Forward Thinking

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By: Rob Botts
A new year. Gets you thinking about the future. The immediate future. The immediate NBA future. Some thoughts for the new year and the rest of the 2015-2016 season.
How long before Nuggets head coach Mike Malone starts to get the respect as one of the better coaches in the league? After the great job he did with the Kings in “Sactown” before getting sacked himself, and his current flip job he is doing currently in Denver, hopefully soon.

Miami Heat lifer and future hall of famer Dwayne Wade made the right choice staying put as the Mayor of South Beach because he and Hassan Whiteside along with Chris Bosh and floor general Goran Dragic are a real threat to the defending eastern conference champion Cleveland Cavaliers. Really.

They have been somewhat solid on the road so far this season but will the Timberwolves actually start winning at home with any kind of consistency? I think the young pups will figure it out before the end of the year and produce maybe a couple back to back home cooking wins. Gotta crawl before you can trot.

The Clippers went 5-0 on their most recent road trip without Kia pitchman Blake Griffin as J.J. Reddick is having his best season with the team. They have gone small(popular trend in the league lately) and have been very exciting and effective. When Griffin gets back, he needs to fit into what they have been doing. NOT the other way around.

Brad Stevens squad up in Boston are competitive, play together and are intense on the defensive end of the floor. Stevens recently called out his team for not playing as well as they should be or as well as they THINK they are. Good strategic move by this smart young couch. Never let them relax or believe their own internal locker room headlines.

It has always been a good thing to have Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook healthy and on the floor at the same time for any coach looking to not only keep his job, but to have the team flourish. The thunder are in the midst of a good stretch right now and as the season moves into its important stage, we will find out if Billy Donovan has been the difference.

Golden State’s Draymond Green has been the most important player for the world champs so far this season. He is a Swiss Army knife that is pushing his team forward with varying tools. Rebounding, passing, defense and leadership. Will he continue this eye popping almost a triple double every night pace? Um, yes sir as the kids like to say.

Looks like Dirk Nowitzki has found a groove lately. Even though his ppg tis year is hovering around 17 a game, he has some classic “Dirk” moments that still give some juice to the team. Some of those vintage one legged fallaway shots, up and under duck in post layups or rainbow three point buckets are still keeping smiles on the faces of fans and wins on the board for Mark Cuban. Hopefully Dirk will have a chance in the playoffs to turn back the clock.

Will coach Pop’s strategy choice of making the three point shot more of a complimentary option as opposed one of the first choices in the playbook enable them to be the champs once again? They really like to throw it inside more than ever before with Leonard, Duncan and Aldridge. This sharp contrast just might be enough to take out the Warriors. Not sure but it will be enough, but it sure will be fun to watch the differing styles.

Can Kyrie Irving and Derrick Rose stay healthy enough to really meaningfully impact their squads when it counts most? Maybe they should be closers only brought in for the second season. What do you think Chicago and Cleveland fans? 50-60 plus games and no chance of a title or 20-30 late season and playoff games and a REAL shot at a championship? Thought so.

Hopefully the dunk contest will go away for awhile after this one UNLESS we actually have some big names participate. Without the larger than life personalities being part of the wind mill double pump slam, than that’s all it will be. Just another cool dunk done by somebody we have never heard of. Yay…Come on LeBron. Grab some other superstars and let’s make the dunk contest memorable again!!

Rob Botts
About Rob Botts 105 Articles
How’s it going? I’m Rob Botts, a Boston native currently living in Los Angeles California. I’m a published writer, cartoonist, actor, former college basketball player (Div. III… don’t get too excited), and former coach of summer sports camps back in New England. I’m incredibly passionate about sports and in particular the National Basketball Association (NBA). I publish a weekly comic strip entitled “Boston Bobby” that follows the daily trials and tribulations of this crazy Boston sports fan. I may be very level headed, but my cartoon alter ego is not. My favorite teams are, of course, the Pats, Celtics, Bruins, Red Sox and the Revs…Yes, I follow soccer too—from afar. Let’s talk some sports!!!