Vegas Over/Under Predictions

Staff Articles

*These win totals were taken from the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook.

JR- John Rodriguez

Golden State (60.5)- OVER

To think that Golden State will be seven games worse than last year without losing any significant players (no David Lee is not) is just not smart.  Sure, Golden State had a historical season last year and pretty much everything went their way in terms of injuries and close games, but they still have a solid roster, led by Steph Curry, who just put up 53 and nobody is picking to repeat as MVP.  I don’t see any good reason why this team, even if they are led by the late and great LUKE WALTON, to fall off of title contention.  Woah pump the brakes there, LUKE!!

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Celtics (42.5)- OVER

The Celts added some solid players in the offseason, including David Lee, which gives us two too many mentions of his name in this column.  This team is a fiesty, young talented bunch led by President-Elect Brad Stevens and no real superstars.  43 wins would put this team just over .500 and if they play close to how they played during the last half of the season last year, I see them as a lock for the playoffs, especially in the East and closer  to 50 wins.  Bradley is a family man too, can’t beat that.

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Nets (28.5)- UNDER

MIkhail Prokhorov has paid over 100 million dollars in luxury tax to field a steaming pile of garbage professional basketball team.  Don’t worry Nets fan, Jarrett Jack is here to save the day!!! This team has more scrubs than a hospital, led by veteran doctor Andrea Bargnani, who earned his MD, specializing in horrible shot selection and dreadful defense. When head honcho Lionel Hollins was asked about his past, he said: “His past? I don’t care. “ Oh, I’m sure you are also then not concerned with winning any games this season.  This team is gonna blow this year.

Los Angeles Lakers (29.5)- UNDER

There’s no reason to believe this team will be anywhere close to decent this year.  They struck out in the offseason, looking to land big free agents and instead was left with the scraps including Roy Hibbert.  Questions about Kobe that prolly asked in the preview last year and must now be asked every year include: Can he stay healthy? How many minutes will he play? How many games must he sit out to rest?  They have some young talent in Russell, Randle, and Clarkson but these guys are still so raw and the team plays ZERO team defense (last so far in defensive efficiency) and that will remain as long as Byron Scott is still in town.  Another entertaining piece of this team is the man, the myth, the legend Swaggy P.  He was convinced a dolphin tried to kill him and steal his bae, Iggy Azalea.  I’m just looking to see him piss off Kobe more this year and more of BOBBY SACRE.  They will be slightly better maybe this year than last (21-61), but I’m not ready to lock them into 30 wins.

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KR- Kurt Russell

Chicago Bulls (49.5)- OVER

Sticking with my pick to have the Bulls finish second in the East, I would hope they eclipse the 50 win mark this season.  New coach Fred Hoiberg, who turned Iowa State from a 16-16 team in season 1 at the helm to four 23+ win seasons in a row, should reinvigorate a team that seemed overworked by Tom Thibs.  I’m sure this pick is going to bite me in the ass, just like when I picked Iowa State to make a deep run in the NCAA tournament both times they were a 3 seed and never surpassed the Sweet 16… but I digress.

I think it’s reasonable to expect a 54 win season from the Bulls.  Look for Nikola Mirotic to have a breakout year.

Here’s Fred dancing his heart out at a charity dance off.  Thibs would never do something like this…

New York Knickerbockers (31.5) – OVER

Flashback to late October of 2014, and I’m enjoying a big bowl of Cocoa Krispies and writing this same article.  I see the Knicks listed at on the Vegas over/under at a mere 40.5 wins for the season.  It seems obvious to me.  That team has to make the playoffs.  How could they not?  The East was weak and Melo should be enough to be .500.

Well, the Knicks ended up at 17-65, falling just 24 wins short.  Melo played 40 of 82 games, Amare Stoudemire, JR Smith, and Iman Shumpert moved onto new rosters.  Unbelievably (and not surprisingly), Melo, Langston Galloway, Cleanthony Early, and Lance Thomas (who?) are the only four players to survive into the 2015-2016 season.

