By Sam Prince
Welcome to South Holland’s weekly NBA report. We’ll cover players, stats and storylines that aren’t typically highlighted. There’s a lot in store for you each week. Get your NBA fix every Monday morning with South Holland. But in the meantime, sit back, relax, and enjoy our NBA opening day report.
It’s finally here. The NBA season is upon us. Welcome to the 82 game grind. Can the Warriors repeat? Will LeBron finally bring a championship to Cleveland? Can the New York Knicks execute the triangle offense effectively? These are just a few of the many questions that will be answered this season. Below are South Holland’s 2015-2016 NBA storylines for all 30 teams. Enjoy!
Don’t forget to check out the poll at the bottom!
“One Hit Wonder? “
Last year Coach Bud changed Atlanta’s culture. Now, can they be consistent?
“A lot of complementary pieces with nothing to complement. “
Danny Ainge is an all-star away making the Celtics contenders.
“2015-2016 Sacko Award Winners.”
They need to hit the reset button and build around Hollis-Jefferson but can’t, because of bad trades and bad contracts.
Muggsy Bogues ain’t Walkin’ Through That Door.”
I don’t know if Jeremy Lin and Kemba Walker are legitimate NBA starting point guards, but maybe if you combine them together they’ll equal one.
“The Silence of the Bulls.”
Which introvert will emerge as the leader of the Bulls, Rose or Butler?
“The Cleveland Clinic is the official sponsor of Cavalier basketball.”
They’re the favorite out of the East, but if they don’t get healthy they may fall to a three seed. They don’t want to fall to a three seed, because they may see a young and rising team like Milwaukee.
“To Tank or Not to Tank?”
Rondo is still haunting them. The Mavs looked unstoppable pre-Rondo trade. It will be sad if Swish41 has to go out on a low note.
“Mudiay is Denver’s point guard of the future. Key Word: Future.”
Denver fans have a lot to look forward to with an electrifying point guard like Mudiay.
“Reggie Jackson and Brandon Jennings, who’s going to be the sidekick?”
Jennings, Jackson, and Drummond on alley-oops. I really don’t see anyone else touching the ball. That includes you Stanley. You’d better crash the offensive boards.
“Thank You Sir, May I Have Another.”
Last year was no fluke, but back to back championships are only won by the all-time great teams. Is Golden-State an all-time great team?
“Do they have enough firepower to make it through the Western Conference Finals?”
Lil B has already cursed James Harden for the 2015 season. Better luck next year?
“Paul George, circa 2013?”
Remember when the Pacers won 56 games? Well, their superstar is back with a different supporting cast. Can he regain his 2013 form?
Los Angeles Clippers
“Championship potential, but can they get out of their own way?”
It’s put up or shut up time for the Clippers. They have arguably the best point guard, power forward, and center in the league.
Los Angeles Lakers
“Old Habits Die Hard: Will Kobe give Russell room to grow?”
The Buss family is on thin ice here. They don’t want to upset an all-time great in Kobe, but Russell and Clarkson are their future. I love drama.
“One-Trick Grizzly: Still no Shooters.”
I want to believe in their style of play because who doesn’t like scrappy defense, and power post play? They’re fighting the trend, and I like teams that have the courage to do that.
“As the Bosh Turns.”
It’s good to see Chris Bosh healthy. They would have made the playoffs last year if he was. They’ll need everyone to stay healthy in a slightly more competitive Eastern Conference, and they need Bosh to play at an all-star level.
“Hope you brought your track shoes.”
They’re young, scrappy, and they can’t shoot. Seriously, I think Kris Middleton is their best shooter and he was barely at 40% last year. So, Jason Kidd is just going to try to run everyone they play into the ground.
“Win One for the Gipper.”
Losing Flip Saunders is tough. Loss brings us together, and I hope to see Minnesota rally around this tragedy, honoring Saunders’ memory by playing inspired basketball.
New Orleans Pelicans
“Anthony Davis guest starring in E.R.”
The Pelicans are thin at every position due to injury. But at least they have Alvin Gentry.
New York Knicks
“The Bermuda Triangle.”
Carmelo was out most of last year. Aaron Affalo is a free agent acquisition. Porzingas and Grant are rookies. The smart money says the Knick’s Triangle Offense will be in shambles, again.
Oklahoma City Thunder
“Caution: Fork in the Road, straight ahead.”
The pressure is on Billy Donovan to deliver a championship and retain Kevin Durant, all in his first year. That’s much more pressure than Kerr had to face last year.
“Fighting for the 8th seed.”
Orlando has a young nucleus that’s hungry to win. They will be battling for an eighth seed this year.
“Playing With House Money.”
To Sam Hinkie, “the end justifies the means.” That “end” is an NBA Championship, but at this point I am beginning to think he is Niccolò Machiavelli reincarnated.
“I’m just here to see somebody get posterized.”
The probability of Brandon Knight being posterized before All-Star weekend > The probability of the Suns making the Phoenix.
Portland Trail Blazers
“I rip and I rhyme, I rhyme and I rip. This is the way Damian Spit. Rip City!”
Neil Olshey did the best he could to patch the Trail Blazers up, after losing Aldridge and Matthews. Still, that’s too much to recover from in the span of one offseason. It would take a Tom Hanks in “Cast Away” type effort from Damian Lillard, in order for the Trail Blazers to make the playoffs this year.
The Kings are villainized, and maybe rightfully so. That’s all the more reason that I want to see them excel.
San Antonio Spurs
“The Changing of the Guard.”
The San Antonio Spurs. The New England Patriots. Hendrick Motorsports. The Minnesota Lynx. It’s all business with these teams, and their business is “winning”.
“The 6 has yet to fix last year’s woes.”
Toronto couldn’t sustain their high level of play last year, fizzling out in the playoffs. That would be my primary goal this year. Sustaining the high level of play achieved early last season.
“It’s time to start making the playoffs.”
They were good after the All-Star break. Now it’s time to put an entire season together.
“Can Otto Porter handle The Truth’s shoes?”
The Truth will set you free. Well, now that the Truth has moved on to the Clippers, who will fill his shoes? The job falls to Otto Porter, and the Wizards will need him to be good if they plan on being a contender.