches in the NBA.

THE ROSTER

OUT: Jae Crowder to Phoenix, Solomon Hill to Atlanta.

IN: Avery Bradley, Mo Harkless

DRAFT:

Precious Achiuwa, PF

A big, long defender out of Memphis, the Heat hope to run him through their Big Man Development Machine to make him a good backup for Bam.

ROSTER

Jimmy "My Name is Literally Jimmy" Butler, G/F
Jimmy Butler, coffee hustler, friend to Mark Wahlberg, and a person who is probably right now In The Gym, is probably annoying to a lot of people but I am a Bulls fan and Jimmy is probably my favorite player in NBA. An elite defender who has turned himself into a primary option on offense, the coolest thing about him is that he is an ice-cold killer at the end of games who is willing to put the team on his back and win games through what appears to be sheer will, and if the price of doing that is his whole Jimmy Butler deal, I'll take it. After burning out with the Bulls, the Wolves, and the Sixers, he has found a home in Miami and while it has been absolutely heartbreaking for me personally to watch him do this while Lauri Markkanen stands in the corner like a gangly, Finnish Steve Novack I suppose you can say it all worked out for the best, even though we are all sickos who would have enjoyed seeing Jimmy Butler playing for Jim Boylen.


Bam Abdeayo, Big Man
Bam is one of the coolest players in the NBA. He came into the league as a shockingly good defensive player and now is someone who the Heat can run their offense through as a playmaking forward or center, pretty much the perfect big man for the Modern NBA. His block on Jason Tatum ruled. Just maxed out on the Heat, so he'll be in South Beach for the forseeable future.


Goran Dragic, PG
Goran was looking a little beat up and washed, but had a nice revival in the Bubble. A savvy veteran who can still run an offense and get buckets when his knee isn't acting up, the Slovene has re-signed with the Heat and will either start or come off the bench depending on how things go with Herro. I can't believe how long ago he was on the Suns and torched the Spurs that time, which is the first time anyone heard of Goran Dragic. The Heat have not signed his brother Zoran.


Duncan Robinson, F
One of the strangest stories in the NBA, a guy who played in DIII, made his way to be an extremely annoying player on the heated Michigan Wolverines, and is unexpectedly playing and sometimes starting in the NBA for a playoff team after going undrafted. Robinson is what happens when the archetypical Tall Guy Who Shoots is in a league that values three point shooting more than almost any other skill, a league where Steves Kerr and Novack are worth more than they ever had been. Duncan is a lethal shooter. I don't really know if he does anything else particularly well, but he's integral to the Heat's spacing.


Tyler Herro, G
A big-balls guy off the bench who shoots threes and makes faces like that and generally swags around as a rookie. Went off in one game in the finals, but then was kind of bad after that. Looking forward to this guy either becoming extremely cool or impossibly irritating.

OTHER GUYS:

Andre Igoudala, F
The Veteran Forward and Silicon Valley Investor Guy is back on the heat to play some defense and make some buckets and provide Veteran Championship Mentality.

Avery Bradley, G
A defensive guard, he should be a key part of the rotation, Opted out of the bubble as a Laker,

Kendrick Nunn, PG
Nunn, a product of Chicago's Simeon where Derrick Rose and Jabari Parker played, was a surprise for the Heat his rookie year after going undrafted out of Oakland. His story is different than Robinson, who was passed in the draft because everyone assumed he was too doofy for the NBA. Nunn was a star player but kicked off of Illinois for domestic assault, and was therefore someone NBA teams were wary of. A sparkplug scorer who looked like one of the best young Heat players, he saw his role diminish in the Bubble in favor of Herro.

Kelly Olynyck, F/C
Big guy who shoots threes less well than Robinson, this greasy haired dork came back to Miami after signing a $13 million dollar option. Good grief.

Meyers Leonard, C
Also back on the Heat after signing a large contract, he spent the Bubble flexing menacingly on the bench.

Mo Hakrless, F
Here to replace Jae Crowder. Has some more offensive upside, but might not fit with their small-ball defense the way Crowder did.

Udonis Hasletm
Basically an assistant coach and the Dean of Heat Culture, will probably not play any minutes. Impossible to hate UD, the Miami Heat is his team as much as Riley's at this point.

