Is This 2018 NBA Team Any Good?: Boston Celtics

by Fox Doucette Talk about “no respect.” The Celtics were the No. 1 seed in the East last year, they added Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving in the offseason, and I’ve yet to see a Twitter pundit who wasn’t from Boston who’s predicting them to make the Finals. It seems like everyone thinks Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder are going to put LeBron back in the catbird seat, and some folks are even suggesting that the Wizards or Raptors are going to grab the No. 2 spot this year. That might just be absurd. Irving’s been waiting three years now …

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Is This 2018 NBA Team Any Good?: Toronto Raptors

by Fox Doucette The Toronto Raptors are the last remaining holdout for the idea that old-school basketball can actually win games, and they went 51-31 despite ranking 22nd in the NBA in three-point attempts in 2017. While the Rockets and Warriors were breaking basketball with triples aplenty, the Raptors’ efficient inside-out game managed to rank sixth in offensive rating even as they were 24th in pace. Casey says he wants to modernize the offense a little this year, shoot more threes, look more like a pace-and-space team, but with the Mid Ranger playing shooting guard, will it be hi ho …

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Is This 2018 NBA Team Any Good?: Philadelphia 76ers

by Fox Doucette Is it time for the Process to finally bear fruit? And if so, how much value is found in ending up as a 7 or 8 seed in the playoffs, getting smacked around by Boston or Cleveland, then relying on all the pieces to gel as the team starts to age into its prime? It’s a real question for the Sixers, as they project as a 39.5-win team in Vegas, making them the projected 8 seed in the East if everything goes according to Hoyle. Joel Embiid is about to play his 32nd career NBA game in …

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Is This 2018 NBA Team Any Good?: New York Knicks

by Fox Doucette Oh man, talk about your questions with obvious answers. We’ve had a few of those in these 27 episodes so far (three more until the season starts!) For the New York Knicks, it’s Kristaps Porzingis’s team now. Carmelo Anthony is plying his trade in Oklahoma City along with Russell Westbrook and Paul George, so all that remains is to see whether the big Latvian can do anything to restore this wretched franchise to respectability.

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Is This 2018 NBA Team Any Good?: Brooklyn Nets

by Fox Doucette There’s something to be said for grade inflation, as asking if the Brooklyn Nets are “good” is a question with an obvious answer, while asking “do they completely suck or is there hope here?” is a completely different question with a less obvious one. After all, if a straight-F student at least starts pulling a C-minus once in awhile, there’s hope that you can put them through community college and they might just end up with a decent job someday, while other straight-F students wash out and die of drug overdoses in alleys. The Nets have looked …

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Is This 2018 NBA Team Any Good?: Cleveland Cavaliers

by Fox Doucette This year, the Cleveland Cavaliers, not content with the answer they got in 2007 the last time they asked this question, have posed the inquiry “How bad a Letter League outfit can we put around LeBron James and still make the Finals?” Dwyane Wade is ready to collect a pension, Kevin Love’s transformation into completely ordinary stretch 4 is complete, Kyrie Irving is on the Celtics now and Isaiah Thomas won’t be able to stay healthy, J.R. Smith is still on the team, and Derrick Rose and Kendrick Perkins? Really? Yet Vegas has them as the favorite …

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Is This 2018 NBA Team Any Good?: Indiana Pacers

by Fox Doucette Man, it is a terrifying time to be a Pacers fan. This team is good enough to make a bit of noise in the 9-12 echelon in the East and keep the fans clinging to false hopes of the playoffs as late as All-Star Weekend, but they’re bad enough to have no chance whatsoever to make the actual playoffs. Or, if you want the wry, worst-case scenario, they’re not good enough to tank. On the other hand, this is a batch of castoffs and nobodies surrounding the best young player Indiana’s had since…well, since they drafted Paul …

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Is This 2018 NBA Team Any Good?: Milwaukee Bucks

by Fox Doucette The team that drives my spell check crazy won 42 games with the likes of Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, Mirza Teletovic, Matthew Dellavedova, Thon Maker, and Jabari Parker. This year, all the names you know and love are back, and one of the best young cores in the league gets to try and make the leap from 42-win 6 seed to 50-win force of nature. They’ve still got 40-year-old Jason Terry for veteran leadership. They’ve still got Jason Kidd coaching. Vegas likes them for 47, which would be good for fifth in the East, almost bang on …

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Is This 2018 NBA Team Any Good?: Detroit Pistons

by Fox Doucette Ladies and jelly spoons, I come before you to stand behind you and inform you of something I know nothing about. Because hot damn, is there a team in the entire NBA that has more of a who-the-hell-are-they problem than the Pistons? Stan Van Gundy’s outfit is known as the team with Andre Drummond, but their Twitter is seemingly openly opposed to #BreakfastSpecial highlight reels, directing you to the un-embed-able world of NBA.com’s game highlights (even WordPress doesn’t like the embed code, so you better hope like hell someone put it on YouTube), Stan Van Gundy’s four-out …

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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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