Rhyme-Time: 2017–18 NBA Preview (West)

Despite sickness and exhaustion,

I’ve typed all these rhymes,

I’ve nothing to add,

But feel free at all times,

To share this upon any platform you like,

I like when the writing is read, drop the ‘mic.

Dallas Mavericks

The Dallas One-Legged Dirks.

Rookie Dennis Smith, must we call him junior?

One last Dirk on one leg, still drains threes with humor,

Cuban begs Commish Silver for Eastern Conference designation,

As the Mavs learn about Nerlens, one of the NBA’s few Haitians,

Wesley Matthews, former Blazer, remember him pre-Achilles?

A dogged defender, still brings fools to their knees.

Harrison Barnes, like Wes, more valuable on defense,

Competing in the West? Rebuilding would make sense.

Denver Nuggets

I don’t even know what this is, but its ridiculous.

Drafting Nikola Jokic at 41st: good way to rebuild,

Walton-level passing, big fella is skilled.

Gary Harris from deep: keeps on improving,

19th pick to Bulls, did they want to keep losing?

Chicago messed up, swapped him and Nurkic,

For Dougie McBuckets, then turned off the light switch.

PG questions linger in the Rockies: Moody Mudiay and jovial Jameer,

Jamal Murray can shoot, but floor leader? Not clear.

All of these factors before we even mention Paul Millsap,

Defense, smart passing, and toughness: Mike Malone will indeed clap.

Where will the Nuggets finish in playoff seeding?

6th, 7th or 8th: They’ve stopped the bleeding.

Golden State Warriors

Steph’s stash of victory cigars is stocked.

Enough is enough,

Head and shoulders above

If they remain in good health,

The competition sits on the second shelf.

Some still miffed that Durant chose the Bay

But the Warriors chose Steph, Klay, and Dray

Without those three picks,

Golden State wouldn’t have the mix,

Iggy chose rings over even more wealth,

Sacrificed his minutes and gained his health.

Like most, I wish we could see a more balanced playoffs,

Instead, Dubs supremacy will lead to more layoffs.

Houston Rockets

Helping Houston recover, one win at a time.

All three will ascend: NASA, the Astros and Rockets basketball,

GM Daryl Morey emptied the cupboards and landed them Chris Paul,

Now the team has two hoops astronauts to lead,

Harden as HaR2D2 and CP3 as CP3PO to 2nd or 3rd seed,

This edition of the Star Wars collection,

Won’t have coach D’Antoni frettin’

Capela epitomizes the defensive big,

Slamming down lobs and snapping up twigs,

The question of home court in the playoffs demands,

They beat out the Spurs and Thunder as planned,

But Neither Harden nor Paul should overexert,

Seeding means nothing if either are hurt,

Los Angeles Clippers

Blake gets his chance.

Blake the Comedian, ready for the main stage,

DeAndre raises a long arm, “Can we just turn the page?”

At the point, running wild is Milos the Magician

Locking down the perimeter, Pat Bev, the technician,

Gallo leaves the Rockies for Malibu’s beach,

But some say the playoffs are just out of reach.

Doc Rivers will either be lauded or panned,

His son Austin waits, a contract to land,

The Clips could win 50 and blow critics away,

Or Blake might limp off, to Billy Crystal’s dismay.

Los Angeles Lakers

The Lakers are young.

Too soon to anoint the new “Showtime” Lakers

Future stars are so young, they still need caretakers,

Yes to the vision of Lonzo, but he’s only 19

20 year-old Ingram might score, but still so lean,

Randle and Kuzma are both 22,

Clearing cap space for summer, the list of to-do,

Lopez will help clear some space for these guys,

Nance can defend, and man…does he rise,

Waiting for LeBron, it’s a long way to July,

These Lakers will win 30…maybe 35.

Memphis Grizzlies

These two remain: Gasol and Conley. RIP Grit n Grind.

Conley and Gasol, what’s left of the Grit,

The Grind went to Sac-town, Father Time just won’t quit,

Chandler Parsons and Ben McLemore,

Broken puzzle pieces from the dime store,

Finally signed their man JaMychal,

A modern forward: rotate and cycle,

Tyreke Evans, if health permits,

Boosts the bench when Conley sits.

Fizdale gets every ounce he can,

The crowd on Beale Street won’t pretend,

The Grizz are stuck with a loaded West,

Life ain’t fair, but they’ll do their best.

Minnesota Timberwolves

The Wolves will warm up Minnesotans on cold winter nights.

Thibs brought his pals Jimmy and Taj up north.

