The NBA season is right around the corner! For the start of the new season, Jordan Bellant and Ben Gulker are bringing you a full preview of the Eastern Conference. Jordan and Ben invite a guest to discuss each division in the conference.
On for the Atlantic Division is Lazarus "Lazchance" Jackson, frequent contributor on DBB. Each team is discussed in detail: Best and worst case scenarios, most important and most intriguing player, firing up the Trade Machine, "Rank the Coach," and each franchise’s top storyline. Lastly, the trio projects playoff odds and win totals.
The preview starts with the worst team in the Atlantic, the Philadelphia 76ers (3:50) and a discussion on the recent injury to the #1 overall pick, Ben Simmons. Jordan is more bullish on the 76ers (19:25), while Ben and Laz expect a moderate improvement from last year.
In fourth place is the Brooklyn Nets (20:20), a team that has nothing to gain (or lose) by losing. Which leads us to a question about team building and the benefits of tanking (27:35).
Third in the Atlantic is the New York Knicks (32:50). Laz and Ben attempt to understand the offseason moves and contemplate their playoff chances. They also debate Kristaps as "the future of the Knicks" (35:30). Jordan brings up the importance of Carmelo (40:30) and another chance for Brandon Jennings to shine (42:10).
Following the Knicks, it’s a fight for the Atlantic Division crown. Starting with the Celtics (49:10), Ben and Laz agree that Boston is just a step behind the Raptors. A question of the team’s most important player prompts Ben to gush about Isaiah Thomas (53:00). The Celtics seem poised for a trade, Jordan offers up some superstars that could ship up to Boston (55:50). Ben and Laz debate on which superstar fits best and how someone like DeMarcus Cousins could play with Al Horford (57:25). Then, where does Brad Stevens rank among NBA head coaches (1:00:30)?
After offering up the Celtics, the previews finish with the favorite to win the Atlantic, the Toronto Raptors (1:03:10). After talking about a few Raptors in particular, Ben offers a blockbuster that has been rumored recently (1:09:05). Laz and Jordan present other front court options for the Raptors (1:12:20). Then comes the DeMar DeRozan conundrum (1:16:30): Is he a top-five SG or a SG on a top-five team?
The episode wraps with two quick questions about the Celtics and Raptors: First, Lazarus is asked who is more likely to miss the playoffs (1:19:30). Then, Ben is asked which team is a better matchup for the Pistons (1:20:25).
Make sure to subscribe on iTunes and find archived episodes on Blog Talk Radio.