We Talkin’ Basketball!

What’s up salt licks? Tone Capone Bader like basketball. We like it so much we want to tell what we think is going to happen in this NBA season before it starts tonight. We know all things about the round orange ball.

Jon:

Eatern Coference

1. Miami

Hey everyone, the East predominantly awful. The Heat are not among those definitively terrible teams. They have the best player, a bench that is somewhat good, and a good coach. I refuse to load anymore superlatives on team that everyone all ready hates or rides the bandwagon of.

2. Chicago

Derrick Rose is playing basketball this year and the Bulls were very adequate at playing basketball when he didn’t last year. The defense will continue to carry this team and Derrick Rose doesn’t need to be the MVP for this team to the 2 seed. He needs to be better than Kirk Henrich and Nate “Lights” Robinson”. Spoiler, he is better than those two

3.New York

This is probably wrong but I feel like Carmelo can randomly win enough games against the teams the Knicks don’t deserve to beat in order to justify this 3 seed. The free agent acquisitions in the offseason didn’t improve this team and in fact they only served to make it worse, Baragnani hurts this team in every way and appears to be only thought through to the degree of, “Hey, we had a that tall white skinned guy chuck a bunch threes for us last, let’s have taller a whiter guy chuck a bunch threes for us this year!”. Baragnani is not an improvement over Novak. This is probably a worse talent collection than other talent collection in the same city. The highs are higher on this side though, sometimes that matters.

4. Indiana

They play defense really well. Doesn’t it seem like every good team in the East’s primary skill is defense? It’s like on top of being a way worse than the Western Conference they insist on being way more boring too. Remember when Paul George was the most underrated guy in the league, that was cool. Now he the best wing in the history of the wings and the definitive answer to Lebron because reasons…? Do yourself a favor go on basket-reference and look at his similarity scores and laugh forever. Roy Hibbert is still really tall and a lot centers aren’t terribly good so that still benefits this team greatly. Danny granger might play a bit more this year before he takes declined scoring off to the injury reserve again and Luis Scola will be great at not making sense on this team.

5. Brooklyn

They have like a bunch of talent. This could either be a gorgeous starburst across the Eastern Conference heavens or go challenger be absolute hippo poop(hippo poop of course being good enough for a 5 seed in the East). Reading this roster all the way through feels like a collection of names I remember being super duper awesome in 2007. For real though imagine this team circa 2007, Pierce, Garnett, Kirilenko, Joe Johnson when he was still good, Shuan Lvingston pre-leg falling off, Deron Williams was just starting to get really good. After that a lot of the players would be in high school but whatever, this team would have been pretty awesome. A lot these 2007 champions are still good, like all of them, all of them are still pretty good. Yay, Good Stuff.team.doc.x hopefully it goes well.

6. Washington

Sfter the first five in the East you can essentially throw darts for the rest. I’ve always pitied John Wall in Washington. I just remember the all the highlights of him screaming at teammates and this team actually has decent talent now, sorta. They have decent talent for a team in the East. There is good depth on this team and John Wall is still super good, maybe now he can be great without being an object of pity.

7. Milwaukee

As I said earlier of these last three spots could be filled analytically with a shoulder shrug. I have no idea who belongs in the playoffs in the bottom of the East, and honestly, probably none of them do. I really like Milwaukee’s defensive potential. This line up probably won’t play much together, but Knight, Mayo Anteatounmpo, Hensen, and Sanders could happen. No one on either team would be able to score with that group on the floor, but the point is the Bucks could win a lot of 78 to 76 point games this year. They have good three point shooting off the bench and depth throughout the front court. In addition to those merpy superlatives, they have last year’s MVP, not having Monta Ellis, and an early contender for this year’s MVP, not having Brandon Jennings. In this festering pile of dog shit and flies that we call the Eastern Conference that might be enough to make this pick make sense.

8. Detroit

I hate Brandon Jennings with fiery demonic passion that only Bucks‘ fans could begin to understand and I want him to be on a perpetual first round losing 8th seed forever so he never accomplishes anything but searing mediocracy forever. All while he complains about his teammates. I don’t care how fun Andre Drummond is or how potentially good Greg Monroe is( he is maybe really good?), it does not make up for the eyes closed circular hand job session that is the combination of Jennings, Josh Smith, and Rodney Stuckey. I don’t think there are enough possessions in the world for these three to be effective together. Enjoy your ill advised threes, sad faced big men, bench units out playing the starters, and that perpetual 8 seed Detroit. Your offseason “improvements” earned it.

