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El Mariachi

The Kind of Historic Season You Don’t Want: Philadelphia 76ers Season Preview

Starting Five: PG Michael Carter-Williams, SG Evan Turner, PF Thaddeus Young, C Spencer Hawes, and whoever/someone else
 
Key Bench Players: Royce White (who?), James Anderson (WHO?), Tony Wroten (WHO??!?!!?), Jason Richardson (syke!)
 
Offseason Additions: C Nerlens Noel, PG Michael Carter-Williams, Head Coach Brett Brown
 
Offseason Subtractions: C Andrew Bynum, PF Andrew Bynum’s hair, PG Jrue Holiday
 
FACT OR FICTION: This new 76ers regime that Sam Hinkie has put together will be the team of the future.
 
FACT. Fiction as hell.
 
The Sixers are going to be bad this year. Very bad, in fact. Where three years ago they were playing the Heat in the playoffs, they now will be aiming to set a new franchise record by losing more games than the 1972-73 Sixers (who hold the NBA record with 73 losses). This is a franchise that has skipped the weak ass sh*t, went straight for the heavy stuff and nuked this team’s mediocre present, to hopefully solidify an excellent future. Starting when they let Andrew Bynum and his afro walk and/or stumble away into free agency and then continuing with the whirlwind of the 2013-2014 NBA draft where they traded pre-prime/quasi-star Jrue “I-Jraw-Good” Holiday to the newly anointed New Orleans Pelicans for Nerlens Noel (effectively ruining the funniest/most clever draft choice the Nerlens’ Pelicans will ever make) and a 2014 first-rounder, the Sixers have poised themselves for a historically terrible season.
 
But that’s a very good thing.… Read more...

The Final Countdown: Brooklyn Nets Season Preview

Starting Five: PG Deron Williams, SG Paul Pierce, SF Joe Johnson, PF Kevin Garnett, C Brook Lopez
 
Key Bench Players: SG Jason Terry, SF Andrei Kirilenko, PF Reggie Evans, C Andray Blatche
 
Notable offseason additions: C/PF Kevin Garnett, SG Paul Pierce, SG Jason Terry, SF Andrei Kirilenko, Head Coach Jason Kidd
 
Notable offseason subtractions:  SF Gerald Wallace, SG Keith Bogans, SG MarShon Brooks, PF Kris Humphries
 
FACT OR FICTION: The Nets will be legitimate title contenders to challenge the Miami Heat
 
FACT. Their starting five and sixth man are All-Stars. ‘Nuff said.
 
Last year, the Brooklyn Nets were the new, cool kid on the block. They moved into the neighborhood, took your lunch money, stole your girlfriend, beat you up, and did it all while Empire State of Mind blasts forth from the hulking Barclays Center in the heart of Brooklyn. Coming off the closeout year at the Prudential Center and New Jersey Nets as we knew them, riddled with injuries and trade rumors, the Nets staked their claim in New York and even saw a playoff berth. They were fresh, fun and exciting to watch, but underneath all of the glitz and the glamour the true nature of the Nets reared its ugly mug causing even the most diehard Brooklynette’s fan to look away.… Read more...

The Return of the Chicago Bulls or the Return of Derrick Rose? Chicago Bulls Season Preview

Starting Five: PG Derrick Rose, SG Jimmy Butler, SF Luol Deng, PF Carlos Boozer, C Joakim Noah
 
Bench Players: PG Kirk Hinrich, SG Mike Dunleavy, SM Tony Snell, PF Taj Gibson, C Nazr Mohammed, PG Marquis Teague, PF Erik Murphy
 
Offseason additions: Mike Dunleavy, Tony Snell, Erik Murphy
 
Offseason subtractions: Marco Belinelli, Nate Robinson, Rip Hamilton
 
FACT OR FICTION: The return of Derrick Rose will change the face of the Eastern Conference.
 
FICTION: The Chicago Bulls 2012-2013 season was nothing short of magical. With their superstar point guard Derrick Rose out the entire season with a torn ACL, no one thought they would have accomplished what they did. Not only were they the 5th seed in the playoffs but they ousted the new and improved Brooklyn Nets and gave the Miami Heat a run for their money while battling literally every injury known to man. Sure they weren’t the prettiest team in the league when it came to offense but if you were to take away a superstar from any other team in the league, I doubt that any of them could have been as good as the Bulls.
 
With a record of 45-37, Thibodeau’s defensive brilliance took center stage last year. With three players worthy of Defensive Player of the Year, Chicago’s grind out, physical D even stopped Miami’s infamous 27 game win streak. But with Luol Deng leading the team in scoring with 16.5 ppg, the Bulls could never take that next step. Sure the emergence of Jimmy Butler was a welcome addition and Joakim Noah’s ever improving game helped but the Bulls still finished 29th in the league in scoring.… Read more...

The Rob Hennigan Project Makes Strides in Orlando 2.0: Orlando Magic Season Preview

Starting Five: PG Jameer Nelson, SG Aaron Afflalo, SF Moe Harkless, PF Glenn Davis, C Nikola Vucevic
 
Key bench players: SG/PG Victor Oladipo, SF/PF Tobias Harris, PF Andrew Nicholson, C Kyle O’Quinn, PG E’Twaun Moore
 
Notable offseason additions: Victor Oladipo (2nd overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft)
 
Notable offseason subtractions: C Al Harrington, SF Hedo Turkoglu
 
FACT OR FICTION: One year removed from Dwight Howard’s departure from Orlando, it is clear that the Magic got the worst of the four-team, blockbuster trade of the 2012-2013 season.
 
FICTION.
 
“This deal stinks for the Magic. It’s great for the Lakers, though. Some things never change.”—Sports Illustrated
 
“The Magic traded the best player in a four-team swap and got the worst package. Amazing.”—SBNation
 
“They got the short end of the deal.”—ESPN
 
“Out of the four teams in this blockbuster, the Magic far and away come out the losers here…”—The Great Mambino
 
Those are obviously quotes from the Dwight Howard trade a year ago, including one from our very own KOBEsh on this blog. Now one year removed from the Dwightmare, it is clear that GM Rob Henningan was the winner in that transaction. The biggest moving pieces in the four team trade undoubtedly were Dwight Howard (who left the Lakers much worse off than the Magic), Andre Iguodala (who is now playing for Golden State), and Andrew Bynum (who not only doesn’t play for the Sixers anymore but also didn’t play a single game last year). Not only have the Magic acquired a core of young and talented players in that trade (as well as Tobias “Looks-like-a-chump-plays-like-a-champ” Harris in the lopsided JJ Redick deal), but they also will have a first round pick the following two years thanks to the Sixers and the Lakers. It is clear that Rob Henningan’s Sam Presti based rebuilding model is working. Slowly it surely, the plan is clearly in place in Orlando.… Read more...