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Warlando: A Magic Dynasty

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Old 09-27-2021, 02:23 AM   #1
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Warlando: A Magic Dynasty


Game/System: NBA 2K22 / Xbox Series X
Mode: MyNBA
Rosters: Official 2K Roster (23/9/21)
Game Sliders: Superstar default
Quarter Length: 12 minutes
Sim Quarter Length: 12 minutes
Draft Classes: I will try and emulate future drafts as well as I can, each draft class used will be listed below.
Spoiler

Season Length: 82 Games
Regular Season Played Games: All TV games decided by 2K will be played, as well as the first and last games of the season. The remaining games will be 4th quarter played only, with those games bunched together when possible.
Playoff Played Games: Two games will be played per series. These will be randomly determined from a number generator and one must be in the first four games.
Finals Played Games: Three played and the rest simulated. These will be the first game, and two randomly generated games which could be 2-7.
Playoff Format: 7-7-7-7

Advanced CBA Rules: All On
Offseason Auto Time Periods: All Off

Automatic League Expansion: On
Protected Players: 8
G League: On
Staff Abilities: On
Progressive Fatigue: On
Team Chemistry: On
Rule Changes: On (two rule changes made before starting: bonus after 4 fouls in OT and ASG will have four timed quarters.)
Draft Class Quality: 35

Salary Cap: On ($112M Value)
Salary Cap Inflation Rate: 40
Hard Cap: On ($200M Value)
Trade Restrictions: All On
Trade Approval: On
Trade Frequency: 37
Previously Traded Draft Picks: Off

Injuries: On
Roster Injuries: On
Injury Severity and Duration: 30
Career-Ending Injury Frequency: 15
Wear and Tear: On

Progression: 46
Regression: 54
Sim Difficulty: 53
Trade Negotiation Difficulty: 65
Contract Negotiation Difficulty: 75
CPU Re-Signing Aggressiveness: 70
Morale and Chemistry Difficulty: 55
Morale and Chemistry Effects: 60
CPU and User Injury Frequency: 62
CPU and User Injury Effects: 40
Player Fatigue Rate: 52
Player Recovery Rate: 48

Hello and welcome to my newest dynasty attempt. My previous two NBA 2K did not go to plan and I became very burnt out very quickly, the aim here is for that not to happen. I have been setting up certain things to run with since this since launch day and now I am finally happy with everything that I can start! To put a few pieces to the side first, this dynasty will have a very similar feel/look to my last team dynasty, Won't Bow Down | A New Orleans Pelicans Dynasty (NBA 2K21)
and you can ignore the beginning of this post, it is just a backlog of my settings that will be used for this franchise. As usual with my posts, these will be more basic on the court news rather than story based. I have chosen the Magic as they have been a rather mediocre team in their history, and I am looking forward to rebuilding a team with no major superstars from the word go.

As always, thanks to anyone who follows and a big shoutout to trekfan, Number999, studbucket and marshdaddy who all have helped me generate ideas just from them posting their stories, and I will continue to look out in the forum for things to feed off to improve this dynasty. Any feedback good or bad is welcomed and encouraged. To start this off, I will catch you up on the Magic.

Orlando Magic 2021-22: The Orlando Magic first joined the NBA in 1989 and had a very encouraging start to their life in the league, making a finals appearance in only their sixth season with superstar Shaquille O'Neal. The Magic would not return to the finals until 2009, once again with a star center, this time Dwight Howard. Although they are one of the more successful expansion teams from 1988-89, the team have never found their way to a NBA championship, or produced a MVP winner on their team. Since their last trip to the Finals, the Magic have made the playoffs in five of the twelve seasons, with only one of those appearances making it past the first round.

Midway through their 20-21 season, the Magic offloaded majority of their talent for big contracts or draft picks in what signified the next rebuild for the team. Following that Steve Clifford would part ways with Orlando and it was clear the team was ready to start from scratch and work their way up to success once again. Although it may take some time I am here to follow and lead the Magic to the success they desire and that first NBA championship that has eluded them for 32 years.

So with all that out of the way... let's take a trip to sunny Orlando, Florida!

Author's Notes:

Spoiler
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Warlando: A Magic Dynasty

Last edited by asvpxhughuet; 09-27-2021 at 02:46 AM.
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Old 09-27-2021, 07:27 PM   #2
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Re: Warlando: A Magic Dynasty

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Table of Contents

Archive for NBA News/Storylines

2021-22 Season:



Archive for Orlando Roster Moves

2021-22 Season:



Orlando Magic History

2021-22 Season:
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Warlando: A Magic Dynasty

Last edited by asvpxhughuet; 09-27-2021 at 07:43 PM.
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Old 09-27-2021, 07:38 PM   #3
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Re: Warlando: A Magic Dynasty

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Award History

Most Valuable Player:

2022:

Rookie of the Year:

2022:

Defensive Player of the Year:

2022:

Sixth Man of the Year:

2022:

Most Improved Player:

2022:

Coach of the Year:

2022:
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Old 09-27-2021, 07:41 PM   #4
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Re: Warlando: A Magic Dynasty

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Other Awards/Accomplishments

NBA Finals Results:

2022:

Finals MVP:

2022:

All-Star Game (MVP):

2022:

Scoring Champion:

2022:

#1 Draft Pick:

2022:

Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Inductees:
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Old 09-27-2021, 08:01 PM   #5
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Re: Warlando: A Magic Dynasty

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The Magic Roster

As always, before we get onto the more exciting parts of this franchise, first we have to take a look at the foundation of the team and who will be the ones performing for us from day one. There is a very common theme with this roster, which is the high number of younger, less experienced players, mixed with the older veterans. It doesn't take much to see this team has a lot of work to do to get into a successful place but some of the pieces are already there. The main takeaway from the group at first glance is the Jalen Suggs, Jonathan Isaac and Wendell Carter Jr. look to be the major keys in this first season, with a few other key veterans such as Robin Lopez and Terrence Ross will be there to support your younger players such as Markelle Fultz, Cole Anthony and Franz Wagner.

Point Guards:

Jalen Suggs (77): The 5th pick of the draft, Suggs will look to come straight in to the starting lineup and be an offensive and defensive key for the Magic. After leading Gonzaga to the National Championship in his Freshman year expect the same leadership to be displayed on this young Magic side.

Markelle Fultz (77): Fultz is still recovering from the ACL tear he suffered last season but will be a major piece to the Magic’s success when he returns. With Suggs at the 1 expect Fultz to slot in at the 2 or a high-minutes sixth man role.

Cole Anthony (77): The depth at Point Guard continues as Cole Anthony is another young stud at the one. Coming off the back of a productive rookie season expect to see Anthony continue to log big minutes and feature with the starting lineup throughout the season.

Michael Carter-Williams (72): The final of Orlando’s point guards, Michael Carter-Williams is currently recovering from surgery on his left foot but is expected to return sooner rather than later. He averaged his highest PPG and MPG last year in the last five seasons and will look to be a productive backup player.

Shooting Guards:

Terrence Ross (78): Ross is entering his 10th season in the NBA and will continue to give his high-output in lower minutes for the Magic this season. He is expected to start in the opener and will play a similar role to Markelle Fultz, providing scoring with the first unit and off the bench.

Gary Harris (73): Harris is not expected to log many minutes for the Magic this season and is likely to be offloaded either during or after the season, with a big $20 million contract sitting over his head. He may short stints in close games as his defense is a major ability.

R.J. Hampton (73): Hampton is another player coming off his rookie season, and will look to continue his progression in a backup SG role. Involved in the trade that sent Aaron Gordon to the Nuggets, expect to see his minutes rise throughout the season as he continues to adapt to the NBA game.

E’Twaun Moore (72): Moore is currently on the backend of his career and will not be expected to log any major minutes throughout the 20-21 season. He is a veteran that will play majority of his minutes in garbage time or be a backup when injuries hinder the side.

