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2017-2018 NBA Season Preview
30 Teams │ 30 Sentences
Here’s your 2017-2018 NBA Season Preview featuring a sentence teaser on all 30 teams. That’s right, basketball junkies, everything you need to know about all thirty NBA teams in just thirty sentences. Here you go…
Boston Celtics: With only four returning players from last year’s #1 seeded team and with the additions of Kyrie Irving and Gordon Haywood, the challenge for the Boston Celtics and coach Brad Stevens is to recreate an identity and to develop team chemistry to challenge the Cavaliers come playoff time.
Brooklyn Nets: The Nets finished with a 103.58 pace rating (best in the NBA) and with the likes of former #2 pick overall, DeAngelo Russell and Jeremy Lin they should play an entertaining, faced-paced brand of basketball (emphasis on should).
New York Knicks: With the Carmelo Anthony and Phil Jackson over, the Knicks have finally pivoted this off-season favoring their youth and athleticism and looking forward to owning their first-round picks to pair alongside their young Ivan Drago look-alike, Kristaps Porzingis.
Philadelphia 76ers: This year being the year that this makes it’s jump from perennial lottery team to a sure-fire playoff team will be at the hands of young would-be stars (Embid, Fultz & Simmons to name a few) that will be on the floor together for the very first time.
Toronto Raptors: Having re-signed Kyle Lowry (is he really a superstar anymore?) and re-signed Serge Ibaka (is he really a starter anymore?), this team looks very similar to last year’s version and likely will have an embarrassing exit in the playoffs also similar to last year’s version.
Chicago Bulls: After gutting this team from all of its stars (Jimmy Butler, Rajon Rondo & Dwayne Wade), this team will make a great run at the lottery.
Cleveland Cavaliers: If, that’s a big if, IT4 makes his return in January and comes with the same scoring intensity he showed last year, this Cleveland team is going to be scary and quite the matchup for any team it runs in to in the playoffs, including the Golden State Warriors.
Detroit Pistons: After a really disappointing year that will have the Pistons out of the playoffs, the Andre Drummond project will have officially run its course in Detroit.
Indiana Pacers: With no Larry Bird in the front office and no Paul George in the back court, this will be a very long season for the Pacers.
Milwaukee Bucks: If Khris Middleton and Jabari Parker can be healthy for more than half the season, this young Bucks team has the promise of not only being one of the more exciting teams to watch but also to upset a team in the playoffs when the buckets really matter.
Atlanta Hawks: This will be the ugliest offense team that the Atlanta Hawks have put on the floor several years (seriously though).
Charlotte Hornets: The only way for this Charlotte Hornet team to climb back into the playoff picture is if the 2017 version of Dwight Howard to plays like the 2009 version of Dwight Howard (spoiler alert: this is not likely).
Miami Heat: After finishing the year with a 30-11 record, this is the most intriguing team going into the 2017-2018 season (with a very entertaining brand of basketball) in that they have no consensus basketball superstar.
Washington Wizards: This team led by John Wall (who believes he’s the best point guard in the East), Bradley Beal & Otto Porter Jr. will stay atop this division easily and give us some surprising games in the playoffs while making their exit short of the NBA Finals…again.
Dallas Mavericks: With last year being the worst season that the Mavericks have had under the Mark Cuban-owned era, this year doesn’t promise to be much better as we enter the twilight of Dirk Nowitzki’s career.
Houston Rockets: After a record breaking offensive year from Coach Mike D’Antoni and MVP runner up James Harden, this Rockets team went all in and acquired Chris Paul which makes them one of the most compelling stories to watch this coming year.
Memphis Grizzlies: This is a shift year as a team known for gritty defense (top-10 ranked in the last several years) and a gritty offense (known for a low post offense) goes into a season without Zach Randolph, Tony Allen and, lastly…without any real direction.
New Orleans Pelicans: If the Pelicans expect to resign Anthony Davis after this year one has to believe that this team (with the likes of DeMarcus Cousins, Rajon Ronda & Tony Allen) must make the playoffs this season.
San Antonio Spurs: After 18 straight seasons of winning 50 games and their 20th consecutive year in the playoffs, not much will change with this ever-so-boring, ever-so-efficient, ever-so-productive Kawhi Leonard-led San Antonio Spurs.
Denver Nuggets: Although after seeing this team gel together with Nikola Jokic in the second half of the season, the playoffs are just out of reach in this every-competitive Western Conference.
Minnesota Timberwolves: After a breakout season from Karl-Anthony Towns & Andrew Wiggins, the Timberwolves land Jimmy Butler (in a trade that was an absolute win with Chicago) and all of a sudden – this Timberwolves team looks and feels like a playoff team.
Oklahoma City Thunder: After a career-defining year, Russell Westbrook finds himself on a super-team featuring himself, Paul George and Carmelo Anthony that will definitely be interesting (are there enough balls to go around?), entertaining (these three dynamic scorers on one team?) and should be able to make a run in the playoffs (do they have enough to knock off Houston, San Antonio or even Golden State?).
Portland Trailblazers: After acquiring Jusuf Nurkic and finishing the season 13-3, a healthy Nurkic and a star back court could be just the recipe for this Blazer team to another playoff berth.
Utah Jazz: Since Gordon Haywood bolted to sign with the Boston Celtics, this team who had finally made some serious progress through the draft over the last few years has come to the realization that their hopes are likely sitting on the shoulders of players like Ricky Rubio, Rudy Gobert & Alec Burks.
Golden State Warriors: With an off-season that saw the re-signing of Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, Zaza Pachulia, Andre Iguodola & Shaun Livingston and the additions of Nick Young & Omri Casspi, the defending champs are in a position to blow right by their competition in the Western Conference as the head toward the Finals again.
Los Angeles Clippers: This is the year that Blake Griffin will finally answer the question as to whether or not he, and he alone, is a franchise player.
Los Angeles Lakers: The Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka front-office era has officially begun and a new show will emerge in Los Angeles with names like Lonza, Kuzma, Ingram & Randle.
Phoenix Suns: This is a team that will have a most interesting distinction in 2017-2018 has having one of the poorer records in the league while simultaneously being a team that has so many young stars that you don’t want to take your eyes off of them.
Sacramento Kings: After picking up De’Aaron Fox, Justin Jackson and Harry Giles in the draft and having Bogdan Bogdanovic joining the ranks the future is bright (which is nice) but their present is not so bright.
There you have it.
Thirty teams. Thirty sentences.
Let’s get this season started!
Seriously though…it’s been forever since we’ve had basketball.