Champion: Miami

The Heat got worse. Chicago got better. Sadly for Chicago, my vivid memory is of Lebron James taking a baseball bat with nails in it to Derek Rose’s hopes and dreams the last time they met in a play off series. Lebron is best defensive point guard in basketball and Chicago’s scoring options outside of Rose are very limited. In the most logical matchup of the playoffs Lebron is still better than everyone else.

The Western Coference

1. Golden State

Hey everyone the West is really good. Most of the teams in it are super good, there are a few teams that are hot garage though, LA Lakers, Phoenix, and Sacramento. They all play in the same conference as Golden State. That kiddos is how you win a lot more games than last year. This team probably got a bit better defensively while not losing a lot offensively. Getting a few more stops will definitely help this team. Losing Jack and Landry is relevant and if shit goes tits up that’s why, aside from the massive injury red flags that is everyone this team. I considered dropping this team in my projections because they employ the sad corpse of Jermaine O’neal, but he shouldn’t see the court unless there is an injury. This team employs Andrew Bogut at center, who at some point this year will have his leg fall off, or his arm fall off, or have his skull spilt open, or have brain fall out of his nostrils, or have the alien from Alein rip out of his chest cavity, or some combination one to 5 of those. Zombie Jermaine is totally going to play.

2.Houston

They got a large mammal to have stand next another similar large mammal they already have. These two large men will make interior scoring really hard for the other team. They will also make scoring really hard for their own team. I assume Houston is hoping the score first guards they will score score first and the Howard and Asik can retrieve the loose balls they don’t score on like some kind of massive terrifying ball return machine. James Harden is still probably underrated (he’s really good), so hopefully that justifies this 2 seed but the rest of this team looks more like a collection of ideas than a cognizant design.

3. Los Angeles Clippers

This team got better on the court. This team also fired Vinny Del Negro. Firing Vinny Del Negro has historically improved whoever did it. I mean it did it to the Bulls and 1 out of 1 ain’t bad. Remember how shitty they looked in last year’s playoffs? That was probably like 100 percent Del Negro. They have bench 3 point shooting which appears to be the trend because the Heat and Spurs did it ;like the Simpsons and it worked. Thankfully some of the players they employed can do multiple things well. I will always cheer for a team that employs B.J. “Prison League” Mullens and always hope Darren Collison will get good again.

4. Oklahoma City Thunder

This is a 4 seed? Russel Westbrook is hurt, they play in the proverbial pool of death, I don’t know that actually means but I hear ESPN say it a lot about soccer stuff and I think it means a group of really good teams. Kevin Durrant could totally go into “fuck you mode” and destroy people on route to higher seed; however. Scott Brooks insists being terrible so enjoy this sexy two months of Derek Fisher over Reggie Jackson. Kendrick Perkins also insists on bring his stern “defense” to the court. That is 2 of out 5 day one starters that should be on the end of a winning team’s bench.

5.San Antonio

The Spurs will probably go ahead be a 1 seed or take a deep run into the playoffs because people didn’t project them to be amazing merely very good. Tony Parker is very underrated(for real he is way better than most people think for some reason), Kawhi Leonard is amazing at basketball and one of this year’s Jon Wieting Man Crushes, and Tim Ducan and Manu still refuse to massively regress, except for Manu at the end of last years playoff run. Fuck you Popovich, I’m sure you’ll make this team into a contender in a super deep Western Conference.

6.Memphis

The team for the furthest East in the West plays the most like a good team from the East in the West. They do that silly defense thing. They do it really well. That archetype doesn’t seem to generate a lot of success for Memphis until the post season. It makes sense because looking at the roster I don’t see much in the way of a balanced scoring threat.

7.Minnesota

They lacked the necessary coal mines to offer to Kirilenko in order to keep him employed but Minnesota remains talented. They also insist on playing in a division full of murders and violent destroyers. If Love, Pekovic, and Rubio can find a way to stay on the court there is no reason to assume this team can’t have success. But Tony loves them and everything Tony loves dies.

8.New Orleans

This is either brilliant or a reach. I’m picking a team that employs Tyereke Evans, Jrue Holiday, and Austin River while choosing to not to give Ryan Anderson more minutes. This team also employs the most fun player in basketball, as well as being one of the best, in Anthony Davis. I’m crediting Anthony Davis and Anthony Davis alone for this playoff beth and first round loss.

