Sports

Football

Wildcat Football Varsity Schedule

Friday, August 16[Navy vs. Cardinal Home 7:00 p.m.

Friday, August 23 Gadsden Home 7:00 p.m.

Friday, August 30 Capital Home 7:00 p.m.

Friday, September 6 Goddard Away 7:00 p.m.

Friday, September 13 Artesia Home 7:00 p.m.

Friday, September 20 Cobre Away 7:00 p.m.

Friday, September 27 Alamogordo Away 7:00 p.m.

Friday, October 4 Belen Home 7:00 p.m.

Friday, October 11 Bye Week

Friday, October 18 Santa Teresa Away 7:00 p.m.

Friday, October 25 Chaparral Home 7:00 p.m.

Friday, November 1 Silver Away 7:00 p.m.

Wildcat Football C Team

Thursday, August 22  Gadsden Away 4:00 p.m.

Thursday, September 12 Las Cruces Home 4:00 p.m.

Saturday, September 21 Cobre JV Away 11:00 p.m.

Thursday, September 26 Alamogordo Home 4:00 p.m.

Thursday, October 3 Onate Away 4:30 p.m.

Thursday, October 17 Santa Teresa Home 4:00 p.m.

Thursday, October 24 Chaparral Away 4:00 p.m.

Thursday, October 31 Silver Home 4:00 p.m.

Wildcat Football JV Schedule

Thursday, August 22 Gadsden Away 6:00 p.m.

Thursday, September 5 Centennial Away 7:00 p.m.

Saturday, September 14 Los Lunas Home 1:00 p.m.

Saturday, September 28 Alamogordo Away 1:00 p.m.

Saturday, October 5 Hatch Home 10:00 a.m.

Saturday, October 12 Las Cruces Home 11:00 a.m.

Thursday, October 17 Santa Teresa Home 6:00 p.m.

Thursday, October 24 Chaparral Away 6:00 p.m.

Thursday, October 31 Silver Home 6:00 p.m.

Let's Go Wildcats!

VOLLEYBALL

Let's

Go

Lady

Ladycat Volleyball

Tuesday, August 20 9/JV/Varsity Chaparral Home 4:00/5:00/6:00

Saturday, August 24 Varsity Cobre Home 10:00 a.m.

Tuesday, August 27 9/JV/Varsity Silver Away 4:00/5:00/6:00

Tuesday, September 3 9/JV/Varsity Santa T Away 4:00/5:00/6:00

Fri-Sat, September 6-7 Varsity Sweet 16 Away TBA

Thursday, September 12 9/JV/Varsity Silver Home 3:00/4:00/5:00

Tuesday, September 17 9/JV/Varsity Socorro Away 4:00/5:00/6:00

Saturday, September 21 9/JV/Varsity Las Cruces Home 10:00/11:00/12:00

Tuesday, September 24 9/JV/Varsity Onate Away 5:00/6:00/7:00

Saturday, September 28 9/JV/Varsity Gadsden Home 10:00/11:00/12:00

Tuesday, October 1 9/JV/Varsity Centennial Away 5:00/6:00/7:00

Saturday, October 5 9/JV /Varsity Mayfield Home 10:00/11:00/12:00

Tuesday, October 8 9/JV/Varsity Alamogordo Away 4:00/5:00/6:00

Tuesday, October 15 9/JV/Varsity Las Cruces Away 5:00/6:00/7:00

Tuesday, October 19 9/JV/Varsity Onate Home 10:00/11:00/12:00

Tuesday, October 22 9/JV/Varsity Gadsden Away 4:00/5:00/6:00

Saturday, October 26 9/JV/Varsity Centennial Home 2:00/3:00/4:00

Tuesday, October 29 9/JV/Varsity Mayfield Away 5:00/6:00/7:00

Saturday, November 2 9/JV/Varsity Alamogordo Home 10:00/11:00/12:00

Mon-Sat, November 4-9 Varsity District Tournament TBD TBD

Thurs-Sat, November 14-16 Varsity State Tournament Rio Rancho TBD

Cats

Soccer

Wildcat Soccer

Saturday, August 17 Silver Quad Away 10:00 a.m.

Tuesday, August 20 Chaparral Home 3:00 p.m.

Thursday, August 22 Chaparral- Varsity Home 5:00 p.m.

Tuesday, August 27 Silver Away 5:00 p.m.

Fri-Sat, August 30-31 Las Cruces Tourney Away TBA

Tuesday, September 3 Santa Teresa Home 3:00/5:00 p.m.

Thursday, September 5 Silver (JV) Home 3:00 p.m.

Saturday, September 7 T or C CO-ED C-Team Home 11:00 a.m.

Saturday, September 14 Las Cruces Away 2:00/4:00 p.m.

Tuesday, September 17 Onate Home 3:00/5:00 p.m.

Saturday, September 21 Gadsden Away 10:00/12:00

Tuesday, September 24 Centennial Home 3:00/5:00 p.m.

Saturday, September 28 Mayfield Away 9:00/ 11:00

Tuesday, October 1 Alamogordo Home 3:00/5:00 p.m.

Tuesday, October 8 Las Cruces Home 3:00/5:00 p.m.

Saturday, October 12 Onate Away 9:00/11:00

Tuesday, October 15 Gadsden Home 3:00/5:00

Saturday, October 19 Centennial Away 9:00/11:00

Tuesday, October 22 Mayfield Home 3:00/5:00

Saturday, October 26 Alamogordo Away 3:00/5:00

Ladycat Soccer

Saturday, July 27 Hatch Scrimmage Home 10:00 a.m.