Small Forwards:

Franz Wagner (74): The second of the Magic’s 2021 lottery picks and the first Wagner brother, Franz is expected to play minor minutes to start off the season and work his way into a starting role. Capable of playing the 2, 3, or 4, Wagner’s ability to score makes him a key piece of Orlando’s future and seems to have loads of potential.

Ignas Brazdeikis (Two-Way, 69): Orlando’s only two-way player, Brazdeikis will spend majority of his season with the Lakeland Magic, but looks to have potential to have some opportunities in this season or the future, but will continue to work on his craft and improve from his second season in the league.

Power Forwards:

Jonathan Isaac (80): It is hard not to be excited about Isaac’s return for the Magic, coming back from another ACL injury suffered in the 2020. Isaac is one of the best defenders in the league and continues to improve his scoring, and is a lock for the starting lineup.

Chuma Okeke (75): A rather undersized Power Forward, Okeke will play with the backups in his second season in the league. His mid-range and three-point scoring are some of the best in the team and he will only improve with more experience this season.

Moritz Wagner (75): Franz’s brother Mo comes back for another stint in Orlando, where like E’Twaun Moore he is expected to not log many minutes and run with the backups.

Centers:

Wendell Carter Jr. (81): Last season the Magic traded Nikola Vucevic and in return received Carter Jr., Otto Porter and two first rounders. In what looked like a trade win for Chicago, Wendell has come out of his shell in his limited time in Orlando and is in my opinion the biggest piece to this teams success. His rebounding and scoring in the paint is at such a high level and at only 22, Carter will continue to shine for years to come. In his final season of his rookie contract, expect the Magic to give their star center a good amount to stay in Orlando.

Robin Lopez (77): Robin Lopez will continue to log high minutes for the center stacked Magic, which gives the second-unit a lot of strength when Wendell Carter is resting. Lopez has shown he can be a consistent scorer now in his 30’s.

Mohamed Bamba (76): An almost forgotten player, Mo Bamba was a top-10 pick in 2018 and has not delivered much since his debut in Orlando. Coming off his most productive season, Bamba has yet to average over 20 minutes per game and switching as the backup C with Lopez, this could be finally the year Bamba comes out and shows his worth. His rebounding is key and it is expected he will either be a key part of the rotation or will be traded.

2021-22 Orlando Magic Roster
#NAMEPOSAGEHTWTSALARY
50Anthony, ColePG216'2"1901yr/$3.45M
5Bamba, MohamedC237'0"2311yr/$7.57M
17Brazdeikis, Ignas (TW)SF226'6"2211yr/$1.62M
34Carter Jr., WendellC226'10"2701yr/$6.92M
7Carter-Williams, MichaelPG306'5"1901yr/$3.30M
20Fultz, MarkellePG236'3"2093yr/$50.00M
13Hampton, R.J.SG206'4"1751yr/$2.30M
14Harris, GarySG276'4"2101yr/$20.48M
1Isaac, JonathanPF246'11"2304yr/$69.60M
33Lopez, RobinC337'0"2811yr/$5.00M
55Moore, E'TwaunSG326'3"1911yr/$1.62M
3Okeke, ChumaPF236'6"2291yr/$3.28M
31Ross, TerrenceSG306'6"2062yr/$24.00M
4Suggs, JalenPG206'4"2052yr/$13.52M
22Wagner, FranzSF206'9"2202yr/$10.27M
21Wagner, MoritzPF246’11”2451yr/$1.73M


The Magic Depth Chart

Orlando Magic Depth Chart - 2021-22
STARTER2ND3RD4TH
PGCole Anthony (28)Markelle Fultz (Inj.)Michael Carter-Williams (Inj.)
SGJalen Suggs (30)R.J. Hampton (10)Gary Harris (8)E'Twaun Moore (0)
SFTerrence Ross (29)Franz Wagner (13)
PFJonathan Isaac (30)Mohamed Bamba (21)Chuma Okeke (75)Moritz Wagner (0)
CWendell Carter Jr. (30)Robin Lopez (26)
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Old 09-28-2021, 10:45 PM   #6
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Re: Warlando: A Magic Dynasty

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Orlando continue rebuild with Front Office shake up

The Magic cemented their place in the rebuilding category on deadline day last season and have now continued in their new position this offseason shaking up not only the roster, but now the front office roles.

On deadline day the Magic traded away Evan Fournier to the Celtics, Al-Farouq Aminu and Nikola Vucevic to the Bulls and Gary Clark and Aaron Gordon to the Nuggets, practically bringing back draft picks and bad contracts, except for Wendell Carter Jr.. Steve Clifford and the Magic then agreed to part ways early in the offseason and from there Orlando have been making moves off the court almost everywhere.

First, Jamahl Mosley was brought in as the new head coach, ending his eight-season tenure as an assistant in Dallas. Mosley was the defensive coordinator since 2018 at the Mavs and with some defensive talents on this Magic roster, it will be safe to say his work with them, particularly Jonathan Isaac, will shape the future for this rebuilding side.

Not long after the appointment of new HC Mosley, the Magic made a shock announcement of the firings of both president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman and GM John Hammond. Steven Klein is a bit of an unknown name in the basketball world, where he will replace Weltman and mystery man Hughuet Hart was then announced as the new GM of the franchise, where he stated he is committed to not only fulfilling the rebuilding future of the team, but is also aiming as high as a championship in the next 10 years.

To follow up on some of the major bombshells, the Magic also announced some of the minor positions they have filled for the upcoming season. The coaching sector will welcome bigman coach Garrett Morrison and perimeter defense coach Lloyd Manning. In terms of scouts, Orlando announced the signing of foreign scout Paris Palmer and two new domestic scouts to work under head scout Cecil North, in Deion Levins and Clay Owens. Finally, the Magic showed commitment to the health of their players, with three signings in the sports medicine sector. These included strength trainer Curtis Strong, stamina trainer Jonquel Randle and physio Michael Anthony.

Although there is still a long way to go for the Magic, these moves have been seen as a commitment to their ambition to rebuild and continue to improve as a team, and with a clean slate off the court this could mean big things for the future in Orlando.

Magic Schedule 2021-22.png

Magic schedule announced for 2021-22 season

In other Orlando news, the season schedules have been realised for the 2021-22 season, with the Magic draw surfacing recently. Above is the forecast of the season for the Magic, with their first game set to be on October 20 in San Antonio.
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Old 09-28-2021, 10:50 PM   #7
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Re: Warlando: A Magic Dynasty

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2021-22 NBA Season Preview

Power Rankings:

1. Los Angeles Lakers
Starting 5: Russell Westbrook (87), Kent Bazemore (74), LeBron James (96), Anthony Davis (93), Dwight Howard (79)
Head Coach: Frank Vogel
Last Season: 42-30 (7th in West), Lost in West Conference First Round vs Phoenix 2-4
Star Player: LeBron James. Once again, LeBron James is here leading his team to another projected #1 seed. About to begin his fourth season with the Lakers and 19th season in the league, LBJ has slowly started to decline, but after averaging 25/8/8 last season it’s fair to say he still has plenty in the tank. Now with a few more pieces by his side will LeBron keep his teams’ star status heading into next season or will this be his last time on the throne.
Watch out for: Russell Westbrook. One of the many new faces in Los Angeles, Westbrook adds another all-star to the mix and the Lakers now have a Big 3 on their hands. If he can average anywhere near 20PPG or a triple double the rest of the league are in trouble.

After a poor result last season, culminating in being knocked out of the playoffs in the first round, LeBron, AD and the rest of this well known team will be back for revenge. It is hard to see many teams challenging this LA team for a Finals berth, but will age and injuries be a major factor in the Lakers fate?