And screamed, “Playoffs! Every year, henceforth!”

Rubio to Salt Lake, and from Indiana:

A man named Teague, twirling a Havana,

These Wolves are primed and ready to burst,

Karl-Anthony Towns’ makes moves unrehearsed.

Wiggins is solid, but can he rise up?

Get to the line, drain some threes, defend, and disrupt?

That’s a tall order, for 22 year-old Andrew,

Still far from his prime, though they may not plan to,

Be patient and watch as his game catches up,

Jamal Crawford is 37 (same as me): not a pup,

Last year’s Wolves kept collapsing in the 4th quarter,

Bench lacked the oomph to restore lost order,

Though this year’s Wolves could use one more shooter,

They’ll be back in the playoffs, not looking for tutors.

New Orleans Pelicans

Big fellas in search of a playoff spot.

DeMarcus at center and Brow at the four,

This duo excites: we want to see more.

But Wing Stop couldn’t provide enough wings for this crew.

Who would you trust on the roster, other than Jrue?

Ian Clark is one hope, from the corner, with care.

Rondo’s vision is nice, but injuries…beware.

Jordan Crawford found a rhythm when he was in Boston,

He’s sneaky and fun and flings crazy shots in,

But truth is, these Pelicans need some magic brew,

To squeeze into the playoffs: an 8th seed would do.

Oklahoma City Thunder

Paul George is everything. Will Russ and Melo find him enough? This will be intriguing.

Speaking of Magic, GM Presti said, “Presto!”

You want some bad deals? “We’ll arrange the rest, so…”

Oklahoma is now the land of Paul George, Melo, and Russ,

Memories of Durant will recede like the dust,

Next up on Presti’s agenda?

No sugar, no splenda.

Pray that this year ends celebrating a title,

That George and Melo say Oklahoma is vital,

A team that was maybe just one year away,

Melo is still more capable than casual fans realize,

As a small ball four, he’ll be much better utilized,

From losing Russ after KD, has made serious hay,

The West has turned into a gauntlet, old-fashioned:

Could challenge the Dubs, or be counting their rations.

The second round series will be must-watch tv,

Against the Rockets, the Spurs, or the Wolves, by degree.

Phoenix Suns

This basketball is on fire. Where’s the fire truck?

Ever had brutal diarrhea?

Bledsoe too good, so see ya,

Josh Jackson future and yes, Devin Booker

These Suns just aren’t ready for the pressure cooker,

Lottery bound out here in the desert,

Fast forward three years, find them some treasure.

Portland Trail Blazers

Dame and CJ will create for themselves…but who else on Portland can?

Lillard, McCollum and the almighty Nurkic!

A trio joins in the Northwest, forming their own niche,

The problem, as in so many a case:

The West is too good, leaving several teams a chase.

Unless Aminu or Harkless or even Evan Turner,

Find greatness or magic, this year: it’s a learner.

Can Jusuf stay healthy, and impose his will?

The Blazers keep Blazin, Cause Portland? It’s chill.

Sacramento Kings

Bring in da noise and bring in da funk,

De’Aaron Fox is a blur, Zach’s got junk in the trunk,

George Hill, always one of those stabilizing forces,

Buddy Hield, shooting threes: Vivek endorses,

Cauley-Stein and young Skal offer glimpses of tomorrow,

What about today? Don’t drown in your sorrow.

San Antonio Spurs

Kawhi Hands.

Kawhi, oh the ankle! I cannot un-see,

Zaza’s dirty takedown, Please let it not be,

The curse of the new Spurs to have dreams snuffed out,

The mission remains clear, Pop, you don’t have to shout.

LaMarcus must regain his previous luster,

Or trades might be made, them’s the breaks, buster,

The fit hasn’t been quite what everyone hoped,

Can’t quite hit the three, needs more hammer and rope,

Murray might be tested, and Pop wants to see,

Is the slender young guard ready to frolic with glee?

Most pundits are focused on Rockets and Thunder,

Overlooked Spurs? One more year taking advantage of blunders.

Utah Jazz

Rudy Can’t Fail. See lyrics here:

“I went to the market to realize my soul
What I need I just don’t have
First they curse, then they press me till I hurt
We say Rudie can’t fail”

A great song written by the Clash, but I declare,

This song belongs to you, Mr. Gobert,

As you lead the Jazz in this post-Hayward era,

Into the hellish standings crunch: quite the chimera,

As every free-agent sauntered out west,

Young Rudy was tasked with an unwanted quest:

Keep steady the ship while the storm overtakes.

Coach Snyder does well, but the roster…for heaven’s sakes.

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