Tag Archives: Raptors

MoNeYBaLL NBA Podcast Episode 32 – Whats Next

Listen to MoNeYBaLL NBA Podcast Episode 32 – Whats Next by Opinionated Media on #SoundCloud

#NBA #Coronavirus #MVP #Kawhi #Raptors #Vegas #TrainingCamp

MoNeYBaLL NBA Podcast Episode 29 – Experience or Hunger?

MoNeYBaLL NBA Podcast Episode 29 – Experience or Hunger? by Opinionated MJ on #SoundCloud

#Kobe #Gianna #WNBA #NBA #MJ

Experience or hunger? #Blazers, #Grizzlies, #Bucks, #Heat – Hunger

#Drummond & #Kevin Love can provide one year of beautiful chaos for the Cavs

#Zion will not be rookie of the year, stop, it’s Ja.

#Lakers & #Clippers in trouble? Clippers playing coy imo

#Rockets super small lineup

#Jordan should continue Kobe’s legacy

#Embiid troubles, Philly

#Raptors win streak generates no buzz

MoNeYBaLL NBA Podcast Episode 21 – Part 1

By Opinionated Media

#NBAFreeAgency2019
#KawhiWatch
#NBATwitter

We’re back up!

MoNeYBaLL NBA Podcast Episode 21 – Part 1

Check it out

https://t.co/bkHenZ5p0M

Jordan III (Kawhi and the Raptors)

By: Michael Tolliver Jr (Opinionated MJ)

First there was Michael Jeffrey Jordan. Then Kobe Bryant. Now there’s Kawhi Leonard.

Yes, Kawhi Leonard. Playing like another Jordan type. I could actually make a case that the team he plays for houses another key element that Jordan had alongside him in Scottie Pippen. That man is Pascal Siakam. He went from averaging 6.9 PPG last year to averaging 17.3 PPG. Also he was shooting 22% from 3 to shooting 37% from 3 this season. He’s been beyond instrumental on defense. He made the Scottie Pippen jump. Plain and simple. Year 3.

Back to Kawhi. He was traded from the Spurs to the Raptors, after being accused of skipping the year and qutting on his team. The excuse was injury, and we can visibly see he might’ve been worried about playing on that injury last year shortly affect it occurred. Maybe he needed to have a longer healing time. It created tension within the Spurs organization and made Kawhi fall from many Top 5 active lists rather it was from media or fans alike. That was an overreaction. Simply put. Did anybody pay attention to what Danny Green said about the situation? I guess not. Believe whatever you want.

Now we’ve seen Kawhi have a heavy hand in taking out 2 of the 3 other good teams in the east. The Orlando Magic were not to be a worry at all. They took 1 game and couldn’t adjust to the Raptors adjustments. In round two, Kawhi put away Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Jimmy Butler, AND Tobias Harris of the Philadelphia 76ers. That’s huge and heavily overlooked. He iced the entire series with a friendly bounce game winning shot. Luck? Then he took down the giant Giannis and his supporting cast that looked unstoppable heading into the Eastern Conference finals. Coincidence? There would’ve been no need to see them play the Celtics, the only other team that I considered strong enough to contend for a championship. They house many internal issues that Kawhi & the Raptors would’ve fully exposed, maybe even worse than Giannis did. Let me repeat, HE SLAYED THE GIANT, GIANNIS!

Now this round is for everything. Much on the line on both sides. Let me first admit, I’m a Warriors fan. I’m also a Kawhi fan. I know how that sounds. I didn’t believe in the Raptors until they got rid of DeRozan. I didn’t believe they could get past the Bucks and Sixers. With that being said, I now fear for Golden State. I know what I thought two years ago when the Warriors were playing the Spurs in the Western Conference Finals. Kawhi could change the entire landscape of the NBA if he wins this Championship. Easily. One superstar on a team to win a championship? Huge legacy move. Instantly puts him in the conversation to be the best in the world.