Season Outlook

There are, for me, an ignoramus who does not know much about the Heat, two questions this offseason. One is whether the Bubble was a fluke that allowed Miami to play to its greatest strengths in a grinding, relentless schedule. The other is whether they did enough this offseason to keep up with a revamped Sixers, revitalized Brooklyn, remade Bucks, and other top East teams to retain their crown. They showed that they are in the top tier of Eastern teams, but they won't sneak up on anyone this season, and in my opinion how far they go depends on whether Herro or Nunn can make a big leap and if Achiuwa can develop quickly enough to be the key big off the bench because otherwise their bench bigs are a bunch of lumbering oafs and Crowder isn't around to play small ball bully anymore. And for me, the big question is whether the good will they got from the Bubble can carry over or if they'll just be the loving Heat again, a team I despise.

Katana_Warrior
Dec 25, 2009



R.D. Mangles posted:

Well, you've all had your chances, so I'm going to Meet Your Teams with half-formed ignorance and prejudice, so without further ado,

Agreed,

Meet Your 2020-2021 Golden State Warriors

The San Francisco Warriors are the NBA team that I spend the most time thinking about, and therefore my favourite team. Coming up onto year 7 of the greatest dynasty that the NBA has ever featured, Warriors fans have a lot to look forward to this season. Without further ado, let's start from the top.

Joe Lacob - Owner

Former Masshole, current San Fran based Rich Guy who made his millions in venture capital. He's the guy who coined the term 'light years', which he used to describe the competitive advantages a team can gain by underpaying their stars, by loving up their plans to trade Steph Curry, and by acquiring Kevin Durant. Team culture starts from the top, and you know that a guy who's going 42 Million into the luxury tax to get known winners like Kelly Oubre Jr and Andrew Wiggins is committed to keeping this dynasty going.

Bob Myers - GM

The league's most renowned general manager, Bob generally manages to make whatever he touches turn to gold or whatever. If he knew that giving the team the go-ahead to play the injured stars KD and Klay in the finals would cause extreme detriment to both of their careers, he wouldn't have done it (unless it gave them a better chance of winning). He hosed the trophy.

Steve Kerr - Coach

I will never say anything bad about someone who spends every living moment experiencing anguishing back pain.

Steph Curry - Starting PG, Team Leader

After heroically choosing to come back to the NBA after suffering a grotesque stomach ache that sidelined him from the 2020 season after only 5 games, the 2 time MVP is back to lead the Warriors to another championship. That is, unless he's really sad about playing with only one other hall of famer instead of the 3 he's used to, in which case he might save his energy for their inevitable championship run next year, when he'll be 34.

Andrew Wiggins - Starting Wing

After spending 6 seasons building a reputation as someone who doesn't care enough about basketball to ever contribute to a winning team, Wiggins has been working hard in the weight room to prove the haters that this season is different. According to Kerr, Wiggins will be using his new bulk all season long, as he'll be responsible to locking up the other team's best wings. Light years.

Kelly Oubre Jr - Starting Wing

By far the NBA's best dresser and conventionally prettiest player, Kelly is a versatile big wing who, like Wiggins, has a ton of potential that the Warriors are hoping that they'll be able to unlock. Steve Kerr is giving Kelly the job of defending the best guard on the other team, citing his strong on-ball defense and heavily implying that his lack of attentiveness off-ball would cause bigger issues if he was defending other wings. Unlike Wiggins, who is known for his strong team defensive awareness.

Draymond Green - Starting Forward

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b2aIo8eCI1g
Yes, he's probably washed. Yes, the rest of the locker room is sick of hearing him yell all the time. Yes, his jumper is nasty in the bad way. He's still one of the smartest defensive players to ever play basketball. He's on contract until 2024 anyways, so it'll be for the best that we keep telling ourselves that he's a 16 game player.

Kevon Looney - Starting Center

While he's only starting long enough for James Wiseman to "earn" his starting spot, Kevon is the guy who encompasses the term "Warrior" most out of the roster. During the 2019 finals, he played with like 8 broken ribs and no cartilage left in his chest, and despite Kawhi's efforts to spend every other offensive possession bullet punching Kevon in the ribcage, he battled through the rest of the series. In retrospect, Steph missing an entire season because of a stubbed toe is really weird.

James Wiseman - Center

https://twitter.com/bykevinclark/st...233821863129094
The Warriors' very own Tim Duncan, James has a lot to prove after essentially missing his entire college season. Can he stop taking bad shots and play in the Warriors' heralded system? Can he learn to play defense? Will he ever turn into a better player than modern day Derrick Favors, who is pretty much making the same amount of money this year? Luckily for James, the Warriors have successfully developed several players drafted in the year 2012 or earlier. Don't ask about the other guys they drafted.

Eric Pascall - Forward

Despite leading the team in total points and minutes last year, Eric is a 6'6 power forward who shot 28% from 3 and it's hard to see him fitting a role on a roster that isn't the 2019-2020 Golden State Warriors. Shoutouts to making the all-rookie team though.

