NBA Preview 2015-16

Since the NBA season is starting soon I figured it’s as good a time as any to post an NBA preview. Last season was one of the most fun seasons in NBA history but some key injuries kept it from being as great as it could have been. Mostly the injuries to Derrick Rose, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love were the one’s that were the most upsetting to me, but there were some terrible ones that hurt a lot of teams. This preview will assume that nothing will ever go wrong for any of these teams and we flipped the injuries to off for the season. So lets start by ranking the teams based on how many players they have that I think are good NBA players. (Just for reference I feel that you need 10 players to be title contenders, and any team with 5 should look at tanking for the number one pick, and if they just did that and still don’t have any players they should look at firing everyone)

1. Cleveland Cavaliers 11
2. Chicago Bulls 10
3. Washington Wizards 9
4. Atlanta Hawks 8
5. Toronto Raptors 7
6. Miami Heat 7
7. Milwaukee Bucks7
8. Charlotte Hornets 7
9. Indiana Pacers 5
10. Orlando Magic 5
11. Philadelphia 76ers 4
12. New York Knicks 4
13. Detroit Pistons 3
14. Brooklyn Nets 3
15. Boston Celtics 2
1. Golden State Warriors 12
2. Oklahoma City Thunder 10
3. Houston Rockets 10
4. San Antonio Spurs 10
5. Memphis Grizzlies 10
6. Los Angeles Clippers 10
7. New Orleans Pelicans 9
8. Dallas Mavericks 7
9. Utah Jazz 7
10. Sacramento Kings 7
11. Minnesota Timberwolves 6
12. Denver Nuggets 5
13. Phoenix Suns 4
14.  Portland Trail Blazers 4
15. Los Angeles Lakers 3
And actually that looks like a pretty good list for my playoff picks. I decided to break the ties with just what felt right, which team seems like it should be better or worse than those others with the same number of good players. I think the thing that people will be most upset with me is that I have the Jazz missing the playoffs again. The only reason I have the Mavericks is in because they have a star in Dirk and the Jazz don’t have a star, so even though Dirk is old and only about half of himself .5 is still more than 0.  I also think that Carlisle is a better coach than Snyder.  I was surprised at how high the Kings finished and that the entire Southwest division is in the playoffs. I don’t know if that’s actually possible, which might be the reason that the Jazz end up actually sneaking in to the playoffs.  Now these rankings are all just based on how I feel about them, so you can go ahead and tell me I’m wrong.
Now for the playoffs I’d assume that it’s going to be Golden State vs. Cleveland once it gets to the finals, but because the finals are very rarely a rematch of the year before I’m going to go with Cleveland over Oklahoma City in the Finals. I really have no reason to think that the Warriors won’t make the finals, but repeating is really really hard and if they do it just means that they’re one of the best teams in NBA history. I know you all disagree with me so let me know and tell me who you think is going to win it all. I’ve got a feeling I know who you’re picking.
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San Antonio Spurs: Pop’s Diary

Pop’s Diary

 

Entry 1

 

As infantile as this exercise appears to be, I will play along with it and see if it helps.  Phil says that it helps him achieve zen, but I’ve been able to be successful without going crazy.

I’ve decided in this to record my encounters with sideline reporters.  They always show up to ask me questions at the most inconvenient times.  Which is pretty much always.  They always just show up and say “Pop” and expect me to give them a straight answer.  Why should I do that? You’re the ones who are disrespecting my privacy.

 

Entry 2

I don’t know if this thing will actually help me to stay calmer but it is a nice place to vent to when these dang reporters try to ask me a question.  They are like gnats that just follow you around and try to annoy you.  I was in the store today and they followed me in.  Now I couldn’t find them, but I heard the Pop and turned around expecting to see David Aldridge standing there, but instead there was just some high school student chomping on some gum.  This has happened a lot recently where they’ll try to get my attention by yelling Pop but then they disappear.

I decided to go to a chiropractor to try and get myself ready for the upcoming season, and as I’m laying there they start working on me and soon enough I hear what sounds like Doris Burke saying Pop Pop Pop Pop so I look up to try and see what she wants but she isn’t there.  Just the chiropractor.  So I put my head back down and try to relax, until I hear another Pop and it sounds like it’s right on my back! So I flip over and she’s gone again.  I swear I’m going to catch them one of these days.