This number, quite frankly, is insulting.  This team is comparable to a Snickers bar.  Yeah, sure, there are much better candies out there.  But at the same time, Sno Caps (the 76ers), Good and Plenty (the Lakers), and Necco Wafers (the Nets) exist.  Pencil them in for at least 37 wins and an outside shot at a playoff spot.  I’m going to go enjoy some Skittles after all this candy talk.

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Indiana Pacers (42.5) – UNDER

Remember when the Pacers were the next best thing and on pace to dethrone the Heat as the Eastern Conference Champions? The core of George Hill, Lance Stephenson, Paulie George, David West, and Roy Hibbert had the right stuff to combat the Heat’s style of play.

Fast forward to 2015, and only Paulie George Hill remain(s).  The addition of Monta Ellis doesn’t really mesh with the nitty-gritty Pacers.  I expect them to be dwelling in the cellar with Colin Childress (see Wikipedia if you don’t follow the reference(g.

The Pacers and 76ers will become good friends at next year’s NBA Lottery Draft.

VC- Vandan Chokshi

Phoenix Suns (36.5)- OVER

The Phoenix Suns offseason was like an episode of MTV’s Made, with the hope of landing a date (season) with the prom queen (LaMarcus Aldridge). Throughout the entire summer, they made moves such as working out more, dressing better and passing the “friend test” with Aldridge’s friends (signing Tyson Chandler).  However, unfortunately, from LaMarcus Aldridges’ perspective, it was more like an episode of MTV’s Next.

Regardless, the team should find success while they are still going through the denial stage of Aldridge spurning them for the Spurs. Brandon Knight and Eric Bledsoe will pace the offense, while Tyson Chandler and the Suns’ top ranked medical staff will man the defense.

“Play it cool Mayor Stanton, play it cool…”twitter.

Orlando Magic (32.5)- UNDER

While defense wins championships, teams led by Evan Fournier don’t win games – no matter how much defense they play. Orlando has a nice young, athletic core between Elfrid Payton, Victor Oladipo and Aaron Gordon. They will stifle opposing perimeter players, and end up on highlight reels all season long. However, eventually there comes a point in the game where you have to put the ball in the basket. While this is a struggle for Orlando in its own right, what makes matters worse is that the basket is ten feet in the air and there are many tall men between Orlando and the basket. The rest of the NBA knows that Orlando can’t score, and so they will pack the paint and force the Magic to prove they can space the floor.

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BD-Bryan Deeken

Cleveland Cavaliers (56.5) – UNDER

The Cavs are the best team in the Eastern Conference. There is no doubt that if our beloved team remains healthy, we’ll be having watch parties outside of the Q in June. However, LeBron James understands that there is only two months of basketball that matter in the National Basketball Association. The Cavaliers don’t care if they are the 1st seed or the 8th seed. When you’ve amassed the talent and depth that our roster has, your goal isn’t to wear your team out trying to win a 1st seed, your goal is to win a championship.

Also, LeBron James needs to rest. He is entering his 13th season in the NBA, and no player in the history of the NBA has played more minutes through 13 seasons than LeBron. The top 5 active minutes leaders in the NBA are Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, Dirk Nowitzki, and Paul Pierce. Garnett is 5th all time with almost 50,000 minutes, Bryant is 10th with 47,000, Duncan is 13th with 46,000, Nowitzki is 16th with 45,000, Pierce is 17th with 44,500. LeBron has played 36,000 minutes, not counting his 5 straight visits to the NBA finals.