Saturday, August 10 Hatch Scrimmage Home 10:00 a.m.

Saturday, August 17 Silver Quad Away 10:00 a.m.

Tuesday, August 20 Chaparral Away 6:00 p.m.

Tuesday, August 27 Silver Away 3:00 p.m.

Fri-Sat, August 30-31 Las Cruces Tourney Away TBA

Tuesday, September 3 Santa Teresa Away 4:00 p.m.

Thursday, September 5 Silver (JV) Home 5:00 p.m.

Saturday, September 7 T or C CO-ED C-Team Home 11:00 p.m.

Saturday September 14 Las Cruces Home 2:00 p.m.

Tuesday, September 17 Onate Away 5:00 p.m.

Saturday, September 21 Gadsden Home 10:00 p.m.

Tuesday, September 24 Centennial Away 5:00 p.m.

Saturday, September 28 Mayfield Home 9:00 a.m.

Tuesday, October 1 Alamogordo Away 4:00 p.m.

Tuesday, October 8 Las Cruces Away 5:00 P.M.

Saturday, October 12 Onate Home 9;00 a.m.

Tuesday, October 15 Gadsden Away 4:00 p.m.

Saturday, October 19 Centennial Home 9:00 a.m.

Tuesday, October 22 Mayfield Away 5:00 p.m.

Saturday, October 26 Alamogordo Home 3:00 p.m.

NBA 2019 Season Preview

Written by Carlos Emilio Hultsch Martinez

The NBA 2019 Season is here, and as fans have waited for a long offseason, here is an overview of the 2019 NBA season. In this article, there will be expectations, players to watch and an analysis for every team heading into the 2019 NBA season as well as the Regular Season Awards.

*There will be a standing section in which the 15 teams for each of the 2 conferences will be ranked based upon potential regular season success, in that note, this do not represent team’s playoff success as some teams are better build for the postseason.

-Award races expectation (in order of chance):

MVP:1-Giannis Antetokounmpo 2-Stephen Curry 3-Damian Lillard 4-James Harden 5-Nicola Jokic 6-Joel Embiid

The MVP (Most Valuable Player award) is given to the best player on one of the league’s best team. Although the award does not have a guideline to qualify players, there are some factors and patterns throughout the years that give a better outlook to determine the player’s cases for this award, those being good stats and team success.

1-Giannis Antetokounmpo is the favorite to win the award because of numerous reasons. He is the defending winner of the award and his team; the Milwaukee Bucks have kept the majority of the core of players that led them to the 60-22 season success. Giannis is getting better as a shooter, which is his most glaring weakness, if he can become a solid shooter from 3-point range, he can be unstoppable. Also, does his is the major focus of his team in the sense that there is not another player in his team that is a superstar, instead, he is surrounded with very good role players, in comparison with the rest of players on this list who have other star players in their team. With a consistent roster, improvement and talent, Giannis can put up amazing stats and lead the Milwaukee Bucks to a First seed in a weaker Eastern conference.

2-Stephen Curry is a two-time winner of the award and has been the only unanimous winner of the award when he did in 2015. Curry has led the Golden State Warriors to 5 consecutive trips to the finals and thus, a 5 times Western Conference champion. In 2019 though, Curry and the Warriors are facing a new challenge; they have lost Andre Iguodala, their best perimeter defender; Kevin Durant; a top 5 player in the league and Klay Thompson, his “Splash Brother” is out for the majority of the season. Curry faces a stacked Western Conference with a very thin roster with their new addition, D’Angelo Russell making an awkward fit in the backcourt. Even with all of this, Stephen Curry is the best Point Guard in the league and is capable of leading the league in scoring although I am fearful that his efforts will not be enough to lead the Warriors to a top 4 seed in the West and Curry might suffer an injury or be very tired once the playoffs come around, but, he is second because of his talent and his necessity to almost single-handedly carry the Warriors.

3-Damian Lillard led the Portland Trail Blazers to last year’s Western Conference Finals, were he eventually lost to the Warriors. This season, Damian Lillard is capable to put up great stats and I think he can even have team more success than Curry although he is not as talented, but I do not know if he can lead the Blazers to a top 4 seed. Basically, I think that Lillard has a similar case to Curry: Premier point guard that can lead the league in scoring, but it is questionable if he can lead the Blazers to a top record, although Damian has a better team than Curry; Curry and Lillard have the same chance to me, although I put Curry slightly ahead because Curry has already won 2 MVPs.

4-James Harden has won an MVP an has been the runner-up for the award for the last 5 years, but I think he has lost a step in the race for the MVP for one reason. While Harden has the chance to lead the Houston Rockets to the best record in the Western Conference, I am fearful that his stats will take a massive hit because he is playing alongside Russel Westbrook who is also a very ball-dominant guard. Harden may have the team success, but I am not sure about the individual one.

5-Nikola Jokic just led the Denver Nuggets to the second seed last year and was one win away from the Western Conference Finals. The Denver Nuggets have made some important additions and have kept their core intact and seems to improve due to being young. Jokic may lead the Nuggets to the second seed in the West again, but I do not know about the stats. The thing with Jokic is that when you see the box score numbers, they are good but not elite compared to the guys on this race, but when you are watching the actual game, he seems as the best player in the court. I don’t expect Jokic to put up astronomical numbers as the 4 guys ahead of him, but I expect a great season for him and his team.