2. Milwaukee Bucks
Starting 5: Jrue Holiday (85), Donte DiVincenzo (79), Khris Middleton (88), Giannis Antetokounmpo (97), Brook Lopez (79)
Head Coach: Mike Budenholzer
Last Season: 46-26 (3rd in East), Won in NBA Finals vs Phoenix 4-2
Star Player: Giannis Antetokounmpo. Without a doubt the most valuable asset to the Bucks, Giannis led Milwaukee to their second ever championship last season in what was a truly dominating playoff run. At only 26, he has so much life left in him and it’s just a question of when, not if, he will win his next MVP.
Watch out for: Jrue Holiday. Jrue’s defense has been underrated for some time now but in the Finals he put it all on show with some great performances. In his second season with the Bucks the chemistry will continue to grow and if he can continue to be a scoring presence Milwaukee will be dangerous once again.

The reigning champions, the Bucks will be looking to go back-to-back in what looks like a team that is still at its’ best strength wise. Khris Middleton has continued to prove he is an All-Star caliber player and with Giannis at the head of the offense, this team is destined for another deep playoff run.

3. Philadelphia 76ers
Starting 5: Ben Simmons (85), Seth Curry (77), Danny Green (77), Tobias Harris (85), Joel Embiid (95)
Head Coach: Doc Rivers
Last Season: 49-23 (1st in East), Lost in East Conference Semi-Finals vs Atlanta 3-4
Star Player: Joel Embiid. The key to the Sixers success lies with Joel Embiid. Coming off a MVP contender season, Embiid will look to conitnue his dominance on both ends of the court.
Watch out for: Whoever Ben Simmons is traded for. This is a pretty simple one, Ben Simmons will not be a Sixer after this season. With Philly chasing something large back for him, it seems as whoever this team brings in will make or break the future for them.

After another disappointing playoff run last season, Joel Embiid continues to get hungrier every season and will be looking to improve even more on his career-best season last year. Another man in career-best form is Tobias Harris, and it seems like they are only one more key piece away from making it into a major championship contender.

4. Brooklyn Nets
Starting 5: Kyrie Irving (91), James Harden (94), Joe Harris (79), Kevin Durant (96), LaMarcus Aldridge (79)
Head Coach: Steve Nash
Last Season: 48-24 (2nd in East), Lost in East Conference Semi-Finals vs Milwaukee 3-4
Star Player: Kevin Durant. KD is heading into his 14th season in the league, his second with Brooklyn, and his scoring looks as dangerous as ever. I expect to see the offense run through him once again and if he stays healthy, this is another Eastern Conference team that will be at the top.
Watch out for: The Former All-Star Bigs. The Nets have had a pretty successful run since bringing three stars, but the most intriging part of this team this season has to be the inclusion of LMA, Paul Millsap and Blake Griffin. At 36, 36 and 32 years of age respectively, all three bigs are on the back end of their careers’, but we know what they can do when they are on. If the trio can put their best foot forward, this is one scary team.

After losing a game 7 due to Kevin Durant’s big feet, the Nets are another team who will be on the hunt for more this year. A side that gets scarier the more you look at it, it’s hard to see the Nets finishing any worser than 3rd in the East this year, but in saying that they are championship favourites and anything other than that this season will be considered negative.

5. Miami Heat
Starting 5: Kyle Lowry (84), Tyler Herro (79), Jimmy Butler (92), P.J. Tucker (74), Bam Adebayo (87)
Head Coach: Erik Spoelstra
Last Season: 40-32 (6th in East), Lost in East Conference First Round vs Milwaukee 0-4
Star Player: Jimmy Butler. After spending time with four teams in four seasons, Butler seems to have finally found another home in Miami. Jimmy still has plenty in the tank and the Heat have put the pieces around him to succeed, but the question is will this be last season of Butler’s stardom in Miami, or can he continue his form and lead the Heat back to the Finals.
Watch out for: Bam Adebayo. Last year was Bam’s breakout year, we all knew what he was capable of and he showed everyone he could deliver. In what will be his fifth season this year, I’m expecting ever bigger things from him, and if I had to make a prediction, this will be his final year playing second fiddle to Jimmy Butler.

This Heat will be out to prove their run in the 2020 bubble was no fluke, after being swept in the first round of the playoffs last season by eventual champions, Milwaukee Bucks. Tyler Herro has a lot to prove himself, having a mediocre year and disappearing when the team needed him most and one of the more anticipated returns this year will be that of Victor Oladipo. Add in the addition of Kyle Lowry, and this is a very well rounded team. This has to be considered a make or break season for the Heat, because after showing so much promise two seasons ago, they needed to capitalise on their talent now rather than losing it later.

6. Golden State Warriors
Starting 5: Stephen Curry (96), Jordan Poole (76), Andrew Wiggins (80), Draymond Green (81), Kevon Looney (73)
Head Coach: Steve Kerr
Last Season: 39-33 (9th in West), Lost in West Conference #8 Seed Play-in Game vs Memphis 112-117
Star Player: Stephen Curry. Coming off the back of a career best in PPG, Curry is still in his prime and will be looking to lead the Warriors back to the promise land.
Watch out for: Klay Thompson. In what feels like forever, Klay has been missing for two full seasons and will finally make his return sometime this season. There are a lot of questions if the ability is still there and if he can handle another season in the NBA, but when push comes to shove I think this is will be the same Klay we have gotten used to seeing. His return will be the make or break of Golden State’s season.

The Warriors are coming off the back of a shock defeat to the Grizzlies in the play-in last season and there will be plenty of motivation around the camp to get back to the highs of the mid 2010’s. With Curry still at his peak, Klay returning and some new rookies, this squad has the ability to not only be a current presence but also hold on for the future.

7. Boston Celtics
Starting 5: Dennis Schroder (79), Marcus Smart (79), Jaylen Brown (86), Jayson Tatum (90), Al Horford (79)
Head Coach: Ime Udoka
Last Season: 36-36 (7th in East), Lost in East Conference First Round vs Brooklyn 1-4
Star Player: Jayson Tatum. Tatum has put his name down as one of the best players in the league and now is time for him to show that and lead the C’s to a deep playoff run. In what will be his fifth season, Tatum will continue to improve and is expected to average career-highs across the board, and could become a regular All-NBA name.
Watch out for: Robert Williams. Williams has been underrated for a while now and he is starting to finally come into his own in Boston. Last season he averaged 8/3/7 off of 19 minutes and those averages are expected to climb again this season, with the opportunity of a starting role at the 5 on the table for the 24 year old.

The Celtics had a miserable season last year, results and injury wise. Back to full strength and with some of their core only improving, the Celtics are another team to add to the expanding list of Eastern Conference contenders. With the loss of Kemba Walker seen as a negative, it may be the big impact between a winning and losing season for Boston, but most are tipping the result will be positive.

8. Los Angeles Clippers
Starting 5: Reggie Jackson (80), Paul George (88), Terance Mann (77), Marcus Morris Sr. (79)., Serge Ibaka (79)
Head Coach: Tyronn Lue
Last Season: 47-25 (4th in West), Lost in West Conference Finals vs Phoenix 2-4
Star Player: Kawhi Leonard. Although it doesn’t help when your star player is expected to miss 2-4 months of the season, Kawhi is still the major key to the Clippers success. In his absence, there will have to be a major reliance on PG, but if LA can survive without Kawhi for a couple of months, they will be even stronger upon his return.
Watch out for: Paul George. PG13 will have to be the major watch at all times for the Clips during Kawhi’s absence. He is widely known to be the only other difference maker on this squad and if he doesn’t perform, this season could be a shocker.

The Clippers have a very unusual roster, with two standout stars and a bunch of okay role-players/starters, it is hard to predict any outcome for this side come 2022. Terance Mann is expected to get a large run with the starting group while The Klaw is recovering and if the Clips can put together a nice amount of wins and stay above .500, they will be dangerous come his return and even stronger mentally for the following season. The season could well be just a WIP.

