There were a lot of bad nights, namely from anyone with a Miami Heat uniform on. My value picks all failed, so my lineup was toast early.
The winning lineup was the lowest of the entire season at He even survived poor nights from Wayne Ellington and Dejounte Murray. If you would like to try DraftKings for the first time, use this link for the referral bonus! Next 1 of 6 Prev post. Is Thor worth the price? Despite how little an impact those picks had on Toronto, neither trade ended up being so beneficial for them either.
Miles sign-and-trade, the result was still the same this past season: At the time, both trades seemed like great steps taken by the Raptors in order to inch closer to a championship.
Had those deals manifested into tangible results, their grade for both would have been significantly higher. Biggest winners and losers by Connor Harr. Complete NBA Draft grades for all 30 teams. The Cavaliers probably have the best chance, assuming Isaiah Thomas returns at full strength, because they should be deeper, tougher and a bit more equipped to defend the wing.
The gap between the Warriors and everybody else, created the day Kevin Durant signed, is not narrowing anytime soon. Anything short of a title for the Warriors would be a calamity given a businesslike summer that saw Stephen Curry re-sign, Kevin Durant return on a discount, and numerous helpful veterans arrive to fill out an already solid bench. There's a good chance that Golden State's toughest challenge of the postseason comes in the West finals, when it could face either San Antonio, presumably armed with a healthy Kawhi Leonard this time, or an improved Houston squad sporting a potential No.
On paper, a fully-healthy version of the Cavaliers matches up better with the Warriors than last year's version, thanks largely to the addition of Jae Crowder. But the sheer quantity of new faces around LeBron James coupled with new roles for the likes of J. Smith, Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson makes it hard to believe that the new-look Cavaliers can narrow the gap with the Warriors, who are back and deeper than ever.
A sweep isn't out of the question, especially if Cleveland opts against making a splashy midseason trade and strikes out on impact players during buyout season.
And unless the Cavaliers substantially improve their backcourt defensive personnel, look for Curry to claim the first Finals MVP award of his career. Giannis grows two more inches—in season, nonetheless—and develops a KD-level jumper; Bucks prevail in the East. Alas, no such upsets await.
Instead, the Warriors will coast through the regular season with the usual complement of manufactured storylines, minor-ish injuries, and the like, all the while further honing their ridiculously efficient offense and defense. Kevin Love, coming off his best season since the Minnesota days, will have his moments, as will an inspired Isaiah Thomas and a resurrected Dwyane Wade. But the Warriors are a team for the ages, one no longer playing for one season, but for history. With all due respect to title predictions, the more interesting question is: Could the Thunder beat the Cavs and keep Paul George?
Does LeBron win another title, stay in Cleveland, and go down as the greatest of all time? Imagine how phenomenal the Western Conference playoffs would become if all these imperfect Golden State challengers were suddenly on equal footing, going to war for a real title shot. It's fun to dream about, and that dream can sustain us for at least another few months. But once April and May arrive, no, I will be not picking against the team that nearly went in the playoffs last season, brings everyone back, and will be even more comfortable a year later.
The path to any other Finals pairing would mean picking against LeBron James, which is foolish, or picking against the Warriors, which is impossible. The familiarity between them is enough to supercharge any game they play, all while Cleveland has turned over enough of its roster to refresh the matchup. It took all the field had just to take a single game off the Warriors in the playoffs. Golden State will only be better this time around: This time last year, teams clung to the desperate hope that Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant might not jell as expected.
The new pipe dream is, by necessity, more sinister: That an injury—the only equalizing force left—might bring the Warriors down to a vulnerable level. Four, five, six or seven seems to be the primary question revolving around preseason Finals picks, and there is not enough bravado in my soul to roll with any team that is not the Warriors. How many words can I expend explaining the inevitability of sure death, the constant dread of the passing of time, and the knowledge that any team with a healthy Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson as its principles is going to win the Finals?
Or the fact that they might only need three of those to do it.