To place things into perspective, Dirk played 36,200 minutes through 13 seasons. This is approximately 200 more minutes than LeBron but Dirk has had several early playoff exits, and only two final visits in his career. Paul Pierce played 35,700 minutes through 13 seasons, 300 minutes less than LeBron. Seasons 10 through 14 were the deep “big three” seasons, but season 14 doesn’t count. Kobe Bryant played a surprising 34,500 minutes through his first 13 seasons. He started his career winning title after title with Shaq but once Shaq left in 2004, Kobe’s Lakers failed to make deep playoff runs. KG is the only player on the active minute list to play a significant amount more than LeBron though 13 seasons. KG played 36,911 minutes through 13 seasons, which includes the shortened lockout season of 1998-99. The thing about KG’s career is that he didn’t make it beyond the 1st round of the playoffs until he won a championship with the Celtics.

Tim Duncan has Gregg Popovich. Through 13 seasons Tim Duncan has eclipsed the 3000 minutes per season 4 times. LeBron has eclipsed this mark a staggering 7 times with two 2900 minute seasons. Duncan has exactly zero 2900 minute seasons outside of his four 3000 minute seasons. Pop understood that it’s a 2 month season before Duncan even reached 30.

LeBron needs to rest. Cavs are a lock for the under. Look for the Cavs to win roughly 54 games and a two seed in the East.

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Memphis (50.5)- UNDER

The Grizzlies have been a Western Conference playoff staple for the last 5 years or so. They have big, talented bruisers down low in Gasol and Randolph, and they have one of the most consistent guards in basketball in Mike Conley Jr. However, the Grizzlies have been building their team against the trend of NBA basketball. Every single team in the NBA wants to shoot the three ball except the Grizz. The top teams in the West shoot the heck out of the ball. Golden State, San Antonio, Houston, and even the Clippers (to a lesser extent) are excellent 3 point shooting teams.

The combination of declining players due to age (Gasol, Randolph) and their lack of being able to spread the floor is going to make for a rough season. Look for the Grizz to win around 45 games.

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Minnesota (25.5)- OVER

Minnesota’s starting line-up is Ricky Rubio, Andrew Wiggins, Tayshaun Prince, Kevin Garnett, and Karl-Anthony Towns. They have Andre Miller, Ph.D, Zach LaVine, Shabazz Muhammad, Nemanja Bjelica, Gorgui Dieng, Tyus Jones, Kevin Martin, Adreian Payne, and Nikola Pekovic on the bench. The Wolves have a great veteran presence with Andre Miller, PHD., KG, and K-Mart. They have nice young talent, and Andrew Wiggins who looks like he will be a perennial all-star. The Western Conference is brutal but I think Minnesota, as long as they stay healthy, will easily win 30 games.

RM: Rahul Mital

Cleveland Cavaliers 56.5 (OVER)

At the risk of sounding like the Cavs homer that I am, I’ll take the over on the Cavs.  The Cavs won 53 games last year.  That was with an entirely new team with no continuity, plus a midseason shake-up that brought in Iman Shumpert, J.R. Smith, and Tina Fey MozGod.  Oh yeah and that Lebron guy?  Missed two weeks.  I understand that the Cavs probably aren’t very concerned about getting the top seed in the East.  But does that really matter when the regular season competition consists of teams like Philadelphia and Brooklyn?  In the 2008-2009 season, the Cavs won 66 games and Lebron was surrounded by guys like Tarence Kinsey and Sasha Pavlovic.  Now that team was built for the regular season, but let’s be clear: If Lebron James plays all or most of the games in the regular season (which he says he will), the Cavs should flirt with 60 wins, while Kurt and Johnny flirt with Niall Horan from One Direction.

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Philadelphia 76ers (21.5)- UNDER

I wholeheartedly believe that The L.A. Lakers and Brooklyn Nets are going to easily hit the unders on their lines.  However, since these two teams have already been mentioned, I’ll go with the third side of the NBA bermuda triangle of shitty basketball teams: The 76ers.  In order to hit the over, the 76ers have to win 22 games.  Can anybody really picture the 76ers beating a living, breathing, sentient group of individuals 22 different times over the course of the season??  Philly is young, and I don’t mean to rag on them too hard.  They have a bright spot/possible rookie of the year in Jahlil Okafor.  However, that alone is not going to win you any games.  They have zero veterans, which will make 8 or 10 game losing streaks commonplace.  the obvious move for them is to tank (again), which they are going to do, whether they want to or not.    

