Monday, October 27, 2008
Sorry for the temporary absence, the Icehouse had some shit to take care of. But hopefully I'll get these next couple of posts done before tip off tomorrow. Furthermore, I received a question as to what sort of order I'm doing these divisional previews in. The order is the order in which they are listed on nba.com.
Denver Nuggets: The Nuggets are a good team to begin the Western Conference with. As the East has begun to not suck quite so much, some teams in the West are in decline. The Nuggets, well, who knows what they're going to be like this year. They had two of the top three scorers in the league last year, with the two cats you see above, but outside of that, they never played defense. What'd they do to remedy this situation? They got rid of Defensive P.O.Y. Marcus Camby, and replaced him with Chris "The Birdman" Andersen. In all fairness, Nene was out for a good portion of the year, and he can be a force to be reckoned with on his good nights. Unfortunately, this team doesn't really have a point guard outside of Chucky Atkins. They also have J.R. Smith, who is a perpetual question mark on every possession. Is he going to launch a half-court shot? Is he going to take it to the rack? Nobody knows, you just have to watch to find out.
Minnesota Timberwolves: Ok, the first time I tried to get their roster, just now, I typed in www.nba.com/twolves/roster. This took me to a team that included Sam Cassell, Kevin Garnett, "Rookie" Ndudi Ebi, and an advertisement for a Latrell Spreewell jersey. This just goes to show how much thought goes into this organization. It's a wonder that Kevin McHale still has a job. If you were wondering, the '08-'09 roster includes none of the aforementioned players. It does have some good players, but I don't see any cohesiveness. I'm frankly surprised that Al Jefferson isn't more popular than he is. He's not the most athletically gifted player, but he does play the game the way it's supposed to be played. Other things to notice with the Wolves is that they have some quasi-exciting players in Corey Brewer and Rodney Carney, a couple of Grizz fugees that came over in the trade Mayo-Love trade, and the fact that this team is short and fat. The lone seven-footer is Jason Collins, and he'll never see the court. Sebastian Telfair Sebastian Telfair Sebastian Telfair Sebas...
Portland Trailblazers: A decade ago, this was my second-favorite team in the league (outside of the closest NBA squad to my hometown). I think that this year has returned them to that status. I can't wait to watch this team play. They're young, they're athletic, and they made noise last year WITHOUT their first round pick. Now, Greg Oden's back for his first official rookie season. They also have two Spaniards that played very well in the Olympics, Rudy Fernandez and Sergio Rodriguez (Rudy flushed a huge dunk in the gold medal game). Brandon Roy was the Rookie of the Year in '07, LeMarcus Aldridge is great, Travis Outlaw is also fun. The main man will be Greg Oden, though. Not only are the eyes of Portland fans on him, but he now has a standing bounty on his head with many NBA teams after Mikki Moore reportedly gave Kevin Martin $1,000 for jamming one in Oden's face.
Utah Jazz: A perpetual thorn in the side of me and most Western Conference teams, the Jazz are always in the playoffs. This year will be no different. They come back boasting the most Olympians of any NBA team (Deron Williams and Carlos Boozer repping the USA), and really, really want to get back in the finals for the first time since Jordan beat them in '98. Mehmet Okur is a constant matchup problem, as a tall, thick guy that can bang, or hit a 30-footer at the shot clock. The team is tall, plays D, has a hall-of-fame coach in Jerry Sloan, and a pretty cool slogan: Life Off, Game On.
Oklahoma City Thunder: Not a whole lot you can say about this team. They have a stupid name, stupid mascot, stupid uniforms, and an owner who quite despicably yanked the team away from the city that had been good to them for more than four decades. I hate to say this, especially because I love Kevin Durant, but it's going to be good to watch this team get fucked night in and night out. Of course, they will have a couple of highlight reel dunks from Desmond Mason, and KD could blow up for 50 in a game this season. Jeff Green needs to improve a lot for this team to win more than 20 games. And don't get me started on their big guys.