It's been a long time. It feels nice to be posting again. I felt the need to take a step back this year just for the sake of being mindful about where I'm spending my time, as well as needing to decompress a bit after that Finals run. I still can't believe the Bucks are NBA champs...let's do it again!
I still checked Brewhoop somewhat regularly this year, and I very much appreciate the comments where someone mentioned me and hoped I was doing well. That is a great feeling, so thank you to everyone who expressed that sentiment.
I gotta apologize to the fantasy league guys...I dropped the ball on that one. Hopefully you got a league together anyway and had a good season. I was really out of it during that time.
Brewhoop seems to have a good number of new posters right now, which is always good for a diversity of opinions. I think I'll be one of those again, though not as frequently as I used to be.
I'll post my player rankings soon, but for now, I gotta get air out some opinions for the sake of it. So here goes a whole season's worth of takes all at once haha. Feel free to comment your takes on my takes, or your own takes.
First, the Bucks are great. Will we win another championship this year? I don't know about that, but we're at least in the mix, which is exciting.
Giannis should be MVP. Anyone who can contend for the scoring title, content for DPOY, and be a top 2 seed should be a shoe-in. Jokic is barely staying out of the play-in and Giannis is just better and more successful than Embiid. It's wild how much the media ignores Giannis. He has been an afterthought in discussions all year: "oh, and Giannis is there too. but moving on."
Nate Duncan has an incredible amount of hate for the Bucks, and it irks me. He always keeps it low-key, but he rates anything and everything Bucks-related low.
Jrue, Khris, and Brook get too little love. Jevon Carter is an instant favorite. I hope we re-sign him; I'll be disappointed if we don't. Same with Ibaka actually. Grayson has been a nice surprise, but I think he'll be reduced to the Bryn Forbes role in the playoffs. Wes is going to be this year's PJ Tucker (for good and bad). Planet Pat is great, I hope he is dialed in for the playoffs, given he's our only non-Khris/Jrue wing or guard with any semblance of a two-way game. Bobby I think got a bit overrated but I love his heart and I hope he stays. Nice fanpost about him by WiscoJoe: https://www.brewhoop.com/2022/4/8/23016475/bobby-portis-will-he-stay-or-will-he-go
The play-in tournament is great. I don't know about the idea of an in-season tournament. That seems stupid. Speaking of stupid, the dunk contest. Seriously, pay players to come, get some Youtube dunkers to participate, and stop even having it if the participants are going to suck. At midseason Silver said something about getting reporters out of locker rooms, and every single NBA reporter freaked out and spent the next week talking about why it would mean the death of the NBA, which I found hilarious because it doesn't affect fans at all and is better for players.
Very cool that the Bucks and Heat have (I think) 2 total top 10 picks on their rosters. That doesn't get talked about nearly enough.
Now, team by team:
Miami - Fun season for their fans I'm sure. I'd love to play them in the playoffs again. We could use an easy series. Jimmy has nightmares about Giannis defending him.
Boston - Interesting comeback from a team that should've been better the last few years. They were my preseason pick to finish as the other best East team besides the Bucks, and I felt stupid for a long time this year about that. Turns out it was a good call. Derrick White was a great addition.
Philly - Lol what a year. Morey gonna Morey. The Ben Simmons saga was hilarious to watch unfold. Now they have a legit Big 2, which worries me, but also...does Harden really worry me that much? Not really. I think we match up with Philly really well with Lopez back to defend Embiid and Jrue to defend Harden. Also they have Doc which means their odds of winning a series go way down.
Toronto - Fun and frisky team with all the big wings. Barnes looks like yet another complete win for Masai Ujiri, who is the best GM in the league without a doubt.
Bulls - Lol. Everyone dismissed them at first, then got really scared and bought into them, even to the point of the era of "Derozan deserves to be in the conversation for MVP" talk. Look at them now. Their record vs good teams should have a standup comedy special on Netflix.
Brooklyn - Wow, what a year. Kyrie is a lunatic. Durant likes Kyrie for some reason. Now they have Simmons. I wish Simmons would play bc then they wouldn't use Bruce Brown, who is great. But Simmons is out; well, we always knew he had a weak spine.
Cavs - I like them a lot, and I think they're going to be scary in the East if they can figure out what to do with Sexton. Mobley is the real deal. Jarrett Allen was the best part of the Harden trade and if anybody remembers, I was livid that Houston would pass up on taking Allen, and somehow Cleveland got him for nothing. But it's hilarious that Brooklyn could use him so badly and they just gave him up for no reason.
Atlanta - What happened there? Was last year a fluke? Probably so I guess. Trae is a great player but tough to build around when you're not building your roster with a defensive focus.
