Podcast: Season Preview (Part 1)

https://contestedlongtwos.bandcamp.com/track/season-preview-part-1

Stream it, download it, do whatever you need to do to get some informative and entertaining content in your earholes.

Part two coming soon!

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DeMarcus Cousins May Shoulder the Largest Workload in the League

By: Scott Levine

nola

I call this piece, “Sisyphus in Sneakers”.

When New Orleans traded for DeMarcus Cousins, they signed away their license to small ball. Their offense and defense would now center around two behemoths in Cousins and Anthony Davis.

The team endured a losing streak in late February as it adjusted to playing with the newly acquired Cousins, and packed it in come April once out of the playoff race. But the Pelicans went 10-6 in March and boasted the third best defensive rating in the league.

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Podcast: Kyrie Irving Trade

Recorded 8/23: Scott and Brian discuss their immediate reactions to the trade between the Celtics and Cavs, and discuss what it means for the Celtics next season and onward.

Listen here: https://vocaroo.com/i/s0Vku8rvGK7v

I’ve been trying to get stuff on iTunes but the RSS feed stuff is a little tricky. It will probably take a few days, so I just wanted to get this out here now.

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The NBA Expendables

By: Scott Levine

NBA Expendables .png

They’re the heroes we deserve. (Ersan Ilyasova and Trevor Booker courtesy of Keith Allison via Wikimedia Commons. Marco Belinelli courtesy of chensiyuan via Wikimedia Commons. Expendables movie poster courtesy of Tatiana T via Flickr. Photo editing courtesy of yours truly 😏.)

The salary cap for the 2018-2019 season is expected to be $102 million. It was projected to be $108 million a year ago, when many teams threw irresponsible amounts of money at players such as Timofey Mozgov, Evan Turner, and Joakim Noah.

Due to clogged cap sheets around the league, the 2018 Free Agency market will have less bidders than the average offseason. General Managers, always quick to sniff a market inefficiency, may be willing to pay a premium to get off bad contracts and into the bidding war.

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They Can’t All Be Draymond

By: Scott Levine

shade

Draymond Green. (Ash Carter via Wikimedia Commons)

Caleb Swanigan scored many points and grabbed many rebounds in Summer League. It’s hard to deduce much from this, but many agree he will be able find a role in the NBA because of his shooting ability and toughness. Some are not satisfied with that. Blazers Summer League coach Jim Moran wants to see him become Draymond Green.

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Free Agency Shootaround

By: Scott Levine, Ethan Giles, and Brian Kane

thibodeau

Thibs wyd… (Keith Allison via Wikimedia Commons)

This offseason was not the grandiose money bath that was the summer of 2016. However, it had its fair share of polarizing contracts, some of which we will discuss. We didn’t mention signings like Gordon Hayward, Paul Millsap, and Blake Griffin because those have been discussed at length other places on the internet.

Favorite signing

Scott: P.J. Tucker to the Rockets, 4 years, $32 million

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Random Summer League Thoughts Pt. 2

By: Scott Levine

I don’t want to take credit for predicting Dennis Smith Jr.’s success for two reasons. One, he is playing way better in Summer League than even I expected. Two, it’s just Summer League. But holy hell does he look good.

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Random Summer League Thoughts Pt. 1

By: Scott Levine

After watching Summer League I have opinions. Instead of carefully weaving them together, I am going to present them in a slapdash unorganized manner to best simulate Summer League style of play.

I am tired of Summer League. I have deduced what I can about the rookies and sophomores of interest. The charm of fondly remembering that certain fringe NBA players exist has pretty much worn off. I am left with a reality of bad basketball.

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The Celtics Turned a Guard Problem Into a Forward Problem

By: Brian Kane

Jae Crowder

Jae Crowder would be an irreplaceable starter on most teams, but Boston could soon have several wings capable of taking his starting spot. (Keith Allison via Wikimedia Commons)

The first monumental tremor of the 2017 NBA Draft came three days before draft night. The Celtics completely disregarded public opinion on Markelle Fultz, de facto best player in the draft, by trading the #1 pick to Philly for #3 and a future first round pick. The future pick will come from either the Lakers in 2018, were that pick to fall between 2 and 5, or the better of the Sixers and Kings pick in 2019 unless one of them is the #1 overall pick. This move’s been harped on enough, and the Celtics likely made the right move considering value gained, even if the timing of the deal was unfortunate for the C’s fanbase.

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Dennis Smith’s Role in the Mavericks Offense

By: Scott Levine

When the Knicks selected Frank Ntilikina with the eighth pick, the Dallas war room celebrated. They then picked Dennis Smith, the player with the second highest upside in the draft.

Smith gives the Mavericks their first high-ceiling lottery point guard since they drafted Jason Kidd in 1994. While Smith does not have the playmaking ability that Kidd did, he has shown he can score off-the-dribble at all three levels, an important skill in the modern NBA. High-powered offenses such as the Warriors and Trailblazers run pick and roll sets predicated on the defense having to respect Curry and Lillard’s off-the-dribble threes. Smith also demonstrated elite handle and athleticism at NC State.

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