So I get stuck with this poor excuse for a division again. For the third consecutive year, it may have gotten worse. It’s not out of the realm that none of these teams make the playoffs, and none of these teams finish above 500.
At this rate they’ll soon be in the NBL. You’ll notice none of these teams participated in the NBL x NBA games, probably out of fear of losing.
PG – Trae Young, Evan Turner
SG – Kevin Huerter, Cam Reddish
SF – DeAndre Hunter, DeAndre Bembry
PF – John Collins, Jabari Parker, Vince Carter
C – Alex Len, Damion Jones
Like their point guard they are Young. Too young. Except for Vince, he’s old, like Neil Young. They have a lot of youth and a lot of potential, and some of these guys will work out to become great players, but just not yet. Trae Young in his first 3 preseason games had 9, 8 and 7 turnovers, which is a worrying sign. But at least the franchise is headed in the right direction and the trades they’ve made to acquire big expiring deals in Allen Crabbe, Chandler Parsons and Evan Turner mean they’re willing to be patient. So they won’t take a huge step forward record-wise this season.
Last season: 29-53
This season: 33-49 (3rd in the division)
Fun fact: Evan Turner is the SG on the All Bigarse Team. The other members are Kyle Lowry, Marvin Williams, Boris Diaw and Tristan Thompson. Tony Ronaldson is the team mascot.
PG – Terry Rozier, Devonte Graham
SG – Nicolas Batum, Malik Monk
SF – Miles Bridges, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
PF – PJ Washington, Marvin Williams
C – Cody Zeller, Willy Hernangomez
The worst team in the league? At least on paper I would give these guys the nod. Not really going anywhere, unless it’s to Seattle or Las Vegas. Which is where they should go each game and put some money on their opponent. I can’t even see where any points are coming from, Rozier is a bad signing to add to the years of bad signings the Hornets have made in recent years. Unless a new rule is introduced where each team’s owner has to play for the team, I can’t see the Hornets having anything better than the worst record in the east.
Last Season: 39-43
This season: 21-61 (5th in the division)
Fun fact: Charlotte have never got past the 1st round since they became the Bobcats 17 years ago.
PG – Goran Dragic, Justise Winslow
SG – Dion Waiters, Tyler Herro
SF – Jimmy Butler, Derrick Jones Jr
PF – Kelly Olynyk, James Johnson
C – Bam Adebayo, Meyers Leonard
Okay, So Dwight never played for the Heat. Come to think of it, he never really played for a lot of the teams he did play for either. This could go two ways. The Heat gel, Bam takes a big step forward, and they shut teams down with defense. More likely though, Butler causes trouble, Dion Waiters causes trouble, there’s a midseason trade, they are a middle of the pack team in the East, where most Jimmy Butler-led teams end up.
Last season: 39-43
This season: 41-41 (2nd in the division)
Fun fact: Pat Riley was selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the 11th round of the 1967 NFL Draft
PG – DJ Augustin, Michael Carter-Williams
SG – Evan Fournier, Markelle Fultz
SF – Aaron Gordon, Terrence Ross
PF – Jonathan Isaac, Al-Farouq Aminu
C – Nikola Vucevic, Mo Bamba
A weirdly constructed team full of guys who are good, guys who were touted as good, and guys who still might be good, which finished with a flurry last season. Was that the real Orlando, or was the first half of the season what we should expect?
Nikola Vucevic was a legit All-Star last season, and Clifford is an underrated coach who gets the best out of his players. Not a big red dog as some would have you believe.
Aaron Gordon still shows potential and probably still will when he’s 40. Isaac and Bamba are Gordon a couple of years ago. I’m also not a Fultz believer.
One thing in their favour is continuity, bringing back the same starting lineup with the same coach. Not a common thing these days! For that reason I will assume last years Orlando is the same as this years Orlando.
Last season: 42-40
This season: 42-40 (1st in the division)
Fun fact: Career backup DJ Augustin is starting over a 28 year old former rookie of the year and a 21 year old former #1 pick
PG – Ish Smith, Isaiah Thomas
SG – Bradley Beal, Isaac Bonga
SF – CJ Miles, Troy Brown
PF – Rui Hachimura, Davis Bertans
C – Thomas Bryant, Ian Mahinmi
So, Bradley Beal and who? They will be bad this season, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Beal “load managed” to about 30 games too. With Beal having just signed a 2 year extension at $36m per, and the $38m donation to the John Wall fund for next season (along with 41m, 44m and 47m the three seasons after – more than LeBron, KD and equal with Harden) the only way back to relevance for the Wizards is through the draft.
This means they’ll want to be bad, and they will be.
Last season: 32-50
This season: 24-58 (4th in the division)
Fun fact: The two tallest players to ever play in the NBA and the two shortest players to ever play in the NBA all played for Washington at some point.