2018-19 is here: Portland, Denver, Miami

Aiight, so, I didn’t get the previews done in time.

These things are an excuse to “research” which means I delve down a dozen Wikipedia recipients sprung from where Lonnie Walker IV’s Wikipedia began, at least as many as it takes to return me to a page belonging to a session drummer.

In the interest of that crush, I’m going to lose the toughest-to-edit parts of the previews and just ship along what I have of the player profiles. Thank you for dipping into however many you could of these, I have such a blast putting them together.

If you’ve enjoyed the free ones, consider contributing (to the point where I get to email you about basketball most every morning)!

PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS

Projected record: 44-38

C: Jusuf Nurkic — is 2018 for “Jeff Ruland.”

PF: Al-Farouq Aminu — the oldest man to have ever been born in 1990.

SF: Jake Layman — first player to make a team’s starting lineup after two seasons of sub-30 percent shooting since Archie Lymeneman ascended the backcourt ranks of the Salamanca Swallows in 1952.

SG: C.J. McCollum — feels as if he’s a Harden-in-waiting, some nights in front of that phone, but it ain’t like James’ life is so grand at the moment. Even at Harden’s pristine best, they had to trade for Chris Paul. You wanna play with Chris Paul? Because right now you’re not playing with Chris Paul.

PG: Damian Lillard — Not Chris Paul. As rigid as he is exceptional at NBA hoops, will be even more wonderful once he eases off a little.

THERE WILL BE A BENCH

C/F: Caleb Swanigan — is gonna be good.

G: Anfernee Simons — the 19-year old is a natural scorer, intoxicating even in Summer League play.

F: Moe Harkless — hit 41 percent of his threes last year but I like Goofus way better.

F: Evan Turner — didn’t wash his hands before taking two cookies without asking, is everyone’s favorite Second Quarter to watch (if he doesn’t play for your favorite team).

G: Gary Trent Jr. — was born days after the end of the 1998-99 NBA lockout, an indication of Gary Trent Sr. betting on himself.

C/F: Meyers Leonard — ankle injury cocked his sixth season but he played well offensively in limited outbursts.

C: Zach Collins — a crusty scorer already, his rookie year was a wicked surprise mitigated by missing so many makeable shots. I just like watching tall dudes play normal basketball.

G: Wade Baldwin — one of those guys where it feels like you’ve seen more of his minutes (519 career, regular and postseason) than you actually have, Wade is a combo guard with size trying to distinguish himself.

G: Nik Stauskas — fun as hell to start 2018-19, just let him dribble.

G: Seth Curry — same.

LET’S WATCH THIS

Scottie Pippen discussing teammate Charles Barkley’s “sorry, fat butt” was filmed in sepia tones because he happened to be in the studio for a SportsCentury taping, like the song you record for a Greatest Hits CD.

DENVER NUGGETS

Projected record: 47-37

C: Nikola Jokic — people fretting about his place on an eventual contender have to re-learn his age, only 23, Jokic wants to dominate a game that he’s yet to create.

PF: Paul Millsap — all the evidence we need to remember that it should never be about what a player can’t do because they ain’t 6-10, but what a player can do because of whatever the hell height they are.

SF: Torrey Craig — worth wondering if defenders like him would even work in this (working) system, Craig might be too smart to start.

SG: Gary Harris — takes the wildest turns on his way toward what reads as sensible. Low turnovers, 40 percent of his threes, willing play-finisher as a passer, but he also might be one of those guys that eats ice out of his drink with a spoon, like expertly, right there at the table. Not even the good ice, he didn’t have a Sprite or anything, just right from the free water.

PG: Jamal Murray — emerging mid-paint game has me happy, someday this 38-year old will be a celebrated backup point guard for the Charlotte Hornets.

THERE WILL BE A BENCH

F: Michael Porter — he won’t be a rookie for a while and shouldn’t, we kinda trust the Nuggets-to-Mizzou pipeline and if they feel he’s the sorta prospect worth rebuilding, I’m down with it. It would be better if Wilson Chandler were still around to lend kicks, say the sorts of things you’ll remember in 40 years.

PG: Monte Morris — former four-year Iowa State stud would appear to be a third-guard prospect worth clinging to.