 

Entry 3

I need a new security system. I poured myself a bowl of cereal and then put some milk in. As I’m carrying the milk back to the fridge the whole house starts howling with calls of Pop coming from my Rice Crispies.  I don’t know how they got in my house. But I’m starting to think that they just have speakers placed all over so that they can annoy me.  I started to eat my cereal that was still sounding like it was saying my name, but eventually I guess the batteries wore out and it stopped so I could eat my now soggy cereal in peace.

 

Entry 4

Now that practice has started and the season is coming closer I will need to have actual contact with these insane reporters. They all are playing it off nice and cool, so I think I’ll play along.  During these first couple pre-season games I’ve mostly just been asked where I think our team will end up this year.  Of course I have to say that “We’ll be good, but there are a lot of good teams out there”, but I truly think that this year will be another championship year.  I upgraded the Duncanbot (I added some new lubricants in his joints that should keep him moving better this year), because even robots get run down.  My scientists told me to try and use the Bluetooth connectivity for Kawhi Leonard but I’m not sure how to connect using my phone, he’ll be voice activated again this year. This system has worked well in the past and the sideline reporters haven’t been able to figure it out yet. I’m not sure I want to change things up.

 

Entry 5

Everybody keeps asking me why we lost in Germany, well I’ll tell you.  I forgot the European adapters for my bots… So I had to run out late at night and get some, but they only got a 75% charge and so I couldn’t let them play at full speed. The fact that 75% kept us in the game the whole time shows how good we’ll be this year.  It was also great being there because I heard my name so much less.  Did you know that in America there are full radio stations dedicated purely to defaming me? It’s true. I turn it on and they say their going over a countdown of “The Top 40 Pop Hits”. I’ve never hit anyone, so I don’t know where they’re getting their information, but it disgusts me too much to even listen. Ugh, well I have really enjoyed this diary writing thing.  I guess I’ll keep it up.

Looking for Bears – A Memphis Grizzlies Preview

*Cheesy background music begins playing as a blue background appears*

*The words “Nature in Our Backyard” fly onto the screen in yellow*

Gus: “Hello and Welcome to today’s edition of Nature in Our Backyard. I’m your host Gus Williamson.  Today’s episode will focus on one of North America’s most beloved wild animals. Bears”

“We are here in Memphis Tennessee which is home to all sorts of wonderful creatures, but we decided to come here because we had heard of a large bear infestation.  Now certain kinds of bears are common to this area, but we had been hearing reports of Grizzlies, which is quite unusual, as most of their population is in the extreme northwest of North America.  So we came down here to take a look and see what they’re doing here. Let’s see what we can find.”

“After hearing so many reported sightings I thought it might have been easy to find, but they were being very elusive.  We had staked out in the wilderness outside of the city for a week and didn’t catch a single sighting, making me question whether or not there were actual Grizzlies in this city”

“So we decided to take a different approach and ask some people on the street if they have heard of these animals or even if they had seen one in person.”

*Cut to Gus and local man on street corner*

Gus: “Hello there, I’m Gus Williamson, host of Nature in Our Backyard, and I was wondering if you perhaps had heard of or seen the Grizzlies that have been reported to be in this area?”

Man: “Yeah I saw them a bunch last year”

Gus: “Could you tell me perhaps about one of these encounters?”

Man: “Ok, sure. I saw them in person in December”

Gus: “December? That’s an unusual time for them to be out.”

Man: “That’s usually when I can see them.  They’re usually around here from September until April.”

Gus: “This is getting stranger and stranger by the second”

*Cut to stock footage of bears sleeping*

“These Grizzlies not only were in an area that they were not known to habitate, but they also became more active when they should be hibernating.  I continued asking people about them and my search began to become even more puzzling”

*Gus and Woman on street*

Woman:”Would I say they’re wild? Well…. I guess so. I have heard about them taking a swipe at a couple people”

*Gus and Man #2 on street*

Man #2 :”Yeah they’re ferocious. I watched them take on the Timberwolves and that was a fun matchup”

*Gus voiceover again*

“The more I asked people about these creatures the more amazed I was that people seemed to enjoy to have them around.  They had been fighting with all sorts of animals.  I heard a story about one that they called “Z-Bo” attempting to hit a man from Oklahoma who was visiting, but the locals blamed that man for the incident saying that he had been annoying the bear.

“I soon began asking around to see if I could find a history of these bears.  The stories of these bears all sounded relatively recent so I was trying to find when they migrated to the area.”

*Cut to Man #3*

Gus “When would you say these Grizzlies started appearing in Memphis?”