Jordan Poole - Guard

Jordan is a shooting guard who shot 33% from the field and 28% from 3. You may recognize his name from being at the bottom of every "Worst Stat-X of players with more than Y Minutes" list last season. He'll be expected to be a part of the rotation once again this year, which is disgusting.

The rest
Smailagic sucks, bazemore sucks, chriss REALLY sucks, brad wanamaker's fine. If you hadn't noticed, it's going to be a challenge to get a good 10 dude rotation here, and god forbid someone gets hurt.

Season Outlook
Championship or bust, kiss the rings, haters! Also, the Minnesota pick is protected 1-3, so stop saying it's the best asset to ever exist.

Katana_Warrior fucked around with this message at 19:00 on Dec 6, 2020

Metapod
Mar 18, 2012

TENNESSEE SMASH


R.D. Mangles posted:

Well, you've all had your chances, so I'm going to Meet Your Teams with half-formed ignorance and prejudice, so without further ado,

I dare you to try

Veryslightlymad
Jun 3, 2007

I fight with
my brain
and with an
underlying
hatred of the
Erebonian
Noble Faction


R.D. Mangles posted:


Bam Abdeayo, Big Man

Is this the awesome routine block? His wrist is bent over the rim, that's a goaltend.

Rule of cool and rule of "gently caress the Celtics"? I'll begrudgingly allow it.

kingcobweb
Apr 16, 2005

Tits and cooters, Mr Bond.


Metapod posted:

I dare you to try

The OKC meet the team

The Maestro
Feb 21, 2006


Veryslightlymad posted:

Is this the awesome routine block? His wrist is bent over the rim, that's a goaltend.

Rule of cool and rule of "gently caress the Celtics"? I'll begrudgingly allow it.

ď
a. Touch the ball or the basket ring when the ball is on or within either basket.
b. Touch the ball when it is touching the cylinder having the basket ring as its lower base. Exception: In (a) or (b) above if a player near her own basket has her hand legally in contact with the ball, it is not a violation if her contact with the ball continues after the ball enters the cylinder, or if, in such action, she touches the basket. ď

https://youtu.be/lSwLNTlNHv0

Veryslightlymad
Jun 3, 2007

I fight with
my brain
and with an
underlying
hatred of the
Erebonian
Noble Faction


The Maestro posted:

ď
a. Touch the ball or the basket ring when the ball is on or within either basket.
b. Touch the ball when it is touching the cylinder having the basket ring as its lower base. Exception: In (a) or (b) above if a player near her own basket has her hand legally in contact with the ball, it is not a violation if her contact with the ball continues after the ball enters the cylinder, or if, in such action, she touches the basket. ď

https://youtu.be/lSwLNTlNHv0

Ah, ok. The replay angle is much better. The other angle makes it seem like his hand had to have touched the rim first. That's a hell of a play. Aforementioned rules stand, but apparently don't have to.

Henchman of Santa
Aug 21, 2010


Who the hell is on the Detroit Pistons now?

After a decade of flailing impotently at the 8 seed and usually coming up short, the new look Pistons have brought in former Oklahoma City assistant GM Troy Weaver to remake the roster and build toward the future. This year's Pistons are fully expected to miss the playoffs, but they also have enough talent to maybe gently caress around and wind up in the play-in tournament in the East. Who's on the team now? I'm finding out at the same time as you.

FAMILIAR FACES
Dwane Casey enters year three of his five-year deal in Detroit with the tough task of coaching a group of guys who have a) not played basketball in nine months and b) have hardly played together at all. He's a good dude, good coach and good media quote, and he was able to turn the moribund Raptors into a contending franchise even if they were hopeless in the face of LeBron James, but he's also 63 and working with a bare cupboard. Good luck Dwane!

Blake Griffin is now the longest-tenured player on Detroit's roster, which is wild because I'm still wrapping my head around him being on my team at all. The Pistons traded for the oft-injured Clippers star in January of 2018, and in his first full season he was all-NBA, having reformed his game from freakish force of nature to all-around point forward. Unfortunately he was back on the injured list for most of the 2019-20 season as he was shut down for knee surgery. But now he's back and the de facto leader of this squad of misfits. He will make nearly $36.6 million to do so. Good luck Blake!

Derrick Rose was BACK last year as a spark plug off the bench, averaging 18.1 PPG on the best shooting percentage of his career, with his most assists per game since 2012. He will look to continue that role this season while also mentoring top draft pick Killian Hayes. While he will never regain his prime form, he has settled nicely into his new role.