I didn’t mention how much I respect his teammates, well, everyone not named Kyle Lowry. Let me throw that in there to maintain honesty. I’ve been shocked with his play lately. He’s come up in big moments and hasn’t come up short in back to back games like he used to. Then there’s Danny Green, Serge Ibaka, Marc Gasol, Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet, the ascension of Norman Powell out of nowhere (or maybe he was the X Factor against the Bucks). Then there’s potential that OG Anunoby is coming back. So much defense. Let’s not ignore that the first 3 names I mentioned with Kawhi all came from the Western Conference. They’ve all seen the Warriors in the playoffs over the last several years. They have the experience of playing against the Warriors. They all come from good organizations and they were key in their many forms of success in the west. Ibaka used to be the Spurs kryptonite. The only one to dispel anything they’d do and the first since Kobe. I always felt like when the OKC Thunder traded Ibaka, there was no need for Kevin Durant to stay, they couldn’t stop the Warriors without Ibaka anyway.

The Raptors have a core of the same players who all have bad tastes in their mouths from losing to Golden State along with the hunger to win. I can’t really call this series either way but I’ve said Warriors in 6 because I’ve been a fan. It’s the safe choice. That doesn’t mean that the Raptors couldn’t win it in 5 or 6 games and come from the blindside like the 2004 Detroit Pistons did when NO ONE expected it. It’s time to eat or be eaten alive.

Photo credit: Getty Images

MoNeYBaLL Episode 19 NBA Podcast

Featuring NilClassic, Steve, and Opinionated MJ

#nba #Zion #Knicks #Lakers #KD #DubNation #Warrios #okcthunder #StephCurry #LeBron and more

Listen to MoNeYBaLL NBA Podcast Episode 19 Featuring Steve, NilClassic, and Opinionated MJ by Opinionated Media #np on #SoundCloud

MoNeYBaLL Episode 14 (August 10, 2018)

Featuring NilClassic & Opinionated MJ

We Cover LeBron and the Lakers, Kawhi and the Raptors, Jaylen Brown’s statement, iPromise, Wade, Shut Up and Dribble, and even provide the NBA with some ideas for the All Star game inspired by Team USA drills.

Enjoy!

https://soundcloud.com/user-85278876/moneyball14-081018-omjnc

MoNeYBaLL Podcast, Ep 11: Playoff Preview/LeBron Standard Pt. 2

Featuring NilClassic & Opinionated MJ

Playoff Pod

Covering our opinions on they playoffs, the LeBron NBA Standard, and more!

NBA Playoffs 2017, “In Transition” Podcast #5 : Episode 1


“In Transition” Podcast #5 : Episode 1

Featuring S Dot Legend, Crispy Chris, and Opinionated MJ

We took a different approach with this one. Finding more ways to do things different than what the big companies present and how they go about it. We’re all at work and just needed to get this out.

Recorded May 10, 2017.

“3 In the Key” Podcast Episode 4: SemiFinals and a Look Around the League


By: S Dot Legend, NilClassic, and Opinionated MJ
Episode 4: SemiFinals & More


#3ItK

Subscribe by email and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter! Links below! Email link on the sidebar! 

The LeBron Standard: “3 In the Key” Podcast: Episode 2

“The LeBron Standard” – Featuring Opinionated MJ & Sean Legend

Episode 2

The NBA Eastern Conference Folders, The Cavs, Wiz, and a Dark Horse Bulls Team

By: Opinionated MJ

 

The Eastern Folders Division

Who in the Eastern Conference can actually win a series against the Cleveland Cavaliers? My gut tells me that its not the Pacers, Celtics, Bucks, Raptors, or Hawks. They’ve all been considered so-called threats. Only thing is, they’ve all folded in the past or simply flared out when it was time to bring their A game in the playoffs. I’ll get into it a little for why I believe they all fold in prime time.