Champion: Houston

They have the talent and sustainable defense and just enough scoring to survive in the sea of angry razor blades that is the Western Conference playoffs. This team is very clip-able and there are few terrible match ups for them but the way they can win won’t kill them if they have to stretch to 6 or 7 games more than once. I can’t say the same for Golden State or LAC. I think they grind their to the finals over the Spurs in 7.

NBA Champion: Miami

Sigh, Lebron can probably contain Harden no matter how Harden James works to be with the title. I know this boring and I know I keep using the reason Lebron is really good, but he is. This could be the ugliest most over hyped finals in the history of bandwagon fans. I hope this is wrong because I don’t watch a bunch 78-72 point games.

Individual Awards

MVP: Lebron James

Barring sex tape of James and R Kelly pissing into a 14 year old’s mouth surfaces and they give the award to Derek Rose again because everyone hates Bron Bron he is still miles ahead of the field.

Defensive Player Of The Year

Joachim Noah: The bulls will be a success. Joachim Noah will be on that team. He is known for his defensive ability. Success plus notoriety equals a crap shoot award. I’d put Larry Sander here if not for..

Most Improved: John Hensen

Remember how I placed the bucks way too high? This is the reason why. He looked outstanding at points towards the end of last season and he’s going to have extensive chances to score, rebound, and block this year. I wouldn’t be shocked he was an All-Star.

Rookie of the Year: Ben McLemore

Bad rookie class plus talent plus opportunity might lead to Mclemore as the rookie of year because someone has to score where he plays. Sacramento is terrible and should be in tank mode all season long so there is no reason he shouldn’t have unlimited opportunity. All of this could come unhinged if Cousins decides to kill of the Kings. So secondary pick, Oladipo

6th man: Harrison Barnes

This is another kind of crap shooty award. Remember he played the four a bunch in the playoffs and was super good? He has to come off the bench due to the mountain of gold they are paying to Andre Igoudala this year. This means he can slot into the four and continue to do that thing where he looks really good at the four.

TONY:

EASTERN CONFERENCE:

1. Miami– This is boring.  LeBron James is so good at basketball that it’s boring.  For what it’s worth, I think we’re severely overrating how good the Heat are as a team, and underestimating how good LeBron James is.  (*SPOILER ALERT*) Maybe you’ll read more about my views on James later.  Dwyane Wade has always been great, but his playing style clutters the offense and hurts the team if he plays unhealthy, so his health could be what drops them this year.  Otherwise, all Bron everything.

2. Chicago– Chicago’s always been interesting because their calling card has been defense, and they are getting their star PG back in Derrick Rose – a player who lacks all things defense.  While I’m on the topic, it’s a travesty that Rose is a former MVP.  He was maybe the 10th best player in the league his MVP season, but fuck it he helps the team.  Noah is great, the wings are alright, and the East is hot, hot, hot dog shit.  They get the 2 seed by default.

3. Brooklyn– What’s that?  A collection of talent?  AUTO-3 SEED!!  I have no idea if Brooklyn’s zany schemes will work.  In fact I’m sure it won’t.  Watching aBrooklyn Nets game this year is like going to the opening night of Last Vegas.  I’ll hate everyone who enjoys it, and it’ll be the worst thing ever.  That said, Kevin Garnett is what is needed next to Brook Lopez, and casual fans know all of their starters, so they’re near the top of the mountain of hot, hot, hot dog shit.

4. Indiana– They’ll probably be the 3rd best team in the East, but something will go wrong for them because nothing ever goes right for Indiana.  Paul George has loudly gone from underrated to overrated, and Roy Hibbert is such a camper!!!  Illegal defense is a thing, refs… GAWD!!!  For real though, their defense is going to be just as good as last year.  I just don’t think they’ve improved in any other fashion.  Enjoy that sweet, sweet first round victory Indiana!  You earned it.

5. New York– Sweet, sweet subtraction by addition here.  Andrea Bargnani kills this offense, and he kills the defense.  Volume scorers are for the birds, man.  But they’re starting two of them.  Remember how starting a healthy Amare and a healthy Carmelo didn’t go as planned?  It’s because basketball works differently than the Knicks front office believes it does.  The Knicks are one Tyson Chandler sprained ankle away from losing every game for two weeks straight.  I wish I could take them out of the playoffs, but heat and dog shit or whatever.