F: Tyler Lydon — needs to prove he retained NBA speed after a meniscus tear canned nearly all of his rookie season.

F: Juan Hernangomez — last year was a waste, Juan got mono, but this dude hit 40 percent of his threes in 2016-17.

G: Will Barton — you and your pals will pay expensive tickets for the seats and you’ll get there late so you gotta pay the most for parking and then Will Barton will go ahead and ruin the entire second quarter for you, the only part of the game where you’re all in your seats and with beers, and then he’ll do it again in the second half right before they stop selling those beers.

C: Thomas Welch — 7-footer best known for his top-five finish at Pinehurst in the 2014 U.S. Open.

F: Trey Lyles — snazzy scoring style still has a place in this league, he will put the other team in foul trouble if you hand him the ball (and the entire left side of the court).

F: Jarred Vanderbilt — injury-plagued, 19-year old defender .

C: Mason Plumlee — blocked a bunch of shots last year and passes well but he is not, diners, this is not Nikola Jokic. Don’t ask for someone’s picture just after you demand they tell you their name.

SF: DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell — re-tweeted the Nuggets’ release announcing Will Barton’s hip surgery, 25-year old rookie is on a two-way contract.

SG: Malik Beasley — the sort of kinda-shooting defender and rebounder at shooting guard that the Nuggets always seem to have.

G: Isaiah Thomas — short guys gotta be perfect in this league.

LET’S WATCH THIS

Mark Jackson got so many fake assists in 1996-97, I’m still mad at this.

MIAMI HEAT

Projected record: 44-38

C: Hassan Whiteside — one of those guys that probably should have never got with the thing that was better for him than anything else.

PF: Kelly Olynyk — too slow to center, but somehow perfect to power forward, Olynyk really cranked up the passing in his first season with the Heat.

SF: Josh Richardson — He’s alright, but I don’t get it either.

SG: Rodney McGruder — two-way swingman that the Heat always seem apt at developing.

PG: Goran Dragic — a deserving All-Star last season, nobody could keep him off the defensive glass, basketball owes this man a 40-percent shot from outside for his 30s.

THERE WILL BE A BENCH

F: James Johnson — upon his return from hernia rehab, James should look to come to the ball more in the absence of a scoring star. We’re down for it (but most certainly not ready for it).

G: Tyler Johnson — has an older brother that sells a lotta stuff “as is.”

G/F: Derrick Jones Jr.dunkity dunk dunk dunk.

C: Bam Adebayo — was weirdly fantastic at passing in his rookie season.

F: Duncan Robinson rookie on a two-way deal after going undrafted, Duncan’s middle name is “McBryde.”

G: Dion Waiters — everyone could have been more considerate with his ankle injury, but people have egos, people have hearts. Miami should try to extend his rehab window as much as they can, letting the combustible man return for the stretch on legs he can feel safe with.

F: Justise Winslow — move to power forward made him more of a rebounder, and a more settled three-point shooter (38 percent).

G: Dwyane Wade — somehow looked great in each and every Miami Heat uniform he’s played in. Gotdamn what he gets away with.

G/F: Wayne Ellington — they had Wayne Ellington last year, too. Ten points and 38 percent shooting from outside.

C: Udonis Haslem — his Basketball-Reference page won’t fully load on most shared, fast food wi-fi collectives.

F: Yante Maten — four-year Georgia Bulldog swingman seems like the Heat’s Next Guy, hit 21-43 threes in his junior year before clanging a bit more (34 percent) last season.

LET’S WATCH THIS

oh my lord

ALL THE PREVIEWS (THAT I FINISHED)

CLEVELANDINDIANAMINNESOTAMILWAUKEEMEMPHISOKLAHOMA CITY (free!), SAN ANTONIONEW ORLEANSDETROITLOS ANGELES CLIPPERSLOS ANGELES LAKERS (free!), DALLASCHICAGOATLANTA (free!), PHOENIXUTAHPHILADELPHIASACRAMENTOCHARLOTTETORONTO (free!), HOUSTONBOSTONNEW YORKGOLDEN STATEORLANDOWASHINGTON, BROOKLYN.

This should be the season that you subscribe, we have a lot of fun.

Thank you for reading.