The Bucks don’t have enough experience to me. They are one piece away. Jabari Parker. They need their team in full health. Thats when I’ll consider them a true threat out east. No need to even talk about more. Yes, Giannis is the truth, but he’ll need that extra player to really be what he can be. It’s nothing like another player taking the pressure off of you. Nothing like it. Especially with what Parker brings to this team. Reminds me of a young Carmelo Anthony.

The Pacers simply don’t have enough experience. I think they need Myles Turner to become what he will become. At least a consistent 18 & 10 from him and that would do wonders for them. Plus, who really believes in a team that has Monta Ellis? Paul George already blew a game, he and CJ Miles, and then he continued to point fingers. Then we found out he was 0 for 20 in those situations anyway. He’s not even clutch enough to command the ball. Enough said.

The Celtics seem like the one who would burst through the wall and actually make it interesting. As we’ve seen through the first 2 games, they don’t really have anyone who can create for themselves outside of Thomas and Al Horford. They have enough defense but they haven’t even been able to stop Jimmy Butler, so we know they’re not stopping LeBron. I don’t forsee them making it out of this round now.

The Raptors… I’m very disappointed in Kyle Lowry. Knowing that going forward, he has the potential to have a meltdown at any given time. He’s not reliable enough to actually consider a true All-Star, that alone screams volumes to me. Demar Derozan on the other hand, he’s stepped into some mid-range bloodline only seen by a few greats. He just arrived there this season, so before I get too impressed, I’ll depend on his consistency over time. He is the only true reliable offensive option on this team. Meanwhile, Jonas, Serge, and Lowry are all here and there. They need a point guard who can really command the team and improve the other players all while being consistent himself. Chris Paul anyone?

 

Can the Wiz Reach The Cavs in the Conference Finals?

This is the presumed matchup going forward. I believe that they’ve been eliminated enough and they have enough playoff scars that they’ve built a foundation on. The only problem would be Bradley Beal being guarded so well that he’s taken off of his game and the only dependable player becoming John Wall. They have enough role players to push them ahead and to keep most opponents honest but I’m looking at the Bulls right now and they may have enough defense, scrappy play (at times) that they turn into transition buckets, and focus on execution that can put them over the top. I still consider the Wizards a roadblock, if not, the team that will meet Cleveland.

Can The Bulls Reach The Cavs in the Conference Finals?

I’ve been a fan of the way the Bulls began the season and also how they ended it. They now have a 2-0 lead over the #1 seeded Boston Celtics. Who would’ve knew? We watched the Celtics grind hard all season led by Isaiah Thomas who dazzled in many 4th quarters. I’ve been led to believe that the Celtics would’ve been formidable against the Cavs and the entire east until they fell flat towards the end of the season. Condolences to Mr. Thomas loss in his family. That aside, I truly believe that the Bulls are fully equipped and able to not only beat the Celtics but also make it to the Conference Finals against the Cavs. That alone would be scary.

The Bulls have Jimmy Butler, Dwayne Wade, and Rajon Rondo, all of which have been contenders, and champions in the past. They have alot of veteran leadership on this team between those 3 and that has been why they’ve been able to put together two great performances against the Celtics. Everybody forgot Wade has a playoff switch. I also don’t know why people try to write Rondo off as if he’s washed up. He’s the perfect pass-first point guard that many teams in the league need. It’s just he commands the ball and to be the centerpiece of your offense. That’s the only reason why many teams didn’t gamble on him. Collectively, I think they have enough to make it there. I think they can even matchup well against Washington. The Wizards would have to be on all cylinders and the Bulls would have to be flat on offense for them to put the Bulls away. What i’m noticing is that Wade, Rondo, and Butler have put their differences aside and have turned on playoff mode in order to succeed. They weren’t considered a threat to make the playoffs and now they’re the biggest threat out east. I don’t think I’m just speaking with excitement either. I’ve been watching them all season. They clicked at the perfect time and took it right into the Playoffs. Watch out.