6.Who cares? (Washington)

Don’t care, not writing.

7. Who cares? (Atlanta)

Don’t care, not writing.

  1. Who cares? (Cleveland)

Care a bit, writing a bit.  Cleveland has collected so much  talent in the draft that it’s bound to win at least 17 games this year.  17 games is probably enough for the 6 seed, but I don’t foresee Anthony Bennett staying healthy all year.  They win 12 this year, and squeak in.

Champion: Chicago Bulls

Mind blown?  The Heat willingly employ Michael Beasley (a player who had more field goal attempts than points last year) and Greg Oden (a player who doesn’t know what it’s like to drive to a basketball stadium in January) and expect minutes.  If one of the big 3 is dragging ass like Dwyane Wade was during the playoffs last year, I just don’t think they have a shot.  LeBron is the best player ever, but this team is merely a carcass on his back.

WESTERN CONFERENCE:

1. LA Clippers- Vinny Del Negro is a shit head.  For those unfamiliar, he’s the guy who coached the Bulls before they replaced him with a competent coach and finished 1st.  De ja vous coucher avec moi?  Doc Rivers is woefully overrated, but still eons better at his job that Del Negro.  Blake Griffin, Chris Paul, rabble rabble, JJ Redick Threesus Christ Threester Bunny abortion contract all the things.  Best in the west.  Best in the world.

2. Oklahoma City- I miss James Harden.  We were so close to seeing the coolest team of our life for a decade, but OKC traded a top 5 player for Jeremy Lamb.  Jeremy Lamb don’t play.  Westbrook’s out.  Kendrick Perkins breathes.  The team’s not quite as good as it used to be, but Durant is still enough of a problem for the rest of the league that the team will be at, near, around the top for a while.  They’re not going anywhere.

3. Memphis- Memphis is so frustrating to watch because I never cheer for them and they’re always better than the team I’m cheering for.  Marc Gasol seems to show up better every year, and this team is the best defensive team on the perimeter in the league.  Also, they get a full year without Rudy Gay, who will politely fade into Bolivian up in Toronto.  The team’s good and everyone is still in or near their prime.

4. San Antonio- What’s this speak of primes?  This team is ageless.  Just kidding.  They’re like 39.  All of them are like 39.  Manu Ginobili took a leap back in his least efficient year since he was a rookie, and while he was still good last year, he may not be if he is in fact a year older (he is).  I’m definitely underestimating them, but they’re not sexy and sexy is all I care about.  Tiago Splitter.

5. Houston- So you want to buy a Dwight Howard?  We can make room for that I guess.  Let’s just shove this 7 foot 270 pound tree of a man to power forward, he totally fitz, you guyz, I zwear.  Stretch 4’s have gone from being “things” to being “the things.”  If your power forward can’t shoot, what are you?  If your power forward can’t defend  to the 3 point line, what are you?  You’re a massive collection of talent who finishes 5th.  One, two, three, four, fifth.  The Howard upgrade over Asik is important, but not world ending.  Asik playing 4 is really burdensome to their defense, and crippling to any half court offense they pretended to have last year.

6. Golden State- I bet they’re really fun to play on NBA2K13 or whatever year it is.  This team benefitted from a healthy Steph Curry last year, and may benefit from a healthy Andrew Bogut this year.  They added Andre Iguodala, so that’s cool.  Their bench is got worse, but whatever.  The west is weird because Golden State would absolutely crush Houston and maybe they’d beat the Clippers in a playoff matchup, but I don’t think they win more games in the regular season.

7. New Orleans- Those first 6 seem like locks in some order.  These last two are for funs.  New Orleans is interesting because Anthony Davis is a once in a generation talent, and New Orleans appears ready to waste him.  They started him at PF next to Robin Lopez because DEFENSE and they appear poised to start him next to Greg Stiemsma while Ryan Anderson comes off the bench.  More Anderson, more Davis at C, more wins, less murder in New Orleans maybe.  It’s a simple coaching decision, Monty Williams.  Save lives.

8. Minnesota- I thought the Wolves would be a 4 seed last year, but I also forgot that everyone I love lets me down.  The Wolves were so hurt last year that the NBA allowed them a roster exemption so they could field a team.  I like predicting based on healthy lineups, unless it’s unfathomable that a player or team remain healthy.  If Rubio, Love, and Pekovic each miss 20 games I still think they’ll finish 8th.  If the rest of the team breaks like last season, they’ll miss the playoffs again probably.  Fucking knuckle pushups.