Sekou Doumbouya will turn 20 years old the night of the Pistons' first game. An incredibly raw Guinean-French forward, Sekou was the Pistons' top pick in 2019 out of Limoges CSP. He only played 38 NBA games last year, averaging 6.4 points and 3.1 rebounds, but showed flashes of athleticism and shooting. Can Dwane Casey develop him as he did Raptors projects like Pascal Siakam? Only time will tell.

Sviatoslav "Svi" Mykhailiuk joined the team in 2019 in a trade with the Lakers, and the Ukrainian will be useful as long as he keeps bombing threes at a 40% clip. Expect his workload to increase with the departure of Luke Kennard.

Wayne Ellington is back for some reason. He was also on the team at the end of the 2018-19 season.

ROOKIES
Nineteen-year-old Killian Hayes is the Point Guard of the Future. The French-American averaged 11.8 points, 5.4 assists, 2.8 rebounds and 1.5 steals for Ulm in the abbreviated Bundesliga/EuroCup season last year and was all over the place in draft boards. He is big (6'5") and a lefty, infamously incapable of right hand dribbling (though he has worked on this apparently). He is expected to be more of a playmaker than a shooter, and his size should help him defend despite his lack of athleticism.

The Pistons traded future Hall of Famer Christian Wood to Houston as part of a deal to acquire big man Isaiah Stewart out of Washington. The move looked stranger as Weaver hoarded centers in free agency, but now that he's flipped a couple of those it appears Stewart should be able to compete for a rotation spot. Averaged 17 points, nearly 9 boards and two blocks a game in his one college season. Apparently wears 33 to honor his Jamaican heritage because of Patrick Ewing, though he's been saddled with 28 for now.

Forward Saddiq Bey was taken 19th overall thanks to a productive season at Villanova (16.4 points, 45% from three) and a strong name tool. He will compete in a crowded field at his position but seems to be a nice pickup.

Deividas Sirvydis comes over from Hapoel Jerusalem after being selected in the second round in 2019. Seems like a typical Eastern European shootyman.

LiAngelo Ball signed a non-guaranteed deal. He'll probably never come up from the G-league.

VETERAN ACQUISITIONS
Jerami Grant and Mason Plumlee are the big free agent signings of the year, plucked from the Western Conference finalist Nuggets for 3/60 and 3/25 respectively. Grant was getting the same offer from a much better Denver team, but apparently wants to have more of a starring role, leading him to the Motor City. Though he's gone from small to power forward over the course of his career, I would expect him to start at the 3 for the Pistons, where his much improved three point shooting should help them space the floor. Plumlee was an effective passer, defender and roll man off the Nuggets bench, but will probably be the starting center as a Piston. He looks like an aryan super soldier and was maybe a bad signing, but hopefully he can complement Hayes in the PNR game.

Detroit native Josh Jackson is here after busting with Phoenix and turning into a potentially nice player with the Grizzlies. He'll never live up to his billing as a 4th overall pick but he crushed it in the G-League and will get another chance to make a big impact as the likely starting shooting guard.

Jahlil Okafor was another bust-turned-reclamation-project and curious big man signing. Kind of feels like Greg Monroe is back. Hopefully provides some post scoring off the bench.

Delon Wright should expect to see minutes at both guard positions, potentially starting at the point depending on how the team is feeling about Hayes. As a career bench player I don't know if that'll work out too well but Delon seems like a nice player and is reunited with his former Raptors coach in Dwane Casey.

Rodney McGruder is here! Remember him from those feisty Miami teams? Yeah. What's Okaro White up to?

Dzanan Musa was the first new piece Weaver acquired, trading fan favorite Bruce Brown for the Bosnian who's been in and out of the G-League. I don't expect to see him on the floor much.

I have never heard of Anthony Lamb, Louis King or Saben Lee.

OUTLOOK
Lottery bound! After years of playoffs-or-bust mandates from sleazy owner Tom Gores, the Pistons seemed like they were going to embrace tanking this season, and in the long run they probably will, but also they seem to want to compete just in case? I dunno, I don't even have legal means to watch them without League Pass and frankly there are better uses of everyone's time than watching the Pistons. It's hard to believe this franchise is responsible for many of my happiest sports memories because they have been in Hoops Purgatory for my entire adult life.

Dejan Bimble
Mar 24, 2008

we're all black friends


Plaster Town Cop

Henchman of Santa posted:

Who the hell is on the Detroit Pistons now?

I have never heard of Anthony Lamb, Louis King or Saben Lee.