9. Portland Trail Blazers
Starting 5: Damian Lillard (94), C.J. McCollum (85), Norman Powell (81), Robert Covington (78), Jusuf Nurkic (81)
Head Coach: Chauncey Billups
Last Season: 42-30 (6th in West), Lost in West Conference First Round vs Denver 2-4
Star Player: Damian Lillard. Without a doubt the only name that jumps off the page for you in Oregon. Dame is in the same category as Giannis, being a player who puts the team on his back and decides the outcome himself. Now entering his 10th season in the league, this year will not be any different and if Dame is on, the whole Blazers team can get far.
Watch out for: Front Office Moves. This is a team who needs a bit of help, Dame is a top three PG in the league, Nurkic plays well at the 5 and C.J. McCollum is a nice enough side kick to have. But this issue is there is not enough assets for this team to succeed. My guess is it’s a pretty simple equation, either Dame goes, or C.J. gets traded. One of those will come to fruition this season.

The Blazers made the playoffs again last season of the back of another excellent team-carrying performance by Damian Lillard, but one man can only do so much for so long. We touched on his status as similar to Giannis’ earlier, but when push came to shove Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday both stepped up and eased the load for the Greek Freak. That needs to be the case in Portland, or this team will not see success this season, or any time in the future.

10. Utah Jazz
Starting 5: Mike Conley (84), Donovan Mitchell (88), Joe ingles (81), Bojan Bogdanovic (78), Rudy Gobert (89)
Head Coach: Quin Snyder
Last Season: 52–20 (1st in West), Lost in West Conference Semi-Finals vs LA Clippers 2-4
Star Player: Donovan Mitchell. This one could have gone two ways, but it’s hard to go past Spida. Entering his fifth season, coming off a career-best scoring year, Donovan is just getting better with experience. After a minor playoffs setback last season, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Jazz back up there again this year, with Mitchell averaging 30+ PPG. Outlandish, I know, but not impossible.
Watch out for: Jordan Clarkson. What a revelation Jordan was last year. Averaging more points a game off the bench than starting PG Mike Conley, Clarkson has come into his own in Utah and I expect more of the same this year.

The Jazz surprised a lot of people last season when they finished as the best team in the league, only to bow out before the conference finals. This is a very similar team, with two minor additions in Hassan Whiteside and Rudy Gay. A top 4 seed for the Jazz will be expected and is not out of the question at all

11. Chicago Bulls
Starting 5: Lonzo Ball (82), Zach LaVine (87), DeMar DeRozan (85), Alize Johnson (74), Nikola Vucevic (85)
Head Coach: Billy Donovan
Last Season: 31-41 (11th in East)
Star Player: Zach LaVine. It’s his contract year and you will know it all season. LaVine has become a different player since coming to Chicago and he is well overdue for a max contract. After averaging a career best 27/5/5 last season, this season with help around him his points and assists total is only going one way, and that is up.
Watch out for: Lonzo Ball. What to make of the former number two pick. Lonzo is coming off the back of his most efficient season, and is now looking to prove himself even more in his first year with the Bulls. Lonzo’s performances could well and truly tell the tale for the Bulls’ results and at only 23 there is still a lot of life left for Ball to turn from good starter, to the franchise player he was once touted as.

This is one of those picks where it could be completely wrong. Based off of their team, the Bulls should be a playoff team this year. But, stranger things have happened and this could just be another season of the saga for Chicago. With Lonzo, DeMar DeRozan, Alex Caruso and DJJ joining there is plenty of depth to this squad. That is without mentioning injured Coby White and Patrick Williams, this is the boom or bust squad for the season.

12. Houston Rockets
Starting 5: John Wall (83), Jalen Green (79), Jae’Sean Tate (77), Daniel Theis (77), Christian Wood (83)
Head Coach: Stephan Silas
Last Season: 17-55 (15th in West)
Star Player: Christian Wood. What a story. From undrafted to proving everyone wrong in Detroit, to now a big deal in Houston, Christian Wood is a player for the ages. The Rockets’ center is definitely a piece this side wants to keep and he absolutely demolished all of his stats last year and there is plenty of room for improvement. Whichever way this team decides to go, it should be focused around Wood.
Watch out for: Jalen Green. Green has the makings of a future All-Star. In saying that I believe his rookie season could be one of the best we have seen in a long time. If he can build some major chemistry with Christian Wood they will be a dangerous duo for seasons to come and could turn the Rockets’ rebuild right on its’ head.

What a fall from grace the last 12 months has been for Houston. One of the best teams in the West with a top five player in the league, to finishing with the worst record and getting the second pick only twelve months later. In saying that, there is still a lot to happen behind the scenes with this team. John Wall is getting traded, as simple as that, and the Rockets have some massive pieces for the future. KPJ will be starting very soon and the Rockets had a major haul at this years draft. If they can get a key piece for John Wall, the Rockets will have to reconsider their rebuild for a win-now mode.

13. San Antonio Spurs
Starting 5: Dejounte Murray (82), Derrick White (78), Keldon Johnson (81), Thaddeus Young (80), Jakob Poeltl (82)
Head Coach: Gregg Popovich
Last Season: 33-39 (10th in West), Lost in West Conference First Play-in Game vs Memphis 96-100
Star Player: Dejounte Murray. One of many teams this season that don’t have a stand out star, Dejounte Murray is slowly improving his game and becoming a higher level player each season. About to begin his fifth season, Murray has shown he is capable of leading the San Antonio team at times and now with a few more missing pieces, it looks as if that will be his main role this year.
Watch out for: Keldon Johnson. A late first round pick in 2019, Keldon Johnson has proved he can run with the starters in the league from the word go. This will be his third season in the league and is coming off a very good sophomore year, there is a lot left to uncover with the 22 year old but it is looking like the Spurs are taking the chance to find out what he can bring.

No disrespect to the Spurs franchise, but in no way is this team the 13th best in the league. No standout star, a mediocre starting group and a below average backup unit, the Spurs will not be making the postseason this year. This looks like more of a Gregg Pop farewell tour and other than the names mentioned and lotto pick Josh Primo, there’s not much to get excited about in San Antonio.

14. Denver Nuggets
Starting 5: Facundo Campazzo (77), Will Barton (77), Michael Porter Jr. (84), Aaron Gordon (78), Nikola Jokic (95)
Head Coach: Mike Malone
Last Season: 47-25 (3rd in West), Lost in West Conference Semi-Finals vs Phoenix 0-4
Star Player: Nikola Jokic. This is a no-brainer, the current MVP is getting better every year and will be a major factor for Denver once again. He can definitely improve on last season and the Nuggets will need that to contend with a difficult Western Conference this year.
Watch out for: Michael Porter Jr.. Consider me a part of the MPJ fan club. This man can hoop. The Nuggets got an absolute STEAL in 2018 when he fell to the 14th pick and he proved that last year. 19PPG and 7RPG in 31 minutes and that was only his second season. Porter Jr. is making it very easy for Denver to want to keep him and they have almost formed a big three of their own with all home grown drafted talents. Expect even better from him this season.

The Nuggets will be missing Jamal Murray to start this season off, with the point guard recovering from his Torn ACL, but when he returns this side could shock the league. If they make the postseason expect a performance reminiscent of 2020 compared to what happened to them last season.

15. Toronto Raptors
Starting 5: Goran Dragic (78), Fred VanVleet (82), OG Anunoby (79), Scottie Barnes (76), Khem Birch (76)
Head Coach: Nick Nurse
Last Season: 27-45 (12th in East)
Star Player: Pascal Siakam. Pascal is entering his fifth year in the league with a minor injury, expected to miss 1-2 weeks of the season. After a slight decline last season from 2020, Siakam may split his role at the 4 with Scottie Barnes and be looked at as a secondary scorer. There will be some high expectations on him this season and expect an outcome of either cementing himself as the star player, move down to a second preference role or a trade.
Watch out for: OG Anunoby. Another of the young Raptors entering his fifth year in the league, OG had a career best year overall and will look to improve from that once again. He will look to cement himself in the starting five, competing with draft pick Scottie Barnes.