6-Joel Embiid was one win away from reaching the Eastern Conference Finals last year. He is clearly the best player in the Philadelphia 76ers and the roster around him seems very good. The only concern that I have with Embiid is his health; sure, he can lead the 76ers to a top 2 record in the East while putting the best stats among centers but, Embiid has never played more than 70 games per year which might hurt his chances, however, if he can play 75-77 games, he can even be the runner-up.

~Comments: I am going to list a knock for some guys who many have in this award race, but I don’t think will be real contenders for the award. LeBron James: He is playing with Anthony Davis, and he might rest for a few more games. Anthony Davis: He is playing with LeBron so his stats are not going to be like those of Embiid or Jokic. Kawhi Leonard: He might be in load management again so he will not lead the Clippers to premier regular season success. Paul George: Injury for at least half a season. Kevin Durant: Injury for at least most of the season. Kyrie Irving: Not enough potential team success. Kemba Walker: Not enough potential individual success.

 

 

 

DPOY (Defensive Player of the year, very straight-forward): 1-Rudy Gobert 2-Giannis Antetokounmpo 3-Myles Turner

1-Rudy Gobert: 2-time defending winner of the award, best rim-protector of this generation and may consistently play 75-77 games and lead the Utah Jazz to a top-10 Defense again.

2-Giannis Antetokounmpo: Last year’s runner-up for the award, best overall combination of rim and perimeter defense.

3-Myles Turner: Elite Rim protector and excellent smart defender, may carry almost entire Indiana Pacers defense with Victor Oladipo out for most of the season. May lead the Pacers to top-10 defense single-handedly.

~Comments: I am going to list a knock for some guys who many have in this award race, but I don’t think will be real contenders for the award. Joel Embiid: He is playing with Al Horford, so he does not have to carry the defense as much as the three guys ahead of him. Kawhi Leonard: He might be in load management again so he will not put up defensive stats to win the award. Paul George: Injury for at least half a season. Jrue Holiday: Just because he is in the New Orleans Pelicans, which are not-playoff team.

 

ROY (Rookie of the Year, given to the best first-year player in the league): 1-Zion Williamson 2-Ja Morant 3-Rui Hachimura

1-Zion Williamson: Generational talent, 1st Overall Pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, most talented and gifted player in the Draft since Anthony Davis. Going to be the focus of the New Orleans Pelicans.

2-Ja Morant: 2nd Overall Pick of the 2019 NBA Draft, most talented guard of the class, going to be the focus of the Memphis Grizzlies.

3-Rui Hachimura: 9th Overall Pick of the 2019 NBA Draft, first Japanese born player in the NBA, very fundamentally sound, NBA ready, and versatile may have a very important impact and role in the Washington Wizards.

~Comments: I am going to list a knock for some guys who many have in this award race, but I don’t think will be real contenders for the award. RJ Barrett: Tremendously talented but the New York Knicks are tremendously bad. DeAndre Hunter: Most mature and fundamental player, not very flashy. Tacko Fall: He is too tall.

 

MIP (Most Improved Player, given to the player who demonstrate the most improvement in skills and ability to help the team from one year to another): 1-Jayson Tatum 2-De’Aaron Fox 3-D’Angelo Russel

1-Jayson Tatum: Last year he had a rough year and he has the possibility to really bounce back and develop a stablished role within the Boston Celtics.

2-De’Aaron Fox: Very likely to improve his skills and could help the Sacramento Kings sneak into the playoffs.

3-D’Angelo Russel: He will be the second offensive options for the Warriors thus, making his stats look better with a good team, although, he might be in the shadow of Stephen Curry.

~Comments: There is a ton of candidates for this award, and the race is extremely wide-open, so I could not crystalize on other 7 contenders, I will let you choose this as you please. Basically, the candidates for the award are the same ones as last season.

 

Sixth Man of the Year (Awarded to the league’s best bench player): 1-Lou Williams 2-Spencer Dinwiddie 3-Jeremy Lamb 4-Fred VanVleet

1-Lou Williams: 2-time defending winner of the award, excellent scorer, one of the best sixth man all-time.

2-Spencer Dinwiddie: Best back-up Point Guard in the NBA, good scorer and playmaker, feats what his team, the Brooklyn Nets, require.

3-Jeremy Lamb: Good scorer and shooter, important offensive option for the Indiana Pacers.

4-Fred VanVleet: Good scorer, playmaker and shooter. Came up huge for the Toronto Raptors last year for the playoffs, but it’s unlikely he will do the feat again.

~Comments: I am going to list a knock for some guys who many have in this award race, but I don’t think will be real contenders for the award. Montrezl Harrel: He is sharing the Clippers bench with Lou Williams. Bogdan Bogdanovic: The Sacramento Kings may not give him the opportunity as much as they did last year.

 

-Conference Standings predictions based upon regular season success. Also, an analysis for each team including expectations, potential regular season records and players to watch.

 

-Western Conference. It’s the West. Its though. All the teams in the conference besides the Oklahoma City Thunder and Memphis Grizzlies got better. The first 7 teams in the standings are real championship contenders with the difference between the 1st and 7th seed being only 1-5 games. You may be excited because this is one of the best conferences all-time.