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2015-2016 NBA SEASON PLAYOFF PREDICTIONS

Staff Articles

THE SEASON IS FINALLY HERE! Our beloved Cavaliers tip off tonight against the Chicago Bulls.  And with that comes some obvious bias within our playoff predictions and title winners below.  Let’s see if we are as bad at this as last year.  Just ignore that we all basically had the Rockets out of the playoffs and the Hawks finishing 6th or worse in our column last year.  But hey, not many people picked those surprises and that is what makes the NBA season great.  Many people predict the playoffs assuming all things equal, while in reality there’s inevitably going to be things we never expected and are impossible to predict, including injuries, scandals, suspensions, arrests, tanking, etc. With that being said, I would not advise betting any money on any of our predictions because like everyone else, including the ESPN “experts”, we will be wrong, very wrong most likely.  Well enough trying to convince not to read the rest of this, but here are the staff’s predictions categorized by conference and finishing with our prediction for who will be crowned NBA Champions (it better be the Cavs!).

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As you can tell, we aren’t homers at all….. I hope you enjoyed our first two preview articles!  We intend on more coming soon, including some bold predictions as well as Vegas over/under win totals.  GO CAVS!!!

NBA 2015-2016 SEASON PREVIEW- MAJOR AWARD PREDICTIONS

Staff Articles

Welcome back everyone! After a 5 month hiatus, Semih Pro is back to cover the 2015-2016 NBA season.  Expect mediocre analysis, raw humor, and a rather revealing Cavaliers bias throughout the year.   Unlike One Direction, all 5 of us will appear in some capacity this year (why Zayn why?).  And like legendary Coach Mike Krzyzewski said: “A basketball team is like the five fingers on your hand.  If you can get them all together, you have a fist.  That’s how I want you to play.”  Well, I hope our staff will be fisting our way through this season… alright that sounded wrong.  Anyway, we expect to deliver an overwhelmingly average amount of content, including maybe 1-2 weekly articles followed by our Sports Emmy award nominated “Baklava Broadcast”.  We talk about our subpar real world lives,  include humor drier than the Sahara Desert, and occasionally chat about hoops. Unlike all of the major podcasts ( half of Mike & Mike’s show), our podcasts don’t include stupid sponsorship commercials, so there’s that.  Enough of this, it’s time for some steamy major award predictions from our staff.

Major Award Predictions

Most Valuable Player (MVP)

JR- Lebron James, All Positions, Cleveland Cavaliers

LeBron James, LeBron James, LeBron James…..Only threat I see is if The Brow goes ape s*** and drops like 30 and 15 and leads the Pellies to the 7th seed or better in the West. LeBron is on a mission this season to lead the Cavs to the promised land.

KR-  LeBron James, “Small” Forward, Cleveland Cavaliers

For anyone who has seen LeBron up close and personal, he’s nothing short of a mammoth.  In reference to a recent photograph that surfaced on Twitter, maybe he’d be considered small alongside Shaq and big brother Yao Ming.

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I reference LeBron at this position, not power forward, due to the 2015-2016 NBA GM Survey in which he received a staggering 89.3% majority vote in response to the question, “Who is the best small forward in the league?”

LeBron will not be happy about losing out to Steph Curry in both the MVP race and Finals.  He will be on a seek-and-destroy mission this year.  Watch out.

V- Anthony Davis, PF/C, Nawlins Hornets

Anthony Davis has his (one) eye(brow) set on one thing this year – to bring a championship to the city of New Orleans. Unfortunately for Davis, his supporting cast includes the likes of Eric “2010” Gordon, Tyreke “2009” Evans, Jrue “2012” Holliday and Kendra “I was never really good at basketball” Perkins.