Champion: LA Clippers

Doc Rivers or whatever again.

NBA Champion: LA Clippers

The East sucks.  If anybody besides a healthy Heat team wins the east, I don’t see that conference winning the championship this year.  The Big One and His Two Aging Sidekicks pretty much lost last year to the Spurs, and I think this year’s Clippers are better than last year’s Spurs.  Clippers win, and Kobe Bryant melts into a pool of blood doping scandal.

MVP: LeBron James

There’s never been an award that belongs to a player more than the MVP belongs to LeBron James.  LeBron is the best point guard, shooting guard, small forward, power forward, and center in the NBA.  If he committed to playing one position each season, he would have made the All-NBA first team at 5 positions the last 5 years, no matter who his competition was.  He is genuinely a top 5 defender at whichever position he wants to defend.  Toni Kukoc couldn’t claim that.  Nor could Alvin Robertson.  Nor could Michael Jordan.  He’s also good at offense too.  His arrogance makes him incredibly easy to cheer against, but I gave up on that.  It’s too fun to be #TeamHeadband.

Defensive Player of the Year: Anthony Davis

I was gonna give this award to Cole Aldrich, but Anthony Davis blocked my writing process and stole the fake award.  Eh?  Ehhhhh? No yeah he’s not a real person though.  Anthony Davis doesn’t exist.  He’s everything I’ve ever feared.  He’s a center with point guard speed who is actually willing to defend the perimeter.  The only fear I have is that there isn’t much perimeter defense supporting him, and the Pelicans are a dumb name.  I don’t really need to explain much more, right?  Anthony Davis is God’s most perfect defensive predator, and it’s only a matter of time before he gets like 12 of these things.

Most Improved: Jeremy Evans

This award usually amounts to “Biggest Leap in Minutes While Not Really Changing Anything About How You Play Or How Well You Do What You’ve Been Doing And It’s Just Confirmation That Your Coach Should Be Fired.”  Jeremy Evans finished 4th in the NBA in WS/48 last season because Bron Bron, Durant, and Chris Paul.  He only played 200 minutes, so it could be a small sample size.  However, in each of Evans’s three seasons his WS/48 has been at uber star levels.  Maybe, just maybe… this will be the year he plays more.  Probably not, but if he does I like him to win this award.  If not, I look dumb, but everyone looks dumb predicting their most improved player.

Rookie of the Year: Victor Oladipo

I didn’t want to pick Oladipo because I don’t think he has a huge impact this year.  However, there are none good rookies.  Most of the high picks went to the eastern conference where they will add to the heaping pile of hot, hot, hot dog shit

6th Man of the Year: Ryan Anderson

He should be a starter.

 

TONY: Jon is stupid as shit because he picked Golden State to win the most regular season games in the west.  Is that even an option?  Why?  How many games do they win?  They won 47 last year, and their expected win total was 44 based on statistic differentials.  First in the west probably needs 57-58 wins.  Where do the new 13-14 wins come from?  They added Iguodala (hooray!) but lost Jarrett Jack and Carl Landry.  The players on the team have an injury riddled history, but the only significant injury on the team last season  was Andrew Bogut.  Does he remain healthy all year?  Do Steph Curry and David Lee remain healthy all year for the second year in a row?  And I should have really hit on the 4000 minutes Jack and Landry played (exceptionally) last season.  Let’s say Iguodala takes 2500 of those.  They will be extensively using a player this season who saw roughly none time (nun time for wordplay enthusiasts) last year.  Welcome to the Draymond Green and Kent Bazemore show: apparently the top team in a stacked conference.

JON: Tony is dumb as hell because he forgot history. No matter how miserable the Heat bench is, Rose still becomes a non-factor against the Heat. I know Rose is relatively turnover prone to begin with and the Bulls succeed in spite of this, but when covered by Lebron he becomes a black hole. The Bulls looked even worse without him last year when the faced with dreadnaught that is Lebron James, it took a game when Nate Cornelius Robinson score liked he was actually a valuable NBA player to beat them. They then went back to not scoring at all. I’m sure the Bulls defense will hold up against Miami, especially their second unit; but, the Bulls need to score points too.

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