Another team who had a fall from grace were the Raptors, one of the best teams in the East in 2019 to falling all the way down to the bottom four in 2020. The additions of Goran Dragic and Scottie Barnes as well as the always improving Fred VanVleet will look to help this side reinstate themselves in the playoffs.

16. Phoenix Suns
Starting 5: Chris Paul (91), Devin Booker (90), Mikal Bridges (83), Jae Crowder (77), DeAndre Ayton (86)
Head Coach: Monty Williams
Last Season: 51-21 (2nd in West), Lost in NBA Finals vs Milwaukee 2-4
Star Player: Devin Booker. This position could of easily been filled by CP3, but Booker has proven he is the star who can change a game for the Suns the most. With Chris Paul not getting any younger at age 36, D-Book will be expected to carry a slightly heavier load this year, but after his performances in both the regular season and playoffs last season, that won’t be a problem.
Watch out for: DeAndre Ayton. Having already put the league on notice in only his second year, Ayton is now entering his fourth season in the league and will have a point to prove after a down year in 2020-21. Some will put that to the addition of Chris Paul but Ayton still has the potential to be one of the best bigs in the league and he should be able to make that jump this season.

A bit of disrespect to the Western Conference Champions of last season, the Suns are nowhere near the 16th best team in the league. With some of the minor pieces only getting better and starting keys D-Book and DeAndre Ayton both working hard in the offseason, it would not be a surprise to see this Phoenix team make the NBA Finals once again, and if they make it there I’m calling that they go one better.

17. Dallas Mavericks
Starting 5: Luka Doncic (95), Trey Burke (75), Tim Hardaway Jr. (79), Maxi Kleber (77), Kristaps Porzingis (84)
Head Coach: Jason Kidd
Last Season: 42-30 (5th in West), Lost in West Conference First Round vs LA Clippers 3-4
Star Player: Luka Doncic. Another player to add the superstar with the team on his back list, Luka has not stopped since entering the league in 2018 and each year it seems as he is hungry for more. This season I cannot see the Mavs getting worse and Luka will standout once more, with the chance of an early MVP for the 22 year old.
Watch out for: Kristaps Porzingis. This isn’t just about Porzingis’ performance on the Mavs, it is to watch him in general. Dallas need bigger pieces to help Luka succeed and although 20 points and 9 rebounds a night are useful, there needs to be something else provided. The Unicorn is slowly getting closer to his use-by date and don’t be surprised if the big man from Latvia is traded by the deadline.

The Mavericks made a good leap into the playoffs last season and will be looking to better this upcoming season and cash in on some of the best work in the league by Luka Doncic. In terms of pieces around Doncic, it is fair to say there is barely any but it will not be a surprise to anyone if he puts the team on his back again.

18. New York Knicks
Starting 5: Kemba Walker (83), Evan Fournier (79), R.J. Barrett (83), Julius Randle (87), Mitchell Robinson (80)
Head Coach: Tom Thibodeau
Last Season: 41-31 (4th in East), Lost in East Conference First Round vs Atlanta 1-4
Star Player: Julius Randle. There is no doubt who the star of this team is after their run last year. Julius Randle had a massive year with career-bests in points, boards and assists which culminated in home court advantage for NY and the Most Improved award for Randle. Now 26, Randle still has plenty to prove and with a bit of help expect to see the same production this season.
Watch out for: R.J. Barrett. R.J. is only 21 and in only his second season last year, he quickly showed he is one of the future stars of the league. Logging 35 minutes a night, Barrett dropped 18 PPG and showed up some of the best guards and forwards in the league.

The Knicks surprised everyone with a great season last year where the scored home court advantage in the playoffs before being embarrassed by Trae Young and the Hawks. They will be back this season even better with the addition of Kemba Walker, D Rose getting his first full season at the MSG and the natural improvement of their stack of young guns. This Knicks side could be dangerous for years to come if handled right, but they have to take last season as a lesson and improve on it.

19. Indiana Pacers
Starting 5: Malcolm Brogdon (82), Caris LeVert (82), Jeremy Lamb (78), Domantas Sabonis (86), Myles Turner (80)
Head Coach: Rick Carlisle
Last Season: 34-38 (9th in East), Lost in East Conference #8 Seed Play-in Game vs Washington 115-142
Star Player: Domantas Sabonis. Sabonis has gradually gotten better and better during his tenure in Indiana and had a career best season last year, which has almost guaranteed him a place as the driver of the franchise. Still only 25, Sabonis can play the 4 or 5 role and with the rumours of a potential Myles Turner trade, this could open up the frontcourt for Sabonis to still have his scoring presence alongside someone else.
Watch out for: Myles Turner. As I touched on before, rumours of MT moving from Indianapolis are at large and this will probably be his last season in a Pacers uniform. Turner was drafted pick 11 in 2015, with Sabonis drafted in the exact same place one year later. In his time during the league with an extra year of experience behind him Turner has not shown anywhere near as much promise as Domantas and for that reason the Pacers should flip him for as much as they can get. Hopefully he can be a watch in Indiana or anywhere else he plays, but he has not been showing anywhere near as much promise as he displayed in sophomore season back in 2017.

The Pacers have a strange roster on their hands. Domantas Sabonis has shown he can be a star caliber player and there are pieces behind him in Malcolm Brogdon, Caris LeVert and T.J. Warren to support that. It seems as if this squad is just on the brink of bigger success and if they can get other a few of those hurdles, they may have bigger things on the horizon. Speaking of bigger things, is Chris Duarte one of them?

20. Atlanta Hawks
Starting 5: Trae Young (90), Bogdan Bogdanovic (81), De’Andre Hunter (80), John Collins (85), Clint Capela (87)
Head Coach: Nate McMillan
Last Season: 41-31 (5th in East), Lost in East Conference Finals vs Milwaukee 2-4
Star Player: Trae Young. It’s great to see both Luka Doncic and Trae Young’s career head on a similar path so far, and if I had to predict I would say it is neck and neck for whose career is going better at the moment. But this season is the year one of the prove who’s on top. Trae backed up his 30PPG sophomore season last year nearly averaging a double-double for Atlanta and leading them all the way to the conference finals, only to be taken out by Giannis’ Bucks. No doubts Ice Trae will have another All-NBA season.
Watch out for: John Collins. This year is D-Day for Collins. Heading into his fifth season in the league, there have been some doubts on his impact to the Hawks in the last 12 months. Some will accredit this to the addition of Clint Capela last offseason, which created a fall in Collins’ points and rebounds, but there are still some unanswered questions about his game. Put me in the fan category, I think there is no reason he is being looked at under the microscope, but we will let his game do the talking.

Disrespect again, this time on the Eastern Conference runners-up. The Hawks have to be one of the best teams in the league depth wise, and they have a solid starting five consisting of players who can all make a major impact in games. With the oldest of the starting group being Bogdan, it is unclear why this team continues to be underrated. From my predictions alone the East looks pretty damn strong this year, so add ATL to the list of teams as well.

21. New Orleans Pelicans
Starting 5: Devonte Graham (78), Nickeil Alexander-Walker (75), Brandon Ingram (84), Zion Williamson (90), Jonas Valanciunas (83)
Head Coach: Willie Green
Last Season: 31-41 (11th in West)
Star Player: Zion Williamson. Zion has been putting up All-NBA numbers from the word go and the Pelicans have still struggled to find success. The playoffs seem so far away for New Orleans and it is only a matter of time before Zion has enough. Entering his third season he is a lock to be an All-Star, and is arguably a chance for MVP depending on his performances. Even something minor will give people plenty to talk about, and he has plenty of tools to average 30 a night.
Watch out for: Jonas Valanciunas. No offense to anyone on the Pels’ roster, but in reality there is not much to get excited about past ZW. Brandon Ingram is still posting good numbers every night, but besides that where is the help? That’s where Jonas steps in. One of the major pieces to Memphis’ playoff appearance last year, Valanciunas’ ability to help Ja Morant proved massive for the Grizzlies and the Pelicans will be looking for him to fill that same role this season.