Standings: 1-Houston Rockets 2-Denver Nuggets 3-Los Angeles Lakers 4-Utah Jazz 5-Los Angeles Clippers 6-Golden State Warriors 7-Portland Trailblazers 8-San Antonio Spurs 9-Sacramento Kings 10-Dallas Mavericks 11-New Orleans Pelicans 12-Minnesotta Timberwolves 13-Oklahoma City Thunder 14-Phoenix Suns 15-Memohis Grizzlies

 

1-Houston Rockets

The Houston Rockets have been a championship contender for the last 3 years. They just finished as a 4 seed last year plagued with injuries, carried by a ridiculous performance by James Harden. Now, they traded their second-best player, Chris Paul, for Russel Westbrook, James Harden’s old teammate in the Oklahoma City Thunder. The fit between these two will be very exciting, while many are questioning it, it may lead the Rockets to the best record in the West. Russell Westbrook will be playing with a real coach for the first time and will boost the pace for Mike D’Antony’s offense, and Westbrook will be forced to stop making dumb mistakes and utilizing his strengths to benefit the team. This Rockets roster its better than last year with key additions; like Thabo Sefolosha and Tyson Chandler; rugged veterans who fit into the system. The team may sign or trade for a good wing like Andre Iguodala to bolster the team even more. I can see the Rockets making it to the NBA Finals, and definitely having the best record in the conference.

Expectations: 55-60 wins. Championship Contender.

Players to Watch. Clint Capela. Rocket’s x-factor, will be the player benefiting the most from Westbrook’s playmaking, expect a leap from him after a disappointing previous season. Danuel House Jr.: Good 3-D wing, great size and shooter will carve a pivotal role spacing the court and providing length and defense. Chris Clemons: Undrafted Rookie Point Guard, excellent scorer, may be the Fred VanVleet of this team moving forward.

2-Denver Nuggets

The Denver Nuggets were the team in the West who kept all of their main core while adding even more dept and versatility in their roster. The Nuggets are arguably the deepest team in the west with 12 good players in their roster. The Nuggets’ core is fairly young, and they will keep improving upon last year’s success. The Nuggets may look for a trade for a star like Bradley Beal to bolster their offensive fire power while keeping a deep rotation. They have Nikola Jokic and an offensive arsenal that can lead them to the NBA finals and a deep playoff run.

Expectations: 52-57 wins. Championship Contender.

Players to watch. Jeremy Grant. The trade for Jeremy Grant during the offseason, he brings versatility, defense and spacing at the frontcourt, should be an important player for the team. Michael Porter Jr. Denver’s past year pick at the 14th overall, he has a lot of promise as a scorer and an all-around small forward, brings more potential and versatility at the small forward.

3-Los Angeles Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers jumped from being the 9th seed last year and a massive disappointment, to a championship contender with only one move. They traded for Anthony Davis, sacrificing their young core for a premier talent in Davis. Davis and LeBron James are a match made in heaven; the pick & roll, pick & pop, lobs, hooks, tip-passes etc. I can see the duo carrying the team on their shoulder. Although, the rest of the roster is questionable, just these two players may lead the Lakers to a 3-seed and to the NBA finals.

Expectations: 50-55 wins. Championship Contender.

Platers to watch. Kyle Kuzma. The only remaining piece from the original young core, should be the 3rd most important player for the team because he provides scoring, shot making, and size at the wing. He may start or come off the bench, either way, expect a good season from Kuma.

4-Utah Jazz

In my opinion, the Jazz had the best offseason in the league. They added All-Star caliber point guard Mike Conley in a trade with the Memphis Grizzlies. They also added Bojan Bogdanovic, Jeff Green, Ed Davis and Emmanuel Mudiay. Their additions bolster a roster that lacked offensive and playmaking options, for they were relying on Donovan Mitchell for most of this. Now, they may have a top 10 defense in the league because of Rudy Gobert and be a top 10 offensive team due to a pristine center and Rudy Gobert surrounded with 4 excellent versatile, experienced offensive players those being Conley, Mitchell, Bogdanovic and Joe Ingles. I expect a great season form the Utah Jazz as a lethal team that might win it all. The only knock is that they don’t have a top 10 player in the league, but a combination of experience, versatility, depth and coaching may benefit them very well.

Expectations: 50-55 wins. Championship Contender.

Players to watch. Mike Conley. Very experienced point guard who fits right with Donovan Mitchell at the backcourt, excellent scorer, premier passer and playmaker, also has the ability to set the tempo and defend the perimeter, should be the Jazz’s engine. Bojan Bogdanovic. Most underrated signing this offseason, elite scorer and playmaker, elite shooter, god size and defense at the wing or power forward position, lethal player in the postseason due to their versatility.

5-Los Angeles Clippers

The Clippers just finished as an 8 seed in last year’s playoffs but this offseason, they have made a huge splash. They signed Kawhi Leonard, defending champion and Finals MVP with the Toronto Raptors and arguably a top 5 player in the league. They also traded for Paul George, a top 5 two-way wing and a top-10 player in the league. They Clippers also kept most of their core and have a very deep roster with arguably the best defensive unit in the league, they also are experienced and have a very good coach. The Clippers are the 5-seed because Kawhi Leonard might miss some games due to load management and Paul George has a shoulder injury that will keep him out for quite some time. With the West being so tight, they might lose a couple of more games, but make no mistake, this is one of the best teams in the league and could be in the NBA Finals.

Expectations: 50-53 wins. Championship Contender.

Players to watch. Landry Shamet. Very good shooter and scorer at the wing position, should provide versatility and space the floor for the Clippers stars. He is the team’s x-factor along with the team’s health.

6-Golden State Warriors.