OUTLOOK
Lottery bound! After years of playoffs-or-bust mandates from sleazy owner Tom Gores, the Pistons seemed like they were going to embrace tanking this season, and in the long run they probably will, but also they seem to want to compete just in case? I dunno, I don't even have legal means to watch them without League Pass and frankly there are better uses of everyone's time than watching the Pistons. It's hard to believe this franchise is responsible for many of my happiest sports memories because they have been in Hoops Purgatory for my entire adult life.
Great post! I'm glad I didn't have to post the half rear end one I have in my notes.

Saben Lee- long armed Vanderbilt pg who loves to dunk and has some defensive upside. Crazy weird jump shot. Father is former NFL running back Amp Lee.

Lou King is in his second year, on a two way. Was pretty good for the drive last season, slightly undersized small forward. Anthony Lamb is a tweener forward from Vermont.

MourningView
Sep 2, 2006


Is this Heaven?


I don't think Saben Lee is a NBA player but he's cool as poo poo

NickRoweFillea
Sep 27, 2012

doin thangs


Meet the Team: SAS's own Memphis Grizzlies

Memphis is my hometown, my favorite city, and the home of Analytics Twitter's Favorite Team, the Memphis Grizzlies.

A Brief History
The Grizzlies moved to Memphis from Vancouver in 2001, and while the team had some fun players (Pau Gasol, White Chocolate, Stromile Swift), they never found success in the playoffs. That changed in 2011, when the Grit and Grind Grizzlies came together. Mike Conley, Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol, and the inimitable Tony Allen set a culture of hard-nosed defense that the city could take pride in. They made it to the Western Conference Finals once, and were a playoff fixture for almost a decade. This didn't last, however, and with the NBA's move towards pacing and spacing, the writing was on the wall for Grit and Grind. Eventually, the team drafted Jaren Jackson Jr., an analytics darling, and sent Mike Conley to Utah, indicating that a total rebuild was on the way.

The Total Rebuild
Draft lottery luck bitches we drafted Ja Morant and Brandon Clarke. gently caress a rebuild we just reload

'19-'20 Season
After drafting Morant and Clarke, the Grizzlies were expected to bottomfeed for a while, being a small market team comprised of mostly rookies and a couple vets. Through the rocket ascension of Morant, the Grizzlies fought their way into the Bubble and even had a chance at the playoffs before being ousted by the veterans on the Portland Trailblazers. The future is bright!

Lineup

Point Guard: Ja Morant
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8pjVixfXPFw#t=3s
Look at this poo poo! Ja is the Rookie of the Year, and he will be tasked with improving on his already-superb rookie campaign. Ja is a hyper-athletic point guard most infamous for his sick dunks and handles. This isn't his best skill, though, as that honor belongs to his court vision. Ja can thread passes from any point on the court, be it a cutting Brandon Clarke for a dunk or a wide open Grayson Allen for a three. You start watching the Grizzlies for Ja, and you stay watching the Grizzlies for everything else.

Shooting Guard: Dillon Brooks
The longest tenured Grizzly. Dillon is a mercurial player both hated and loved by the fanbase. When he is on, he is a walking bucket. When he's off, he is a flaming bucket of poo poo. He is also tasked with guarding the opponent's toughest player, which makes his scoring even more erratic. He's a good hand to have, but ideally would be a third option, or a bench scorer.

Small Forward: Justise Winslow (eventually)
Winslow was acquired from the Miami Heat in a trade that sent Andre Iguodala, Jae Crowder, and Solomon Hill to South Beach. He's been hurt, but the hope is that he can provide both defense and playmaking to spell Brooks and Morant from those roles, respectively. Get well soon dude! His starting spot will likely be filled by Kyle "Slo-Mo" Anderson till he's ready to play again.

Power Forward: Jaren Jackson Jr.
Triple J has a tiny bean head and a big long beanstalk body. At 7 ft tall, he was the Grizzlies most effective two-way player, and was also their best three point shooter. The word "unicorn" gets bandied about a lot, but it's very accurate for Jaren. If he can get his foul numbers down and his rebound numbers up a little, he will be a force for years to come. He loves to play with Ja, but who wouldn't.

Center: Jonas Valanciunas
Jonas was acquired in a trade that sent franchise mainstay Marc Gasol to Toe Ron Toe (where he won a ring and got shitfaced on a bus, proud of you king). Jonas has endeared himself to Memphis by being a consistent 20/10 threat a night and by doing the dirty work that Zbo and Marc used to do. He rocks and it's easy to understand why both Raptors and Grizzlies fans love him. My favorite t-shirt is my Lithuanian bronze medal tie-dye shirt with the dunking skeleton on it.

