Toronto Raptors – Season Preview 

The Culture Reset – After being swept by the Cavs in the playoffs last year Masai Ujiri said that the Raptors needed a “Culture reset.” That clearly didn’t mean a roster reset as the Raptors only removed role players from their 2016-2017 team. What they have changed is the way they play. During the preseason they have done more to get Jonas Valanciunas involved (Thank God, I’ve always felt he was underutilized) and they are shooting more 3’s. These changes could be huge for them as they try to hold onto their place in the East if not build upon it.  Continue reading Toronto Raptors – Season Preview 

San Antonio Spurs – Season Preview 

Tony Parker and Kawhi Injuries – Tony Parker suffered a devastating injury last season and is projected to be out another 3 – 4 months. This means that the combination of Dejounte Murray and Patty Mills will be holding down the PG spot for the majority of the year. Meanwhile, Kawhi has yet to practice with the team and did not appear in the preseason as he’s dealing with a quad injury. The expectation would be that he’s going to miss some time to start the year as well. Every game will count in the West this year so Pop will need to work his magic early and often to keep this team afloat.  Continue reading San Antonio Spurs – Season Preview 

Sacramento Kings – Season Preview 

Veteran Influence – The Kings brought in Vince Carter, Zach Randolph, and George Hill this offseason in what most thought were surprising moves. The vets will be there to guide the young guys and allow them time to develop. Currently Hill and Randolph are expected to start but I’d expect that once they fall out of the playoff picture they’ll let the rookies take over much like the Suns did with their vets last year.  Continue reading Sacramento Kings – Season Preview 

Portland Trail Blazers – Season Preview 

“Bad Boy” Blazers – I happen to follow a few Blazers players on twitter and they seem to be embracing a “Bad Boy” persona for the team. Caleb Swanigan embodied this the other night getting into an altercation with Alex Len of the Suns and Stotts backed his guy up saying “Caleb Swanigan isn’t going to back down from anybody, and we expect that from him.” Big Nurk’s father’s exploits are well documented and the Bosnian Beast will also not be backing down. With those two enforcers down low, and the outside tandem of Lillard and McCollom steering the ship this Bad Boy theme could carry this team to new heights.  Continue reading Portland Trail Blazers – Season Preview 

Philadelphia 76ers – Season Preview 

Joel Embiid Extension – Joel Embiid got PAID a few days ago and he’s feeling good. In back to back games he’s screamed about how the opponents can’t guard him and they really can’t. A healthy Embiid is a scary proposition for the league. He shoots 3’s, put’s the ball on the floor, has a post game, blocks shots. He’s basically the perfect Center for today’s league. The 76ers are gambling that they will get a healthy Embiid and did not want to risk him leaving in the offseason. You can’t help but root for the guy.  Continue reading Philadelphia 76ers – Season Preview 

Oklahoma City Thunder – Season Preview 

The Big OK3 – After Westrbook carried the city on his back last year and watched The Snake/Cupcake/Catfish (whatever we’re calling KD these days) ride off into the sunset with a ring. He needed help, and this summer Sam Presti went and got it. They were able to bring in both Paul George and Carmelo Anthony to assist Westrbook in his quest to take the West and it will be interesting to see how the trio comes together.  Continue reading Oklahoma City Thunder – Season Preview 

New York Knicks – Season Preview 

Carmelo Traded – Another team, another corner stone that is no longer there. Carmelo was traded just before the preseason to the OKC Thunder and so his ride in NY is over. Kristaps Porzingis is immediately elevated to the face of the franchise and with the drafting of French PG Frank Ntilikina and the signing of SG Tim Hardaway, Jr. the team has a solid young core to build around. The trade brought over Doug McDermott and Enes Kanter who figure to be key contributors for this team right away as well.  Continue reading New York Knicks – Season Preview 

New Orleans Pelicans – Season Preview 

Cousins staying or leaving? – Demarcus Cousins will be a free agent in the upcoming offseason and the entire league is going to be watching him closely. His reputation as a malcontent and a locker room/coach’s headache has to be erased or at least cooled down with this year. There’s almost no doubt that he receives max offers, the question is who his suitors will be.  Continue reading New Orleans Pelicans – Season Preview