Thru Their First ​Five Games… Which Team Do You Think Is Better?  Is There a Better?


By: Opinionated Reezy



At the time of this writing,we are five games into the NBA and so far the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors are picking up where they left off.  They both are number 1 in their respective conferences and they are winning games pretty decisively.  That being said there are elements to take note of when trying to determine which team is doing better.

So let’s first look at the overall numbers

Cleveland Cavaliers

Total Pts: 572

Effective FG% 54%

Total Turnovers 61

PPG 114.4 2nd in NBA

OPPG 104.0 15th in NBA
Golden State Warriors

Total Pts: 577

Effective FG% 55%

Total Turnovers 78

PPG 115.4 1st in NBA

OPPG 108.6 22nd in NBA

Source: http://www.basketball-reference.com



Note: The effective field goal statistic adjusts for the fact that a 3pt field goal is worth one more point than a 2pt field goal

Despite how you may feel about the roster and who has the edge, the math tells you that both teams are closer to equal than you may think.  Now there are many who will say that Golden State still has the edge because they are in the west and the one loss may suggest that as being accurate, but let’s look at the numbers again to justify that.  Remember that we are five games in so all teams are 95 – 98% healthy, there is only one basketball, and all records are set to 0 – 0 at the beginning of the season.

Cavaliers Opponents Record PPG Effective FG%

NY Knicks 1 – 3 96.8 48%

TOR Raptors 3 – 1 104.5 50%

ORL Magic 2 – 3 96.4 46%

HOU Rockets 3 – 2 110.2 55%

BOS Celtics 3 – 2 110.8 56%




Warriors Opponents Record PPG Effective FG%

SA Spurs 4 – 1 105.2 50%

NO Pelicans 0 – 5 98.2 45%

PHX Suns 1 – 4 104.0 46%

POR Trailblazers 2 – 3 110.6 51%

OKC Thunder 4 – 1 102.0 46%

Source: http://www.basketball-reference.com



Again with minor differences on both sides, the opponents have been fairly similar in their respective output.  I cannot in good conscious place an edge on any team without being biased so for the purpose of this article let us place emotion aside and say we are looking at two teams who are literally two sides of the same coin.  This means when they meet up, we have to consider the strengths and weaknesses.   Here are some observations on where both teams lie.

Golden State Warriors

Strength – 

Offensive Power house:  Golden State has the ability to shoot from anywhere, with a starting lining capable of holding that effort from anywhere.  They are fast break nightmares because they can stop and pull up on you from virtually anywhere.

Kevin Durant: With an effective FG% of 64%, Kevin Durant will shoot the lights out on you.  He is balling without regard for anything and that makes him dangerous.

The Splash Brothers:  They are still there and they are angry.  Not good for teams in their path.  Kevin Durant creates the perfect smoke screen for them too.  They don’t need to be the scoring leaders, just provide the mental haymakers to teams who think they are going on a run.

Weakness – 

Defense:  The Cavaliers aren’t fairing that much better in Opponents Points per game, but where the points can be scored makes all the difference in the game of momentum.  Slashers have the ability to have a field day with Golden State as their defense stoppers aren’t as effective in keeping guys out of the middle.  A key component in the warrior’s loss was the lack of Andrew Bogut in games 6 and 7.  The loss to the Spurs came in part because Kawhi Leonard had a field day from inside.  Momentum…

Ball Movement:  Surprised, don’t be.   Golden State is top heavy from the points perspective.  It is their main strength, but when the ball doesn’t move, defenses can disrupt things.  This is becoming evident with Golden State.  Currently Draymond Green is the leader in assists with 7.2 per game, but the funny thing with assists is that it represents two things, a pass to the open player and that player successfully executing on that play.  Despite how easy Golden State makes the three ball, it is still a low percentage attempt (generally speaking) and if they get sloppy, those can become easy 2’s on the other end.

