The Golden State dynasty has quietly managed to stock their shelves during the lean years and are hoping to run it back for an unprecedented fifth title together
Game thread: https://dubnationhq.com/p/game-thread-warriors-get-some-rings/comments
Dray lookin sharp in his shiny green suit.
Where is the TnT show tonight?
Haha, harden gets a wide open three, does the wiggle, then absolutely bricks the shot
Steve Kerr says we'll "probably" see Wiseman and Kuminga on the court together tonight.
Said he didn't think entering the season that they could be played together, but preseason/camp changed his mind.
Also, somebody ask Brady why "probably" is in quotes... did Steve make the hand gesture?
Damn. Tatum floated for like 5 seconds on that last play.
Can't believe I missed the start of the Celtics game when they got their Finals Participation Rings.
Brogdan looking really good running the second unit
Man, Harden can't seem to drive against Griffin's drop coverage. He keeps passing out instead of attacking Griffin in the paint.
I forgot that Griffin joined Boston. I guess he gets to spell Time Lord until Rob is healthy.
Harden keeps getting ISO'd onto Grant Williams, to the detriment of the Celtics.
Harden already has been fouled twice on three point attempts, one ruled a flagrant foul.
OK, just barely in time before the season truly starts, here are my predictions for final seeding in the Western Conference. These are regular season, not playoff, predictions.
1. Warriors. Last year I accurately predicted the Dubs at #3, so it's weird to rank them higher when I feel like the team is, currently, slightly worse. But somebody has to have the best record in the West, and when I look at the combination of our vets starting the season in good health and our young guys coming along, and I say...why not us? Ultimately I think the Dubs are approximately best team in the league already, they're no more fragile than the other contenders, and their best-case-scenario is staggeringly high with multiple young guys popping off.
2. Clippers. Last year they had a winning record despite Kawhi not playing and PG being 10th in overall minutes. They have approximately the same roster this year but their best players are starting the season healthy. Weirdly, I think that'll lead to an adjustment period as they work both guys back in, but it just seems like they're poised to be very good.
3. Nuggets. They were remarkably good last season despite missing two of their top three players, who are now back. Those guys may still not be 100% but adding two solid guards to Jokic sounds like a recipe for success. They also have an altitude home court advantage and possibly the easiest schedule in the league.
4. Grizzlies. I would not be surprised to see these guys on top for parts of the season; they've got a hungry, rangy team with strong spirit and versatility and most of them are young enough to be on the up-swing. Dropping them from 2nd last year to 4th this year is more about the other teams that got better via health than about any changes in development.
5. Mavericks. I love the idea of putting Wood and Javale alongside Doncic—as well as the addition by subtraction vis-a-vis Porzingas. But the guard/wing group this team has to work with feels... fine? I guess? Despite marketing types wanting to anoint Luka the face of the league years ago, I remain unconvinced he's quite the winner that he's made out to be; or rather, I don't think *anyone* is good enough to do win it all without good enough help.
6. Suns. I toyed with the idea of putting them lower, because I think they're going to implode this season. Instead, I've hedged my bets and put them lower than they deserve on paper but higher than a total catastrophe. I think their postseason exit was embarrassing, the shift in ownership will be a distraction, the players don't get along, they lost JaVale, and Chris Paul is almost as old as Kevon Looney, so I'll be more surprised if they rank near where they were last season than if they don't.
7. Timberwolves. Gobert is iconic and Anthony Edwards is electric, but this team will get roasted on the perimeter and on switches; I suspect this will be Gobert's worst defensive season because the rest of the slackers on the team won't be on the same page. Even then, this team has enough proven guys to win some regular season games before flaming out in the playoffs or even the play-in.
8. Blazers. Well, they can score, with Lillard, Simons, and Nurkic starting the season healthy. The hilarious thwomping we gave them in preseason shouldn't really count because they rested several top players. But I don't think they can add GPII and magically have a good defense. Honestly it wouldn't surprise me if they end up lower, but I want to give credit to having a roster construction that at least makes sense.
9. Lakers. Fine, fine, I'll put LeBron's team above the Kangz. This team should be better than last year's disaster, but not by much. If AD is healthy again and playing well he could lift them up but if he couldn't do that last season I see no reason to put them out of the play-in this season.
10. Pelicans. I don't know whether or not Zion will play 50+ games, but the rest of this team has enough potential to surpass the jokers below them. Ingram + McCollum can light people up, and there's enough pieces around the edge here that the Pels have room to overperform, especially if other teams have injuries.
11. Kings. I want to believe that Mike Brown can improve Sacramento's long-suffering franchise, but their roster choices and everything else leave me very much in doubt that it'll be enough in an absolutely stacked Western Conference.
12. Spurs. Finally, we're into the "deep ocean aquarium" region of the conference. All four of these teams are going to lose a whole lot of games, and some of them might have more talented guys than San Antonio, but I'm guessing that the basketball culture under Popovich won't be shameless enough to throw away as many winnable contests as the others.
13. Rockets. This is the team that is primed to exit the panzer battle soonest; they already have quite a few fascinating young talents. But "fascinating" is another way of saying that they aren't the full package yet. Jalen Green, Jabari Smith Jr., and Alperen Sengun might showcase some great skills, but they're also going to get picked apart by the real contenders most nights. It'll be interesting to see how much the team fights to actually try and win versus upping their odds of drafting the next star.
14. Jazz. My, how the mighty have fallen. Will Mike Conley still be on the team past the trade deadline? Will Jordan Clarkson's efficiency improve? What is the future of basketball in Utah? These and other uninteresting questions are about the only thing fans have to look foward to in Salt Lake City.
15. Thunder. The "trust the process 76ers" pale in comparison to the truly shameless accumulation of draft assets and young players OKC has engaged in for the past few years, and that shamelessness shows no sign of letting up. By all rights, this team should have the ability to rank above the absolute bottom by now, but somehow they seem dedicated to being a minor league team with a major league schedule.
I'm not going to predict the East because I don't follow it closely enough to know it that well.
Anyone try out the new features on NBA League Pass yet? Is it improved at all?
You do have to give up for the scheduling Gods on this premiere. PHI/BOS is about a must-see match in the East as you can get. I can't say the same about GSW/LAL, though.
I don't like that flagrant call on Horford
a (Celtics fan) friend texts: "it doesn’t protect shooters to incentivize them to land on defenders feet"