Fortunately for Davis, he is the most gifted young basketball player on the planet. Davis has always been phenomenal on the defensive end and quick off of the first step.  However, now that he has developed a silky midrange jumper in his arsenal, many defenders will have no choice but to poop their pants – resulting in more game stoppages to clean up the floor and more rest for Davis.  His usage rate will sky rocket as he tries to single handedly propel his Hornets. And, imagine how good he will be when he learns to propel them double handedly. Davis will easily achieve 25/11/3/3/2 on 55% shooting, but will need to lock up 50 wins (with the help of Kendra Perkins, of course) to lock down the MVP.

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R- Anthony Davis, PF New Orleans Hornets

For me, this was a debate between Anthony Davis and Lebron James.  In the end, I had to go with Anthony Davis..He’s the best player on a team devoid of all-stars, and a team that I believe will make a huge leap.  As for Lebron, I think his MVP days are coming to an end.  Hopefully, I’m wrong, but with a growing supporting cast and the increased likelihood that Lebron misses 10-15 games a season, it’s gonna be tough.  As far as other candidates, Steph Curry beat us in the finals so I couldn’t pick him on moral grounds; James Harden got dumped by Khloe Kardashian, so he’ll probably average about 5 points a game; and Kevin Durant will be coming off a tough surgery with Russell Westbrook clawing away at his stats.

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BD- LeBron James, Cleveland Cavs, EVERY POSITION

We were all watching basketball April through June this past season, right? Did you see how LeBron James played? He averaged 36pts, 13 boards, 9 assists, 1.5 steals, and half a block for the series. While literally being unstoppable against a great Golden State defense. Please note that finals MVP Andre Iguodala averaged literally half of what LBJ did. A motivated LeBron James isn’t the best basketball player in the NBA. A motivated Lebron James is the most transcendent NBA talent to ever touch a basketball. Maybe he won’t have the regular season statistics to win the NBA’s version of your High School’s Homecoming King but there isn’t a single MVP voter who isn’t voting LBJ for the senior superlative of most likely to succeed. For reasons unbeknownst to me, LBJ probably won’t be NBA MVP but I’d rather not pick against him.

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Rookie of the Year

JR- Jahlil Okafor, C, Philadelphia 76ers

Rookie of the Year is all about opportunity and putting up numbers offensively.  Look for Okafor to play some big minutes and possibly be the only offensive option on the floor for the Sixers this year.  Joel Embiid may never see an NBA floor and could be the second coming of Greg Oden/ “later days foot problems Yao Ming” while Noel will be a nice player to play with.  With the departure of garbage time triple double man Michael Carter Williams, someone has to score enough to make games look respectable.  Look, the ball is like a peach in his hand…

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KR-  DeAngelo Russell, PG, Los Angeles Lakers

I know that Jahlil Okafor and Karl-Anthony Towns are the sexy picks to win ROY this upcoming season.  However, it seems like Philadelphia is unable to develop any young talent despite their abundance of high lottery draft choices.  In my opinion, Towns has a real chance to shine alongside future superstar Andrew Wiggins and pass-oriented point guard Ricky Rubio.

I’m picking DeAngelo (not a relative, by the way) because the Lakers, on paper, are going to be terrible.  I expect him to produce inflated numbers for a bad team (I don’t think they’ll really be THAT bad) if Kobe is willing to share the ball.  I’d expect something around the lines of 13-16 PPG and 5-6 APG.  I think that will be enough to separate him from the pack.

