is the new cutoff for submissions. we fell behind. we’re sorry. but that means you can still be a part of this awesome thing! send pictures, prose and poetry to firstname.lastname@example.org by the phifteenth (HA) and we’ll sneak ya right in there.
also, to keep this space nice and warm while we’re waiting I’m gonna post a poem that used to be a short story that grew into a longer story and is now idling on my hard drive. I’m really bad at poetry and it’s a bit hedonistic but better here than nowhere? I dunno. submit by the 15th plz.
It’s that time again, folks. That time where millions of people pay millions of dollars and invest hours and hours and hours and anger and sadness into 450 tall boys bouncing balls for a few months. It’s the best time of year really. That fall chill is in the air, you can start to see your breathe in the air, and you can tell at a computer screen at 1:35 am during overtime of a KIngs-Sixers game because Rondo is reverting to Rajon Tenenbaum again. I’m here to make some slightly educated predictions and some bold statements and some repetitive vague claims about intangible things like “going the distance” or “taking that next step” or “yeah it’s a mismatched bunch but if some other teams get hurt and underperform and there’s no injury for them maybe the Lakers can make the 8th seed and..” (gets strapped into straight jacket screaming kobe for MVP)
The NBA season is long and injury ridden and is built to make things like this look stupid in a few months. Stick through the team predictions for me to make award predictions and screenshot those so you have proof that I’m a moron come June.
With that, the NBA 2015/2016 season:
I was in Atlanta two weeks ago and decided to go to a Hawks preseason game because why not. By the far the most exciting element of this game was high fiving all of the Hawks as they were leaving the arena at the end of the game. I was cracking up as I was individually saying their names; “TIAGOOO” and then getting a pound or high five with the least amount of enthusiasm I’ve ever seen from someone slapping my hand. I’m extremely high on this team. The east sucks and they’re great. Thabo and Mike Scott is back, they have a Spurs center in Tiago, and they’re built to work. Watching them in person was so great, because they play so fluidly and pass and move exactly how you’d want a team to. Kyle Korver’s heat check in person was legit magical. Some things that alarm me are that losing Carroll is going to put a huge dent in the identity they built last year, and that Schroeder is indicating if he doesn’t start he’s going to ask for a trade. That’s a bad sign if a player is already suggesting trade possibilities before the season starts. But maybe it’s just part of his german skater angst. I actually predict them to get the 1 seed in the east again.
I love this Celtics team and Brad Stevens is a God. I think they’re going to be better than last year. Full year of Thomas. David Lee and Amir Johnson coming in. Second year of Marcus Smart. RJ Hunter is gonna be fun. People are low on them thinking the second half of the season may have been a fluke, but I’m going the other way. I think they could have a season like the Raptors did last year.
This is a boring team that are going to linger around the tenth seed and have a few of those great triple overtime games where Thad Young goes off and Brook Lopez grabs 25 boards. They’re not going to be bad but they’re not going to be great. Their team is a little more fun than people are giving them credit for, and if Indiana can’t take that step back up like people think they will, then they may still end up in the playoffs. They have such a bizarre roster. Donald Sloan is one of my go to fantasy guards if you’re looking for a nice bench pick up. Random prediction: Wayne Ellington gets 40 points in a game.
They’re going to be abysmal. No MKG put the nails in the coffin for them. They could possibly be the worst team in the east. Big Al is going to take a step back, Lin is Lin, Batum might be overrated, Frank Kaminsky is a JC Penney model. Who is Kemba Walker? What is going to be? Shouldn’t he be better? Is he as good as he is going to be? Wasn’t he supposed to be John Wall level of fun? Is it his team’s fault? Are they gonna blow this team up and trade Kemba to the Jazz and make the Jazz a contender? (No but how fun would that be?)
Always the biggest question mark team. They’re going to be great and could be the only team who can conquer the Cavs. I worry about them defensively if Mirotic and Gasol are starting, but hopefully Butler, Gibson, and Noah can pick up some of that slack. I also worry Noah may be on his last days. He was MVP level a few years ago and last year looked like a skinny Kendrick Perkins at times. People were too hard on Thibs. He’s a master coach. Sure he beats his players to near death, but he made Aaron Brooks, Nate Robinson, and E’twaun Moore legit dudes when on his teams. Rose is always a health concern and might be a rapist, and seems like a real asshole regardless, so that’s a large cloud lingering. I rooted for him so much but every time he talks is the worst. I hope he gets injured and they trade him to the pistons for brandon jennings. I like the fit for both.