The Bench: Doesn’t mean anything now, but can and will mean a whole lot as the season progresses.  Golden State lost and as a result they depleted their scoring power on the Bench to a degree.  Now, they have to rework them into the rotation.  Running a team to the brink has its pros and cons and if the bench can’t fill the void when needed it can pose to be an issue.  We have seen great teams fall due to lack of a bench.

Cleveland Cavaliers

Strength –

Lebron James:  At the moment, Lebron is averaging a near triple double and solidified his role as being the facilitator with 22 10 and 9.  That is scary because he is forcing the cavaliers to be a cutting team and to always be ready for the ball.  He is also trying to reduce the number of minutes he is on the floor to prepare for the off season.  Lebron is ultimately playing a Magic Johnson type game right now, which is what he should been doing for a while.

Defense:  When looking at the activity around the basket there are three players dominating the rebounds, Lebron James (9), Kevin Love (8), Tristan Thompson (10). Rebounds lead to second chance attempts or potential fast breaks, and represents that the lane is clogged.  Now, this means very little if you shoot from 15 ft and out like Golden State prefers to do, but you at least cut off options to score in General and you increase the chances against softer interior teams of recovering the ball.

No Pressure:  The Cavaliers brought a title to the city of Cleveland and made millions happy.  Lebron did what he set out to do 13 years ago.  Now the team can truly have fun.  Their goal, not matter how they get there is to get back into the playoff race and secure home court for as many rounds as possible.

Weakness – 

Lebron James:  How is this possible you ask?  Currently, the Cavaliers go as Lebron goes.  Now, it may be appropriate to say that the weakness is Kyrie, but not true.  Lebron moves the ball and is the better facilitator.  If something happens to him the Cavaliers have a greater chance at nose diving than Golden State would if something happens to Kevin Durant or any of their starting five.  If the CAV’s can find another facilitator then things are ok, but if not… watch out.

Bench:  Better than Golden State, but not necessarily good for the duration.  There are glimmers of hope in Channing Frye and Iman Shumpert, but you will need more for the long haul.  With minor exception, the bench is relatively the same so it should make for easier inclusion into the system, but they cannot slouch.

Ball Movement:  Yup, equal opportunity here.  The Cavaliers are unstoppable when the ball is moving because they will make the defense work, but when the ball stops, they go from being Hulk to Bruce Banner almost instantly.  Golden State can flirt with the hero ball because of who they have on the roster, but not the Cavaliers.  If they want to win, they need to learn to keep that ball moving and keep defenses on a swivel.

At the end of the day, emotions will place you in any bucket in terms of you believe has the edge; however, I suggest we all buckle up for an exciting NBA Season because the numbers say that the unstoppable force is gearing up to meet the immovable object.

WHAT LEBRON WANTS, LEBRON GETS…?

By: Opinionated MJ

All the King’s men? LeBron wants J.R. Smith. Looks like Cleveland is playing hardball with making this deal happen. I personally believe that the organization thinks they can win without him. How do you not bring in a player who is in demand by arguably the best player in the game right now? How do you not answer his call to keep the team intact and let them fully defend their title? How do you not give LeBron James that opportunity? Let’s talk a bit.

I see the Cavs organization looking through a totally different lens now that they’ve won a championship on LeBron’s back. I could be wrong, let me throw that out there. They could be playing hardball with J.R. Smith in order to get him to agree to less and to have the chance to defend and chase another title with LeBron James. So we have two battles. LeBron is usually able to get his players the deals they want, and Cleveland as an organization, is pitching without words by having LeBron James as the reason why J.R. Smith could accept less. Would you accept less? We’ve heard a lot of people talk about making your money. Would YOU, REALLY, accept less if you were J.R. Smith?