Bench
De'Anthony Melton - resigned to a very team friendly four year deal this past offseason. Nicknamed "Mr. Do Something." Excellent bench player provided he has his security blanket in...
Tyus Jones - backup PG. Maybe one of the most efficient backup guards in the league. The Bubble Grizz fell apart without him.
Grayson Allen - the quintessential Duke player. Had an amazing run of shooting in the bubble that hopefully will carry over to next season. Looks like Ted Cruz. Universally loathed by SAS, but they're all haters.
Brandon Clarke - the efficiency GOD. incredible rim runner, smart passer, has allegedly been working on his handles and shooting (his two major weaknesses). Could transform into a perpetual 6MOTY candidate. A little older, but who the gently caress cares, the man knows how to loving ball out
John Konchar - get jitty with it. Numbers love this guy.
Gorgui Dieng - Mr. Trebuchet
Anthony Tolliver - Anthony Tolliver

Who's New?
Desmond Bane - a three point sniper and super underrated creator from TCU. (look for him to steal Dillon Brooks' starting spot by the end of the season)
Xavier Tillman - a do-everything big from MSU. Fun fact: Jaren was the best man at his wedding! I love it when my favorite team likes each other.
Killian Tillie - a Frenchman with weak ankles who can ball out if he can stay healthy.
Jontay Porter - Michael Porter Jr.'s brother. Hasn't played professional basketball in two years, but showed flashes of shooting and playmaking during his time at Mizzou.

Expectations
I'd love it if the Grizzlies made the playoffs this season, but with the West being what it is, they'd all have to show major signs of improvement. My hopes for this season are the same as last season: play hard, get better, and stay healthy. That last one is a major key, because the Grizzlies have all the talent to play against any team, provided all that talent can see the floor.

Katana_Warrior
Dec 25, 2009



I love the grizz and JJJ/Tyus have the cutest teammate twitter jabs in the league. They will not be good, but they will be fun once everyone's back and healthy.

Boredumb
Mar 10, 2005



Love all the write ups every year, thanks to all the below posters for going to the effort to do so

Carlosologist
Katana_Warrior
R.D. Mangles
morestuff
kingcobweb
Declan MacManus
gently caress COREY PERRY
Henchman of Santa
NickRoweFillea

Rick
Feb 23, 2004
And now the whole nation - pulpit and all - will take up the war-cry, and shout itself hoarse, and mob any honest man who ventures to open his mouth; and presently such mouths will cease to open.

CLF usually does a really good job but I'll throw one together a half assed one about the Lakers if he is not interested or is too busy . Although I kind of think it's the one that's probably the least necessary?

I actually do use these as a cheat sheet in prep for my preview eppys for teams whose offseasons I didn't follow very closely. Uhh..anyone want to do the Cavs?

Algund Eenboom
May 4, 2014



The New Jersey Nets of East Rutherford New Jersey

The Nets spent the last several seasons very sucessfully recovering from a disastrous trade, Yeah You Know The One, that gutted all of their future draft picks. Fun fact: after the trade for Garnett and Pierce the very first new draft picks the Nets were able to trade for were in a trade with the Milwaukee Bucks for Nets head coach Jason Kidd. Anyway they had Brook Lopez but sucked a lot for a while, then hired Kenny Atkinson as head coach, traded for De'Angelo Russell, drafted Caris LeVert, signed Spencer Dinwiddie, and scraped their way into the bottom tier of the playoffs for a couple successive seasons.

𝕷𝖆𝖘𝖙 𝖘𝖊𝖆𝖘𝖔𝖓
Seemingly the payoff after a decade of floundering, two big free agency signings, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, in the 2019 offseason didn't have much of an immediate effect; Kyrie almost had the greatest game winner in NBA history but didn't1 and was injured for much of the year, and Durant sat out the entire season rehabbing the Achilles injury that the Golden State Warriors gave to him on purpose. And then the US Army bioweapons program released the Fort Detrick coronavirus into southern China and, well, the rest is history as they say. They also fired Kenny Atkinson, a good coach but a no-nonsense, no-fun type of guy who would bench De'Angelo Russell if he celebrated after making a three. I guess you could presume that he wasn't player-friendly coach, and with two players who wield as much clout in the locker room as Kyrie and Durant he got the boot.