Hornets - I feel like they should be better than they are. Is Miles Bridges really good or was he just really hot at the beginning of the year? I don't know. Is Rozier a top 10 SG? Weird team. They need to get a Capela/Allen type center.
Knicks - LOL
Wizards - They need to dump Brad Beal but instead they'll pay him crazy money to enjoy living in DC and being a poor franchise player on a non-playoff team. Now they have Kristaps, who is the same.
Pacers - Really great front office. Haliburton and Turner are a great combination, and I think they have interesting role players too with Duarte and Brissett. Don't sleep on Isaiah Jackson.
Pistons - Surprisingly in what seems to be an underrated good place with Cade, Bey, and the ability to trade Jerami Grant (which they really need to do this offseason). I don't think Cade should be a primary ballhandler though; just like Giannis, he should be your secondary guy. Bey can be the Khris.
Magic - I loved Franz Wagner in the draft and don't understand why nobody talks about him. Oh wait, it's because no NBA national analyst has watched a Magic game this year. I think he's going to be a star.
Phoenix - Gotta love them. Also, if we match up with them again in the Finals, I think we'd win, but I also think it would be more competitive than it was last year (which was not as close as the 4-2 tally would indicate given Giannis' health). Monty should've been coach of the year last year; he'll probably get it this year, and might deserve it again. Booker has stepped it up with defensive effort, which is cool to see.
Memphis - Good for Taylor Jenkins, that guy is crushing it. Ja is the most fun player to watch in the league quite often. I am worried they're going to be a paper tiger in the playoffs because I don't trust Dillon Brooks not to shoot them out of games when Ja and Desmond Bane (who spoiler alert I have #7 at SG) should be the ones shooting.
Warriors - I feel bad for Steph, but if they all get health in the playoffs, look out. Wiggins being good just makes their trade with Minnesota even worse; that was an absolute shellacking considering that somehow Minnesota was the one giving them elite picks.
Mavericks - Not sure why everybody is shocked their defense is good. Kidd is actually a really good defensive coach...but we'll see what it looks like next year. Dinwiddie shooting out of his mind is weird. Are they legit? I am skeptical.
Utah - Yikes. I hate it because I liked cheering for them as a fellow small market team who built the right way. They're headed for a major implosion, and I think it's coming this offseason. I wouldn't be surprised if they're the worst team in the league next year.
Denver - Jokic is awesome, and what more do you need to say. Looks like Murray isn't coming back (or not at full strength) for the playoffs, which really sucks for them. Two prime contention years wasted. They were my championship pick last year before he got hurt.
Timberwolves - Cool story, good to see them making waves. I thought they should've traded for Simmons; out of everywhere, he might actually fit really well there. But, if Edwards can keep improving and they can figure out some way for KAT to not be a massive liability on defense, they could get actually good.
Clippers - It really sucks for whoever has to play them if Kawhi comes back. The Reggie Jackson hype is absurd; his TS% is 48.9% this year. Elite front office.
Pelicans - Lol. The Zion thing is such a mess. Kinda their fault. Kinda seems like Zion is a huge tool who has joined my top 5 most dislikable NBA players list. I love that they are going for it anyway. Going all in on offense is fun and will never go anywhere, but hey, at least they're doing something fun. If only they had a young PG who had been drafted in the top 2 and was a really good defender and low usage offensive player but good passer. Probably would be a great fit. But hard to find those guys I guess.
Spurs - Cool to see them still competing. Vassell could be good.
Lakers - HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAA. I love it so much. And yet I hate it that every podcast and even the halftime show of Bucks-Mavs on national tv talks 50% about the other 29 NBA teams and 50% about the NBA's 9th worst team. But also, it was so glaringly obvious that getting Westbrook was a mind-numbingly stupid move that watching it collapse like this is so satisfying.
Kings - LOL. Poverty franchise. Haliburton is a legit good starting point guard and they decided to trade him to build around Fox, who completely sucked this year, and Sabonis, who is a good player but may already be worse than Haliburton. I wish Harrison Barnes would get to another team.
Portland - Interesting off-season for them. I think they're stuck between a rock and a hard place because they have no young talent to move on from Dame and build around, but I also think that Dame is not a guy you want to build around at this point, given his age, size, defense, and this injury. But they're going to give him a max and be a non-playoff team. Also, what the heck was that Norm Powell trade??
Thunder - Feels like they've been tanking forever, but it's been 1.5 years. Still, they need to actually hit on somebody in the draft this year and trade some picks to build a roster that can compete hard.
Rockets - LOL. This is what happens when you trade James Harden for Victor Oladipo and some bad picks. And when your owner totally sucks. Gotta be the worst culture in the league too with Christian Wood and Kevin Porter Jr.
Whew, ok that's it I think. At least all I got off the top of my head. Feel free to post your own takes!