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V- DeAngelo Russell, PG, Los Angeles Lakers

At the tender ripe-for-the-pickin’ age of 19, DeAngelo Russell has a more complete knowledge of the game than most players will ever have. Russell always plays under control, and will sing lullabies to sleepy defenders who are adjusting to the west coast time difference on his way to the rim. Furthermore, he is an excellent attacker, who excels in the pick and roll, which will allow him to make a smooth transition to the NBA. As a 6-5 point guard, with a silky handle, a 6-9 wingspan, and a knack for the big moment, DeAngelo Russell will hoist the ROY trophy like a Kobe Bryant shot attempt.

Furthermore, Russell has a genetic mutation which allows him to see into the future.

R- Jahlil Okafor, C, Philadelphia 76ers

It’s debatable whether a Jahlil Okafor, DeAngelo Russell, or someone else is the best rookie in the league talent-wise.  But awards are purely stat driven.  And a big man on a bad team like guaranteed to put up at least 15 points and 8 boards a night.  And that’s saying something, because the 76ers will probably average about 15 points and 8 boards a night as a team!  The last big man to win ROY?  Blake Griffin in 2010-2011.

BD- Kristaps Porzingis, PF New York Knicks

Word out on the street is that Carmelo Anthony still plays basketball and is apparently still pretty ok. The 2015-2016 version of the New York Knickerbockers looks to field several competent veteran players alongside Anthony, such as Arron Afflalo, Robin Lopez, and Jose Calderon. The rest of the team is essentially Porzingis and scrubs. If Phil Jackson and Derrick Fisher actually know how to run a basketball team, they will realize that realistically the Knicks will be a middling team fighting for the 8th seed in the highly competitive Eastern Conference…. Hopefully this means a lot of playing time for the raw talent that Porzingis is. Coupled with the veteran presence of the Knicks roster, and generally low expectations may mean Porzingis will get a legitimate chance to develop his talents. I like for the big guy to really come into his own as the Knicks chase an 8th seed.  He possess some real talent, just look at this.

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Coach of the Year

JR- Doc Rivers, Los Angeles Clippers

With some much needed depth added to the roster with the likes of Lance, Pierce, and Josh Smith, I expect Doc to help lead the Clips to the 1 seed in the West and then proceed to choke in the playoffs somehow, but this will be a great regular season team.

KR-  Gregg Popovich, San Antonio Spurs

After the Spurs managed to acquire both David West (on a massive discount, sorry Pacers’ fans) and LaMarcus Aldridge to accompany their ancient big 3 (and young Leonard) on their “final” quest for another NBA championship.  I expect them to have one more amazing season in which they finish with 60+ wins. Do you wanna play a game?

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V- Billy Donovan, Oklahoma City Thunder

While Billy Donovan is probably very gifted with knowledge about the ins and outs of the game of basketball, he is even more gifted to coach Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant in their primes. The Thunder will be successful, as long as waterboy Dion Waiters is able to shoot the gatorade out of the cooler into the cup without bricking too much off the rim.

Based off of the lineage of his last name, Dion comes from a long line of successful waiters, and will be able to accomplish the feat.

R- Billy Donovan, Oklahoma City Thunder

The Thunder were 45-37 last year and missed the playoffs.  This year, they will easily make the playoffs and win 10-15 more games thanks to the return of one Kevin Durant (and the growth of Mitch McGary).  Now you and I know that the reason for this ginormous leap is thanks to the return of one of the best players in basketball (and the growth of Mitch McGary), but the NBA doesn’t seem to care about these roster changes when awarding coach of the year.  So, basically, if Billy Donovan sits back, doesn’t fuck up by doing a Scott Skiles impersonation, and lets the Thunder do their thing, he’s gonna be the next coach of the year.

Side Note:  I was able to watch Mitch McGary pretty close when Michigan came to play Ohio State.  He’s got one of those faces you kinda wanna punch.  It’s not that he did anything wrong, it’s just that he seems very smug all the time.  Sorry Mitch.