The Warriors are coming off a trip to the NBA finals where they lose to the Toronto Raptors. They lost Kevin Durant in free agency, they lost Andre Iguodala in a trade, and Klay Thompson, their second-best current player, is injured for most of the season. Although they brought D’Angelo Russel in a trade, it is looking like the biggest challenge for the Dubs in the last 5 years. Stephen Curry is the key. He might lead the league in scoring and carry the Warriors to the playoffs, once Klay Thompson is back, they might make it back to the finals, but as regular season is concerned, their lack of defense and their reliance on Curry might make them loose a couple more games.

Expectations: 50-53 wins. Championship Contender.

Players to watch. D’Angelo Russell. Besides Curry, he is the only player that can consistently shoot and make plays for himself and others, he might have a pivotal role if the Warriors are to survive, I expect a great individual season for Russell.

7-Portland Trail Blazers

The Blazers just come off from reaching the Western Conference finals where they lost to the Warriors. During the offseason, they kept most of their core, while making some adjustments. They traded for Kent Bazemore and Hassan Whiteside. Portland still have a very balanced and experienced team and might reach more wins if Damian Lillard has an MVP season. I expect this team to make a trade for a 3rd star, probably Kevin Love or Danilo Gallinari. If this happens and Jusuf Nurkic returns good from injury, they might make it to the finals.

Expectations: 50-53 wins. Championship Contender.

Players to watch. Rodney Hood. Last year, he had a revival with Portland, becoming their 3rd best player in the offseason, he is very good scorer, shooter, defender and rebounder, could be a pivotal part in Portland postseason aspirations, I expect a major improvement from him. Zach Collins. He is on his 3rd year as pro and has quietly improved as a modern center who can shoot and defend multiple positions, should start while Nurkic is injured and be very versatile for the team. Anfernee Simmons. Second year point guard, very lethal shooter and scorer should be the team’s 6th man and a very good rotation player in the postseason; he can be the Feed VanVleet of the team.

8-San Antonio Spurs

The Spurs, as always, did not make a lot of flashy moves. They replaced Davis Bertans with Demaree Carroll and made a few more moves. As always, this team is under the radar, and talentwise, they should be bottom 5 in the West but, they have Gregg Popovich at coach and well, that’s that. They also are bringing back Dejounte Murray from injury. This team is the mst fundamentally based team in the league, are very experience and their identity of defense might lead them to the postseason for a whopping 23rd straight team (an NBA record).

Expectations: 48-52 wins. Playoff Team. First round exit.

Players to watch. Dejounte Murray. Point guard coming from a major injury that saw him miss the entire season, should bounce back very nicely, premier defender, playmaker and should be the team’s 3rd-4th best player. Derrick White. 3rd season shooting guard. Excellent shooter and scorer, the team’s best player during last offseason, should be the team’s x-factor.

9-Sacramento Kings

Last year, the Kings almost cracked the postseason. During the offseason, they added some very good veterans to complement their team. Dewayne Dedmond, a stretch center who also is a very good defender, excellent addition, Trevor Ariza, veteran 3 & D wing who brings tenacity and leadership, as well as Corey Joseph, an experienced point guard. If the West was not so stacked, this team might have made my pick for the 8th seed. The problem is that they are still a young team: De’Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield, Harrison Barnes and Marvin Bagley are an excellent core but are one year away from making it to the playoffs. Still, this team should be good and very fun to watch.

Expectations: 45-48 wins. Playoff Spot Contender.

Players to watch. The whole young core including De’Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield, Harrison Barnes and Marvin Bagley, these 4 players might improve and even one of them can become an All-Star, these players are very fast and talented.

10-Dallas Mavericks

Last year, Dallas saw their franchise player, Dirk Nowitzki, retire after 21 seasons with the Mavericks. However, Dallas also found their next one in Luka Doncic, Rookie of the year and one of the best young players in the league. They also added star Kristaps Porzingis in a trade with the New York Knicks. Dallas has hope and has surrounded their two corner pieces with solid role players. Dallas’ duo will be a fear for years to come, but they will not reach their peak this year. Instead, the mavericks are set for a good season of growth form their two players, but it’s unlikely they will make the playoffs, although they will remain as a respectable team.

Expectations: 43-46 wins. Playoff spot semi-contender.

Players to watch. Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis pretty much. Doncic is an elite ball-handler, scorer and shooter that has shown flashes of greatness, expect improvement from him. Porzingis is a solid rim protector, but most importantly, an elite shooter and finisher at the rim making the Doncic-Porzingis one-two punch lethal using the pick & roll, pick & pop, lobs, hooks, tip-passes etc. The duo will certainly make a splash.

11-New Orleans Pelicans

After landing the 1st overall pick in the 2019 draft and trading Anthony Davis to the Lakers, the Pelicans have set a very good base for a rebuild. They selected Zion Williamson with the 1st pick and now have Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Nickel Alexander Walker, Josh Hart and Jaxon Hayes for their new core while still having veteran Jrue Holiday and sign quality players like Derick Favors and JJ Redick. The roster is very deep with a blend within experience and youth with players that mech together in a 7-seconds offensive system. The Pelicans will be very fun to

watch, they will play very fast, rebound and hustle. The team will be very interesting, specially moving forward. However, I don’t expect the Pelicans to make the Playoffs just yet.

Expectations: 42-45 wins. Playoff spot semi-contender.

Players to watch. Zion Williamson. What I can say that we already don’t know about Zion; excellent rebounder, defender, playmaker and finisher at the rim, projected to be one of the best players in the league in a couple of years. Aside from Zion, the whole team is very interesting, as all the guys try to mech and develop a role within the team. Very excited for this team.

