2013-2014 NBA Season Preview (18-13)
18. The Portland Trailblazers
The Blazers have Damian Lillard, and that alone is reason to be optimistic. However, even with the additions of Robin Lopez, Thomas Robinson, Dorell Wright, Mo Williams, and CJ McCollum, I still don’t see them making the playoffs. Why? Because Hickson was better than Robinson and Mo Williams will forever be just that, Mo Williams. Also, McCollum seems like he will perpetually be battling injuries. Nic Batum is solid, and he can lock down a wing threat, but other than that, what can he really be counted on to do? Wesley Matthews proved himself as a legit scoring threat last year, but he can’t be relied on often. LaMarcus Aldridge is still there, and he’s still really good. Although, I could see him demanding a trade at some point in the near future if things don’t work out this season. The Blazers will be mediocre.
17. The Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers will be more like The Puddlers this year. Tinsel Town will be forced to watch their beloved Purple and Gold franchise miss the playoffs this. LA is like a basic English class group project with one teacher’s pet and a bunch of students who don’t care. Except the teacher’s pet suffered severe brain damage. Translation: Kobe is the only bright spot on this team, and he has a blown out achilles. They lost Dwight Howard, Metta, Jamison, and Earl Clark. They gained Chris Kaman, Nick “Swaggy P” Young, Wesley Johnson, and Jordan Farmar. They barely made the post season last year, so why would those head scratching moves propel them to do the same this year? To put it simply, they got worse and Kobe is hurt. End of story. Pau is there, but their dumb coach hates him. Steve Nash could be my dad. It’s over…until next season when Melo comes.
16. The Cleveland Cavaliers
“DON’T REACH YOUNGBLOOD!” That’s what Kyrie Irving AKA Uncle Drew says to the young scrappers in his classic Pepsi Max commercial, and it can be said to the entire league this year. Don’t disrespect the Cavs. Their pieces are nice and they could easily end up being better than the 16th best team in the league. They acquired the walking (sometimes) jigsaw puzzle that is Andrew Bynum, Jarret Jack, Earl Clark, drafted Anthony Bennett and Sergey Karasev, and brought back Mike Brown as head coach. They still have Kyrie, Tristan Thompson, Dion Waiters, Tyler Zeller, Anderson Varejao, C.J. Miles, and Alonzo Gee. That’s a squad folks, and if both Bynum and Varejao can be healthy (which is asking a lot) they will be tough to beat. Look for Kyrie to explode this year and for Bennett and Karasev to surprise some people. If all the stars align, they could advance a round in the playoffs.
15. The Dallas Mavericks
The Mavs have been doomed ever since they let Tyson Chandler walk. Why Cuban? Why!?! They lost Elton Brand’s corpse, Darren Collison, Chris Kaman, Anthony Morrow and O.J. “The Juice Man” Mayo. To make up for Mayo’s shooting, they acquired Monta Eliis and Jose Calderon. Calderon is a really solid point guard, it was a nice pick up, I can see him meshing very well with Dirk. Ellis, on the other hand, has proven himself to be a disaster. He’ll shoot when he wants, and he doesn’t care if there’s a 5.2% chance that he makes it. Dirk will get fed up with it at some point. Cuban is really testing Dirk’s commitment, this team isn’t close to contending for a ring, but with Dirk, you’re always going to be competitive. Bill Simmons thinks Nowitzki will have a comeback, career-type of year. To that, I say ehhh. It’s hard to carry a team at the age of 35. The Mavs will probably make the playoffs, but things could easily go south.
14. The Minnesota Timberwolves
Ladies love Ricky Rubio, especially old ones who also like blankets. On a serious note, he is healthy again, which is awesome for those who love roundball. Ever since he got injured again last year, I’ve knelt at my bedside in prayer that he comes back healthy every night. The dude was born to dish the rock. The Wolves re-signed Nikola Pekovic, who proved his worth last year. They also got Kevin Martin, acquired Corey Brewer for old time’s sake, and retained Chase Budinger. They did lose Kirilenko to the Nets and they’re sketchy Russian owner, also Luke Ridnour is gone. Minnesota also drafted Shabazz Muhammad, which could either be a nice addition, or a terrible, terrible decision. The kid couldn’t even resist some play during the Rookie Transition Program, and no one knows his real age. Their projected starting lineup is Rubio, Martin, Budinger, Love, and Pekovic. That’s veeeery niiiice as Borat would say. Playoffs (if healthy).
13. The Denver Nuggets
The Nuggets were awesome last year. But, they lost everything that made them awesome. So now, they’re not. Head Coach George Karl got confusingly fired. Andre Iguodala, Kosta Koufos, and Corey Brewer all left. And their genius GM is now with Toronto. They acquired J.J. Hickson, Randy Foye, Darell Arthur, and internet lover boy Nate Robinson. Ty Lawson and Kenneth Faried are both beasts, and so is Gallinari, but he’ll be out for a while with an ACL injury. You never know what you’re going to get at center with JaVal Mcgee, and Wilson Chandler is solid off the bench. A lot of egos will be vying for minutes here, and the Robinson acquisition is a head-scratcher, I wish he could’ve gone somewhere that would’ve offered definite minutes. Somehow Andre Miller is still playing basketball. They’ll make the playoffs, but probably not advance past the opening round.