pg : Kyrie Irving
sg : Jaylen Brown
sf : Gordon Hayward
pf : Marcus Morris
c : Al Horford
Key Reserves : Jayson Tatum, Marcus Smart, Terry Rozier, Aron Baynes
Celtics fans have been waiting for the fireworks from trader Danny for a few seasons now, and he delivered. The luck of the Irish was with Boston this offseason.
First, landing the first pick in the draft (fleeced from Brooklyn) which eventually turned into Jayson Tatum. Then next Gordon Hayward joined in free agency, reunion of sorts with his college coach (squeezing Avery Bradley out). Then when Kyrie Irving requested a trade, Danny pounced scoring a 25 year old superstar lead guard. It cost the 2018 Brooklyn pick, Jae Crowder and Isaiah Thomas (with his heroics last year in the playoffs, showing that teams will always do what is good for the team). Leaving only 4 players from last seasons team.
Despite the player turnover I’m optimistic about the future, but this season??? Growing pains (Jason Seaver style) at the start but, if any coach can bring it together Brad Stevens will work it out.
1st in the Atlantic with a 49-33 win/loss record.
pg : D’Angelo Russell
sg : Jeremy Lin
sf : DeMarre Carroll
pf : Rondae Hollis-Jefferson
c : Timofey Mozgov
Key Reserves : Allen Crabbe, Caris LeVert, Sean Kilpatrick, Trevor Booker, Jarrett Allen
Finally we can see the light at the end of the tunnel for the Nets. The shockwaves of that infamous trade is subsiding.
Deep pockets Prokhorov is looking to sell the team (not before time). With that the team will be free of the era of being bad without picks to improve.
This offseason they traded for D’Angelo Russell with Timofey Mozgov for Brook Lopez in a win/win with the Lakers. DeMarre Carroll is a welcomed veteran leader added to young promising players. Like Yazz says “The only way is up, Baby”.
4th in the Atlantic with a 31-51 win/loss record.
NEW YORK KNICKS
pg : Frank Ntilikina
sg : Tim Hardaway Jr
sf : Doug McDermott
pf : Kristaps Porzingis
c : Willy Hernangomez
Key Reserves : Enes Kanter, Courtney Lee, Mindaugas Kuzminskas, Joakim Noah
Basket case New York has turned the corner, the team has eventually picked a new leader and direction. Can they stay the course?
Carmelo Anthony was traded after Phil Jackson made him a bargain for other teams, subsequently Phil was shown the door (figuratively). Also Charles Oakley was shown the door (physically). With all that behind them they now drafted a new point guard in overseas prospect Frank Ntilikina, and got back Enes Kanter in the Melo trade. This freeing up shots for Porzingis who I think will only blossom (Dirk 2.0). looks good.
The only question here is how long before the Knicks sign a big name player past his prime to a 8 year contract? As it stands…
Last in the Atlantic with a 28-54 win/loss record.
pg : Markelle Fultz
sg : J.J Redick
sf : Robert Covington
pf : Ben Simmons
C : Joel Embiid
Key Reserves : Dario Saric, T.J McConnell, Amir Johnson, Richaun Holmes, Jahlil Okafor
Trust the process…, on paper so far the process worked (long live Sam Hinkie).
It worked so much that Adam Silver (aka E.T.) took note and changed the rules making it harder to tank. On paper is the theme here, making this team the hardest to predict. On talent alone this team will win their fair share but no NBA games under Simmons and Fultz and Joel (twitter legend) Embiid’s injury cloud could spell doom.
But for basketball sake I will err on the side of positivity, with the biggest jump.
2nd in the Atlantic with a 43-39 win/loss record.
pg : Kyle Lowry
sg : DeMar DeRozan
sf : C.J Miles
pf : Serge Ibaka
C : Jonas Valanciunas
Key Reserves : Norman Powell, Lucas Nogueira, Jakob Poeltl, O.G Anunoby
The Raptors seem to be treading water, with an offseason as boring as old school English cricketer’s inning.
This team will be good again banking on growth from within. DeMar and Kyle will lead the charge with Serge getting a pre season in Raptors colours. Second tier players are the key.
They’ll be good, but good enough to scare anyone in the playoffs?…. probably not.
3rd in the Atlantic with a 42-40 win/loss record.
P.S. All predictions are made without a Grey’s Sports Almanac so may be subject to change