You’ve Just come off an important season where you actually did serve a great purpose to this team. Without his 3 ball and his ability driving to the hole, then he would actually be replaceable. Is he still replaceable anyway? He is streaky. He does show up sometimes and disappear every now and then. Do you give J.R. Smith 15 million per year? I understand how the luxury tax will work with Cleveland should they give him what they want. Then I ask myself this question… Does Cleveland think they can still succeed without having J.R. Smith on a LeBron led team? I truly believe this is their stance, or they would’ve caved in by now and made some sense of it by signing him and not making this an issue with LeBron.

LeBron had the chance to hold out but that wouldn’t be exhibiting proper leadership coming off of an NBA Championship going into the next season. It already sounds like he’s pissed with what’s going on upstairs. Let’s not forget the letter wrote about him when he left. Let’s not forget that they made it their business to tell everyone that LeBron isn’t running the organization. Let’s not forget that word is that LeBron also came back to Cleveland cause he would have more pull with this organization as opposed to Pat Riley and Miami. Although, Pat Riley drafted Shabazz Napier cause that’s who LeBron wanted. LeBron bolted shortly after. Now they have him locked into a multi-year deal. There’s no more of that 1 and done pressure for Cleveland right now. He has no out for 2 years. So they now have the aces in their hands for now. They can actually call the shots and LeBron will have to deal with it unless he does some sort of hold out. He won’t do it though. Cleveland knows this.

With that being said though, this IS LeBron James. He’s the one who knows who he needs next to him in order to succeed. He knows the formula to win a championship. He knows what it takes from himself and from his teammates, and more importantly, HIS ORGANIZATION, in order to win a championship. Most championships are paid for. You have to pay for quality talent. J.R. Smith is good with LeBron James leading the ship and that should be enough for the Cavs to re-sign him to a deal that works for both sides. Give him his money and he has to accept the amount of years you want to give him. I don’t think J.R. would actually sign with someone else would he? I’ve only heard of the Celtics being interested. I think he would do well for the Chicago Bulls who are starving for shooters, no matter how streaky. I think he would also be good for the Pacers, Mavs, and Raptors.

This is probably actually not a big deal. I think this deal would get done. How could you not appease the desires of the man who promised and brought a championship to Cleveland. How could you? Last year, Tristan Thompson was in this situation as well and he got paid handsomely on playoff performance alone. Will LeBron get what he wants this time? The stakes are different, the pressures have switched sides. Would Cleveland actually make LeBron and the Cavs work harder in order to reach the finish line this season? I really can’t see that happening. We’ve got about 2 weeks left before the season begins. I expect a deal with the next week or their may be trouble in paradise, fresh off of a championship. That would only be the sign of a selfish franchise. That would do nothing but make me fully remember what they think of LeBron James. The letter would be relevant all over again.

Sign J.R. Smith! Although I will say if he walks, I expect Ray Allen to be in a Cavs uniform in his place.

Landscape of the NBA: Summer 16 (Part II)


By: Opinionated MJ

Welcome to another installment of the “NBA Landscape” series. Let’s jump right in to a few intriguing teams going into the 2016-17 NBA Season. Representing the Eastern Conference, yes, the conference I think possibly has NO chance to stop Cleveland regardless of how interesting they may get. I Like these teams but I believe they’re still one major piece short. That piece could be the growth of a player already existing on their roster.

 

Indiana Pacers

The Pacers have found themselves loaded with talent in their starting lineup now and actually look very scary with Paul George another year removed from injury and with an entire season of health under his belt. No Danny Granger curse here. The Pacers now consist of Paul George, Monta Ellis, Al Jefferson, Jeff Teague, Myles Turner, and Thaddeus Young just to name a few. They now have the depth that it takes to make a deep run in the NBA Playoffs. The only question is, will their new coach Nate McMillan be able to translate his defensive prowess into these players and onto the court while also finding an offensive system to get this collection of players to coexist in. I guess people will be saying Teague is declining because he won’t be finishing as much as he did in Atlanta, he won’t have to. Their X-factor that can bring them success is Myles Turner. He needs to grow and continue to expand his game. If he can successfully fit in around a bunch of ball dominant guards, this team can potentially contend against a LeBron James Cavaliers team. If not, they’re doomed to be defeated by King James as easy as Toronto and Atlanta have been in the past.