12-Minnesota Timberwolves

The Timberwolves saw a lot of turmoil last season, as their second-best player, Jimmy Butler, was traded to Philadelphia for Robert Covington and Dario Saric. This offseason, the Timberwolves made minimal changes. This season, they seem to continue in the route of the Karl Anthony Towns surrounded by mediocre players. Aside from Karl Anthony Towns, just Robert Covington, Josh Okogie and Jarett Culver seem to have any value. This team just hopes that Karl Anthony Towns continue improving and I don’t seem them making the playoffs, but they are not terrible.

Expectations: 40-45 wins. Playoff spot semi-contender.

Players to watch. Jarett Culver. 2019 NBA Draft 6th overall pick, solid all-around wing, should start for the team. Josh Okogie. Good defender and brings hustle and energy to the team, should also start at the shooting guard spot. Aside from these two, the young core of Minnesota is not very special.

13-Oklahoma City Thunder

Nobody was expecting this collapse. After a breaking loss in the first round against the Blazers, everything went South for this team. The team traded Paul George to the Clippers and later, Russel Westbrook to the Rockets. In exchange they acquired Chris Paul, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and Danilo Gallinari plus 11 first round picks. The Thunder has solid players but are expected to trade some pieces they acquired for even more assets. The Thunder is very set for a rebuild based upon their draft capital but if they keep the veterans for at least half a season, that means that at least this team would not be the worst in the league.

Expectations: 35-40 wins. Lottery contender.

Players to watch. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is the only young corner piece for this team, he brings size and defense, shooting, playmaking and leadership. He is very mature and fundamentally based. I expect this player to be the face of the team and is a great start for a rebuild, plus he would be mentored by Chris Paul.

14-Phoenix Suns

I am sorry for Suns fans. During the offseason, they traded TJ Warren to the Indiana Pacers for cap space, replacing him with Dario Saric and moving up in the draft jut to select Cameron Johnson plus signing Ricky Rubio for $19 Million a year and trading Josh Jackson for nothing.

What can be said? I don’t know. I like Rubio’s signing just not the money. The draft pick of Johnson was a waste. Saric is worse than Warren. This team may improve a little due to Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton improving but the Suns’ offseason was very disappointing, I expect this team to compete for a high pick in the Lottery, nothing more than that.

Expectations: 29-35 wins. Lottery contender.

Players to watch. Deandre Ayton may develop into an elite center, he is very athletic, good rebounder, and finisher at the rim. He can one day be a center like David Robinson. However, this would be in vain if the Suns cannot build a better team around him.

15-Memphis Grizzlies

The Grit & Grind era in Memphis is over. The team traded Marc Gasol to the Toronto Raptors and Mike Conley to the Jazz, the last icons of that generation. In return, they got solid pieces: Jonas Valanciunas, Grayson Allen, Brandon Clarke and Josh Jackson. Plus, with the 2nd overall pick they selected Ja Morant, the best guard prospect in the draft. This team is very young, but they have a lot of potential and have the foundation for a good rebuild, I really like this young core but, someone had to be the worst team in the Western Conference, so the Memphis Grizzlies are.

Expectations: 28-32 wins. Lottery contender.

Players to watch. Ja Morant. Excellent playmaker, passer, slasher and athlete. Jaren Jackson Jr. May become one of the league’s best Power Forwards in a couple of years. Excellent defender, solid shooter, passer, playmaker and all-around game. Brandon Clarke. Rookie out of Gonzaga. versatile, good defender, rebounder and leader. Josh Jackson. Good athlete and still has potential, confident that Memphis will get something out of him.

 

-Eastern Conference. The East got weaker, again. There are only two real championship contenders; Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers followed by 6 solid playoff teams and seven bad teams.

Standings: 1-Milwaukee Bucks 2-Philadelphia 76ers 3-Boston Celtics 4-Miami Heat 5-Toronto Raptors 6-Brooklyn Nets 7-Indiana Pacers 8-Orlando Magic 9-Detroit Pistons 10-Atlanta Hawks 11-Washington Wizards 12-Chicago Bulls 13-Cleveland Cavaliers 14-New York Knicks 15-Charlotte Hornets.

1-Milwaukee Bucks

The Milwaukee Bucks had one of the best seasons in franchise history last year; they reached the Easter Conference finals and lost in 6 games, while winning 60 games in the regular season and Giannis Antetokounmpo won the MVP. They kept most of their core, they just traded Malcom Brogdon to the Pacers for Wesley Mathews, 2 first round picks and a second rounder. Although Brogdon is a very good player, the Bucks have made smart moves to replace the skills they lost. The addition of Mathews is good, a veteran 3-D wig along with the signing of veterans Robin Lopez and Kyle Korver, both capable of bringing l

expect Giannis to make a jump to an even better skill, this team is my favorite to make the NBA finals and at least should easily make the Eastern Conference Finals.

Expectations: 55-60 wins. Championship Contender.

Players to watch. Donte DiVincenzo. He is the best young player from the roster aside from Giannis. He is a 2nd year point guard who is very good shooter, dribbler and playmaker. Should have more minutes this year and make an impact offensively.

2-Philadelphia 76ers

The Philadelphia 76ers were one shot away from making the Eastern Conference Finals, after trading Jimmy Butler and loosing JJ Redick to the Pelicans, they acquired Josh Richardson from the Heat and signed Al Horford. I really like the moves, yes, this team is tall as anything for Josh Richardson is 6’7’’ and is the shortest guy in the starting lineup. This team is very balanced and is going to benefit specially from Al Horford, a very versatile center that can defend, pass and shoot. If this team figures a system to get everyone involved and Joel Embiid remains healthy, they might make the NBA finals.

