Are the 2019-20 Philadelphia 76ers Good?

The Philadelphia 76ers have Processed their way from a 10-72 season in 2015-16, the second-worst 82-game mark not only in franchise history but of all time, to back-to-back 50-win seasons and second-round playoff appearances. Last year’s edition went 51-31 and came one insane, improbable miracle shot from Kawhi Leonard away from the Eastern Conference Finals. This year’s team is minus Jimmy Butler (gone to the Heat) but added Al Horford and Josh Richardson to a “big three” of Tobias Harris, Ben Simmons, and Joel Embiid. Some people say that’s the kind of lineup that will win you the East if …

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Are the 2019-20 Boston Celtics Good?

Oh boy. Better put on a good, thick medieval helmet for this one…Boston Celtics fans are some of the most rabid and occasionally psycho fans on Twitter, and if I weren’t generally well-disposed toward them on account of having grown up in Boston during the Bird/McHale/Parish years I might very well think of them the way I think of Lakers fans…OK, let’s do this. The Boston Celtics were the most underachieving squad in the NBA in 2018-19. They won just 49 games, and if the Indiana Pacers hadn’t generously self-immolated down the stretch, the postseason could very easily have seen …

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Are the 2019-20 Brooklyn Nets Good?

If you’re the type of person who just skips to the end of these looking for that graphic I ganked from Mythbusters, let me spare you some scrolling: What everyone will say when Kyrie kills the clubhouse vibe and Durant isn’t the same after he comes back. — Fox #PreviewsAreBack Doucette 🏀🍳🥓🥞 (@RealFoxD) September 12, 2019 Yeah, I’ve got jokes, alright. But the bigger question does remain, what on earth do the Brooklyn Nets think they’re going to gain from a prima donna point guard who’s never won anything without LeBron James and a guy who is coming back from …

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Are the 2019-20 New York Knicks Good?

Welcome back to the NBA, folks! It’s season preview time, and every weekday between now and the start of the season, we’ll be taking a look one at a time at all 30 teams east to west and worst to first by division and asking and answering one simple question: Is this team any good? We start by rendering the title absurd and asking about the New York Knicks. This is a team that went 17-65 last year and got pantsed by the Basketball Gods at the draft lottery, ending up with Duke’s RJ Barrett instead of the dreamed-about and …

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Indiana Pacers Offseason News & Predictions

The Pacers have done a lot of positive things so far this offseason. So, what is the proof of that, you might ask? Well, the Pacers opened the offseason with long, +8000 odds to win the NBA Title. But since then, have moved to +3300 – all of the books are slightly different so please check this sportsbetting.ag review to compare. Going from eight to one to just over three to one is a massive change. And keep in mind, this is with the knowledge that Victor Oladipo’s return time is uncertain. The Busiest Team This Summer? The Pacers were …

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For the love of Lithuanian basketball

The FIBA Basketball World Cup gets underway Saturday in Australia, and while the eyes of most of the NBA media are squarely on the United States team, there’s one American hoop junkie whose eyes are firmly cast to the east when picking a squad to root for. It’s not that I’m against USA Basketball per se, it’s just that one country has such an inspired history both with the sport and as a country that I have to root for them out of a go-get-em-guys admiration. I’m talking about Lithuania. “Lietuva” in the local tongue over there. For one thing, …

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NBA Best And Worst Contracts Part VI: Pacific Division

As we wrap up our look at NBA contracts, a few things—good and bad—about Wiggins Factor as a stat start to come through in the analysis. In one case, it’s a sins-of-the-father argument… This really should say ‘the Wolves HAD one of the worst front offices in the league’. None of those bad contracts were signed by the current regime. — Jake Paynting (@jakepaynting) August 23, 2019 It’s going to take the new front office awhile to take out the trash. And in another case, it’s an example of Stewart’s Maxim: “It’s not funny anymore when it’s your guy.” @RealFoxD …

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NBA Best And Worst Contracts Part V: Southwest Division

Welcome to Part 5 of our 6-part series taking a look at every contract in the NBA—except for rookies and two-way contracts, plus anyone who didn’t play in the league last season due to injury or having been overseas or something—and quantifying the ratio of minute-weighted dollars paid to Win Shares produced. To remind folks who haven’t read previous entries in this series: As a quick reminder, a rookie, veteran minimum, or midlevel exception contract should produce a Wiggins Factor below 100, a rotation player with a rotation salary should be under 200, and ideally you want your superstar-level contracts …

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NBA Best And Worst Contracts Part IV: Northwest Division

In previous installments of this series, we’ve looked at the relative value of the contracts in the Eastern Conference in terms of Win Shares per minute-weighted dollar of salary. Time for a trip out west, and we’ll run into the namesake of the Wiggins Factor stat when we get to Minnesota (spoiler alert: It’s a train wreck.) If having great value on contracts is a harbinger of making a deep playoff run, you might want to get to Vegas and get some money down on the Jazz. As a quick reminder, a rookie, veteran minimum, or midlevel exception contract should …

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NBA Best And Worst Contracts Part III: Southeast Division

In the previous two editions of this series, we took a look at the best and worst contracts in the Atlantic and Central Divisions, and we finish our look at the Eastern Conference today with the Dumpster fire that is the Southeast Division—a division Orlando won with a 42-40 record and sent no other teams to the playoffs. Which, in turn, points to the wisdom of the NBA making its playoff standards division agnostic. In the old days, the 4 seed Magic would’ve hosted the 5 seed Celtics in Game 1 of the first round, a Celtics team that won …

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