𝕻𝖑𝖆𝖞𝖊𝖗𝖘
Kyrie Irving
1https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DeC0W9iMgqA
One of the coolest players in NBA history, and also one of the most disliked, mostly for very stupid reasons. Celtics fans talked about how much they grew to loathe him as his time in Boston continued, but they're all racists so who cares what they think. As long as the team plays well I couldn't care less what Kyrie says or doesn't say to anyone, especially if it's about hating Thanksgiving, which he got made fun of for saying, and forced by the Celtics to apologize for, even though his mother had Native American heritage and died when he was four. That's really hosed up! Death 2 amerikkka

Anyway he's very dynamic and a great 3-level scorer but oft-injured, and the number of starting-caliber guards on the team will create a bit of a puzzle for everyone to sort out in a healthy and friendly fashion.

Kevin Durant
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0cKk6Vhyws
It's pretty amazing that KD's run with the Warriors was so loathed that it made a lot of people more or less ignore his actual accomplishments during that time, even though it more or less cemented his position as a top 20 player of all time and probably the greatest 7 foot tall scorer in basketball history. Then, in game 6 of the 2019 finals, he was put in maybe against his wishes after an earlier leg injury, which resulted in him tearing his Achilles heel and thereby sitting out the 19-20 season. Now, it's a gamble as to how well Kevin Durant will play. He can probably still score given that he's a good enough shooter to just shoot over other players, but his lateral movement will probably be shot, making him a significantly worse defender than he was before.

Spencer Dinwiddie
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4URPCWxnVjs
An above-average guard who blossomed after playing poorly for the Pistons. He (correctly) sat out the bubble in Orlando, he played consistently well at the SG position during the regular season. Also a genuine weirdo who invested in cryptocurrency and tried to get fans to crowdfund his next contract, This is what happened with that

Jarrett Allen
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jexc7l_NCBY
Really good at blocks, good at dunks, pretty good at most other things, not very good at perimeter defense. But very fun to watch, a high-energy guy, has retained his very cool afro, and seemingly one of the most well-liked players on the team.

Caris LeVert
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3T9DoaYWF8Q
An SG sometimes forced by injury to play PG, LeVert continued to improve every year since he was drafted into the type of player who internet guys talk about as a Great Asset, Core Piece, Underrated Star, etc. Please DO NOT compare his BBallRef page to Andrew Wiggins,' he's much better than Andrew Wiggins I promise I swear. Also had a really horrific-looking leg injury a couple seasons ago and came back like nothing had happened, but has had some minor injury issues since. Generally a fun player to watch.

DeAndre Jordan

Perpetually overrated on both ends of the floor, this is the guy I'm going to blame if the Nets start doing poorly whether or not it's his fault. At some point he's going to replace Allen in the starting lineup and I'm going to be mad about it. He can still dunk I guess.

Joe Harris
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CBusakC-RPY
Nobody is more of just a guy than Joe Harris, even though he's one of the best three point shooters in the league and could have easily commanded a huge contract during a normal offseason. Signed back with the Nets to a still big but less big than people thought contract.

Some other guys
Chris Chiozza- Played ok in the bubble, on a two-way contract
Tyler Johnson- Picked up off waivers, not great
Rodions Kurucs- OK power forward, possibly a rapist
Taurean Prince- Good at defense and not much else
Timothe Luwawu-Cabarot- Bad but has a fun name, had one really good playoff game in the bubble
Landry Shamet- Had a good rookie year and a bad sophomore year, traded from the Clippers to the Nets for a draft pick
Jeff Green- One of the more famous guys in the league at getting by one week of great games every season, but I guess he's a good locker room guy too

𝕮𝖔𝖆𝖈𝖍
Out of absolutely nowhere, HOF player Steve Nash was given his very first head coaching job after several years in the Warriors' front office. I have no idea if this is a good decision. Nash was a famously smart basketball player, but the last time the Nets hired a high bball IQ point guard with nine letters in his name as a first time head coach, it didn't work out very well. I guess at the very least Nash is a nicer person than Kidd was, and apparently this decision was spearheaded by Durant's respect for Nash during his time at Golden State. Of course, according to the players themselves,

quote:

Kyrie: I don't really see us having a head coach. KD could be a head coach, I could be a head coach.
KD: Jacque Vaughn could do it one day. It's a collaborative effort on our part.

Now This Is Going To Be Fun! Honestly though I understand what they mean given that the Nets have assembled a high-profile assistant coaching staff, headlined by none other than Mike D'Antoni! And Jacque Vaughn, who should probably have been made the head coach! Plus Tiago Splitter, that guy on the Spurs LeBron had a great block against! And Ime Udoka, whose name seems familiar!

