Comparing the Denver roster from last season with their current roster leaves a lot to be desired from a team that competed in the Western Conference Finals a season ago. On paper, the Nuggets lost their best defensive player in Jerami Grant and their backup center in Mason Plumlee. The hope is that what we saw from Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. in the Bubble were for real.

Before the Bubble, Murray averaged 18 points a game and exploded for 26.5 over 19 playoff games in the Bubble. During the playoffs, Murray shot 45% from deep, but that hot shooting won’t hold up for the career 35% three-point shooter. What could hold up is the shot selection. Murray shot more pull up three-point shots in the playoffs and was hunting for those looks inn the pick and roll. Denver also believes the guard is going to step up his defense this year. Michael Porter Jr. showed flashes of brilliance in the Bubble over the summer with his increased role.

Overall I think we see more of the same from the Nuggets this season, one of the better regular-season teams in the West, but I am not sure they got enough better to make it to the finals.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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After ending the season on an 8-0 run in the Bubble and just missing out on the 8th/9th seed play-in game, the Suns entered this offseason looking to elevate themselves to a legitimate contender in the tough Western Conference. That is exactly what they did, acquiring All-Star point guard Chris Paul to form a tremendous backcourt duo with fellow All-Star Devin Booker. The Suns will be looking for Paul to continue his All-NBA caliber play and for their young core to take another leap this season to solidify themselves amongst the top teams in the West. 

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Health is wealth this season for the New Orleans Pelicans. Before the NBA Bubble, the Pelicans were in the midst of a breakout season for Brandon Ingram, and we finally got to see Zion Williamson in action. He had some crazy highlights in his first few games, and the team looked to be in a great position to make a run at the 8th seed in the Western Conference. After the return from the break, though, the team looked disengaged, most notably Lonzo Ball, and the team went on to lose six of eight games in the play-in tournament. This offseason, the team fired Alvin Gentry and hired Stan Van Gundy as the new head coach. They also traded their most tenured player in Jrue Holiday in an attempt to build for the future. With this retooled roster though, the Pelicans have a strong shot at a low playoff seed.

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The Dallas Mavericks were a historically great offense last season, posting the greatest offensive rating ever recorded at 115.9. Most of that due to Luka Doncic’s improvement to MVP levels. Luka put up 28/9/8 in his second season in the pros and the Mavericks put the ball in his hands as much as possible to facilitate their offense. This offseason the Mavericks needed to improve on defense, and they did.

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Bucks fans, rejoice. On December 15th, Giannis Antetokounmpo signed a five-year/$228 million super-max contract extension to remain with the Milwaukee Bucks. He even broke the news himself on Twitter which was an undoubted baller move that received mixed responses. Some people, like myself, cried tears of joy because of the loyalty he showed to a small market and the commitment to the franchise that drafted him, while others went on to trash him and the Bucks, saying that he will never win a championship with this team. However, what remains to be seen is if this retooled team (shout out to my new favorite player Bobby Portis) has what it takes to take the Bucks to the promised land. Let’s break it down.

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Chronologically, I wanted to preview the Rockets first, but at the time, the draft and free agency were starting to go full bore, so it seemed better to wait and see what would go down in Houston. And much like fast-forwarding through the movie Titanic (the only thing missing is the great Billy Zane), this franchise is set to try and recover what it lost in the Bubble. Which was basically everything…

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No team had a more interesting offseason than the Atlanta Hawks (check out the November 30 edition of The Lowe Post podcast with Zach Lowe and Kevin Arnovitz for a detailed, non-fantasy breakdown). What had been a carefully constructed youth-movement-style rebuild for the past several years suddenly accelerated into “win-now” mode, beefing up the rotation with veteran contributors and casting the roles of the majority of last season’s core pieces into considerable doubt. Let’s take a look at where the roster’s fantasy values stand as we head into the 2020-21 season.

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The New York Knicks. Where do we even start? The front office? The coaching? The players? I guess I’ll start with this. I’ve been on this Knicks roller coaster ever since my dad took me to my first Knicks game at Madison Square Garden when I was about 7 or 8 years old. Since then, I’ve been met mostly with disappointment. I have been staying positive, though, and have been looking towards our future here in New York for however many years Knicks’ fans have been saying that. But, I must say it, the future starts now. 

Last season, the Knicks ended that peculiar and condensed season with a 21-45 record. They ended that season on a 4-3 run, which seemed promising, off the back of some mostly competent coaching from Mike Miller after David Fizdale had overstayed his welcome. However, this season, the coaching staff, the front office, and roster has changed. Yes, James Dolan still owns the team, but sshh, you win some and you lose some. 

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All right fam, I sat on this preview long enough. The season is nigh, and it seems that if James Harden won’t be joining the Brooklyn Nets (prays to the God of Editors that I don’t need to rewrite this), and we’re at a position where we can focus on the Nets’ other luminary players — Caris LeVert and Taurean Prince. I kid! We all know I’m a Jarret Allen stan.

[loads up the the ol’ roster-nator] [giggles at the word “roster-nator”]

How am I supposed to find information on Kyrie Irving? ALEXA! WHAT’S A DURANTULA? 

ENYWHEY, faithful Razzball readers might know me as the pitcher ranker on the baseball side, and the quarterback ranker on the football side (and the guy who writes the Razzbowl fan fiction), and now you get good ‘ol Blair giving you hot taeks on the basketball side for 2020-2021. So, without risking the 24-second clock running down to zero here, let’s take a look at the hottest team in the NBA for 2021.

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The only constant in life is change. In the NBA it seems like no place changes as often or as unsuccessfully as Sacramento, where tearing it down and starting over isn’t a one-off project but an organizational credo. A shuffle took place upstairs over the summer and now the Sacramento worm has begun to turn once more. The Kings aren’t taking it down to the studs this time around, though another regime shift ensures that there will be some moving pieces in California’s capitol and, hopefully, some growth.

Please, blog, may I have some more?