Is This 2018 NBA Team Any Good?: Chicago Bulls

by Fox Doucette No team has fallen quite as far or as spectacularly as the Chicago Bulls seem to have. They traded Jimmy Butler to Minnesota for nearly nothing. Dwyane Wade is on the Cavaliers. Rajon Rondo is on the Pelicans. Any connection the Bulls had to their old glory days is out the door. And so a team that went 41-41 and snuck into the playoffs last year now projects as a panzer battalion, tanking all over the league. This is the last year a team can bottom out and gain a real advantage from it, so now is …

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Is This 2018 NBA Team Any Good?: Orlando Magic

by Fox Doucette Not every team in the NBA has a compelling side story to write about. The Orlando Magic, fresh off an unremarkable 29-53 season in which they were 14-35 after starting out 15-18, speak to that. This will be the third straight year in which they come into the season raising some eyebrows with their youth and athleticism, and it might just be the third straight year in which they fall flat on their faces in the effort. After all, the 2015-16 edition of the squad was 19-13 at one point; they went 16-34 in their last 50. …

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Is This 2018 NBA Team Any Good?: Charlotte Hornets

by Fox Doucette The good news is that Charlotte has Dwight Howard. The bad news is that Charlotte has Dwight Howard, and he’s making $23.5 million even though his best years are so far behind him that he counts as nostalgia. While we’re on the subject, did anyone in 2005 seriously believe that Marvin Williams would still be in the NBA in 2017? The guy wasn’t even a starter in college and went second overall. Talk about playing with house money. Plus Michael Carter-Williams and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist are on the same team now, and expect me to get their names …

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Is This 2018 NBA Team Any Good?: Atlanta Hawks

by Fox Doucette Our journey through the Southeast Division continues, and the best team nobody watched in 2015 just because the worst team nobody’s going to watch in 2018. The Hawks, like most Atlanta sports teams, couldn’t draw flies if you covered them in honey, finished 26th out of 30 in attendance last season, a playoff year, and were in the bottom half even when they went 60-22 (and finished 17th in attendance.) The last time Atlanta was in the top ten in attendance? 1987-88. They were 8th, with Dominique Wilkins dazzling fans…and there were only 23 teams in the …

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Is This 2018 NBA Team Any Good?: Washington Wizards

by Fox Doucette John Wall and the Wizketeers started last season 2-8. They finished it 3-5. In between, they went 44-20. Wall and company gave the Celtics all they wanted and nearly snuck into the Eastern Conference Finals out of the four seed, in the process perpetrating the brutal murder of the Atlanta Hawks as an NBA entity and precipitating the rebuild in the 404 that we’ll get to tomorrow. But for now, the question becomes was Washington’s 49-win campaign and solid playoff run a sign of things to come, or just a sign that the East is legitimately that …

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Is This 2018 NBA Team Any Good?: Miami Heat

by Fox Doucette The Miami Heat started the 2016-17 campaign by going 11-30. They finished it by going 30-11, barely missing the playoffs but earning the distinction of getting back to .500 from the furthest deficit under that mark in NBA history. From the moment they won 13 in a row to get back to 24-30, the rumblings began, and to anyone outside of Indiana and Chicago, they became sentimental favorites to do the impossible without LeBron James or Dwyane Wade. The question now becomes what does Erik Spoelstra’s team take away from this? For half a season, they were …

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Is This 2018 NBA Team Any Good?: Los Angeles Lakers

by Fox Doucette Brook Lopez, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and Luol Deng are the three highest-paid players on the Los Angeles Lakers this year. So…looks like we’re getting at least one more year out of the #LOLakers hashtag on Twitter, yes? This team has more players making the minimum salary than a Jack in the Box, while their most notable media figure besides executive Magic Johnson is the father of a rookie who got clowned in his last game in college, a man so noisome and irritating that he is a gift from the gods to Laker haters, the legend-in-his-own-mind big baller …

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Is This 2018 NBA Team Any Good?: Los Angeles Clippers

by Fox Doucette The Clippers, who were gifted Chris Paul by the league, apparently missed a payment to their State Farm agent, because CP3 got repossessed and given to the Houston Rockets. Which means… Blake Griffin’s so fragile that he hasn’t played a full season’s worth of games since 2014, DeAndre Jordan is a one-trick pony who doesn’t have Paul to lob him easy dunks anymore, and while the addition of Sam Dekker, Patrick Beverley, Lou Williams, Danilo Gallinari, and Montrezl Harrell make them an intriguing team, the question then becomes whether any of these pieces actually fit together. Can …

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Is This 2018 NBA Team Any Good?: Sacramento Kings

by Fox Doucette Sacramento traded away its best player, admitting that the Boogie Cousins Era was just seven years of having a great-stats-bad-team guy on a squad going nowhere. They were 24-33 at the time of the trade; they went 8-17 after the trade. That’s the squad they’re going to run out this year, a team on a 26-win pace, to try and clear the low bar of their 28.5 over/under. Which leaves only one question…is De’Aaron Fox going to be Sacramento’s savior? I sure hope so, because five is my lucky number and if you think I’m not buying …

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Is This 2018 NBA Team Any Good?: Phoenix Suns

by Fox Doucette For every yin, there is a yang, and for every Golden State Warriors squad tearing up the top of the league and redefining the word dynasty for a modern age, there is a sad-sack franchise with a cheapskate owner and no discernible leadership doomed perpetually to suck. Say hello to your 2017-18 Phoenix Suns, folks, as easy a case of Busted as the Dubs were Confirmed. Let’s unpack the sad tale of a pathetic franchise, which spends every waking moment of its life in the futile pursuit of a sadistic playoff berth, which mocks them and laughs …

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