Are the 2018-19 Milwaukee Bucks Good?

The Milwaukee Bucks went 44-38, finished seventh in the Eastern Conference, took the Boston Celtics to seven games in the playoffs, and did all of the above with a lousy coach (Jason Kidd) fired midway through the season and a who-dat interim coach who had two fewer wins in eight fewer games (Joe Prunty, who coached the Bucks to a 21-16 record after Kidd started 23-22) during the stretch drive. So, in essence, Milwaukee played half the season at a 46.5 win pace. Guess what the over/under is for the Bucks this year. Now, of course, there are more factors …

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Are the 2018-19 Detroit Pistons Good?

Riddle me this, Batman. In what universe is a team that has a full season of Blake Griffin, Dwane Casey’s cured case of Scott-Hollins Syndrome as a coach, and the same roster otherwise that won 39 games and at times looked like a playoff team supposed to regress by two wins or more? But that’s exactly what Vegas is saying about Detroit, which went 39-43 last year under Stan Van Gundy (who hasn’t done jack squat as a coach when he didn’t have Prime Dwight Howard) and with Griffin only for the stretch run? Yes, they lost Tobias Harris, and …

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Are the 2018-19 Chicago Bulls Good?

As this goes to press, it’s September 19, International Talk Like A Pirate Day, and for the Chicago Bulls, they just got keelhauled and shipwrecked in one of the weirdest voyages that a bunch of salty landlubbers ever took upon the seas of the NBA in 2017-18. When they lost to the Pacers on December 6, it dropped them to 3-20. When they beat the Pacers on the 29th, they were 13-22, winners of 10 out of 12. They went 14-33 the rest of the way to finish with 27 wins. And meanwhile, they still have the same terrible coach, …

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Are the 2018-19 Miami Heat Good?

The Miami Heat won 44 games in 2017-18, won the Southeast Division, and got smacked by the Philadelphia 76ers in the playoffs because the Southeast Division is garbage. The Heat are staring at a 41.5 over/under in 2018-19, expected to come in second behind the Wizards. This implies a regression, but what grounds do we have to expect that? The roster is pretty much the same as a year ago, Hassan Whiteside is healthy (even if he’s a whiny, pouty jerk in the media to the front office and to Erik Spoelstra’s coaching staff, basically Dwight Howard Lite), Bam Adebayo …

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Are the 2018-19 Washington Wizards Good?

If you want to know what Salary Cap Hell looks like in the brave new world of the 2016 TV deal, the Washington Wizards are a fantastic example, the single worst salary cap disaster since the mid-aughts Knicks. John Wall, Bradley Beal, and Otto Porter make a combined $70 million. Wall’s extension, which kicks in come 2019-20, will pay him $37.8 million a year, and with the way his health has been, he seems vanishingly unlikely to be effective in that player-option year in 2022-23, when he’ll be in for $46.872 million. Beal is in the midst of a five-year, …

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Are the 2018-19 Charlotte Hornets Good?

Is there a more fan-ghetto franchise in all of the NBA than the Charlotte Hornets? Besides Sacramento and Memphis, what other city has an NBA team that attracts less notice from literally every other fanbase in the entire league plus the generic NBA fan? Since changing their name back from the Bobcats, the Not Cats have gone 33-49, 48-34, 36-46, and then 36-46 again. They are the definition of Mediocrity Hell. They haven’t won a playoff series in their revived-in-Charlotte franchise history since the Bobcats were expanded into existence in 2004. They’ve had only three winning seasons in 14 tries. …

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Are the 2018-19 Orlando Magic Good?

Man, the Southeast Division is a Dumpster fire, isn’t it? In the old days, the Heat would’ve been one of the worst 4 seeds the playoffs had ever seen, the Wizards are a capped-out Roland Emmerich movie, Charlotte seems to exist entirely to ensure the continued underrated status of Kemba Walker, and the Hawks and Magic are…well, they’re signs that Atlanta and Orlando are fine ersatz sports cities, a problem that seems to plague the southeast for every sport other than college football. So, like yesterday, the question at issue in today’s post isn’t whether the Orlando Magic are good …

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Are the 2018-19 Atlanta Hawks Good?

And the award for “Dumbest Headline” goes to…Pace and Space! You like me! You really, really…wonder why I picked that little Google-friendly…never mind. The Hawks suck. That’s…not actually the question we’re trying to answer here, though. The question is not “are the Hawks good”, but “are they good enough to win 24 games again and clear the low bar of their 23.5 over/under. Or, put another way, “are the Hawks somehow even worse than last year?” Well, they replaced Dennis Schroder with Trae Young, who showed in Summer League that he’s either Stephen Curry Evolved…or about as accurate as setting …

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Are the 2018-19 Toronto Raptors Good?

Dwane Casey couldn’t win for trying last year. Curing his case of Scott/Hollins Syndrome (well, except for DeMar DeRozan, but you can’t make chicken salad out of chicken…something else…beyond the arc), leading the Toronto Raptors to a 59-23 record, the best regular season in franchise history… …and getting his butt kicked by LeBron James, meekly surrendering in four games in the second round… Anyway, longtime assistant Nick Nurse is now the head coach, a man whose coaching experience includes 11 years in Britain, seven in the G-League, and six as Casey’s errand boy. On the bright side, Nurse is said …

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Are the 2018-19 Boston Celtics Good?

TVTropes defines “Artifact Title” as “A series title that made perfect sense when it began, but after a number of changes to the premise, no longer makes sense to people who don’t go back to the beginning.” Asking if the Celtics are good is an artifact title. Let’s have one thing understood; if they stay healthy, the Boston Celtics can win the NBA championship in 2019. Last year’s injuries to Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving might just be the catalyst that gave them the bench depth that was otherwise a matter of question. But hey, just because we all know …

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