Sunday, May 15, 2016

2015 Offseason winners: revisited

"It's on us now"
After tonight's Game 7 between the Atlanta Hawks and Miami Heat, we will know who has to take on LBJ's Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Finals. In the Western Conference, MVP Stephen Curry and his Warriors will face off against Kevin Durant's Thunder. Soon we will know which teams will be battling it out in the NBA Finals

It's amazing to me how another eight months have passed since I picked seven teams primed for improvement in 2015-2016. New contracts had been handed out, free agent had uprooted to new cities, the NBA Draft had happened ... With the NBA Draft and free agency just around the corner, the time is just right to reflect upon my selections.

Overall, my seven Offseason Winners notched 36 more wins than they did in 2014-2015, which is, unfortunately, worse than last year (+48) and the year before (+37). The Heat, Knicks, Timberwolves and Spurs all improved with 11 games or more. This is particularly impressive for San Antonio, who improved upon last year's .671 record with a franchise record for most wins in a season. The Clippers, Bucks and Lakers, however, did not deliver.

Let's investigate where I went wrong.

Some bad luck here. Even without Blake Griffin for much of the season, the Clippers managed to secure a spot in the playoffs, where injuries to - him again - Griffin (quad) and point guard Chris Paul (hand) were too much to overcome against the pesky Portland Trailblazers.

Will the Clippers will plenty more games? Probably not. Are they better equipped for a deep postseason run? You betcha! Doc Rivers did a wonderful job of stocking his roster with the right pieces to maximize his team's chances in the playoffs. If everybody is on the same page, these Clippers could be scary good.

I sure dropped the ball on this one. The addition of Greg Monroe was supposed to make the Bucks better, but instead the team took a step back. They came into the year with expectation of competing for a top seed in the East, but Coach Jason Kidd failed to put it together.

The Bucks will be a pain to deal with next year. 

This season was not about winning for the Lakers. They simply wanted to make the most of Kobe's last season in Purple & Gold, and that definitely affected their on-court product. With plenty knuckleheads on the roster, I don't think the winning will be for next year, either.

The Lakers could have decided to strip down their roster in preparation for the post-Kobe Bryant era, but instead they chose to tread water, signing some serviceable veterans to surround their $25 million man with. The future is firmly in place with Julius Randle and D'Angelo Russell, and you can only hope that he the young guys soak up as much as they can from their HOF team mate.

So, what were your expectations for the 2015-2016 season? Where you disappointed by certain teams?

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