 

Boston Celtics

Very intriguing as well but they’ve also landed an ex-Hawk in Al Horford. I’m not too fond of that 60 win Hawks teams from 2 seasons ago because they still folded against LeBron when it mattered just as they did during the playoffs this past year. They still have Isaiah Thomas, Al Horford, Jae Crowder, Kelly Olynyk, Gerald Green, Avery Bradley, and the rookie Jaylen Brown. This team just keeps expanding their depth every year. I really think they just need to either find the formula the 2004 Detroit Pistons found by having depth and defense with sparky offense, or they need to try to find a way to land a superstar by DOING WHATEVER IT TAKES! Allegedly they could’ve landed Jimmy Butler, should’ve pushed for DeMarcus Cousins, and were in the running for Kevin Durant. A lot of people thought they would land Russell Westbrook but he decided to stay in OKC. I see Boston being more of the same since Al Horford doesn’t really want to play with his back to the basket. He’ll provide relief for Thomas. The Celtics need more perimeter defenders in case they fall to the injury bug again when it matters most. If you lose Bradley, Crowder, and even Thomas’ scoring when it matters most, you’re doomed. More depth may be the key. Maybe if Jaylen Brown can make an instant impact then they’ll be better than expected. He is their X-factor.

 

Detroit Pistons

My lovely DETROITTTTTTTTTT BASSSSSSKETTTTTBALLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!! I expect big things from this Pistons team coming into the 16-17 season. First things first, young Drummond. You must improve your free throws! This team is doomed unless… Stanley Johnson begins to find his inner Kawhi Leonard. I expect big things from him to go along with his attitude that he stands down to no man. I actually appreciate him for that reason. A lot of Cavs fans and NBA fans around the globe were saying that he should’ve kept his mouth shut. I beg to differ. What better to do being a #8 seed, underdog, gritty, new, young Pistons team making the playoffs for the first time in years and you get to see LEBRON JAMES as your opposition. It’s already win or go home. Sense of urgency from round 1! What better way to improve than to play against the absolute best team in the Eastern Conference and arguably the best player on the planet? Who better to talk smack to so you can be forced to elevate your game or be embarrassed. No matter the result, you win, due to the stage that this team is in. You automatically improve. He’s 19 (probably 20 now). He’s a kid! Already has the mindset of a man ready to put in the work to reach the goals and expectations set by his peers, the fans, and most importantly, his coach. Stan Van Gundy has a real diamond in the rough with Stanley Johnson. He IS the X-factor for the Detroit Pistons. I expect them to be top 4 in the East and as good as top 3. We stole Tobias Harris midseason, we’ve allowed Jackson a year to be the man running the show, we have Drummond who is capable of 20 & 20 on any night, and we also have Morris and KCP who can drop 20 without you expecting it at all. We have a well-rounded team. We just need Drummond to have a season where he plays better defense and can convert on 60-70% of his free throws. We were the BEST COMPETITION IN THE EASTERN CONFERENCE PLAYOFFS against the Cavs. Everybody else tucked their tail in and cowered in fear. I say that with absolute confidence because it is true. LeBron hasn’t had any competition in the east but 1 team every year. The Heat were expected to be the competition but fell to the injury bug, piece by piece.

 

I’ll stop it at the Pistons. I’ll also get into the Knicks, Bulls, and express what I expect from teams like the Wolves, 76ers, Lakers, and more in upcoming articles. The Knicks are surrounded in mystique at this point. I also wouldn’t sleep on the Bulls. The defense I expect from them would resemble something like that of the Wade, Bron, Bosh Miami Heat. Durant, OKC, Pelicans, Jazz, Suns!! Can’t wait for this season!

Until next article!