They’re going to be amazing, but I don’t believe they’re winning a championship. I would pick three other teams before them. Kevin Love still doesn’t really have playoff experience, and Kyrie played the first game of the Warriors series and they still lost. I guess having Mo Williams helps? I get nervous about their health because everyone is currently hurt. Kyrie, Mozgov, Shump, Varejoa are all hurt and Love is still recovering and Lebron is about 79 in basketball years. Even with all of that, and their bench being JR Smith, Richard Jefferson, James Jones and a bunch of people you’ve never heard of, they’re still going to be amazing and most likely take the eastern conference.
Dallas is going to be horrendous. Dallas is going to be HORRENDOUS. I predict them as a bottom 3 team in the west. They’re going to keep Parsons, Matthews, and Dirk off the court and healthy, they’re gonna tank, they’re gonna keep their celtics pick, and they’re going to be great next year. Awful this year though. Unwatchable.
This will be the most fun are they good? bad team in the league. Gallo is healthy and has looked great all summer, they drafted my rookie of the year pick, (by the way, this dude skipped college to go over to china and play pro for a year. he did this because his family needed money. he played with pros and vets and played pro for a year. he has a serious mental edge on all of the rookies, and he’s amazing. I can’t believe he fell to the 7th pick.) new coach who looks like will match up perfectly with them, and keep in mind Malone tamed Boogie, so he’s a snake charmer. I’m excited for more playing time for Gary Harris, a great year from Faried, Jokic and Nurkic eating people, and whatever weird trade to a contender happens. Randy Foye will not be on this team come June. Wonder what team could use him COUGH OKC COUGH COUGH.
I always put too much faith into the Pistons so I’m not going to do it this year. I think they’re going to miss the playoffs. I think they’re going to explode and tank. I think that Andre Drummond is going to regress. I think Stanley Johnson is going to have a negative impact. I think Jennings and Jackson will clash. I think Steve Blake and Jodie Meeks are washed up. I think Aron Baynes is overpaid and will have only been valuable as a Spur. (I think the opposite of all of this.)
GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS
Perfect. Basketball. Team. If there aren’t injuries they’re repeating. They didn’t win because of luck. They’re masterful.
This team is so deep, and Beverly is back, and Howard seems to be healthier, and Motiejunas will be back and they got TY LAWSON FOR FREE and added Sam Dekker and Montrezl Harrell and they have KJ McDaniels and Clint Capela and 3 point extraordinaire Ariza and MVP runner up James Harden and underrated Coach McHale and if I was to put money on an underdog to win the championship I would pick them. They’re so so so so so ooifhuvwjioakspd good.
I can’t really tell how they’re going to be. This isn’t a very deep team, but George 100% makes any team good, and add Ellis and George Hill and you’ve got a great start for something. But that’s pretty much all they’ve got. So people may be over hyping them.
LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS
They look great and they brought back Deandre in the funniest story of the offseason and they added depth but they still can’t make it past the 2nd round with their core and so I’m not picking them to do that because they suck and I hate them and I’m still mad about the Chris Paul vetoed trade.
LOS ANGELES LAKERS
I’m a Lakers fan so this is tough. If they were in the east I would be really excited. I’m excited about the future, although they just cut Jabari Brown to keep Metta World Peace so they don’t seem so concerned about the future. Love Randle, can’t wait to watch him play this year. I think Russell is going to be a star. I like Lou Williams, I think Roy Hibbert is going to have a good year, Brandon Bass is a nice player, Huertas is a pro, Clarkson will be an all star one day, and Tarik Black is underrated. I really like this team. The west just seems too tough and Kobe is now injury prone, so I can’t count on his health, and without a healthy Kobe at at least 80%, this team will linger a few spots below the eighth seed, but will be a really fun team to watch. Just please get rid of Nick Young and Robert Sacre. Please????
they’ll get the 5th seed and lose in the first or second round forever and ever amen. I think Z-bo takes a step back, Carter is most likely done, Matt Barnes starts to take a step back, Jeff Green takes a step back. BUT they have some good young pieces, Mike Conley and Marc Gasol, so who knows, the could end up in the conference finals again and make us look dumb for calling them boring.
This is a fun, weird team. Great coach, great players, weak conference. They could give some teams trouble. Can Wade stay healthy? Can Winslow contribute immediately? Was Whiteside a fluke? Is Deng done? A lot of questions and they are probably being overhyped when their best player can barely play 60 games. BUT has the potential to be great if they’re all healthy and Bosh is back. OH and I LOVEE McRoberts. He’s going to be huge for them. NVM I’m in. Wade, Dragic, McBob, Bosh and Whiteside?? I’M IN!! LET’S GET THAT 2 SEED. BEAT CLEVELAND.