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BD- Gregg Popovich, San Antonio Spurs

This year’s Gregg Popovich memorial Coach of the year award goes to Gregg Popovich. He Jedi mind tricked Danny Green, David West, and LaMarcus Aldridge to take less money in an NBA economic climate where Tristan Thompson just scored a 5 year, $82 million dollar contract. To put this in perspective, Tristan Thompson makes $3 million dollars less a year than LaMarcus Aldridge. HOLY FUCK. While money and contract flexibility is important in a salary capped sport, the fact that players repeatedly take less money to play for the Spurs is just one piece of evidence that whatever Pop and the Spurs do in San Antonio, players like it, and respond accordingly. Also, Jimmer Fredette, once vaunted 3pt shooter, now plays for the Spurs. Did you hear me? This guy: JIMMER! I’m looking for Jimmer to single handedly win the West for the Spurs. He shoots from 45ft out like its a layup.

(This was written before I found out that in fact the Spurs cut Jimmer)

Most Improved Player (In Honor of the great 2000 MIP Jalen Rose)

JR- Giannis Antetokounmpo, Freak, Milwaukee Bucks

I think I was just a year early on this one when I predicted this for my boy Giannis last year.  See last year’s description for why I think he’s destined for a breakout year.

KR-  Andrew Wiggins, Minisoda TWolves

I’ll be honest; this pick was a real struggle.  Do second players win MIP very often? No.  Wiggins is coming off of a solid rookie campaign, dropping a statline of 16.9 PPG, 4.6 RPG, and 2.1 APG for a dismal Timberwolves team.  I see him really elevating his game to the next level this season.  Expect him to average over 20, 6, and 4 on a team that will be surprisingly relevant for some of the season. Here’s a little taste of what to expect from Wiggins this year.

V- Lance Stephenson, SG, Los Angeles Clippers

Lance Stephenson will find his niche with the Clippers, who are known around the league for having some of the whiniest players, dirtiest players and biggest floppers. Now that he does not have the burden any of the offensive load, he will be able to do what he does best – a little bit of everything. Stephenson will earn a prominent role with the Clippers and prove he was worth the contract the Bobcats gave him last season. Furthermore, Chris Paul will ensure that Lance is focused on blowing by defenders, not just blowing in their ears.

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R-  Andrew Wiggins, Minisoda TWolves

Andrew Wiggins is the next Carmelo Anthony.  He averaged 16.9 PPG, 4.6 RPG, and 2.1 APG (I stole these stats from Kurt’s write-up.  I owe you one buddy!).  As young Andy blossoms into the leader of his team, I see no reason why his stats shouldn’t blossom alongside him.  In a few years Wiggins should be one of the best players in the league, and will make the artist formerly known as Kevin Garnett proud.

BD- Ty “I don’t need rehab” Lawson, PG Houston Rockets

The Houston Rockets came one series away from being in the NBA finals. They are a good team with good players. This past season they traded for Ty Lawson, giving up practically nothing for the former Denver Nugget. Does anyone remember the 2012-2013 Denver Nugget team? A team that finished 3rd in an always tough Western Conference with 0 super stars; a team that lead the league in points per game! In the 2012-2013 NBA season Lawson scored almost 17pts a game, with 7 assists while shooting 46% from the field. His numbers did not drop significantly last season but with all the negativity in Denver, and his recent personal troubles, I think a change of scenery and general teammate talent level is going to propel Lawson to an excellent 2015-2016 NBA campaign.

6th Man

JR- Isaiah Thomas, Boston Celtics

Thomas was a real sparkplug for the Celts last year after being acquired and will again be among the highest scoring bench players for an improved Celts team that should comfortably make the playoffs in the East.

KR-  

I have absolutely no idea.  My heart says Andre Iguodala, but realistically, he lacks the offensive numbers to garner the award.  I agree with JRod.  I think Isaiah Thomas is going to continue to light up the scoreboard each and every night off the bench for Brad Stevens’ Celtics.

