To help get you ready for the start of the season, Grizzly Bear Blues is bringing you the Grizz Fans Hater’s Guide, a succinct look at every team in the NBA with a review of their 2016-17 season and the changes they made in the offseason.
We continue the Hater's Guide with the East's Central Division.
PLEASE NOTE: All commentary is 100% sarcasm and not intended to be as actual basketball analysis.
Last Season’s Record: 41-41. Eighth in the East. But let’s not forget about all of the off-court drama between Jimmy Butler, Dwyane Wade, and Rajon Rondo. #MyVets Gee, who would've guessed that having all those guys together would cause problems? Only everyone.
What’s New to Hate: In exchange for their best player, with two years left on his contract, the Bulls received Zach LaVine, who’s coming off a torn ACL, and Kris Dunn, who was awful in his first season and might be a draft bust. Congrats, Chicago! This might be the worst trade I’ve ever seen in my life, and that’s even taking into account the Pacers trade and the Melo trade.
The Bulls also took on Quincy Pondexter, who doesn’t know why he was even at media day, and a bunch of other players who might actually be computer generated players from 2K. Look at this roster.
Hey, if the Bulls are lucky, Lopez will get so frustrated with the season that he stops fighting mascots and starts fighting his own teammates. This is the only timeline in which watching the Bulls games are entertaining in any way.
Don’t Forget: Nothing. In fact, you should do everything within your power to forget that this team exists. Do not watch them play basketball. If you think you might want to watch them play basketball, please seek professional counseling.
Last Season’s Record: 51-31, second in the East, which they rolled through until running into the Golden State buzzsaw. As long as LeBron’s leg doesn’t fall off, that’s probably exactly what’s going to happen this season as well.
What’s New to Hate: As usual, the Cavs have spent this offseason bringing in minimum salary flotsam in order to fill out the roster. What’s left of Jose Calderon is here now. Jeff Green is here on a contract that is finally not a gross overpay. Derrick Rose is actually going to start for this team. (Side note: I miss the days when I could cheer for Derrick Rose and not feel icky.)
But wait! Dwyane Wade is here! Yes, the Dwyane Wade who definitely isn’t the same player as he was in Miami. The same Dwyane Wade who was part of the train wreck of a Bulls team last season. Don’t worry, though, I’m sure he’s the missing piece that the Cavs need to beat the Warriors!
The best move that the Cavs made this offseason was their handling of the Kyrie Irving situation, where they were able to flip their Flat Earther point guard for Isaiah Thomas and the fabled Nets Pick. Thomas should actually be a good addition for this team except that: 1. His hip might fall off; and 2. He is tiny and easy exploitable on defense.
Don’t Forget: Let’s be 100% honest: The only thing stopping the Cavs from being a Knicks-level laughingstock is the presence of the greatest player of his generation. As soon as LeBron leaves next offseason, the Cavs are going to go right back to being a dumpster fire
Last Season’s Record: 37-45. Reggie Jackson missed a bunch of time and everyone else sucked. Imagine that.
What’s New to Hate: Well, the Pistons hardcapped themselves and subsequently ran off Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Depending on your thoughts on KCP, that decision may have been smart, but it was also 100% terrible optics. They also could’ve avoided this issue by not paying Jon Leuer $10 million per year.
On the bright side, the Pistons were able to turn the Celtics signing of Gordon Hayward into Avery Bradley, who is probably just as good if not better than KCP at this point. They also added Langston Galloway and Anthony Tolliver in free agency, and drafted Luke Kennard, who looks like he is perfectly suited for the role of shooter who can’t play defense.
In addition to KCP, Detroit also said goodbye to Beno Udrih and his nice hair.
There’s a decent chance that the Pistons make the playoffs simply by default as long as their point guard situation doesn’t suck again, but this team is completely uninteresting. I can hardly think of any storyline that would make me want to tune into a Pistons game voluntarily. Will Andre Drummond learn how to shoot free throws? TUNE IN TO FIND OUT.
Don’t Forget: BOBAN SMASH
Last Season’s Record: 42-40. Prepare yourself this season, because Pacers fans are going to be begging for the days of 42 wins after this.
What’s New to Hate: Welcome your new superstars, Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis, who are the perfect building blocks if your goal is to build a team that loses in the first round every single season. Also, don’t forget that the Pacers traded their superstar player and INCREASED their total salary and didn’t even get a draft pick back!
In addition to those players, the Pacers also drafted T.J. Leaf. I’m sure old T.J. here is a great guy, but if history’s taught me anything, it’s to not expect much from first round draft picks with the last name Leaf. Also here is Darren Collison. Monta Ellis is no longer here in person, but will be here in spirit for the better part of the next decade after being waived and stretched with $11.2 million still left on his contract.
Don’t Forget: Lance Stephenson is still here! It’s still amazing that someone in the Year of Our Lord 2017 had Monta Ellis and Lance Stephenson on the same roster and that team made the playoffs. Someone please save Myles Turner for all of our sakes.
Last Season’s Record: 42-40, sixth in the East. And they got me all excited about a possible first-round dismissal of the Raptors until they decided to come back to earth. What a letdown.
What’s New to Hate: Jason Terry back. That’s right! Jason Terry is the biggest name offseason acquisition of the Bucks. I don’t really have much to say here. Giannis is exciting. Dellavedova is still here getting lots of money. They have a bunch of centers. Their jerseys are pretty cool.
Don’t Forget: This tweet is still funny.