This team was amazing in the first half of the season last year. Kidd was fantastic, their defense was huge, and Brandon Knight looked like an all star. Then they did some weird ass trades and ended up with MCW and lost Knight and Jabari was out and they got sneaky bad. They added Monroe and are getting back Jabari and added Greivis Vasqeuz in a very smart low key move and OJ Mayo looks healthy in his contract year and I love John Henson and Giannis is a future MVP. Losing Jared Dudley is a bummer and there might be some weird fits, but this team has potential to be great. Especially if Giannis gets amazing earlier than expected. Definite playoff team.
I think about Andrew Wiggins as much as Helga thinks about Arnold. Rubio is due for a great year. Second year LaVine. KARL. ANTHONY. TOWNS. KG there as a player coach. Chip on their shoulder to honor Flip Saunders (RIP). Dieng is fantastic. All that being said, surrounded by not many options, they’re not going to be very good. They will be better, and Wiggins is going to be a monster, but they’re still a few years away.
NEW ORLEANS PELICANS
I understand Anthony Davis is amazing. But there is some serious KD/Curry disrespect going on by calling him the best player in the league after Lebron. This team is seriously banged up, and even when completely healthy, which they never are, they don’t have a great team. Even Davis doesn’t play 75 games. They’re overrated. Davis will carry them, but not far enough.
NEW YORK KNICKS
I’m kinda high on the Knicks and it’s stupid. Carmelo has become so hated that he’s underrated at this point. I love Afflalo, I like Lopez, Porzingis is gonna be solid, i LOVEEEE LANGSTON GALLOWAY, Seraphin and O’quinn are real players. This team is gonna be pretty good. Derek Fisher is a horrendous coach and a suspect. They signed Derrick Williams which makes 0 basketball sense to do. They’re the Knicks. A lot of bad signs, but also some positives.
OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER
Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Serge Ibaka, Steven Adams healthy. If KD is KD they’re winning it all. I know I’ve said that a few times but they are better than anyone when healthy. And there is some serious disrespect going on. They’re not losing this year. They are angry. ANGRY WESTBROOK WITH A COACH WHO CAN CONTROL HIM AND A HEALTHY KD? RUUUUUNNNNNNNN. Downside is they don’t have a real starting 2, I would go with Morrow, and they gave enes kanter a max. the team that traded james harden for jeremy lamb and kevin martin just gave the worst defensive player in the league a max contract. They also have Dion Waiters. I think, though, Dion has a good year, finally. I think this is “dion accepts his role” year. I also don’t believe KD is leaving this team. I think he’s there for keeps.
They’re young and fun and will win a bunch of games they shouldn’t but they’re a few years away from anything real. I love a lot of their team though, I just don’t think they’re even east eighth seed ready yet.
Ugh. They will be slightly better. You will not know 99% of their players. They will be fun to watch. Okafor and Noel will be great and will show the fans they have a future. I wish Embiid was who we thought he was. He still may be. But as for now, they’re just a team you can win money off Draft Kings with.
I don’t trust this team. They got accidentally good too soon and then were worse than they were all of sudden supposed to be. Made stupid trades, picked up Tyson Chandler? Almost had Aldridge. I think they’re gonna miss the playoffs and I think mid season they’re either gonna blow it up or over estimate a trade like the Pistons did with Jackson. I don’t like this team. I loved them two years ago, but all of this, plus the morris twin debacle, plus eric bledsoe being a princess, is a recipe for disaster. (I hope they get antsy and fire hornacek and he coaches the lakers next year. him and clarkson/russell/randle??? OMG)
What happened here? It was so beautiful at the beginning of last season. Their starting five was Lillard, Matthews, Batum, Aldridge, and Lopez. Lillard is the only one of those left. They had a miserable injury ridden playoffs. Things got ugly fast. This team is going to be so bad. I love Ed Davis, I think Vonleh and Plumlee are nice pickups. But I think they’re a bottom five team. I hope this year, they all show promise, and Lillard learns how to play defense. What if they traded Allen Crabbe, Meyers Leonard, and a pick for Carmelo? NBA Trade Machine says it’s successful and increases the Knicks wins by 33 and the Blazers wins by 22!!! DO IT! WEIRDEST TRADE EVER BUT MELO AS A BLAZER??? SO SICK
Ummm. I guess they’re good, right? Rondo was a complete and utter disaster last year. But maybe with his buddy Boogie Cousins he’ll shine? Belinelli is great. Koufos was a great pick up. They didn’t draft mudiay lol. This could be one of the biggest crashes the NBA has ever seen, or they could be a frisky 8th seed. I can’t tell at all. Karl is a great coach, Boogie is a top 10 player, Rudy Gay has been so consistent and great for them, Rondo was once brilliant, and WCS will be a great defensive presence. I have no idea.
