Idk. I’m not really excited for the season at all. Not sure why. I was last year and we met my expectations. Exceeded them even. I’m just not sure we can replicate that. We’re certainly better on paper but I think we were very fortunate in season with injuries last season. I’d guess we regress to the mean in that regard and Mike and another big contributor go down for a while. And if that doesn’t happen, and we are healthy, I just don’t have much hope that we will figure out a way to stop teams on defense when it matters despite having the 3x DPOY. I’ve seen that movie too many times to believe there’s going to be a new ending. And frankly, this just really feels like the Lakers year to me. **** those scumbags.
I think we have a good shot at the top seed again. I think we see Mitchell take another, albeit smaller, step forward. I think we definitely upgraded our bench, significantly even. We can field nearly a legit starting 5 for a fringe play-in team off our bench. That is a big upgrade.
We still did not really address our single biggest weakness, and I am at a loss as to why the FO thinks this isn't a thing. We have all said perimeter D so much it has nearly lost all meaning, but it is still the one thing that will kill us. I do not believe we did anything substantial enough to mitigate what the clippers did to us in the playoffs, unless Butler is the Terrance Mann stopper. Which is ridiculous on it's face that this is even a thing to say. We are not any better against a 5-out offense than we were before realistically, especially with slashers like Kawhi and George, for example. We might be able to get Gay to play small-ball 5, but he is no rim protector, and with that setup the clipper's would swarm us again, just like they did. We need someone who can at least bother these guys on the perimeter enough that Gobert can do Gobert things, and not be expected to be everywhere all at once or get reamed for not covering for everyone else COMPLETELY sucking.
So I think we will see just as good regular season success this season, and I am excited to see what the bench can bring. But unless Donovan and Conley suddenly became better at staying with guys every bit as athletic as they are, and 5-7 inches taller, on the perimeter, we will likely see another early playoff exit. Or unless Butler can be that guy to help give us 2 defensive anchors, in tandem with Gobert. If we had one single solid big defensive wing + Gobert then the other paying mediocre defense would be sufficient. As it is, 1 fantastic defender cannot make up for 4 meh to meh-minus defenders at the same time. And that is still what we are fielding unless something like this changes suddenly this season, and I just don't see that happening. Donovan will take a step forward offensively, but likely a step sideways defensively. Hope it is enough.
Flabbergasted why something wasn't done about this. Just don't get it.
But I am still excited for the season. We will at least win a lot of games, my bet is flirting with 60 wins even. 58 maybe? Just enough for 1st or 2nd seed even. That will be fun and I intend to enjoy every bit of it while it lasts.