The NBA pre-season has been fun, but nothing beats the real thing and storylines are plentiful as we head into the 2016-17 campaign.Cleveland Cavaliers, the reigning champions, have brought the band back for another title run, with LeBron James up front, while Golden State Warriors have added former MVP and four-time scoring champion Kevin Durant in a bid to regain the trophy.The Knicks have built their own version of a super team, led by the signings of Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah, and Dwight Howard looks to be happy again in his new surroundings in Atlanta.With so much taking place in the offseason and so much too look forward to, were here to break down every aspect of the coming season.Division BreakdownAtlanticBoston Celtics, Toronto Raptors, New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets, Philadelphia 76ersIts tough at the top, but Knicks fans, sorry, your team isnt included in that statement. Derrick Rose says the Knicks, like the Warriors, have built a super teams, but were not sure what hes trying to achieve with his statement; the Knicks have next to no chance of reaching Warriors-like levels.Its a coin toss between the Celtics and Raptors for who will win the division, and they should both clear the 50-win mark.The Nets and Philly are likely fighting it out for the No. 1 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.CentralIndiana Pacers, Detriot Pistons, Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, Milwaukee BucksThe toughest division in the East, with a fierce fight for the spots behind the Cavaliers. Milwaukee have impressive length all over the floor, but the loss of Khris Middleton hurts.Indiana and Paul George will once again be a force to be reckoned with, but the loss of Reggie Jackson will affect the early going for the Pistons even though Andre Drummond should be able to handle the load.What can you say about the Bulls? Theyve assembled an odd cast of non-shooters; if it works, theyll look like geniuses.SoutheastAtlanta Hawks, Miami Heat, Charlotte Hornets, Washington Wizards, Orlando MagicLittle bit of a mixed bag right here, with no clear standouts in this division. Still, we think Dwight Howard should be able to carry the Hawks on his enormous shoulders to the top of the division over the Wizards and Hornets.Can John Wall and Bradley Beal stake their claim as the best backcourt in the league? Plenty of changeover for the Hornets, and they will take time to jell; can they piece it together quickly enough?The Heat have had a tumultuous off-season and head into this season with plenty of question marks hanging overhead. Orlando, meanwhile, have a lot of promise and could actually surprise people this season.PacificGolden State Warriors, Phoenix Suns, Sacramento Kings, LA Clippers, Los Angeles LakersThe Warriors and the Clippers are the top two teams in the West. The Warriors will win 60+ without fail and the Clippers should finally have luck fall their way and at least give the Oakland team a run for their money.The remainder of the division is less strong.Phoenix and the Lakers have plenty of young talent, which will make them fun to watch, but Sacramento could challenge for the worst record in the league and DeMarcus Cousins could force his way out of town if things take a turn for the worse.SouthwestHouston Rockets, Memphis Grizzlies, San Antonio Spurs, Dallas Mavericks, New Orleans PelicansThe stereotypical Group of Death. Four of the five sides made the playoffs last season, a year after all five qualified. There should be at least three teams make the final eight again this time, with Dallas and New Orleans pushing for the final spot in the eight.San Antonio and Memphis will battle it out for the top of the division while James Harden will look to lead the Rockets further into the postseason.NorthwestMinnesota Timberwolves, Portland Trail Blazers, Utah Jazz, Denver Nuggets, Oklahoma City ThunderMore than two teams look likely to make a playoff run this season to turn around the fortunes of this division.Oklahoma finished ninth in the conference when last they didnt have Kevin Durant for a majority of the season; can Russell Westbrook lead the team? Utah are primed and look set to shake things up, while the Blazers now need to reap the rewards of having spent a lot of money.The Wolves will be one of the best teams to watch this season with their core, while the Nuggets have solid pieces in place and wont be a pushover.The Stars from Down UnderBen Simmons injury hurts not only the city of Philadelphia but also the entire Australian fan base, who have their fingers crossed that rumours of him missing the entire season dont ring true.Dante Exum has shown impressive glimpses throughout the preseason and looks set for a big season with teammate Joe Ingles and the Jazz. Matthew Dellavedova has the starting role in Milwaukee and looks ready made to become the leader, and Bucks teammate Thon Maker is in the perfect situation for his development.Aron Baynes will be hoping to carry his Olympics form into this season, and Andrew Bogut has to battle the undefeated Father Time in Dallas.Patty Mills and Steven Adams should challenge for the mantle of best NBA player from Down Under.Big PredictionsPlayoffs (1-8)West: Warriors, Clippers, Spurs, Jazz, Grizzlies, Thunder, Rockets, BlazersEast: Cavaliers, Raptors, Celtics, Indiana, Milwaukee, Atlanta, Wizards, PistonsNBA FinalsWarriors vs. Cavaliers: The two best teams.All Star TeamsWest: Russell Westbrook, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin, Kawhi Leonard; the West is loaded!East: John Wall, Kyrie Irving, Giannis Antetokounmpo, LeBron James, Dwight Howard; thats a great team.MVP James Harden: Unpopular pick, but he will show why hes the best two guard.Rookie of the Year Buddy Hield: Lights-out shooter who will get plenty of open looks thanks to AD.Defensive Player Of the Year: Kawhi Leonard: Hands down the best defender in the league.Most Improved Player:?Myles Turner: Going to surprise a lot of people this season.6th Man:?Andre Iguodala: Will win the only individual award for the Warriors.Coach of the Year: Brad Stevens: He is a genius and deserves the recognition. Wholesale Custom Hawks Shirts . Darren Helm scored on Detroits sixth attempt in the shootout and then Jonas Gustavsson stopped Andrew Shaws shot, lifting the Detroit Red Wings to a 5-4 win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday night. Custom Dominique Wilkins Jersey . They hope to persuade the other team owners and commissioner Roger Goodell to put pressure on Redskins owner Daniel Snyder to drop the nickname they find offensive. "Given the way the meeting transpired," Ray Halbritter, an Oneida representative and leader of the "Change the Mascot Campaign," said Wednesday, "it became somewhat evident they were defending the continued use of the name. http://www.customhawksjersey.com/ . It was the kind of score that might make everyone else wonder which course he was playing. Except that Graeme McDowell saw the whole thing. Crouched behind the 10th green at Sheshan International, McDowell looked over at the powerful American and said, "Ive probably seen 18 of the best drives Ive seen all year in the last two days. Custom Hawks Jersey China . -- Jaye Marie Green shot a 4-under 68 on Thursday to increase her lead to five strokes after the second round of the LPGA Tours qualifying tournament. Custom Hawks T-shirts . The 31-year-old Spain midfielder hasnt played since Madrid lost in the Copa del Rey final to Atletico Madrid in May due to back and foot injuries. One more team booked a ticket in the knockout stage of the Champions League on Wednesday and it wasnt the star-studded defending champion, Real Madrid.Needing a win at Legia Warsaw to advance, Madrid squandered a 2-0 lead and allowed the Polish side to earn its first point of the campaign in what became a highly embarrassing 3-3 draw for the Spanish powerhouse.But while Zinedine Zidanes team struggled, Borussia Dortmund had no such trouble and advanced to the knockout stages with two games to spare after a 1-0 win over Sporting Lisbon. It joins Arsenal, Paris Saint-Germain, Atletico Madrid and five-time winner Bayern Munich, which all qualified on Tuesday.Zidane said he wasnt surprised by a result that saw his team slip to second place in Group F, two points behind Dortmund.It was a strange match, it didnt go the way we wanted it to, the Madrid manager said. We lacked a bit of everything. Above all, when you score two goals we dropped our intensity, and when you do that they can score. Now we are going to forget this game.Polish supporters didnt have a chance to celebrate at Wojska Polskiego Stadium, as the doors had been closed to the public by UEFA as a penalty for fans racist behavior and the fireworks thrown during a previous loss to Dortmund.Coming off a hat trick in the Spanish league, Cristiano Ronaldo finished empty-handed and remains two goals short of scoring his 100th goal in European competition.Leicester dropped its first points in its first foray into the Champions League and needs to wait for another round of matches to seal a place in the last 16.Heres a look at what happened in the Champions League on Wednesday in detail:---GROUP EIn a tightly contested group, Monaco took a big step toward qualifying with a 3-0 win over CSKA Moscow and Bayer Leverkusen claimed its first victory of the campaign at the expense of Tottenham.Monaco is now top of the group with eight points, two more than Leverkusen. Tottenham is another two points behind.Valere Germain took advantage of some hapless goalkeeping from Igor Akinfeev to open the scoring in the 13th minute. Radamel Falcao added Monacos second from Benjamin Mendys cross in the 29th and then used some neat footwork to make it 3-0 in the 41st.A record Tottenham attendance of 85,512 at its temporary Wembley Stadium home saw Kevin Kampl score in the 65th minute with a deflected shot for a 1-0 win which lifted Leverkusen into second place.---GROUP FMadrid looked set to romp to another big win after Gareth Bale netted an amazing opener from distance in the first minute before then setting up Benzema to make it 2-0.But Madrids slack defense -- and oover-confidence -- let Legia rally in stunning fashion to take the lead.dddddddddddd Vadis Odjidja and Miroslav Radovic struck from long range before Thibault Moulin also scored from outside the area in the 83rd.Madrid was facing a humiliating defeat until Mateo Kovacic fired in from near the edge of the box to at least rescue a point.Dortmund left its top striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang watching from the stands as his backup, Adrian Ramos, scored the only goal in the 12th minute of a 1-0 win over Sporting Lisbon.Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel said Gabon striker Aubameyang was left out for internal reasons.The German side is atop the standings on 10 points, with Madrid trailing by two points and Sporting five further back.---GROUP GFollowing three straight wins, Leicester was held to a scoreless draw at FC Copenhagen and must now wait for a home game against a Brugge side that lost 1-0 at FC Porto for another chance to advance.Leicester dominates the group with 10 points, followed by Porto with seven, while Copenhagen is in third spot with five points.Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel dived to his right to claw away a downward header from Andreas Cornelius in injury time to earn the draw.Andre Silva headed home for Porto in the 37th minute at the Estadio do Dragao to end a winless drought at home in European competitions. The ball deflected off the shoulder of Brugge midfielder Tomas Pina before going into the top corner by the far post. It was Silvas fourth goal in his last four matches with Porto.The result eliminated Brugge, which is yet to win a point after four matches.---GROUP HSevilla moved closer to the knockout stages after easing to a 4-0 win over a Dinamo Zagreb side that played the entire second half with 10 men. Dinamo defender Petar Stojanovic received a red card just before the break with the score at 1-0.Sevilla dominated throughout the match at its Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium, with goals from Luciano Vietto, Sergio Escudero, Steven NZonzi and Wissam Ben Yedder putting the result beyond doubt.Sevilla, which had won the Europa League for the previous three seasons, leads Group H with 10 points. Dinamo was left with zero points.Juventus has eight points after drawing 1-1 with Lyon, which has four.The Italian hosts missed the chance to ensure qualification with a victory.Gonzalo Higuain netted a penalty in the 13th minute but missed an open goal shortly before halftime. Juventus looked on course for the win but Corentin Tolisso leveled six minutes from time. ' ' '
dasg234, 10.06.2019 05:22