Expectations: 55-60 wins. Championship Contender.

Player to watch. Josh Richardson. Elite perimeter defender, good scorer, passer and hustle guy. Tobias Harris. Excellent scorer, shooter and may be the team’s second option. Ben Simmons. He is already great but if he can shoot better or port-up or develop a floater, he can become a top-10 point guard in the league.

3-Boston Celtics

After a disappointing season, the Boston Celtics decided to shake up their roster. The Celtics let Kyrie Irving and Al Horford left in free agency while adding Kemba Walker and Enes Kanter to replace the previously mentioned. Kemba Walker is not as talented as Irving, but it’s a better leader and its not far off as a point guard. The matter that worries me is the replacement of Al Horford, Enes Kanter is a liability on defense in comparison to Al Horford. What makes the subtractions interesting is the opening of opportunity for the other wings in the team. Gordon Hayward, Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum. The team is very talented, well-coached and versatile, but I am fearful that their lack of defense and depth at the frontcourt positions may hurt this team.

Expectations: 52-57 wins. Playoff team. Second round exit.

Players to watch. Jayson Tatum. He had a spectacular rookie season in 2018 and now with Irving out of the team, he can solidify as the second star of the team and showcase his scoring ability. Jaylen Brown. Same case as Tatum although his defense is what improves and shines.

4-Miami Heat

The Heat ended with a first-round exit for the second year in a row. This team was very solid, having good veterans and young players but were one-star player away from making more noise in the East. That is what they got in Jimmy Butler, their acquisition via trade. Butler fits with the

Heat’s rugged style of play and he should feast as a primary ball-handler and scorer. The lone addition off Butler plus the improvement of two players I am going to write about will make the Heat a better team.

Expectations: 52-55 wins. Playoff team.

Players to watch. Bam Adebayo. Excellent athlete at the center position, elite passer, playmaker, and versatile defender, traits very important for the modern center. He will elevate the Heat’s ceiling and can be an x-factor in the playoffs. Justice Winslow. Elite defender, playmaker, passer and slasher, he fits in as a second ball-handler and playmaker behind Butler, Winslow is very versatile and should improve even more.

5-Toronto Raptors

The Toronto Raptors come-off from winning the 2019 NBA Championship. They lost Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green in free agency. Although they lost Leonard, who was their best player, the team is still very solid. Led by Pascal Siakam, a very promising raising superstar along with a veteran core of Kyle Lowry and Marc Gasol, excellent players and menors for young Siakam. There is a scenario in which the team trades all of the valuable veterans, but this team might just be content with having a “honey-moon” year and count on Siakam’s improving.

Players to watch. Pascal Siakam. Excellent Power Forward can attack the rim, shoot, dribble, playmaker and defend at an elite level. Should solidify as a first option and should be the Raptor’s franchise face for years to come.

Expectations: 48-52 wins. Playoff team.

6-Brooklyn Nets

After years of being the joke of the league, the Nets have finally turned things around. After a playoff appearance last season, they signed super-stars Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant along with veteran DeAndre Jordan. Besides these moves, the Nets have a solid roster with Caris LeVert, Spencer Dinwiddie, Joe Harris, Jarett Allen and Taurean Prince. The only thing holding this team back from being championship contention is the injury of Kevin Durant, who is expected to miss the entire season. Even then, they are still a good playoff team and, in a year,, can be favorites to win the East.

Expectations: 48-50 wins. Playoff team.

Player to watch. Caris LeVert. With Durant out for the entire season, LeVert will have to serve as the Nets’ second leading offensive option. Good shooter and offensive player. Expecting good season.

7-Indiana Pacers

The Indiana Pacers had a good offseason, they managed to acquire Malcom Brogdon, TJ Warren, Jeremy Lamb to add offensive firepower to this team. While the team is solid, the health of this team is questionable, Victor Oladipo, their best player, is expected to miss 50-60 games and Brogdon and Warren have had miss at least 10 games in each season as a pro. While they

will be a very good defensive team, the offense can be rough at times. I don’t think the Pacers will be very special during regular season but once the playoffs come, they might be a scary team to face.

Players to watch. Basically, the whole team. It is going to be interesting how each guy in the roster adapt to a new role and how this team will change.

8-Orlando Magic

The Magic brought their entire core of last year while adding Al Fariq Aminu. This team will be very good defensively, and their frontcourt depth may help them be the best rebounding team in the league. This team is very young and if they find improvement in the bacourt, they might make a jump next year.

Expectations: 46-48 wins. Playoff team.

Players to watch. Aaron Gordon. Should be the second most important olayer for the team. Good scorer, ball-handler, defender and finisher. He may become an All-Star this season. Jonathan Isaac. He should start at the wing season and given a lot of opportunities, he ahs a lot of potential as a defender, rebounder and oversized wing. The Magic’s route as a contender will be dependent on the development of these two players, their young core.

9-Detroit Pistons

The Pistons had a very quiet offseason for they only brought Derick Rose out of Free Agency. This team is located in an awkward spot as a franchise, they are not ass good to make the playoffs but are not so bad to get a high draft pick. This team may consider trying to make a rebuild, because they might get stock in this mediocre position which harm this team in the long run.

Expectations: 35-42 wins. Lottery contender.

Players to watch. Sekou Doumbouya. The teams’ 15th selection in the 2019 NBA draft. Excellent athlete, versatile defender and finisher. He is a project but might develop into something special over the years.

