Baller Mind Frame

NBA Season Predictions: Surprisingly Bad Team

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Aaron Lanton: Phoenix Suns
The Phoenix Suns have four guards who believe they should play 30 minutes a game: Eric Bledsoe, Goran Dragic, Isiah Thomas, and Gerald Green. Three of these guards happen to the best players on the team. Somehow, this isn’t going to work. Rumors are already swirling that the Suns are preparing to move one of these guards and they should. The frontcourt lacks elite talent and their best players can’t all be on the floor at the same time. Last year was magical, but the Brick of Reality is about to smack Suns fans in the face. The New Orleans Pelicans will supplant the Suns as the young upstarts that scare everyone.

Bryan Brandom: Portland Trail Blazers
This is a matter of relativity. The Portland Trail Blazers won’t be a bad team this year, but they could very well take a surprisingly big step back from last year, for two reasons: first, and most obviously, after a scorching 31-9 start last year, much of the league adjusted by midseason and the Blazers ended up finishing the season with a record of 23-19; second, their depth. As constructed, Portland has a very solid rotation, with a top four (LaMarcus Aldridge, Damian Lillard, Nicolas Batum, and Wesley Matthews) that can hang with anybody. While they have some solid role players, none have the potential to pick up the slack if an injury to one of their two stars occurs. Barring this destructive hypothetical injury, though, the Blazers will have a winning record, but will still be in a fight for one of the last playoff spots come the season’s final month.

Corey Quincy: Brooklyn Nets
The Brooklyn Nets will make the playoffs and all, they just lack the depth to really do anything more than they did last year. Kevin Garnett is on his way out. Deron Williams is still iffy. Paul Pierce left for the Washington Wizards over the summer. The core to this roster is pretty weak. Beyond a late-seed and a first-round playoff exit, I expect little from this franchise in the coming season.

Stephen Nixon: Phoenix Suns
The Phoenix Suns were not looked upon last season to be a team that would be fighting for a playoff spot. The NBA Lottery seemed to be their destination, but that certainty changed quickly. The Suns overperformed last season and although the young players are a year older and more experienced, 48 wins again will be a stretch for the team. They will fall back down to earth this season and although they won’t be terrible, they will be hovering around the .500 mark instead of fighting for a playoff spot.

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