The Pelicans are in a strange place. In the middle of an up and down spiral. It is hard to look at them losing it and finishing bottom of the West, but equally as hard to see them challenging in the playoffs. There are a lot of questions surrounding this team, which hopefully we will get some answers for in the upcoming season. In terms of looking to the future though, New Orleans need one more key piece to start challenging those top teams.

22. Minnesota Timberwolves
Starting 5: D’Angelo Russell (83), Anthony Edwards (81), Josh Okogie (74), Taurean Prince (75), Karl-Anthony Towns (87)
Head Coach: Chris FInch
Last Season: 23-49 (13th in West)
Star Player: Karl-Anthony Towns. A minor decline in KAT’s performance was detrimental for the Wolves last season, but we will forgive him. This year, in his 7th season, looks to be the time for him to pass the team star to league star hurdle. Of course, with the addition in last years draft of Anthony Edwards, that makes it a bit harder, but Towns has what it takes to lead Minnesota on a playoff run.
Watch out for: Anthony Edwards. There were lots of questions surrounding Edwards’ selection at first overall in the 2020 draft but he showcased in a massive second half of the season, averaging nearly 20PPG and winning the Rookie of the Year award. He has grown this past offseason and has been nonstop working on his offensive game and it is only a matter of time before this duo of KAT and Edwards clicks and the Wolves become a major West contender.

Minnesota are in a similar situation to the Pelicans, not as bad but very close. A lot of their future relies on the progression of Anthony Edwards as well as KAT’s ability to keep performing. If D-Lo can go back to producing the All-Star numbers he did in 2019 this could be a scary team, but for now it will be a lot of questions and jumping around the .500 mark.

23. Washington Wizards
Starting 5: Spencer Dinwiddie (82), Bradley Beal (89), Kyle Kuzma (77), Rui Hachimura (78), Daniel Gafford (78)
Head Coach: Wes Unseld Jr.
Last Season: 34-38 (8th in East), Lost in East Conference First Round vs Philadelphia 1-4
Star Player: Bradley Beal. Bradley Beal is undoubtedly the Wizards’ star player, but for how much longer? That isn’t to say someone is coming for him, it is how much longer will he stay with the Wizards? Rumours are that Beal has had enough of what is put around him in Washington and he wants some help and some more success. Besides that, he has averaged over 30PPG his last two seasons and it is hard to see that changing for this year.
Watch out for: Kyle Kuzma. This one is pretty laughable, but could the Wizards bring out the best in Kuz? I’m leaning towards yes. He’s shown the ability in LA in small doses, but he needs to keep at that level for more than a few games at a time. With a fresh start on the cards, I think we can expect Kuz to come out this year and prove to LA that it was wrong to doubt him, and to early to give up on him.

This Washington team is another one of those strange sides. You have an absolute star in Bradley Beal and then some quality starters in Spencer Dinwiddie and Rui Hachimura. Hachimura has loads of upside entering his third season and Dinwiddie missed almost all of last season due to injury. Could this team be one of the wildcards in the East? There is a lot to contend with but they could be.

24. Memphis Grizzlies
Starting 5: Ja Morant (86), De’Anthony Melton (76), Dillon Brooks (79), Jaren Jackson Jr. (84), Steven Adams (79)
Head Coach: Taylor Jenkins
Last Season: 38-34 (8th in West), Lost in West
Conference First Round vs Utah 1-4
Star Player: Ja Morant. It is well known what this kid can do. Morant is a star in the making and he’s only about to enter his third season. Although his 19 per game last season doesn’t show it, Ja is the key of this Memphis offense and he will continue to get better as he gains more experience. I think a return to the conference finals is still a few years away, but the Grizz are working on building a quality team around their star.
Watch out for: Dillon Brooks. Bit of a left field pick here, but Brooks has shown he has what it takes to be a quality starter on any team in the league. Last year he was given plenty of opportunity with the ball and he stayed consistent with his scoring numbers and now entering season number five, Brooks looks like a big danger once again.

The Grizzlies are not contenders right now. The key part of that sentence is the end of it. They are slowly growing into a dangerous team. Morant, JJJ, Brooks and even Brandon Clarke are all young talents who have shown their potential. Add in Steven Adams, one of the hardest players in the league and this build is starting to look promising. It isn’t a total rebuild, but Memphis are working their way back up slowly.

25. Orlando Magic
Starting 5: Cole Anthony (77), Jalen Suggs (77), Terrence Ross (78), Jonathan Isaac (80), Wendell Carter Jr. (81)
Head Coach: Jamahl Mosley
Last Season: 21-51 (14th in East)
Star Player: Wendell Carter Jr.. This was one of the hardest picks for each teams star. Carter Jr. was a top 10 pick only three years ago and since then has put up good numbers, but not great numbers. He was traded midseason from Chicago and has started really look at home in Orlando. At only 22, he still has plenty of time to work on his game but he is continually developing dangerous traits. With a lot of depth at the Magic 5, Wendell will not be moving.
Watch out for: Markelle Fultz. No surprise injury has this man missing time once again, but once he is back I think we may see a different beast. In limited viewing of Fultz last year, he showed why he was the #1 pick and viewed as one of the best prospects coming out of high school. He averaged 13 and 5 in 27 minutes from only eight appearances and although he will have another shortened season this year, it has to be his breakout year.

The Magic are a team who hit the total rebuild last year. New coach, trading away their best players and finishing with the second worst record in the East, it was clear they have to start with a clean slate. That is what they have provided here and with some new names as well as some returning faces, it could be a positive start to the next generation in Orlando this year.

26. Detroit Pistons
Starting 5: Cade Cunningham (80), Rodney McGruder (73), Saddiq Bey (78), Jerami Grant (82), Isaiah Stewart (78)
Head Coach: Dwane Casey
Last Season: 20-52 (15th in East)
Star Player: Jerami Grant. Another one of the hard to pick stars, Jerami Grant is not a name you would expect to see here 12 months ago. In the 19-20 he was averaging a mediocre 12/4/1 in 27 minutes. Fast forward 12 months and he’s logging 30+ minutes a night and scoring around 22 points and pulling down 5 boards. Massive difference. This year will be no different and like the Grizzlies and Magic, there is a long way to go but with some extra help this is a good start for Grant and the Pistons.
Watch out for: Cade Cunningham. This one was nowhere near as hard as the star player. I don’t have to tell you to watch out for him either as all eyes will be on Cade coming into his rookie year. The consensus #1 pick across the board in this years draft, Cade showed his talent at OSU and in the Summer League and could be the man to turn Detroit’s fortunes around.

The Pistons don’t have a very good team, but from a youth and potential side, it is one of the best. Isaiah Stewart and Saddiq Bey both had good rookie seasons, we already told you about Jerami and Cade and the bench is full of untapped guys. This team is destined for another lottery pick this year, but if all goes to plan I can see a very different outcome soon enough.

27. Charlotte Hornets
Starting 5: LaMelo Ball (84), Terry Rozier III (82), Gordon Hayward (83), P.J. Washington (78), Mason Plumlee (79)
Head Coach: James Borrego
Last Season: 33-39 (10th in East), Lost in East Conference First Play-in Game vs Indiana 117-144
Star Player: LaMelo Ball. This was an easy one. Melo had a good rookie season, which culminated in him arguably being a top two rookie as well as helping the Hornets make the play in. That was only season number one. There is so much more this 20 year old has to deliver and the eyes of the whole league will be watching to see what happens next. An out there prediction from me, he will be the next one to average a triple-double.
Watch out for: The incoming class. Charlotte didn’t bring in any superstars over the offseason, but they continued to build a quality team. They added starting center Mason Plumlee, as well as Kelly Oubre Jr. and Ish Smith. There is also lots to like about their two first round picks, James Bouknight and Kai Jones.