Man #3: “Oh they were relocated here from Vancouver back in 2001. Apparently the owner thought he could get more money from them down here”

*Voiceover*

Gus: “And now we know the truth.  These bears were brought down from Vancouver to try and extort the people in this region for money.  No matter who I asked, none of them could find a way for me to contact that man.  They tried to send me to a FedEx Forum, but I told them that while you can find lots of information on online forums, one being run by FedEx would not help very much.

I spent most of my time in this area attempting to catch a glimpse of one of them, and while people were trying to be helpful by showing me pictures of a bearded Spaniard who resembled a bear, I wasn’t able to see one.  But with all of the stories that I had heard I imagine they’ll be out terrorizing these citizens and their guests soon.  Hopefully next time I’ll be able to see them up close.

I hope you enjoyed this episode of Nature in Our Backyard, next time we’ll be looking at a strange collection of Bobcats from North Carolina who seem to have mysteriously vanished. Thanks for watching! I’m your host Gus Williamson, see you next time!”

New Orleans Pelicans Preview in Movies

The Princess and the Frog

The New Orleans Pelicans have been treated a lot like this movie. It’s there, but you’re not really sure what to do with it. It’s a good movie, but not great. And in the realm of Disney movies in order to get recognition you need to be great. Just like in the Southwest Division, you need to be great to get any amount of notoriety. There are definitely some good pieces in both of them. The music is highly underrated, the characters are fun and you want to enjoy them, but when you have a choice of what to watch this never comes up and so you never see it. Maybe a piece here, a piece there, but you’ll never see the whole thing so you never get to truly decide if you like the movie or not. It works the same with this team. There are fantastic players on the roster and you really want to like some of them. Anthony Davis is a monster on defense, Tyreke Evans can get hot and go for 40 almost any night. They can run, they can shoot, they can play defense. Overall this team should be very fun to watch, but yet when they’re playing they haven’t had the draw to say “I need to watch this team play”. You’ll watch a piece here, and a piece there, but there are bigger stars and usually better games going on at the same time. They haven’t been able to keep your full attention like the bigger blockbuster teams out there. But once you give them a chance you realize that they’re a little bit better than you thought and you should have given them that chance to prove themselves to you earlier.

This year should change the way that people look at the Pelicans.  With the performance that Anthony Davis put on for Team USA there is a lot of hype surrounding this team coming into the season, and for good reason! His defense has been spectacular averaging almost 3 blocks per game last season to go along with 20 points and 10 rebounds per game.  The one thing that he still needs to work on is his shooting.  They don’t need him to score a lot since they have such a good collection of shoot first guards, but it would be nice for him to develop his shooting.  During his 2 years in the NBA Davis has only shot 51.8% which isn’t terrible, but the Pelicans just added another defensive specialist to their roster in Omer Asik.  Asik is known for being a poor shooter, even though he actually has a higher shooting percentage in his career than Davis has. If the two of them play together, they’ll be able to get just about every rebound, but they’re interior shooting will not be good.  These two also help in the Princess and the Frog analogy because neither of them are very highly regarded for their looks but if you get past that you can see that Davis is primed to become a prince in the league.  The way it works in the movie is for someone to kiss him, but I’m hoping there’s an easier way because I have no plans on kissing him no matter how much I want him to become a star.

Another good thing about the rest of this roster is that they have plenty of other options to be able to stretch the floor and allow Davis and Asik to dominate the paint.  They have Ryan Anderson who can play a stretch 4 and hit three pointers and I think he will be a strong factor in how well the Pelicans can play.  Between Tyreke Evans, Eric Gordon, and Jrue Holliday the Pellicans will be able to get scoring from their guards every night.  This roster is highly underrated and if it can all come together they will be able to put on a performance that people all over the country will be able to enjoy.

I’m going to switch my movie metaphors now and go with a movie that I love that is also set in New Orleans.  Deja Vu starring Denzel Washington and Val Kilmer. This is because it’s Deja Vu for me as I’m looking at this roster. They have a fantastic collection of former Kings players.  Tyreke Evans, Omri Casspi, John Salmons, and JIMMMMMEEEEERRRRRRR. Does anyone realize that Jimmer was leading the NBA in 3 Pt percentage before he signed with the Bulls? If he can get some playing time off the bench instead of Austin Rivers, he could be a nice piece off the bench, good enough to revive his career.  But, if not it will be Deja Vu all over again for Jimmer because he will be sitting on the bench for a team that could desperately use some good shooting off the bench.

 

I’m not really sure how to end this so I’m just going to Fly away.