𝕽𝖔𝖔𝖐𝖎𝖊𝖘
Reggie Perry? I don't know who this guy is.

𝕰𝖝𝖕𝖊𝖈𝖙𝖆𝖙𝖎𝖔𝖓𝖘
At this point I should admit I don't really know anything about basketball. 25% of Nets fans have sky high, ECF-or-bust aspirations for the team, and 25% think that injuries and bad chemistry from EVIL PLAYERS!!!!!! like Kyrie and KD will tank the season and they'll be lucky to get the 6th seed2. Unfortunately I tend to lean more to the latter than the former, given that Kyrie has always been injury-prone, Durant is coming off of just about the worst possible basketball injury and will probably go from a great defender to a bad defender, and other role players have their own injury histories too. The chemistry stuff is stupid who cares, but I can definitely see them as a team whose ceiling is the 4th seed and a second-round loss in the playoffs. But hey, maybe KD is perfectly fine, Kyrie stays healthy, Dinwiddie reads up on MMT, and Nash ends up coaching the team better than anyone thought he might.

2The other 50% of Nets fans are Knicks fans

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thrilla in vanilla
Oct 9, 2012





Welcome 2 the Valley, these are your undefeated Bubble Boyz

- Chris Paul: dickpuncher. Hate this guy. Heís an upgrade on Rubio for sure and will almost definitely be an excellent fit for Booker and Ayton. Thereís a good chance he plays less games then Rubio would have, leading me to the second thing I donít like about this signing.

- Cam Payne: actually played pretty well in the bubble! As a bench guy he fits in well. Can shoot and score. Ugly as gently caress. The idea of him seeing starting minutes to get CP3 rest is deeply concerning.

- Cam Johnson: everybody thought cam was overdrafted but he played well in the role which he was drafted for. Shoots well, defends well. He played well in the bubble but will probably see less minutes this season due to other signings.

- Deandre Ayton: gently caress man. Why didnít we take doncic. Ayton has been good and will probably look better with Chris Paul lobbing to him. He was starting to show off a 3 point shot in the bubble and has developed a lot faster on defense than expected. Hopefully he can avoid pissing hot this year or catching covid or some poo poo.

- Dario Saric: has been a bit overmatched as a starter but came off the bench in the bubble and played great. Heís probably gonna be in that role again because we signed the next guy.

- Jae Crowder: played awesome in the bubble, probably not sustainable at all. I love that he wanted to come here but donít love the signing. Good chance he takes playing time away from Cameron johnson which Iím not thrilled about.

- Mikal Bridges: this guy fuckin rules. Suns homers overrate him but he showed out in the bubble. Great defender, has improved as a shooter.

- Book: Wet. Will the Kardashian Kurse ruin him? This is the only way he wonít continue to get better and better.

- Jevon Carter: this guy also rules. Great energy off the bench. Barely plays because Booker barely comes off the floor but heís a solid heat check dude for the eight or so minutes he might get.

- Langston Galloway: I know nothing about this guy except that he has consistently beautiful custom shoes.

- Jalen Smith: for the second year in a row the Suns first round pick is roundly mocked as an overdraft. I am predisposed to like him because he played for the terps.

The rest of the guys are whatever. Letís move on

In Memoriam
- Kelly Oubre: Too hot for the valley. Kelly was good while he was here but signed a weird two year contract and got traded for CP3. He didnít play at all in the bubble after a knee injury before the season shut down, maybe if heíd played he would still be here? But they were fine without him clearly. Kelly is too hot to play with the unstylish morons in Oakland. Sorry Papi

- Ricky Rubio: mocked as an overpay, which he probably was, but Ricky was the most competent PG book has played with which is saying a lot. CP3 is an upgrade on him in every way but the two that matter. Attractiveness and whatever other reason I forgot. Sans Fans love you Ricky.

- Aron Baynes: Splash Volcano went on a tear while Ayton was suspended and then got worn down. Didnít play in the bubble, will miss him if Ayton fucks up again. His wife is hot

Coach is Monty Williams. Chris Paul likes him, everybody likes Monty. I have no complaints about Monty, he isnít Igor Or Ear Watson so heís good in my book

This team should be good, but itís unclear what their ceiling is in the west. They should at bare minimum be in the hunt for the play in but I think expectations will be a bit higher than that. I have them pegged at a seven seed maybe? The lakers nuggets jazz blazers Mavericks and clippers are probably all higher seeds at the end of the day. Unclear how good Houston Memphis and Sacramento will be. Guess I could see Denver sliding a bit and the fraudulent clippers suck rear end



Looks like that shoulder needs some load management kawhi

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