The Hornets don’t deserve to be rated as the fourth worst team in the league but here we are. The progression of LaMelo will take this team a long way but they do have some other key pieces around him. A play-in tournament appearance would be a win again this season but there is a feeling this team is slowly edging closer and closer to making it big.

28. Sacramento Kings
Starting 5: De’Aaron Fox (85), Tyrese Halibruton (81), Harrison Barnes (78), Marvin Bagley III (78), Tristan Thompson (77)
Head Coach: Luke Walton
Last Season: 31-41 (12th in West)
Star Player: De’Aaron Fox. Man, Swipa has not had a good run. The Kings are still struggling while this man continues to put his best foot forward and improve every season. Expect the same from him this year. It seems a pretty simple point here in the road for the team, either get De’Aaron some proper help or risk the chance he will go somewhere and find some.
Watch out for: Tyrese Halibruton. He was touted steal of the draft last season, what will Tyrese provide with a year of experience under his belt? The backcourt of Halibruton and Fox looks so promising and if the Kings can look after the pair, they look to be in good shape for the future. In terms of Haliburton’s development though, I wouldn’t be shocked to see him surpass Fox in a year or two, just on how well he played last year.

The Kings have had a miserable run the last 10-15 years. They had Boogie and could never help him succeed, and now it seems like we are in that loop with De’Aaron Fox. The only thing this team has is a few more pieces around their star, with some questionable ones in there as well. Richaun Holmes has continued to improve and Buddy Hield is one of the best shooters in the league, but I for one want to see something from MB3. If he’s going to stack up with some of the great talent from the 2018 draft, he needs to show it this year.

29. Cleveland Cavaliers
Starting 5: Darius Garland (82), Collin Sexton (82), Isaac Okoro (74), Evan Mobley (79), Jarrett Allen (83)
Head Coach: J.B. Bickerstaff
Last Season: 22-50 (13th in East)
Star Player: Darius Garland. This spot was reserved for Collin Sexton, but in terms of what he can bring to the team, I think Darius has him covered. In his sophomore year, Garland average 17 and 6 and has shown glimpses of star talent, that is all the Cavs need to put the keys to offense in his hands and let him continue to grow.
Watch out for: Evan Mobley. There has been a lot of hype around this guy for a while. Mobley has been a projected top three pick for what seems like years and now the Cavs pick up another good big to add to the mix. Mobley has both skills to star now as well as the potential to grow into one of the best bigs in the league, and his first season will be a good indication of how good he can be.

Cleveland will be one of, if not the worst team this season. The team seems like a mess and they have more bigs than what they know to do with. There are so many questions surrounding this team and I will give you the main ones. Is Jarrett Allen the Cavs’ franchise center? Can Cleveland rejuvenate Lauri Markannen’s career? When will they offload Kevin Love’s god awful contract? And the most important one of all, can and will the Cavs keep Sex-Land together? These are all the points that can either make Cleveland a contender in the years to come, or send them down a horrible road for the foreseeable future.

30. Oklahoma City Thunder
Starting 5: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (86), Josh Giddey (75), Lugentz Dort (78), Isaiah Roby (75), Derrick Favors (77)
Head Coach: Mark Daigneault
Last Season: 22-50 (14th in West)
Star Player: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Another easy one, SGA is nearly in the category of players like Giannis, Dame and Luka. He is the shining star out in Oklahoma City and that is only after three years in the league. His 24/5/6 last year was a game changer for OKC and if it wasn’t for him, the Thunder could of had one of the worst records of all time. At age 23 SGA still has plenty of time to improve and could soon be one of the best guards in the league, and the best bit for the Thunder, is he is locked in.
Watch out for: Lugentz Dort. Dort is a strange player. He was undrafted, he is undersized for the small forward position, but he is one of the best defenders in the league. The potential is still unknown but there is only one direction this man is going and that is up. In terms of stats too, Lu doubled nearly every single one of his major stats last season.

Last but not least, the Thunder. It is almost obvious what stage this franchise is in and that is rebuilding. They have draft picks galore and young talent left, right and centre. The only problem will be, will they utilise it. Josh Giddey is one of the more interesting top 10 picks in recent history and a few other names come to mind when you look at the future. One thing is for certain though, don’t expect anything other than a massive season from SGA.

Pre-Season Injury Report:


2021-22 NBA Pre-Season Injury Report 1/2
PosPlayerInjury Note
SGEdmond Sumner (Indiana Pacers)Torn Left Achilles, 6-8 months (Out)
CDario Saric (Phoenix Suns)Torn Right ACL, 4-6 months (Out)
SFKawhi Leonard (Los Angeles Clippers)Torn Right ACL, 2-4 months (Out)
COnyeka Okongwu (Atlanta Hawks)Torn Right Labrum, 2-4 months (Out)
PGJamal Murray (Denver Nuggets)Torn Left ACL, 1-2 months (Out)
PFZach Collins (San Antonio Spurs)Left Foot Stress Fracture, 1-2 months (Out)
SGKlay Thompson (Golden State Warriors)Torn Right Achilles, 1-2 months (Out)
PGVictor Oladipo (Miami Heat)Torn Right Quadriceps Tendon, 6-8 weeks (Hurt)
PGMarkelle Fultz (Orlando Magic)Torn Left ACL, 6-8 weeks (Out)
CThomas Bryant (Washington Wizards)Torn Left ACL, 6-8 weeks (Out)

2021-22 NBA Pre-Season Injury Report 2/2
PosPlayerInjury Note
PGCoby White (Chicago Bulls)Dislocated Right Shoulder, 2-4 weeks (Hurt)
CJames Wiseman (Golden State Warriors)Right Knee Surgery, 1-2 weeks (Out)
SFT.J. Warren (Indiana Pacers)Left Foot Stress Fracture, 1-2 weeks (Out)
PFPascal Siakam (Toronto Raptors)Torn Left Labrum, 1-2 weeks (Hurt)
PGMichael Carter-Williams (Orlando Magic)Left Foot Surgery, 1-2 weeks (Hurt)
PGPatrick Beverley (Minnesota Timberwolves)Suspension, 1 game (Out)

The League’s Best:


Top 5 Point Guards:

1. Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors, 33yo, 5yr/$261.13M, 96 OVR
2. Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks, 22yo, 6yr/$217.23M, 95 OVR
3. Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers, 31yo, 3yr/$127.48M, 94 OVR
4. Kyrie Irving, Brooklyn Nets, 29yo, 1yr/$35.33M, 91 OVR
5. Chris Paul, Phoenix Suns, 36yo, 3yr/$90.00M, 91 OVR

Top 5 Shooting Guards

1. James Harden, Brooklyn Nets, 32yo, 1yr/$44.31M, 94 OVR
2. Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns, 24yo, 3yr/$101.50M, 90 OVR
3. Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards, 28yo, 1yr/$34.50M, 89 OVR
4. Paul George, Los Angeles Clippers, 31yo, 3yr/$127.48M, 88 OVR
5. Donovan Mitchell, Utah Jazz, 25yo, 4yr/$125.90M, 88 OVR

Top 5 Small Forwards

1. LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers, 36yo, 2yr/$85.66M, 96 OVR
2. Kawhi Leonard, Los Angeles Clippers, 30yo, 3yr/$127.48M, 95 OVR
3. Jimmy Butler, Miami Heat, 32yo, $5yr/$220.07M, 92 OVR
4. Khris Middleton, Milwaukee Bucks, 30yo, 2yr/$73.45M, 88 OVR
5. Jaylen Brown, Boston Celtics, 24yo, 3yr/$86.22M, 86 OVR