SAN ANTONIO SPURS
I’m worried about the Spurs, a little. Tim Duncan is 950 years old. Manu is 945 years old. Tony Parker looks like he may no longer know how to play basketball. They lost Belinelli, Cory Joseph, Tiago Splitter, and Aron Baynes. The positives, though, are they have the best coach in the NBA, Tim Duncan is 950 years old but plays like a 32 year old. They just added Lamarcus Freaking Aldridge. Patty Mills is great. They got David West for a pack of gum. They got Ray McCallum for a stick of gum. Kyle Anderson is one of the better young players in the league. They have the genius Boris Diaw. They have Danny Green. They make every player better. Oh, and, um, they have Kawhi Leonard. Remember him? 23 years old, Finals MVP, Defensive player of the year after missing the first quarter of the season, all around mystic magical top 10 nba player. AND THEY’RE THE SPURS. THEY’RE ALWAYS BETTER.
This is a team who’s either taking a major step back or major step forward. Kyle Lowry looked like a BEAAASSTTTTT in preseason and they added Demare Carroll, coming off a wonderful season with an incredible team, Cory Joseph, a Spur is always good to have around, and Luis Scola, which is fine. I think James Johnson takes a step back this year, and I don’t think Biyombo is good at being a basketball player and I am so excited for DeRozan to go full kobe with no Lou Williams there. I also love Bruno Caboclo and think he’s gonna start to have a place this year like first year Giannis. This team has a trade in them.
I’m very high on the Jazz. They looked SOOOO great after trading Kanter, and the numbers backed them up. One of the best defensive teams in the NBA and almost made the eighth seed in the west after having a bad first half. Losing Exum isn’t great, but it’s not awful either. I think their guard situation is worrisome, but I think Hayward/Gobert will legit make up for it. Millsap/Neto/Hood/Burke/Burks could also be fine if they all contribute equally. Favors and Booker are hard workers who fit well into Snyder’s scheme, and Snyder is a fantastic coach and looks like the bad guy in an early 90’s comedy. I also think Withey is a slightly undervalued center and think he’s a great guy to have on the bench. Enjoyed him at Kansas.
I’m bummed the Wizards lost Pierce. That playoff run was sooooo fun. I love John Wall. I think Beal is going to have a huge year. I think Otto Porter is going to look like a legitimate NBA player. I think Gortat/Nene are going to start to be real trade rumor. I think KD is not coming here so stop thinking that. I love Dudley and he makes players better. This team is going to be great, and I think they have a trade in them. UGHHHH if only Wall didn’t get hurt last year. They could have gone farther and I think beat the Cavs. Wall Curry would have been fun. Maybe we still have a chance of seeing it this season…
So there you go. Vague statements about teams from a person who never played basketball outside of playgrounds and a gym in Dallas with people much better than me. Now for some bold predictions.
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: James Harden - Houston Rockets
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Emmanuel Mudiay - Denver Nuggets
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Anthony Davis - New Orleans Pelicans
MOST IMPROVED PLAYER: Victor Oladipo - Orlando Magic
COACH OF THE YEAR: Kevin McHale - Houston Rockets
SIXTH MAN OF THE YEAR: Patty Mills - San Antonio Spurs
LEADING SCORER: Damian Lillard - Portland Trailblazers
EASTERN CONFERENCE PLAYOFFS:
1. Atlanta Hawks
2. Chicago Bulls
3. Cleveland Cavaliers
4. Washington Wizards
5. Toronto Raptors
6. Boston Celtics
7. Miami Heat
8. Milwaukee Bucks
WESTERN CONFERENCE PLAYOFFS:
1. Houston Rockets
2. Golden State Warriors
3. Oklahoma City Thunder
4. Los Angeles Clippers
5. San Antonio Spurs
6. Memphis Grizzlies
7. Utah Jazz
8. New Orleans Pelicans
GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS VS. CLEVELAND CAVALIERS