10-Atlanta Hawks

The Hawks continue building on their young core and they are confident they can improve this year and make a step forward to start contending next season. Their youg core of Trae Young, John Collins, DeAndre Hunter, Cameron Reddish and Kevin Huerter is the definition of a team building a team suited for this generation of basketball. Every player in this young core will have a great season and will mech very well together. They are extremely talented but are a year away to make the playoffs.

Expectations: 35-42 wins. Lottery contender.

Players to watch. The whole young core of Trae Young, John Collins, DeAndre Hunter, Cameron Reddish and Kevin Huerter. Every player in this young core will have a great season and will mech very well together.

11-Washington Wizards

The Wizards finished with a very frustrating season last year after John Wall got injured for the entire season. They started to semi-rebuild and have extended Bradley Beal’s contract. They not in a horrible spot and have made good trades to absorb young players. They will be mediocre this season but, they might build a strong roster so that once John Wall is back from injury, they might resume to contention.

Expectations: 35-40 wins. Lottery contender.

Players to watch. Rui Hachimura. 9th Overall Pick of the 2019 NBA Draft, first Japanese born player in the NBA, very fundamentally sound, NBA ready, and versatile may have a very important impact and role in the Washington Wizards. Thomas Bryant. Very promising pick & roll center for the future.

12-Chicago Bulls

The Bulls had a quiet offseason, they only added veterans Tomas Satoransky and Thaddeus Young. The Bulls are very young and have a very good core: Zach Levine, Coby White, Lauri Markkanen, Coby White, Wendel Carter Jr. and Otto Porter Jr. That is basically their starting 5 for the future, they are young and are one season away from making the playoffs, but in a couple seasons they will have a very good roster.

Expectations: 34-38 wins. Lottery contender.

Players to watch. Their young core is consisting of Zach Levine, Coby White, Lauri Markkanen, Coby White, Wendel Carter Jr. Every player in this young core will have a great season and will mech very well together.

13-Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Cavs came from appearing in the Eastern Conference finals in 2018 to one of the worse teams last season. They have a very young and talented roster but have a long way to go. They are for now, a lottery contender and might trade Kevin Love, their only remaining veteran with trade value.

Expectations: 31-35 wins. Lottery contender.

Players to watch. Collin Sexton. Has promise as a scorer and shooter, future face of the franchise. Darius Garland. Shooting Guard, very similar to Sexton, good scorer and shooter. Together Sexton and Garland should make a good backcourt of the future and they lead this team’s aspirations.

14-New York Knicks

Going into the offseason, the Knicks had very high expectations. They were expecting to get the 1st overall pick and sign two superstars in free agency. Instead, they signed RJ Barrett with the 3rd pick in the 2019 NBA Draft and signed Julius Randle and a couple mediocre role players. Knicks fans were upset, to say the least. While the Knicks are still very bad and they had a disappointing offseason, there is still some hope. RJ Barrett is no Zion Williamson, but he is still very good. They have young players like Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson and Dennis Smith Jr. I expect this team to be very bad, but they may continue in a rebuilding direction.

Expectations: 25-30 wins. Lottery contender.

Players to watch. RJ Barrett. 3rd overall pick from the 2019 NBA Draft, very good scorer, he has a lot of raw talent but will take him time to develop. Mitchell Robinson. Good pick & roll center.

15-Charlotte Hornets

It’s rough, the Hornets lost Kemba Walker in free agency and just replace him with Terry Rozier. After that, the roster is filled with mediocre old players and unproven young players. This team is going to be rough for a long time and should at least, be bad for a couple of years, expecting for high lottery picks.

Expectations: 20-25 wins. Lottery contender.

Players to watch. None, this team is really bad.

 

*If you would like to watch objective and pristine basketball content, there are two good basketball Youtube channels: Sporting Logically and AFunkyDiabetic

Wildcats Beat Belen Eagles After 14 Years

The Deming High Wildcats achieved a 34-14 victory over the Belen Eagles on Friday night which was also Parents’ Night. The hard-hitting defense that forced two fumbles and intercepted four passes gave the Wildcats a chance to build a 22-7 lead at halftime. Wildcat defense set the tone early on with two interceptions on Belen’s first two possession of the game and Belen was denied points inside the Wildcat 20-yard line on a missed 35-yard field goal. The Wildcat offense increased with 26 seconds lefts in the first quarter and drove 80 yards for the game’s first points. Senior all-purpose back Jesse Varela ran 40 yards on a quarterback keeper through the heart of the Eagles’ defense for a Wildcat touchdown and senior Ceazer Chavez made the 2-point conversion run to get the Wildcats a lead of 8-0. At the mark of 6:57, second quarter, Jesse Varela went into high gear on a 65-yard touchdown run; a 2-point conversion run failed but the Wildcats and increased their lead 14-0. After five plays, the Wildcats were in the end zone on a 31-yard touchdown scored by Ceazer Chavez and made a 2-point conversion run which boosted Deming’s lead 22-0 with 4:56 remaining in the first half. The Eagles had a chance to score with two minutes left in the first half and the extra point kick closed the first half; Deming leading with 22 points. The wildcats opened up the second half with Jesse Varela’s third touchdown where he ran 81 yards, the 2-point conversion failed but we lead 28-7. Belen scored with 1:14 left in the third quarter which updated the score to 28-14. Ceazer Chavez brought the score to a close with 3:30 left in the fourth quarter on a 27-yard sprint to the end zone, the 2-point conversion failed, and the Wildcats celebrated their 34-14 victory over the Belen Eagles. The victory broke an Eagles’ win streak over the Wildcats that dated back to 14 years.

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