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.
Next up: the Southeast Division.
PLEASE NOTE: All commentary is 100% sarcasm and not intended to be as actual basketball analysis.
Last Season’s Record: 43-39 and a first round exit. I honestly cannot remember a single thing about the Hawks’ season except that I cannot stand their jerseys.
What’s New to Hate: HEEEEEEEEY BABBITT! (This joke has been stolen from Fastbreak Breakfast.)
As for important players, the Hawks sent Dwight Howard packing one year after signing him in free agency. To top that off, they also failed to dump salary in what was supposed to be a salary dump! Instead, they picked up Marco Belinelli and the worthless contract of Miles Plumlee. But let’s look at the bright side: at least they don’t have to put up with Dwight Howard any more.
Dewayne Dedmon is here. I am still uncertain whether or not Popovich knows that Dedmon actually exists.
The Hawks also lost a lot of contributors from last year. Paul Millsap is gone. Thabo Sefolosha is gone. The Knicks threw an obscene amount of money at Tim Hardaway Jr. and saved the Hawks from having to make a decision on him. This team is going to be bad.
Don’t Forget: Remember when Bazemore and Howard had their introductory press conference and cried? That feels like a decade ago now.
Last Season’s Record: 36-46. They missed the playoffs one year after looking really fun in the playoffs and choking away a 3-2 series lead against the Heat.
What’s New to Hate: The Dwight Howard Resurrection Tour has officially rolled into Charlotte! He’s been a complete dumpster fire everywhere he’s been since leaving Orlando, but I’m sure that this is where he finally figures it out! JUST KIDDING this is going to be a disaster.
In addition to Howard, the Hornets also picked a couple of rookies in Malik Monk, who is good, and Dwayne Bacon, who has an awesome name.
Don’t Forget: Nic Batum is out for two months but, as Zach Lowe so eloquently put it:
One reason Charlotte could hang in the playoff race w/o Batum for 8 weeks is that the Hornets are really, really elite at being in the East.— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) October 5, 2017
Last Season’s Record: 41-41
What’s New to Hate: Kelly Olynyk is here! I hate Kelly Olynyk with a passion. Every single game it looks like he is making the weakest attempt at an MMA takedown ever. His hair looks like it hasn’t been washed in a month.
The Heat also Bam Adebayo out of Kentucky, who looks good, and dumped Josh McRoberts to the Mavericks. Justise Winslow might not be good but I will always believe he’s going to be awesome. It’s also worth reminding everyone that Erik Spoelstra is still one of the NBA’s most underrated coaches and could turn a pile of gym socks into a playoff team.
Don’t Forget: Miami started last season like 11-30 and then went 30-11 over the second half of the season. If they keep that up they could win 60 games this season! PUT IT ALL ON THE OVER.
Last Season’s Record: 29-53. They stunk. They are going to break Aaron Gordon.
What’s New to Hate: The Magic signed a bunch of pretty marginal free agents like Arron Afflalo, Shelvin Mack, Adreian Payne, Jonathon Simmons, and Marreese Speights. They also drafted Jonathan Isaac out of Florida State, and he looks like he’s going to be good.
More importantly, though, Jeff Green is gone, so he won’t be sucking up minutes from actual good players. Just to remind everyone: The Magic paid Jeff Green $15 million even AFTER all of the teams who had traded a first-round pick to acquire him had let him walk. Some people just have to touch the hot stove for themselves.
Don’t Forget: Remember when the Magic had a picture of their whiteboard leaked? This was the most intriguing part of their season.
Last Season’s Record: 49-33. Just one game away from the Conference Finals. Not going to lie; I was rooting for them to take out the Celtics.
What’s New to Hate: Here’s the Wizards’ two big offseason acquisitions: Tim Frazier (acquired in a trade with New Orleans) and Jodie Meeks (signed as a free agent). As a backup point guard, Frazier will be an instant improvement over last season, where the Wizards had [VAST EXPANSE OF NOTHINGNESS].
They also signed Mike Scott, who I will use to make The Office jokes every single time he is mentioned.
The biggest problem for the Wizards, apart from the fact that they have no one to run the offense when John Wall sits, is that Ian Mahinmi is being paid a lot of money and can’t stay healthy. Because of this Marcin Gortat had to play a million minutes at center, and that’s a formula for sucking once you get to April.