Top 5 Power Forwards

1. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks, 26yo, 4yr/$176.27M, 97 OVR
2. Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets, 33yo, $5yr/$236.24M, 96 OVR
3. Anthony Davis, Los Angeles Lakers, 28yo, 3yr/$113.94M, 93 OVR
4. Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics, 23yo, 4yr/$125.90M, 90 OVR
5. Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans, 21yo, 1yr/$10.73M, 90 OVR

Top 5 Centers

1. Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers, 27yo, 6yr/$261.12M, 95 OVR
2. Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets, 26yo, 2yr/$65.20M, 95 OVR
3. Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz, 29yo, 4yr/$158.34M, 89 OVR
4. Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves, 25yo, 3yr/$101.50M, 87 OVR
5. Clint Capela, Atlanta Hawks, 27yo, 4yr/$84.19M, 87 OVR

2022 NBA Draft Prospect Rankings

1. Chet Holmgren, C, Gonzaga, 6’10”, 195lbs
2. Jaden Hardy, SG, NBA G-League Ignite, 6’4”, 191lbs
3. Paolo Banchero, PF, Duke, 6’10”, 251lbs
4. Patrick Baldwin Jr., SF, Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 6’9”, 220lbs
5. J.D. Davison, PG, Alabama, 6’3”, 195lbs
6. Jalen Duren, C, Memphis, 7’0”, 230lbs
7. Daimion Collins, PF, Kentucky, 6’7”, 190lbs
8. Jabari Smith Jr., PF, Auburn, 6’9”, 257lbs
9. Jaime Jaquez Jr., SG, UCLA, 6’7”, 223lbs
10. Payton Watson, SF, UCLA, 6’8”, 200lbs

Season Predictions:


East #1 Seed: Brooklyn Nets. The East is stacking up to be a pretty dangerous conference, but I’m confident the Nets have this lot sorted. They’ve brought in a few more key pieces to the rotation and will be safe if Kyrie, KD and Harden’s bodies can hold up. Expect a 64-18 record or something similar
West #1 Seed: Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers were pretty disappointing last season and they will be looking to redeem themselves here. They have a more stacked team and I can’t see a team that will challenge them to the #1 seed. Expect a 59-23 record or something similar.
MVP: Luka Doncic. This years MVP race is going to be massive. But I think Luka has the experience and ability to take this one out. He is only getting better and better and although he doesn’t have much help in Dallas, he can take over a game all by himself.
ROY: Jalen Green. This will be another interesting award race, as Green, Cade and Evan Mobley are all massive contenders. Although it may look close on paper I think Jalen Green will take this home easily as he is the most polished rookie and already has experience against NBA-level talent in the G-League.
6MOY: Jordan Clarkson. The reigning 6th Man of the Year, Jordan Clarkson has an amazing ability to come off the bench and just get buckets. He could be a Jamal Crawford/Lou Williams player for the Jazz for years to come.
DPOY: Anthony Davis. Every year AD misses out on the DPOY, is another year closer to him taking it home. This year I think will be a competitive race, but AD is in his prime and if he stays healthy his defensive work could be what leads the Lakers to the 1 seed.
MIP: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. This is the hardest award race to figure out for the upcoming season, but SGA is leading a pretty undesirable team and his performances are just getting better and better. Keep in mind he is entering only his fourth season, I think he will be the major factor behind any Thunder wins this season, and an average of 30 points per night is not out of the question.
COTY: Frank Vogel. Another pretty close race, but this is Vogel’s to lose. Coming off the back of a first round loss to the Suns, the Lakers will be hungry and they will need a good coach to keep all the egos on the team in check. Vogel is the man for the job.
NBA Champions: Brooklyn Nets. I think the Nets will be a different breed this season. There is a big asterisk next to this one because if there are some injuries or fallings out, who knows what will happen, but if all goes to plan I can see the dream matchup between the Nets and Lakers taking place, with Brooklyn taking it home 4-2. If that’s the case, I think KD will be enormous on his way to a third Finals MVP.

There we go, our 2021-22 season preview is done and dusted, the offseason is over and we are edging closer to Opening Night. Back to the 82 games, this will be a massive season for sure and I hope everyone is looking forward to it because I can’t wait! What shocks, thrills, spills and amazing performances will the next NBA season have in store? You will have to tune in to find out. I'll see you Opening Night and throughout the the next drama filled season!
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Warlando: A Magic Dynasty
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Old 09-30-2021, 11:35 PM   #8
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Re: Warlando: A Magic Dynasty

Game 1.png
Pictured: One of the positives from the Magic's opener, as WCJ gets up and posters Doug McDermott.

Murray scores career-high, Spurs down Magic in season opener

Orlando Magic at San Antonio Spurs
Oct 20, 20211ST2ND3RD4THSCORE
Orlando (0-0)2116142778
San Antonio (0-0)1220282686
Orlando Magic
STARTERSMINFGM-A3PM-AFTM-AREBASTSTLBLKTOPTS
Cole Anthony283-90-24-44210310
Jalen Suggs333-120-21-1210047
Terrence Ross342-101-64-4150119
Jonathan Isaac322-90-35-6820729
Wendell Carter Jr.287-100-11-116104115
BENCHMINFGM-A3PM-AFTM-AREBASTSTLBLKTOPTS
Robin Lopez207-90-00-09002114
Mohamed Bamba152-40-00-0311104
Gary Harris101-30-12-2110114
Franz Wagner131-41-40-0100013
R.J. Hampton101-41-20-0430103
Chuma Okeke160-30-10-0230000
Moritz Wagner10-00-00-0000000
E'Twaun Moore-- DID NOT PLAY --
TEAM TOTALS29-773-2217-1851192171478
San Antonio Spurs
STARTERSMINFGM-A3PM-AFTM-AREBASTSTLBLKTOPTS
Dejounte Murray3310-301-19-107160030
Derrick White302-200-20-0213004
Keldon Johnson334-113-60-08020011
Thaddeus Young276-150-10-011001012
Jakob Poeltl303-80-00-01950506
BENCHMINFGM-A3PM-AFTM-AREBASTSTLBLKTOPTS
Bryn Forbes163-60-10-0210016
Devin Vassell162-40-02-2330016
Doug McDermott242-41-10-0400015
Drew Eubanks142-30-00-0800004
Lonnie Walker IV171-120-30-0430012
Keita Bates-Diop-- DID NOT PLAY --
Luka Samanic-- DID NOT PLAY --
Joshua Primo-- DID NOT PLAY --
TEAM TOTALS35-1135-1511-126814126586

Game Recap: The scoreboard sums up the issues for us from the opening tip. Scoring was not effective and there was not enough of it. The Magic went on an early run in the game and looked to have control through the first half, but a massive run by Dejounte Murray and the Spurs got San Antonio to a 19 point lead during the third.

The final quarter was back and forward and Orlando made a comeback before Keldon Johnson would hit three straight three's to increase the Spurs' lead to 11. It was a very questionable performance by majority of the team as it wasn't a dream start to Jalen Suggs' career, as the team was carried by three bigs. In terms of improvement, the scoring, rebounding and amount of turnovers are all things that need to be looked at for the future.

MVP: Dejounte Murray. Pretty simple one, Murray was the difference between the Spurs winning and losing. A massive 15 point third quarter was the difference maker and he has shown he can run the offense.

LVP: Derrick White. Although the winning team don't deserve the LVP award, it is hard to look past Derrick White. Shooting a shocking 2-20 from the field, he didn't know when to stop all night and was benched for the last minutes of the game. Add in his five shooting fouls and it was a pretty bad performance for him.

Around the League:
DeMar DeRozan scores 32 on Pistons in debut 132-130 win with Bulls.
Ja Morant scores 38 and JJJ grabs 16 boards as Memphis beat Cleveland 118-110.
Christian Wood has a career-high 19 rebounds in Rockets win over Wolves.

Up Next: New York Knicks @ Orlando Magic, October 22 2021
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