V- Tristan Thompson, PF, Cleveland Cavaliers

Tristan Thompson had a phenomenal postseason as the most agile big man on the Cavs. He has the motor of a Mack truck, and the tenacity of JJ Watt, enabling him to corral rebounds. Furthermore, he will be the beneficiary of pin point passes from LeBron James in the pick and roll. Thompson will also log big minutes as a sixth man, since the Cavaliers’ starters are preparing to play over a hundred games this season.

R- Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves

This pick seems kind off the wall initially, but I think it makes sense.  I’m assuming Kevin Garnett gets the start and PF for the Timberwolves because A) It’s a show of respect and B)The coach is too afraid to tell him otherwise.  That being said, there’s no way Garnett eats up many minutes at all, leaving Towns to makes some huge contributions.  The only thing working against this pick is that Towns is mostly a defensive guy, so I’m not sure how impressive his stats will be.  However, I’ve already written most of this paragraph, so I’ll probably stick with it..

BD- Tristan Thompson, Cleveland Cavaliers, PF

I’d like to cite statistics and use sound logical reasoning as to why Tristan should win 6th man of the year. I really would. BUT I’M F****** UPSET. How in the goddamn hell does Tristan Thompson holdout for $82 million dollars?? Seriously. He even tried to get more! He wanted a max deal. I’m just fuming mad at the whole situation. Listen Tristan, I know you’re an avid reader of Semih Pro. GO OUT AND BALL YOUR HEART OUT. Prove me wrong, prove everyone wrong. Go crazy and average 10pts this year. Do it.

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Defensive Player of the Year (DPOY)

JR- Rudy Gobert- The Stifle Tower

Rudy was inserted into the Jazz starting lineup for the 2nd half of last year’s season and instantly Utah became competent and a top 5 defense statistically the rest of the way.  Gobert is a behemoth monster, swallowing all attempts around the rim. He’s like the Kraken and his arms are long ass tentacles. He will contend with the Brow for the league lead in blocks and for this award.  He may forgotten to bring the donuts here, but he won’t forget how to play sick defense. 

KR- Kawhi Leonard – The Silent Assassin

Sticking with the whole “Spurs are really good” theme, it makes sense that Kawhi (if healthy) earns DPOY.  He can guard every position except Center (unless Bobby Sacre is playing) on a team that will make some noise that ESPN will manage to ignore.

V- Anthony Davis

Every time an offensive player attempts a shot around Anthony Davis, he is personally insulted. Why take a shot and challenge Davis’ prowess, when you can gently place the ball down and roll it to him? (Richard Jefferson, if you’re reading this, that last comment was directed directly to you)

How to avoid an Anthony Davis attack

1) At first keep quiet and still. Anthony Davis is more likely to spot you if you move. Wait until the Anthony Davis has gone before making your way to safety.

2) Hide if Anthony Davis is stalking you. If possible, get into a hiding place such as a vehicle, a hut, or a narrow space between rocks, where the Anthony can not reach you.

3) Avoid approaching Anthony Davis’ cubs, as Anthony can be defensive to his young.

R-  Deandre Jordan, C, L.A. Clippers

Did you know Deandre Jordan has never won defensive player of the year?  To me this was a shock considering Jordan’s tenure and well-known prowess on the defensive end.  Deandre has taken lots of heat for his decision to spur the Mavericks for the Clippers (That past sentence had 4 team names in it, woo!).  After signing a max deal with Lob City, look for Deandre to prove himself in the one way he knows how: on the defensive end.

BD- Anthony Davis, PF Pellies

I have this working theory that when Anthony Davis was taught the game of basketball, someone told him that smacking the ball out of people’s hands was worth more points than putting it through the hoop. This led to two things: Anthony Davis becoming the best defensive big man in the game today, and Anthony Davis not understanding why he doesn’t average more points a game.


Well that’s our first article.  Bear with us, we are still in preseason form.  Be on the lookout for our playoff predictions, which will be released on opening night, TUESDAY.  GO CAVS!!!